HOPE CHAPEL Sunday Service Notes
Teaching Series: “Be Different” based on 1 Corinthians
Today’s Topic: “Week 7: Parameters for Relationships” (Chapters 7)
Last week we examined 1 Corinthians 5+6, where Paul had some harsh words for the Corinthian believers. Some in the church had been bragging about their freedom in Christ, but had twisted its meaning to permit all sorts of behaviour that even non-Christians recognized as immoral. You can hear Paul’s exasperation as he makes several demands: remove the ‘believer’ who is openly living a sexually immoral lifestyle from the congregation; stop airing grievances before non-believing judges; stop twisting Christian freedom into an excuse for all sorts of pursuits after personal pleasure. In short, stop claiming the name of Christ without changing behaviour! A relationship with Jesus changes us; we are to be different, changed from the inside out through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our transformation is the proof of our salvation, commitment and allegiance.
We ended our examination last week at chapter six, where Paul encourages the believers to treat their bodies as the Temple of God. In chapter seven, he delves further into the place of physical intimacy in the life of the believer. Remember, that despite our chapter and verse divisions, this is a letter Paul is writing with one thought flowing into the next. Today’s study is not a new topic, but rather an expansion of what it means to live both an intimate life with Christ and how it should impact our level of intimacy with other human beings.
You may recall from last week that I mentioned that this is one of my favourite chapters of the Bible...strange chapter to have as a favourite, right? I believe this chapter gives us a true picture of the equality with which Paul viewed men and women in the faith. Many Christians throughout the centuries have misused Paul’s words to block women from enjoying the full freedom in Christ that is theirs to serve as followers of Jesus; others have judged Paul a misogynist, whose teaching in specific situations reveals his attitudes toward the inferiority of women. Today, I stand up in defense of Paul. You simply cannot hold to these views after a study of 1 Corinthians 7. So, with that thought, let’s begin...
“Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to abstain from sexual relations. 2 But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.
3 The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. 4 The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.
5 Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.”
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!