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1 Corinthians 7:25-8:13 - Part A

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The Truth Network Radio
August 15, 2022 6:00 am

1 Corinthians 7:25-8:13 - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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August 15, 2022 6:00 am

The early church faced a lot of problems, which is why the apostle Paul wrote to encourage them. In this message, Skip explores some of those issues—sharing how you can follow God's calling for your life today.

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There is an apostasy. You know what that means and means of falling away from the faith. There are people that you know once name the name of Christ once sat next to you in church once worship with you who are no longer part way you minister to the newsletter guiding them God. We live today on connect scriptures about moral problems early church-based insight on how to live out God's calling for you to want to share space that will help you experience hope and renewal in your life. Life is hard and then we die is a harsh but accurate philosophy with into this gentle encouragement. But, that's right, in the most difficult circumstances God can intervene as he did for Joseph Joe and through the resurrection of Jesus here that I think the fact there may not be two more hopeful words than these two words but God because they point us to the great interrupter, the one who can powerfully and graciously interrupt our live with his plans and change our lives forever help you understand some of the Bible's most profound moments you can have more hope for change in your life.*10 message teaching series are thanks $35 more to help connect more people to the only one can radically change a life. But God CD collection today. You get online securely or call 892 1888. Okay, let's get into today's teacher in first Corinthians chapter 7 as we begin our study with Skip this morning when I was having my devotion. I was reading Psalm 26 and there's a little section that Psalm talk to my heart where the psalmist said I have loved the habitation of your house and then a few verses later he goes on to say my foot stands in an even place in the congregation I will bless the Lord, and God spoke to me in particular because I have loved the habitation of the Lord's house. I have loved where God dwells. He dwells among his people, and I was just thinking back over 40 years. 40 years ago we moved from California to New Mexico and planted a Bible study to became this church.

40 years it is been my joy to teach the word of God.

Verse by verse chapter by chapter book by book Old Testament and New Testament, and do it again and again and again and again and I have loved the habitation of the Lord's house. I this is been my life. This is been my world.

Now this vantage point is been much of my existence.

I have given my life for it and I would do it again and I I have just loved it so much that I get to be with God's people are seeing so many things the Lord has done to the people of this place. This church around the world.

I have loved the habitation of his house and I have stood in the congregation with you and bless the Lord through the years. I was thinking about that. My mind went back to the years and I just adverse ultimate no when we started this church won't let me rephrase that when anybody plants the church.

They typically don't foresee problems or they don't think about those problems.

I don't really anticipate what problems all have some of my staff members have gone out and planted churches Avenue planted a church you were 11 years in Tennessee when you started that church. You were so excited, but I remember the phone calls. The issues the problems that come up.

You don't you know they're going to come but you don't like when they do come, but they come and Paul is experiencing a little bit of that. He planted the church in Corinth.

It was a great joy for him to travel through the known world and put down spiritual roots and share the gospel and get a group of people in not only win them to faith in Christ but mature them in their walk with Christ and then have to leave that place and hear about what things are going on sometimes good, sometimes bad sometimes you write a letter so your faith is being spoken of all over the world.

You wrote to the Thessalonian church and said that and I'm sure there were some positive great things about the Corinthian church.

In fact will notice a few of them as we progress. It was a work of God in a very difficult place.

There were problems that came up and we have noted several of them so far and will note more of them as we go through so Paul is in Ephesus when he gets word that the Corinthians are struggling with a unity issue. He hears that from a church member in Corinth, then he gets letters from different Corinthian members that ask questions questions that he didn't address when he planted the church and so the book follows the outline of Paul addressing the concerns of the household that told him about the disunity followed by Paul answering questions about issues that came up and we noted last week in chapter 7 the first issue that he addresses the first question that the Corinthians had was about marriage and divorce singleness versus status of marriage verse one of chapter 7 now concerning that's a tipoff that he is dealing with an issue that they wrote him about what he says now concerning his addressing a different topic altogether. He is changing topics and it's a topic about something they asked him up for he says now concerning the things of which you wrote to me happens again in Nam. Chapter 8 verse one now concerning things offered to idols. They obviously had a question about that in chapter 12 verse one. He begins same wording now concerning spiritual gifts, and that was an issue.

They struggled with in the rights chapters 12 and 13 as a hiatus in chapter 14 about spiritual gifts and the balance of their exercise within the church in the middle of chapter 7, which is where we left off last time is another now concerning and that takes us to verse 26 of verse 25 now concerning versions which is a strange way to begin a sentence. I think I mentioned last week, you probably never have never begun a conversation with those words now concerning versions of Paul dead because it was an issue. They asked him about and so as just by way of introduction, a little bit into last week study.

