Think SEX

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We are all dominated by something. Lets look at the application and the practical helps before we look at what Corinthians 7 has to say about the way we handle our most intimate relationships. Below are the contextual applications that we can apply from this section of scripture.

APPLICATION

  1. Work toward being dominated by Christ alone.
  2. Don’t ignore natural desires. Look to fulfill them within the confines of what God desires for the Church. A loving marital relationship.
  3. Seek to change the heart rather than just modifying your behavior.
  4. Don’t take advantage of freedom or live in fear of judgment, rather have Christ be the source of freedom and the standard for living.

PRACTICAL HELPS

The 1st two practical helps come from last week’s discussion.

1. Ask: What dominates you? What Dominates You

Once you have determined what dominates you then work toward replacing it with Christ. This requires that cultivate a heart that beat for Christ

2. Cultivate a heart that beats for ChristWhat Your Heart Beats For

Whatever our heart beats for is what dominates us.  To ensure that Christ dominates us we can follow these practical steps.

3. Think SEXThink Sex

Finally, Think SEX. Any intimate relationship is based on selfless emotional expressions. It is vital that our intimacy be based on these three simple words. We love, care for, am intimate, and build our relationship with our spouse through selfless emotional expressions. We Think SEX. The more we think SEX the better our relationship will be.

God’s design for sex is to be a physical representation of selflessness, submission, affection, and (spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical) fulfillment. It is a shadow of the relationship that we can and will have with God.

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COMMENTARY ON 1 CORINTHIANS 7

1 Corinthians 7 covers so much. It addresses what we should do when faced with sexual immorality, wanting to get married, the idea of staying single rather than getting married, how a virgin should handle dating and marriage relationships, and when it’s appropriate for widows and widowers to remarry. The problem is how do we incorporate these truths into our lives. Are we to take this scripture literally or apply the principles to our context?

The specific problems, questions, and circumstances of the Church of Corinth are not clear. What we do know is that they struggled with two excessive worldviews. One loose and sexually explicit and the other hyper-conservative and convinced that sex is evil. Paul is attempting to speak God’s truth to each context while remaining practical and contextual. His struggle is the struggle of our modern church. How do we uphold the integrity of scripture without compromise, while not looking weird and culturally irrelevant? Lets take a look at the topics addressed and how these fundamental principles can apply to modern Christianity.

DOMINATED BY SEX LEADING TO SEXUAL IMMORALITY

1 Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 

We do not know the exact question(s) the Church asked Paul. To completely understand the textual context it is vital to have the entire picture. This is a picture that we simply don’t have. What we can glean from this section of scripture is that sex is beautiful, but sex to fulfill selfish desires is not God’s plan. When sexual desires “dominate” an individual the solution is simple. Be in a monogamous marriage relationship and have sex with only your spouse.

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

We do not know the exact circumstances of the Church, but we do know that during this period there were many wars. Paul may be suggesting that it would be better for them to remain single because of the unrest and difficulties that Corinth was or could face. If he is not implying this he may be reminding them that Christ needs to be their focus. Sex, a spouse, companionship, and security are not motives to marry. They should be found complete in Christ, but if being alone is causing them to sin they need to marry. Paul in no way is saying that being single is better, or more spiritual than being married. He is illustrating a practical application to their immediate circumstances and@ or the need for them to focus on Christ.

Either way, we can see that it is important for each of us to be aware of our circumstances and how they affect our relationships, and we need to be completely focused on / dominated by Christ.

Does being single cause you to struggle with so much
sin that you can’t handle it?
What does the scripture say you should do?
Do your circumstances or Christ dominate your life?

DOMINATED BY SEX LEADING TO ABSTINENCE IN MARRIAGE

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

As much as sexual immorality in the Church caused problems, the fear of sex was equally significant. Many people thought to avoid any appearance of sexual immorality they needed to abstain form sex all together…even in a marriage relationship. These types of thoughts take over when behaviors become the primary focus. They thought, “Avoiding the behavior would eliminate the sin.” Paul clearly expresses to the church that this behavior leads to sin too. Sex is a natural, beautiful expression of love. Abstaining from sex in marriage or abusing sex outside of marriage are equally sinful because they pervert god’s design for sex.

God’s design for sex is to be a physical representation of selflessness, submission, affection, and (spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical) fulfillment. It is a shadow of the relationship that we can and will have with God.

How does / would your sexual relationship with your spouse
exemplify the intimacy that we can / will have with God?

In this section of chapter 7 we see that both ends of the belief spectrum are not healthy belief patterns. Both lead to sin. So where does that leave us? It leaves us living in the tension. Is sex good, yes. Is it appropriate to desire sex, yes. Is it ok to give into these desires, yes, in the context of what God desires for his people, a loving monogamous marriage relationship.

To ensure that we set ourselves up for the best sexual relationship we can, we need to make sure we are dominated by Christ, our heart beats for Christ, and that we think sex (selfless emotional expressions).

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