• Matt Beaney

#533 (9/2/22) PURSUE YOUR GIFT IF YOU ARE SINGLE


God teaches us that it is good to ‘stay unmarried’ like Paul and Jesus. Singleness is God’s gift for the time that we remain in it, However, It’s good to marry if you have a desire to do so.


Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.’ (1 Corinthians 7:8-9)

There can be a lot of pressure on single people to find a relationship and get married. Most films contain romance as the main storyline. Many songs speak of losing or finding love. However, God wants us to know that it is good to be single and to remain unmarried. Paul will reiterate later in this chapter some of the benefits of singleness; for example,


‘I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)

If you are single, how are you doing at making the most of the opportunities that God has given to you? Are you using your freedoms for ‘undivided devotion to the Lord’? Are you investing in friendships in and outside of the church? Are you serving in the church? Are you giving time to prayer? Are you investing in your education and training?


(Note: I’m aware that the contents of the messages and studies over the last few weeks could be challenging for some. Please do talk to a pastor in the church if you need support or have concerns).


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

Do you have any encouragements to share from how God has been speaking to you from His word recently?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, we continued with our series 'Becoming Love' from the book of 1 Corinthians. This church has been infected by false teachers who are teaching that sexual sin is okay. Some, are also teaching that to refrain from sex in marriage is a good thing. Some are teaching that divorce is also fine.

Paul corrects them. He urges them to embrace and invest in the gift of marriage or singleness that God has given.


i) PURSUE YOUR GIFT OF MARRIAGE

'The husband should fulfil his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.' (1 Corinthians 7:3)

He corrects those who are wrongly withholding sex from their spouse. He tells them that sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage (That's not to say that sickness and other good reasons may hamper our sex lives).


ii) PURSUE YOUR GIFT OF SINGLENESS

'I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.' (1 Corinthians 7:7)

He tells them that being single is a good thing and is a gift from God.


ii) FIGHT FOR YOUR MARRIAGE

'To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): 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.' (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)

Paul corrects those who are taking on the Roman culture of easy divorce. A Christian must not initiate a divorce. We are to do all that we can to be reconciled with our spouse. This is about faith. Can we believe that Jesus can restore our broken marriages or not?


Divorce is a complex and painful subject. Please do talk to a pastor in the church if you need support or advice in your relationship.



Discussion questions

i) Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii) Let's pray for each other in the different relationships that we have.


iii) SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

iv) SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

vi) SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.







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