Paul begins by saying that celibacy singleness is good, something that is good in verse one chapter 7 concerning the things of which you wrote to me, it is good for a man not to touch a woman in his addressing celibacy. A man who decides to stay single and celibate. His entire life. He says that's good. And then in numbers eight but I say to the unmarried into the Windows. It is good for them if they remain even as I am. And if you go down to verse 26 I suppose. Therefore, this is good because of the present distress that is it is good for a man to remain as he is. So it's good celibacy singleness is good and we will see tonight in many ways Paul said is preferable to those who are married because they can live in undistracted life in serving the Lord. However, having said that singleness with celibacy is good. He quickly says but it's not the only good is it there. There's other things that are good as well and to be considered and I mentioned back in Genesis chapter 2 word the Lord said it is not good that man should be alone I will make a helper that is comparable to him and God instituted a man and a woman coming together in marriage. So back to chapter 7 first Corinthians of verse six of chapter 7 but I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. For I wish that all men were even as I myself but each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that some people have a gift to be single others people other people of a gift to be married. Go with your gift. Paul would say go with your gift. If you have that gift to serve the Lord as a single person. Good go with it.

If you don't have that gift, but you have the gift to do it with a helper that is comparable to you.

Like in Genesis jeopardy go with it. Go with the gift. So that takes us to chapter 7 verse 25, which is the second part and bullied the part I want to address tonight will finish this up now concerning versions evidently somebody asked him a question.

What about people who have never gotten married. Now he he addresses at the beginning of this chapter, the unmarried, he mentions the unmarried end of urgency. The unmarried mosques in Greek hear the virgins in particular, which would be a subset of the unmarried right and in the Greek word he uses here is part of Pinoy so you have all gone.

Boy, which is the unmarried people plural, and the parts that annoy the virgin people.

In particular, and because of all the times in this chapter. When Paul uses the word version he uses it with the feminine gender he has in his mind, not just young people of ever got married, but in particular, girls who have never gotten married so either he is addressing daughters of fathers fathers were in control of the future.

Marital status of their daughters are right. We know that the fathers had complete control in those days fathers would decide who you're going to marry when you get married set that was all part of the deal so he has in mind either.

The daughters of fathers who are believers in the church of Corinth or some scholars don't agree with that and they think he's talking to young girls who are engaged or want to be married, have a relationship are moving toward marriage. So he's either writing the daughters of fathers and the fathers are are struggling. What should I let my daughter get married or not, or he is talking about young girls who are engaged to be married or want to be married is addressing one of those two groups were not sure. So I'm not can be dogmatic about it but it's interesting that different New Testament translations take different interpretive tax on that and they don't all agree.

So it's one of those two things concerning versions part annoy and he's writing in the feminine. I have no commandment from the Lord. Yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in his mercy has made trustworthy.

Apparently there were a group of people that we know that these were prevalent in the early church because this group grew as the church aged as it went from the first century to the second century to the third century there were a group of people who were asked static son of you know what an ascetic as her aestheticism. It aestheticism is the idea of of complete self-denial, so an ascetic will live in a monastery in acetic will put close on that hurt him or if him and ascetic will not eat nice would be bad to bland food and spend his or her life in contemplation. It's somebody who lives out apart from the world so they might give their attention to the Lord, usually in very meager settings and very painful settings. That's an ascetic and aestheticism was an ideology of early Christians to cope with the strong Paul and temptations of this world and it seems that there were a group of asked Centex in the church of Corinth already who were saying well you know if you're really spiritual.

You will get married if you're really spiritual fathers who have virgin daughters. You won't let them get married.

So it seems that that was a Paul and that seems to be part of the questioning that they had to Paul and that that that's why he's addressing it now.

Now, concerning versions that he's addressing the the pressure that is putting a being put on some to remain single, but notice what he says concerning versions I have no commandment from the Lord.

Yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord and his mercy is made trustworthy. Now again, he's not saying you know I don't know, but here's my opinion that's not what he sent his I like yeah I don't have any clear direction from God's honest in this or to make this up as I go along.

He's not saying that he saying I have no previous revelation from the Scripture.

Jesus didn't in particular teach on this matter, but now he is going to teach on this matter. He is gonna get direction is to give inspirational direction for you'll notice he says I give judgment as one whom the Lord in his mercy has made trustworthy. You can take what I have to say to the bank.

Just like when Jesus taught on marriage and divorce. In Matthew five and in Matthew 19. I am going to tell you some things and what I have to say are words that are trustworthy. Also go to the very last verse of this chapter and notice that he says but she is happier. She remains as she is according to my judgment and I think I also have the spirit of God. So Paul believed he was writing under the inspiration and by the authority of the Holy Spirit and that by God's mercy. He was speaking trustworthy words also. Just add a little weight to that I'm in a remind you of first Corinthians chapter 4, where he says in verse one let a man so consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. Paul is describing himself as a faithful steward of the mysteries of God that he is proclaimed, so there's no lack of authority he's not shooting from the happy is not saying here's my own personal opinion on a really know what God has is an this, but but but how about this matter at all.

