Preparing for the Sermon - 1 Cor. 7:6-11
Prepare your heart for the Sermon by looking through these suggestions that will assist you in making the most of our time together hearing God's Word.
You will find suggestions for thinking more critically through the passage, meditating more intently on the text, and prayerfully seeking wisdom to deepen your understanding of the passage to be preached this Sunday.
- Read 1 Corinthians 7:1-11. Paul has transitioned in chapter 7 to matters about which the Corinthians had written him, and as we saw this past Sunday, the first issue is concerning marriage.
- How does Paul introduce the next topic under the subject of marriage? Why would Paul say “as a concession, not a command”? Why is this crucial for how we understand this passage
- What is the “concession” that Paul gives in v.7? Why would Paul “wish that all were as I myself am”? (Look to v. 8 to see that Paul is referring to his state of singleness) What does this say about Paul’s view of singleness? How does this relate to what the Corinthians wrote to Paul about (“It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman”)? What is the difference between the Corinthians view and Paul’s?
- In the next phrase in v. 7, what does Paul mean when he says “each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another”? How does the word “But” help you discern this understanding?
- Paul describes both singleness and marriage as a gift from God in v.7. What does this say about Paul’s view of both marriage and singleness? How does the description “gift from God” impact our view of singleness and marriage? Is it something we decide for ourselves? Is it something providentially given by God?
- How does Paul describe the status of the unmarried and widows? Why would he describe this as “good”? What is the reason that Paul gives for marriage/remarriage in these situations?
- What is the charge that the Lord gives to the married? Look to Matthew 19:1-12 for the teaching of the Lord that Paul is referencing. What is the Lord’s view of divorce? Does Paul give conditions, or is this an absolute statement?
- The Sermon Study equipping class notes are available online for anyone wanting to dig deeper. Please review this week's notes to help study this passage. Click here for the notes.
- How does Paul’s view of marriage and singleness contradict your thinking/living? In what ways do you need to conform your thinking and living in regards to marriage and singleness to the Word of God?
- How should we view marriage and singleness in light of the fact that they are both gifts from God? How should we treat our spouses? How should we value marriage? How should we treat singles? Should we automatically shove them toward marriage and the closest available single we know? Singles, should you look with contempt on the married? How should you view the status the Lord has providentially gifted you with? How should you receive the gift of singleness?
- If you are unmarried or widowed, is at least one of the criteria you’re considering for remaining single or pursuing marriage whether or not you can exercise self-control? If you are “burning with passion”, prayerfully consider marriage as an act of submissive obedience to the Word of God.
- How should Paul’s statements about divorce shape our understanding? Is divorce something we should do? Is it ok? Ever? Pray that the Lord would move our hearts so that our wills are inclined toward a high view of marriage and commitment.