The Priority of Serving Christ
Vision for the Biblical Christ Centered Culture God is building @ Midtown:
A culture of Gospel & Discipleship
A culture of Scripture & Service
A culture of Prayer & Care
Culture defined by: Activity & Principal…Faith & Relationship…Standards & Love
Our primary means by which culture is formed is doing our level best to interpret and apply Scripture.
So we continue with: ‘The Corinthians’…
When we last left The Corinthians Paul was answering questions about marriage
1st Corinthians 7:25-40
Now regarding your question about the young women who are not yet married. I do not have a command from the Lord for them. But the Lord in his mercy has given me wisdom that can be trusted, and I will share it with you. Because of the present crisis, I think it is best to remain as you are.
- Response to a specific question put to Paul
- If Scripture has no bearing on your situation, what do you do with it?
- Tied to ‘present situation’ so it’s not a ‘general command’ from God’s Word for all
- Principle contained is that marriage is not to be entered into lightly
- ‘Present Crisis’ Persecution by Romans + Famine
If you have a wife, do not seek to end the marriage. If you do not have a wife, do not seek to get married. But if you do get married, it is not a sin. And if a young woman gets married, it is not a sin. However, those who get married at this time will have troubles, and I am trying to spare you those problems.
- The Gospel of Jesus Christ was causing a lot of social unrest
- The core of Paul’s Spirit led guidance is: Count The Cost / Take Your Time
- Why? Because there is a more important priority as a disciple of Christ
But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage.
- The time that remains is very short…DO YOU see the time we have as limited?
- Call is to not focus ONLY on your marriage…
Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.
- ‘Emotional Consumerism’
- Absorbed / Attached….’Social Media’??
- Making an idol of ANYTHING is not wise… even a spouse
- Time is fleeting…we have a finite amount of time
I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided.
- Where the Spirit of The Lord is There is FREEDOM
- Do you want to be free to fully serve Christ? Should a disciple desire otherwise?
- Are you aware of how your interests are divided (by: world / flesh / satan)
- We will be divided, but where is our priority?
In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband.
- Serious temporal commitments CAN & WILL impact how you serve Christ
- Biblical One Flesh Marriage is serious stuff…how do we prioritize?
- As disciples of Christ we ‘Lay down our lives’ for HIM…
- Should we not structure our lives so we make Him 1st, Spouse & Family 2nd?
I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.
- The desire of God is that we would serve Him best we can…(best thing for us!)
- Distractions are a reality, the question is will you be distracted?
- The real danger is when you don’t think they are distractions, just life…
But if a man thinks that he’s treating his fiancée improperly and will inevitably give in to his passion, let him marry her as he wishes. It is not a sin. But if he has decided firmly not to marry and there is no urgency and he can control his passion, he does well not to marry. So the person who marries his fiancée does well, and the person who doesn’t marry does even better.
- This is in reference to a couple planning to marry, no sin to get married
- But in the Corinthians present situation, singleness is the better situation
A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If her husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, but only if he loves the Lord. But in my opinion it would be better for her to stay single, and I think I am giving you counsel from God’s Spirit when I say this.
- Bound ‘until death do you part’… remarry any other who ‘Loves The Lord’
- Free to remarry, best is to stay single…(this is situational, not general)
- Council from God’s Spirit: Prophecy / Scripture
Why is haste in the forming or dissolving of Biblical Marriage discouraged in Scripture?
As YOU evaluate your current commitments, where is serving Christ among them?
What ‘Non-Eternal’ things absorb YOUR time and emotions rather than serving Christ?
As a disciple of Christ how do YOU practically prioritize serving with your spouse?
How might YOU regularly serve Christ’s Body with the ones you love the most?