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3-minute Sermon
 
Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Biblical View on Marriage(2) - Biblical View on Marriage (2)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 25-38
Date
   2009-08-09



Passage

[1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 25-38]
[7-9] "Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. [8] But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. [9] But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion"
[25-38]Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. [26] I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. [27] Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. [28] But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. [29] But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; [30] and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; [31] and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away. [32] But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; [33] but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, [34] and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband. [35] This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord. [36] But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly toward his virgin daughter, if she is past her youth, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let her marry. [37] But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own will, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own virgin daughter, he will do well. [38] So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This is the second session on the biblical view on marriage.
Today's reading passage 1 Corinthians 7:38, it says, "So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better."
If you marry you are doing well, but if you do not marry you are doing better.
Also, verse 7 in today's passage says, "Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am." Namely, the apostle Paul didn't want them to get married just as he didn't.
But Paul also said, "However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that."
It is great blessing if everyone can choose not to marry, but not everyone can receive this word.
But if you are looking up to God and the Lord only and are filled with the hope of New Jerusalem, you can definitely receive this word.
Why does God say it is more blessed not to get married?
First, it is because there will be distress if you marry.
You have physical distress because of fleshly love that changes and also spiritual distress.
I explained up to this point in the last session.
Secondly, not getting married is better because if you get married your hearts would be divided.
What God wants the most from His children is their heart to love Him first.
Matthew 22:37 "And He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'"
The kind of true children that God wants is those children who love God with all their heart, mind, soul, might, wisdom, and with all their life.
If you remain single because you love the Lord, then you will probably try to fill your heart with the hope of Heaven thinking only about God.
On the contrary however, if not, then your heart will be divided if you get married.
1 Corinthians 7:32-34 says, "But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord; [33] but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, [34] and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband."
In actuality, some of those who were very enthusiastic in their life in faith before marriage change their attitude after getting married.
They get stained by fleshly life and stop praying. Then they begin to take the worldly things one by one to bring upon themselves trials.
Even though their faith might not change this much, it would certainly be different before and after the marriage.
Before the marriage, they can always focus on the works of the Lord. They can freely work for the Lord even in the early morning or late at night.
But after marriage, they are bound to the family.
If they seek the benefit of their spouse and let their spouse work for the Lord freely, then I can say it's a relatively better case.
However, no matter how considerate your spouse is, the husband basically has the duty to support his family.
Also, the wife has the responsibility to serve her husband.
They cannot rest whenever they want to rest; they cannot work for God whenever they want to work. They have to consider the situation of the family.
During the national holidays or vacation, before getting married, they could refresh their minds and bodies freely and work for the Lord as they desired.
But now, they have to take care of their family.
As a wife, or a husband, or as a son-in-law or daughter-in-law, they have to take care of their spouse's family too.
Likewise, once they get married their heart will be divided. Their money and time would also be divided.
I'm not saying it's wrong to take care of your family.
If you get married, you have to take the responsibility and you obviously have to care for your family members.
This way you can be faithful in the all God's house.
But if you have the choice, it would be much more beneficial in a spiritual way if you give the time and money and effort to the Lord.
I said it's a little better if both the husband and wife have good faith and they have cultivated spiritual love.
They would try to let their spouse pray more and store up more rewards so that they can go to New Jerusalem.
They can also have a good competition in faith being spiritual friends.
But in fact, it's a rarity to find such a couple.
And if both of them have accomplished this kind of faith, they would be satisfied only with the Lord. So, they wouldn't feel the need to get married in the first place.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let me tell you once again that I am not saying that you should not get married, or you must not get married.
I'm just explaining what is more beneficial for those who have faith and hope for the heavenly kingdom.
Those who have already married, you can support each other to go into better heavenly dwelling places, and you can cultivate spiritual love.
You should love your husband or wife as your own body while you love God first, and you can have a blessed family like the family of Cornelius.
Even if your spouse's faith is very small, he or she is still your husband or wife - the one you chose with love.
Therefore, you have to pray for and serve your spouse. You must sacrifice yourself so that you can go together to better heavenly dwelling places.
If your spouse has passed away, it is better that you just live for the Lord alone.
It's better for singles not to get married, but if you decide to get married in your personal situations, and you have the freedom to do that.
For example, a certain daughter has faith. But she cannot attend the church freely because of severe persecution from her parents.
In this case, if this daughter marries a brother-in-Christ who has good faith she can now attend church freely. Also, when this son-in-law serves his parents-in-law wisely and in a loving way, the parents also change.
Or, a certain mother has faith, so she hopes that her daughter wouldn't suffer from the distress of marriage but dedicates herself to the Lord with purity.
It is something very good if this daughter lives for the Lord alone as her mother wishes.
But here, her father who doesn't have faith wants her to get married so much.
In this situation, the mother doesn't have to be burdened in her heart thinking that it is not right to let her daughter get married.
1 Corinthians 7:38 says, "So then both he who gives his own virgin daughter in marriage does well, and he who does not give her in marriage will do better."
The parents may choose the better side, but in certain situations they can also let their children marry.
Of course nowadays, the will of the children is more important than the will of the parents unlike the old days.
If the children have the faith not to get married, they can do what they want.
1 Corinthians 7:9 says, "But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion."
The reason why it is beneficial not to get married is because it allows the people freedom to lead a more fervent life in faith.
But even though their environment and conditions are good, they cannot go into spirit just because of the environment.
More important thing is their determination and effort to become sanctified.
If they do not try, they cannot get into New Jerusalem just because they don't get married.
If they don't get married thinking about how they would appear to other people and commit sins being unable to control themselves, it is better for them to get married.
But, they have to remember something when they get married.
First, they must not marry an unbeliever.
2 Corinthians 6:14 says, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?"
Sometimes when believers marry unbelievers, they say their future spouse has promised to attend church after the marriage.
And they say it is very good because they can marry somebody they love and they can also save the soul of that person.
But it is very risky to marry just by believing this kind of promise.
There are many people who lie just to get married and then break their promise after getting married.
They might attend church several times in the beginning, but faith cannot be given in a very short time. So, they soon stop attending church.
Some of them even hinder their wives, prevent them from attending church and persecute them.
Then, is it okay to marry if your future spouse attends church before the marriage?
You can have the answer if you see the new believers around you.
Even if they attend church for several months or even for more than a year, they may change their mind any time until they receive the Holy Spirit and have some measure of faith.
Also, as I explained above, you will have conflicts to the extent that the husband and wife have difference in the measure of faith.
Sometimes, the one who has had good faith begins to compromise, and this person's faith might cool down to be lukewarm.
Therefore, if you really want to get married, it is very important to pray for your future spouse in advance.
You have to ask God for somebody who has similar measure of faith and who has the same passion for New Jerusalem.
The second thing you have to remember is that you have to keep your body and mind pure until you actually get married.
This is the same for both men and women.
In the case of the Virgin Mary, she didn't sleep with Joseph even after getting engaged to him.
In the case of Jews, if they got engaged it was almost the same as getting married.
Nevertheless, they kept their chastity until the marriage. This should be the same today.
Even if you promised to get married, you have to keep each other until you actually have the wedding ceremony.
It is not right to say you sleep together before marriage because you love each other so much.
This is to deceive the other person as well as yourself.