It is to be taken in Scripture, it is to be taken as authoritative for life and practice just like the words of Jesus. That's what he means when he says I have no commandment from the Lord in a previously given revelation yet I give judgment as one whom the Lord in his mercy is made trustworthy. I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress that it is good for a man to remain as he is, Paul is referencing some issues.

Some problems some distress in the culture or in the world. We don't know exactly what it is what is making reference to it and he think the reason it's preferable to be as I am that a single and unencumbered, single and celibate, unencumbered, can serve the Lord is because of the present distress know what is he mean number one you speaking about a local issue that was happening only a Corinth that's the case, we have no real idea what that is but it could be that there were some local pressure that was being put on by city government by councilmembers based on believers in the city in the region and it was localized a Corinth number two. The present distress could be the fact that look Jesus is going to return. There's good to be some tribulation that is coming so you know, look at the Lord's coming too quickly. I don't think he he means that or and and this is where I tend to lean either number one or number three that there is a persecution on the horizon that Paul is sensing he sees a coming. He's traveled the world. He's traveled throughout that whole region beyond what did the Corinthians, or just incorporate he's been a Corinth. He's been in Athens. He's been in Philippi.

He's been in Thessalonica.

He's been in Antioch at the city and Antioch of Syria.

He's now in Ephesus, wherever he goes. He is noting a mounting persecution against the church and probably he is referring to the present distress as his growing hostility among unbelievers that it was will eventuate in persecution. We do know that happened between the second and the fourth centuries, especially under several of the Roman Caesars there was an unbridled amount of persecution. Christians were being killed being slaughtered. He was it was very common practice and you can read about that I did at about time and I told you about in the past, but it could be that he is referring to that.

We says the present distress you and I live in a an era where I would say even though were not Corinth. And this is not the first century in this century we are living in a present distress. There are things happening around us and on the horizon and I wonder if you spot them. I wonder if you feel them. I wonder if you sense them.

I have a hunch you do. First of all, there is an apostasy. You know what that means and means of falling away from the faith. There are people that you know who wants name the name of Christ, who once sat next to you in church who wants worship with you who are no longer apart, they have fallen away.

John writes about this and said they went out from us, but they showed. Basically, they were never really of us, for they had been of us, that would've remained with us. Paul the apostle said in the last days, many will fall away from the faith and give heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines taught by demons. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, and set before the coming of the Lord there will be a great falling away apostasy and that's what apostasy means that's happening were seeing it I'm seeing it in greater numbers that I have ever seen it before, but there's something else happening though that is happening. It's probably always happen though I I'm sensing it in the greater degree presently. There's also a growing hostility toward us in antipathy toward the church, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, always has been, but I'm sensing it being ratcheted up and I am sensing the present prices and I mean the world crisis, the covert crisis and the political crises that are a part of that around the world have magnified that and so to speak out in truth before you could do that. There's a pastor in Canada because he spoke out about same-sex marriage. Basically he just taught what the Bible said about a man and a woman and that's the family. The God ordained to be married and nothing else is in God's eyes right. He was arrested and sentenced another pastor in London arrested for the same thing, a member of the Finnish Parliament, a medical doctor, a gal who is an evangelical Lutheran medical doctor sees an academic because she stands up for biblical marriage and has tweeted that she is now under indictment for hate speech. We used to say, you know that. Watch out it's coming. It's here where in it. It is a present distress and you couple that with governments who are just loving the control that they get to have because of a pandemic. Just realize we are in a very unique situation. It's it's it's being ratcheted up and I believe ratcheted up toward the last days, and toward the last days, not just where in the last days.

Like Paul, was 2000 years ago the last days of the last days before the Lord comes back. So I suppose therefore that it is good because of the present distress that it is good for a man to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife, aren't you glad I said will finish chapter 8 if the Lord wills are you bound all life all answer that. Yes, I am happily I'm a happily married man. Are you bound your wife do not seem to be loose from that Skip the message from the series expound first Corinthians 2 Skip to share. You can keep this broadcast going strong connecting you and many others to the Lord God is a God of second chances. He loves you so much. He'll take you just the way you are even when you've made mistakes in life we want to share this message of hope and love with people all over the world and you can be a part of that life changing work by giving the gift today to keep these messages coming to listeners like you. Let's continue impacting this world together for Christ. Here's how you can give right now to make that possible visit to give a gift that's or call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888.

Thank you for your generosity and come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzigs of shares, you can honor God and your relationship situations with a married person.

This is just marriage advice I would say that anybody when you marry somebody with the idea.

I'm gonna change that person dear dear don't don't know I should go to Mary I'm allowing myself change by the spirit and power of God that other person is

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