Discussion Guide: May 16, 2021
ONE Message Series
Wed to the Glory of God
“To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord)” (1 Corinthians 7:10).
This “heavy chapter” from 1 Corinthians addresses varied life situations – single (and never married), single again (widowed and divorced), and married persons (some of whom are married to Christians and others to unbelievers). How complex a series of situations to address! This week, we shift from single and single-again persons to those who are married.
The first question for any believer to ask about his or her life situation is always the same: How do I give God glory with this relationship, child, job, house, new neighbor, etc.? How can we become more intentional about this focus for living? What “new situation” has come into your life during the past 30 days that needs to be reviewed in light of this question?
The first seven verses have confused some because they have taken Paul to be discouraging marriage – or saying that marriage is merely a “preventive” against sexual immorality. What insight does verse 26 give to these opening lines? (We don’t have enough historical information to know what this “crisis” was – famine, opposition to the church in Corinth, etc.)
How do verses 1-6 relate to Paul’s statement in 6:19-20? Specifically, if one’s body belongs to God, is marriage not God’s gift of a man and woman to each other? What does this say about the sacredness of marriage? Of sexual experience between husband and wife?
What do you remember from Bible classes or sermons about the moral climate of Corinth? How does that help explain the force of verse 9?
What difference (if any!) are we supposed to make between teaching on marriage that Jesus gave and Paul quotes (see v.10) and teaching that Paul provides on topics Jesus never addressed? (see v.12). Before answering, be sure to read both v.40 and 14:37.
In a most interesting section, Paul insists that a Christian mate is the best hope for a non-Christian’s salvation (see vs.12-14). Whether one’s mate is a believer or not, how does a married Christian “sanctify” (set apart) his or her mate and children to God?
There are different “models” for marriage in our culture – institutional, romantic, etc. In your own words, how would you define a Christian model for marriage? Close with prayer for God to bless the life situations of everyone in your group – single, married, single again – to his glory.