Good, bad, right, or wrong, it seems like sex and sexuality is what runs the world. It is at the center of advertising, TV, music, crime, the Internet, dating, singleness, marriage, and just about every aspect of life. The influence sex has over people transcends time, geography, and culture. In this passage, Paul suggests a radical view about sex and sexuality… a biblical view.
- How would you describe the world’s view of sexuality?
READ THE WORD: 1 CORINTHIANS 7:1-7 (ESV)
7:1 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
6 Now as a concession, not a command, I say this. 7 I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another.
- What question might the church at Corinth have asked Paul to cause him to write this response (vs. 1)?
- What one word did Paul use to describe being married, as well as being single (vs. 7)?
- What do the phrases “sexual relations,” “conjugal rights,” and “come together” mean? And what is the context for sexual intercourse?
- In what way does your own sexual behavior differ from the prescription in this passage?
RESPOND TO GOD
Scripture is very clear about human sexuality. Paul reminds the church at Corinth that God gave both singleness and marriage as a gift. Singleness, as a gift, is designed by God to be a life of celibacy. Marriage, as a gift from God, is the only place for sexual intercourse. When we live outside of God’s gift to us, it not only impacts us physically, but spiritually as well.
- If you are single, thank God for his gift of singleness to you. If you are married, thank God for his gift of marriage to you.
- Ask God to help you believe what he says about sexuality and the desire to live accordingly.