1Corinthians 7-8

Sunday Evening Bible Study

February 6, 2000

Introduction

Last week we started into 1Corinthians 7, which began to deal with issues concerning marriage.

Paul said that one of Godís best weapons against immorality is marriage.

(1 Cor 7:2 KJV) Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Paul encouraged husbands and wives to render "due benevolence" (vs. 3) to each other, in other words, donít use physical intimacy or the lack of it as a way of getting "even" with the other person.

Paul was a single man, and encouraged people to consider staying single (vs.8)

We ended with looking at the principle of "abandonment" as a reason for divorce. When the unbeliever leaves the marriage (vs.15), the abandoned spouse is free to remarry.

 

1Corinthians 7

:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?

This may mean:

Let the unbeliever leave because who says that God has to use you to get them saved.

But it probably means:

Donít leave the unbeliever because God may be using you to bring them to salvation.

:20 Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.

Itís okay to make changes in your life, but sometimes we overdo the change thing. Sometimes we need to just learn to be content in the place God has put us.

When a person becomes a Christian, God doesnít necessarily want to change everything. Unless itís something thatís blatantly wrong or immoral, stay put.

:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

Paulís just giving us more of his sanctified, good common sense. I think it would be wise to pay attention to someone like Paul.

:28 But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

Itís not a sin to marry. But marriage can be a barrel of troubles! Being married is not as easy as it can be made out to be. Itís hard work. There will be many difficult times.

:29 time is short

Sometimes we can get so tangled up in lifeís problems that we become forgetful of the greater, more important issues.

Jesus is coming back.

Are you ready? Are your family, friends, and neighbors ready?

We can sometimes get so caught up in things like paying the bills, providing for our family, and keeping up with our work that we can forget that itís not all that important if the people we provide for are going to hell.

:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

There was a period of my life during my early college days when I had a taste of this. We had a group of guys who were tired of having our hearts ripped out by the girls and formed the BTTR Club (Bachelors Till The Rapture). There were four of us who decided that we were going to swear off girls and just serve the Lord. We did a lot of great exploits for the Lord. A lot! When you donít have a girlfriend, you can stay out until all hours of the morning counseling with people, praying with people, serving the Lord. When I started dating Deb, I found I didnít have quite as much time for all that anymore for some reason.

:33 But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

And this is the way it should be. This isnít a sin to be pleasing your wife. You NEED to please your wife.

:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.

(1 Cor 7:35 NLT) 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.

:36 But if any man think that he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, if she pass the flower of her age, and need so require, let him do what he will, he sinneth not: let them marry.

Parents: Itís not a sin to let your daughter get married.

flower of her age Ė I.e., if a virgin daughter is getting beyond marriageable age, then her father may arrange a marriage if her need so require.

:37 Nevertheless he that standeth stedfast in his heart, having no necessity, but hath power over his own will, and hath so decreed in his heart that he will keep his virgin, doeth well.

If you can keep her from getting married, itís okay too.

1Corinthians 8

:1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge.

The issue has to do with meat that was offered up to idols. The cheapest place in the city to buy meat was in the meat markets located behind the pagan temples. The temples did a brisk business with people coming in and offering their animals to their gods while out back the meat was turned around and sold to support the temples. Some Christians had trouble eating meat that had been given over to something like "Aphrodite" or "Mercury".

:1 Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.

People can get quite proud in the amount of knowledge they can acquire. Christians can be no different.

There can be little different groups of Christians who get into studying certain things. Some get into studying the cults and can become quite proud in their ability to tell you what year Joseph Smith claimed to acquire his magic glasses. Other groups study prophecy and can tell you all the ins and outs of the pre-trib and post-trib views, Gog and Magog, and what kind of sandwiches weíll eat in the Millennium.

Knowledge can be beneficial. All these different kinds of knowledge of Christian things can be helpful. But they can also make you a stuck up pig.

Itís only love, agape love that is worth anything.

The issue isnít really how much you know, but how much you care that counts.

:2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.

If you think youíve arrived, think again, you havenít got a clue.

:3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.

 

:4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.

Weíve seen this over and over in Isaiah.

(Isa 43:10-11 KJV) Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. {11} I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

(Isa 44:8 KJV) Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

(Isa 45:5 KJV) I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

(Isa 45:18 KJV) For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.

(Isa 45:21 KJV) Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

(Isa 45:22 KJV) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

 

:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

 

:7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.

Not every Christian has this kind of knowledge, that there is only one real God.

These Christians, when eating a hamburger that was dedicated to Aphrodite, will actually think that they are participating in the worship of Aphrodite, even though there is no such person.

:8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.

In reality, what you eat or donít eat doesnít make any difference to God.

:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.

 

:10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;

The weak brother is able to get up and do what his own conscience is telling him not to do because he is following your example.

:11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?

:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

The sin is against Christ because we are all members of the body of Christ. When we do something that harms another Christian, we are harming the body of Christ.

Later, Paul will be talking about communion and how some people were getting sick and even dying because of the way the Corinthians handled communion.

(1 Cor 11:28-29 KJV) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. {29} For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.

"discerning the Lordís body" may refer to not having proper respect for the bread and the juice, but I think that itís more likely talking about how the church was not caring for the other members of the church, and hence bringing condemnation upon themselves.

:13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

That is love. This is why love builds others up.

Lesson

Love lays down its rights.

Love is concerned about how its actions will affect others. Love is willing to sacrifice itís own rights for the sake of others, even when itís a silly thing to do.

Illustration

There is no greater picture of this than that of Jesus Himself.

He laid aside all His rights as God in heaven, and became a man, humbling Himself to a death on a cross, all for our sake.