Friday, April 01, 2011
Sermon Notes for Fourth Sunday in Lent 2011
Living on the Edge of the World
1 Corinthians 7
Fourth Sunday in Lent
April 3, 2011
The letter from Paul to the Corinthians now turns from dealing with the crucial issues he sees as fundamental flaws in the community that must be addressed to answering the questions the Corinthians have asked in their letter to him. The issues about which Paul is concerned – the centrality of Christ and his Cross, the arrogance of the Corinthians that is at the root of so many of their problems, and their need for a culture that is a visible witness in the world to the world – will be themes he continues to address as he answers their questions.
The Corinthians have questions about family life, on everything from the relationship between husbands and wives to the way singles are to conduct themselves in the church and society. He makes some startling – and for the time - revolutionary statements in the course of his reply. He remarks that women have authority over their husband’s body – the only time in ancient literary history where it is said that a wife has authority over her husband. He notes that being single can be a gift offered to God and that remaining single is often a good thing, so long as one possesses self control, that least mentioned fruit of the Spirit.
Why the radical new approach to the life of the family? The clue is in Paul’s view of the times in which these people lived.
The Sons of Issachar – 1 Chronicles 12:32
At the Ends of the Ages – 1 Corinthians 7:26-31; 10:11
In a Time of War
Radical Responses in a Radical Time
The Covenant Family
Mutual Submission – 1 Corinthians 7:1-6
Grace-Shaped Relationships - 1 Corinthians 7:12-16
Celibate Grace – 1 Corinthians 7:7-9, 32-35
The Relational Canon – 1 Corinthians 7:39-40
There is a first question to ask before all others
There is a Law that is the Christian’s Law – 1 Corinthians 7:19
Loving Christ supremely; loving one another truly, all because he has first loved us
He came as a Celibate to make us his Bride, sanctifying both states and calling us to the holiness that belongs to both, through his grace and by his blood.