The Sermon below tackles about the Biblical teachings about marriage, marital relationship and divorce. Our world today is full of marital problems, and the moral values of Christians when it comes to marriage have degraded rapidly and in a very alarming state. In the US, the highest rate of divorce is within the Evangelical churches whose ratio is 1:2.
Christians seems to have forgotten the values and Biblical teachings about divorce and marital relationship. This is because people has been so concerned on the exemptions rather than the Biblical teachings itself. As a result, more and more people wants to justify their own personal view to indulge themselves into the temptation of divorce.
In contrast to this, Jesus Christ gave a very strong emphasis about the divorce. May this sermon help our marriages.
Text: 1 Corinthians 7
Last week we talked about teachings against having a lawsuit with fellow believers and about sexual immorality. Today, we will be learning another set of teachings about marital relationships. We will be seeing Paul’s teachings about marriage and how each individual should look on it.
Teachings For Singles and Widows
“It is good for a man not to marry (v.1).” – For the singles, Paul strongly suggested that it is better for a man not to marry. He emphasized that singles can concentrate more on the affairs of the church in comparison to those who were married (v.32-35).
However, Paul does not restrict the unmarried so as the widows to marry (v.2, 35). In verse two, we can see that it is because that there are so much immorality, Paul suggests that it good to marry than to indulge oneself to immorality (v. 2).
Paul never suggested that we should try and act as if we are married, rather, it would be better to get married than to sin. Marrying is not a sin. In fact, in the Bible, it is something that is God-designed as he instituted it through Adam and Eve.
However, sexual relations is only good WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF MARRIAGE. When we say “within the bounds of marriage”, it means that you can only have sexual relation to your spouse, the one whom you had a covenant with God. Having sexual relations before getting married or having an affair with another man or woman aside from your spouse is under “sexual immorality”.
Teachings For Married
In verse 3, we can see here that Paul is telling about intimate marital relationship. We can also see that it is not sin having sexual relationship within the bounds of marriage. In contrast to St. Augustine teachings’ that sexual relationship is a necessary evil, here we see that the Bible did not prohibit a couple to have sexual relations nor say that it is evil to do. It is however an immorality if such thing is done outside the bounds of marriage.
Another lesson that we can see here is that, the couple is advised to have time with the Lord (v.5). It is always good if the couple spends time for the Lord. Here we see that both of them are advised to have time for the Lord and not just one of them.
Quoting the book of Ephesians 5:32-33, Paul has given the rules of marital relationship, that is for the wife to submit to her husband, and for the husband to love his wife as himself.
Submitting to husband means being under his authority, under his care, under
Teachings About Divorce and Marital Problems
Another thing that we can learn from chapter 7 of the book of Corinthians is about problems. Paul here presented some of the most common marital problems and says about things that Jesus Christ teaches.
First is about divorce. We have to take note of Paul’s emphasis, “not I, but the Lord”. This could probably mean that Paul is very much aware of what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:32 that says “32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” And this is the command: “A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. (v.10)”. The same teaching has been confirmed in the following references: Matt 19:9; Mark 10:11; Luke 16:18.
The book of Matthew by the way is the only book in the New Testament that presented an exemption of the right to divorce which is immorality. But still, no passage in the New Testament that advises for a divorce person to remarry.
Where do we find that remarriage is allowed?
The book of Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Moses taught the people of Israel the rules of divorce. There we see that the people are allowed to remarry.
In contrast to this, Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew 19:8, argue with the Pharisees about divorce and teaches the people that they ought not to marry after the divorce. And that it was only allowed during the time of Moses because of the “hard hearts” men, but it was not God’s design even from the beginning, quoting Genesis 2:24.
My own personal pastoral advice
- If you already have divorced your spouse and is now married – Ask God for forgiveness and move on with your life and dedicate it from now on to the Lord and do not divorce your existing spouse.
- If you already have divorced and not yet married – Ask God for his guidance and follow the teachings of Jesus and apostle Paul.
- If you are planning to divorce your spouse because of battering or for some other valid reasons – Do not divorce him or her, instead just distance a little bit and be sure to give a window for forgiveness and reconciliation. But note that you are not bound for the sinning spouse if he chose to sin (v.15-24).
The main key for a successful relationship is Christ. As we can see in the whole chapter, the common end point for both the unmarried and the married people is to worship God.
Christ should be the ruler of our hearts and our home.
Here is a material that really can help your marriage.
|Fireproof Your Marriage, Couple’s Kit
This couple’s kit, based on the movie Fireproof was created to help build and strengthen marriages using biblical principles. It is designed with an easy format that integrates clips from the movie(NOT the actual movie), key Scriptures, and group discussion, all perfect for couples’ small groups. The kit includes an easy to follow six session DVD, and two participant’s guides.Six Sessions:
|Fireproof, Special Collector’s Edition DVD
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