If you really love the other person and want to spend the rest of your life with that person, you wouldn't ask that person to fulfill your lust only because you cannot be patient for such a short time until the wedding ceremony.
This is not love; this is only fleshly lust.
True love is to care for the other person and to keep that person until after the marriage.
If the other person keeps such a truthful love, how truthful that person is in your sight too!
They are wise brides and bridegrooms whom you can trust that they will not change even after the marriage.
But fleshly love changes very easily.
As I already mentioned the case of Amnon, fleshly love may appear fervent on the outside, but actually it is filthy.
It eventually changes and causes pain.
If you give your body before the marriage but actually do get married as promised, then it's a relatively fortunate case.
Some of you have concerns because you did not keep each other before you got married.
If it happened when you didn't really have faith, and if you actually became husband-and-wife as promised, it wouldn't take away your salvation.
But this is not something right in the sight of God. It means you have a blemish in your faith.
If you realized your fault after getting married, now you can thoroughly repent, circumcise your heart diligently, and run towards New Jerusalem.
If you go into the spirit by doing this, your blemish can be cleansed.
But there will be trials to achieve this level, and you have to take the trials with thanksgiving.
But if you hastily sleep with each other and not get married, it means you have created a great wall of sin.
In reality, there are so many people who betray their partner after sleeping with him/her.
In some cases, they break up even after they greet each other's parents, get engaged, and set the date for wedding.
I read from the letters that you write to consult me about many people who commit sins this way saying they will get married.
They deceive others and get deceived even though they listen to so many words of truth, experience the power of God, and say that they have faith.
They also know what the evident works of the flesh are.
They also know that it is great sin to willfully commit sins after knowing the truth and experiencing the grace of God.
If you follow your lust knowing the truth in this way, it means you're going the way of death.
Some say they believed the other person but were betrayed. But the truth is they are suffering because they didn't do the right thing before God.
Now, what would young people do if they have faith and wisdom?
They must never ask for the body or give their body only because they promised to get married.
If your date says he/she loves you but asks for something that is not right according to the truth, then you should quickly realize that your date is an untruthful person.
If he/she becomes disappointed or if his/her love cools down because you don't grant his/her request, it's much better not to get married with such a person.
Furthermore, if you date this person and that person and if you give your body easily even though you're not engaged, then it means you are committing evident works of the flesh.
Brothers and sisters, one more thing you have to remember is that the church is not a place for dating somebody.
The church is the place to worship God.

