I recently completed nine weeks of preaching from 1 Corinthians 5-7 Sex in a Broken World, as part of a sequential exposition of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, The Church in a Broken World. Audio sermons of the entire series are available here.
While it may have pushed the limits of acceptability to preach on sex for that long, we certainly weren’t able to cover all of the highly relevant issues about our sexual desires and acceptable expressions and limits. And even more important, we weren’t able to develop the whole range of who we are as sexual beings made in God’s image for His Glory and our joy. So, I’ll post a few more supplemental items that I hope will be helpful.
The last message in the series was Sex and the Single. And just a couple of days after that sermon, John Piper posted two episodes of his audio series, Ask Pastor John, that are relevant to this theme..
In the second of the two posts, Piper makes these two statements.
There are glories that can be shown in marriage that can’t be shown in singleness.
There are glories that can’t be shown in marriage but only in singleness.
He added, “if God has called you to a life of singleness, there are ways in and by that singleness to display the glory of God in ways that married people can’t” He goes on to remind us that marriage is temporary, the church is eternal; thus relationships formed in the church with other believers last forever, marriages don’t last forever.
There are two more items from Piper that I heartily recommend.
For further listening or reading, I recommend Sex and the Single Person a message from 1981 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis,
And finally, the book, This Momentary Marriage. This is a different kind of book on marriage, but a great one that can purchased; or downloaded for free.
The title of the first chapter addresses a fundamental misunderstanding about love and marriage, “Staying Married is Not Mainly about Staying in Love.” That is critical to counter cultural views of marriage.
In one of the rare times I disagree with Piper, I think he misses what Jesus teaches about divorce and remarriage. But as with all books other than the Bible, we should not be surprised to find areas of divergence. If you always agree with a favorite author, perhaps you are not thinking critically enough.
But back to our topic, two chapters address singles, chapter 9 titled “Single in Christ: A Name Better Than Sons and Daughters,” with this key emphasis, “My main point is that God promises those who remain single in Christ blessings that are better than the blessings of marriage and children…”
This is followed by four assertions:
1)The truth that the family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ;
2) The truth that relationships in Christ are more permanent, and more precious, than relationships in families (and, of course, it is wonderful when relationships in families are also relationships in Christ; but we know that is often not the case);
3) The truth that marriage is temporary and finally gives way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along: Christ and the church—the way a picture is no longer needed when you see face-to-face;
4) The truth that faithfulness to Christ defines the value of life; all other relationships get their final significance from this. No family relationship is ultimate; relationship to Christ is.
As with everything you hear and read, make it all secondary to and judged by Scripture, the Bible.