1 Corinthians 7:20-24 (The Message)
Stay where you were when God called your name. Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. I’m simply trying to point out that under your new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful “enslavement to God” you would never have dreamed of.
All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.
SERIES UPDATE ON 1 CORINTHIANS
Chapters 1-6 Paul addressing things he heard – division and pride.
Chapters 7-16 is Paul directly answering questions from a letter submitted.
- God’s Church must feel free to ask questions to gain clarity.
- Sheep is an illustration – Do NOT be led blindly – Being led requires strength of character through submission.
- NEED Discipleship - It changes:
1. Past Patterns,
2. Corrects Wrong Thinking,
3. Casts Legacy Vision.
4. Plants you in soil for success
HOW DOES CORRECTION AND CHANGE REVEAL CHURCH MATURITY?
Corinthian Church is:
1. Taking things to extreme
Caused by HIGH emotions and LOW spiritual maturity
EX: Sexual immorality is bad – they decide no sex is good even in marriage
– Divorcing or withholding sex from spouse.
- Forbid unmarried to marry
2. Rewriting their own life story when God is the Author
Caused by LOW spiritual vision and HIGH social influence
– Greek says the natural is inferior to superior spiritual
– Corinthians neglect the natural (which God created) for an elitist spiritual façade.
3. Rejecting God's Gift of Sex in Marriage
Caused by HIGH misunderstanding of God’s heart for his children and a LOW level of discipleship.
– Fail to understand it is God’s gift to draw couples into greater intimacy.
- Fluidity of Society was more influential than the Stability of unchanging God.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
BEAUTY IN MARRIAGE
1 Corinthians 7:1–9 (NKJV)
Principles of Marriage
2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. (True then - True Now [Abraham and Sarah] / God cannot bless you Out Of Place in Sin - Align With Word to Prosper Where Planted in Marriage)
5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
(Adam was present but not intentional or intimate with Eve - Created space for temptation - Satan looks for slivers - NOT GAPS)
“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 (NKJV)
6 But I say this as a concession, not as a commandment. 7 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.
(Paul clarifies his opinion from God's command - Make sure when you claim Thus Saith the Lord, that you actually heard from God and not placing personal emphasis on your preferences)
Married and Unmarried (10-16)
Keep Your Marriage Vows
10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 11 But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife.
- Paul clarifies this is from the Lord
- Married Christians have best soil to Prosper Where Planted.
- World lies that Christians divorce at same or higher rate than non-believers.
- Shanti Feldhahn studied divorce data
- The people surveyed who said they were Christians but did not practice faith are 20% more likely to divorce than national average.
- People who said are Christians and life faith life are 27 to 50% less likely to divorce.
- Another study by the National Marriage Project, - Christians who attend church regularly are 35% less likely to divorce than those who have no religious preferences”
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him.
- Paul’s opinion Jesus hadn’t spoken this to Paul and God had not revealed it
- In mistake to be spiritually holy, Christian spouses were divorcing their unbelieving spouse and remaining single and celibate. They thought unbeliever defiled them.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace.
- Christian covered the unbeliever – not that they were Saved, but they also enjoyed the benefits God poured out on their Christian spouse. Isn’t God good!
- Applied to their kids also.
16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
- Also taught that Christians who only stayed married in turmoil in hopes of bringing non-believing spouse into salvation through Christ should better divorce and live in peace because salvation wasn’t up to them
§Some Plant – Some Water
Circumcision – Servitude (17-24)
Live as You are Called
17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. (Glorify God where you are when He called you. We think it's show time when God is actually protecting you from destroying yourself and His anointing in situations your character cannot contain.) Prosper Where Planted)
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO ABOUT THIS?
- Ask, “How can I honor God in the situation I am in?”, rather than the situation you wish you were in.
- We are called to be content in our calling to grow character.
HOW DOES THE BODY PROSPER WHERE PLANTED?
Prosper Where Planted Plan
1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NASB)
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1. Be spirit led – Allow God through his Word, prayer, revelation, and iron sharpening to bring forth the perfect righteousness that is him within you.
2. Renew your mind – Your soul is who you are, but NOT whose you are. Align your soul with your spirit by focusing on things above.
3. Sacrifice your body – Crucify your flesh daily by living as a holy sacrifice. Your body doesn’t run the show but it’s either the henchman carrying out sinful acts for the corrupted soul, or it’s the physical manifestation of good works inspired by your spirit led faith that regenerates an aligned soul and mind – neuroplasticity.