The purpose of the meetings in the church is to gather in the name of the Lord and save the souls.
If you are planning to get married, and when you gather in the name of the Lord, you have to discern carefully what kind of heart you are gathering with.
If you come to the meeting to look for a date or somebody you might possibly marry, then how can God accept such a heart?
You have to come for the glory of God when you come to the church.
Even though you're looking for a spouse, you shouldn't search within your thoughts but you have to receive the guidance of the Holy Spirit through prayer.
And not just you, but both the man and woman have to receive the same guidance.
Brothers and sisters, there are also matters about remarriage or the cases where you can get a divorce in the truth but I couldn't deal with them in detail in this sermon.
About these matters, please refer to the book 'Lecture on the 1 Corinthians'.
[Conclusion] Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, 1 Corinthians 7:35 says, "This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord."
By saying undistracted devotion, it means they don't have to divide their heart here and there, without having any distress.
God the Father always wants to give us the best things.
But He cannot just give nor can He force us to go the way of blessing, because everything has to be in accordance with the justice.
He can just teach us clearly the way of blessing and help us go that way.
It is the same with marriage.
God doesn't force us to get married or not get married.
Because we have free will, it's good to get married in the Lord, and it's even better not to get married and serve the Lord only.
But God is letting us know that for those who are longing for New Jerusalem, it is better for them not to get married so that they will secure undistracted devotion.
Whether you already got married or not, the most important thing is your heart that loves God first.
The reason why you determine not to get married must not be something else but because you love God first.
If you make up your mind to remain single for God, how could God not lead you to New Jerusalem?
He will teach you the things you cannot realize and he will give you grace and strength so that you can do even the things that you cannot do by your own strength.
God will lead you to New Jerusalem seeing your determination because you give to the Lord something very precious.
If you really do have hope for New Jerusalem I urge you to be wise and blessed enough to be able to choose the truly best thing.
Also, those of you who have already got married, you have to love God first, even more than your husband or wife.
I pray in the name of the Lord that all of you may cultivate this kind of heart and adorn yourselves as holy and pure brides of the Lord.

 
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