SOAP Study - October 7, 2020

    10.07.20 | by Rocky Shack


    1 Corinthians 7:8-16

    So I say to those who aren’t married and to widows—it’s better to stay unmarried, just as I am. But if they can’t control themselves, they should go ahead and marry. It’s better to marry than to burn with lust.

    10 But for those who are married, I have a command that comes not from me, but from the Lord.[a] A wife must not leave her husband. 11 But if she does leave him, let her remain single or else be reconciled to him. And the husband must not leave his wife.

    12 Now, I will speak to the rest of you, though I do not have a direct command from the Lord. If a fellow believer[b] has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to continue living with him, he must not leave her. 13 And if a believing woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to continue living with her, she must not leave him. 14 For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband[c] brings holiness to his marriage. Otherwise, your children would not be holy, but now they are holy. 15 (But if the husband or wife who isn’t a believer insists on leaving, let them go. In such cases the believing husband or wife[d] is no longer bound to the other, for God has called you[e] to live in peace.) 16 Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?


    • What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
    • What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
    • How should this information impact your life?
    • What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
    • Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.

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    For Paul, he is single because God had given him the gift of celibacy. But, Paul still saw the covenant bond of marriage as worth entering with God and another. Whenever two people get married, there will always be struggles and challenges, but even when there are problems, Paul pushes us to the pursuit of reconciliation over divorce. For Ephesians says that we should make every effort for the sake of unity. Paul is aware that Jesus did not talk directly about this subject, but Paul is trying to give us guidance by the Holy Spirit. I listen to people say that you should not be unequally yoked; however, I don’t think that verse means what we think it does. Why? Because here, Paul is telling us that a believing spouse can give the Gospel not only to a nonbelieving spouse but to the kids. If God wants the Gospel to spread throughout the world, why would God not want the same thing in the home? Think about Rahab back in Joshua 2. Rahab confessed her faith in the LORD, sheltered the Israelite spies, and she and her nonbelieving family were delivered from the destruction God brought to Jericho. But, sometimes the nonbeliever still leaves the home even when the Christian spouse has done everything they could. But, Scripture is thinking about this situation. Even though God wants to see reconciliation and conflict resolution, the WORD gives this situation as legitimate grounds for divorce, and the Christian spouse is free to remarry.


    I think this passage should be encouragement to the husband or the wife who gets on his or her knees to pray for the salvation of their spouse and their kids. For Christian spouses who are married to those who are nonbelievers or do not have evidence of a relationship with Jesus, they may feel like throwing in the towel. However, I believe the LORD smiles on you. Love can endure all things and hopes for all things. Your love for God is shown in your love for your spouse and your hopefulness that your spouse will experience a personal relationship with the LORD. So to these spouses I say, “Don’t grow weary of doing good.” What if you sharing the Gospel to your spouse and your kids leads them to know that they are loved by Jesus? What if your living out the Gospel unashamedly leads them to see themselves and others the way Jesus sees them? I think we should keep sharing that powerful testimony because you have the means to bring someone to faith in Christ and they may be closer than you think. Let it start at home and let’s just see what the LORD does with it.


    LORD, thank you for the opportunity to help you! You don’t need me, but you want me a part of your good plan. Help us to live out your Good News unashamedly because we do not know who is watching. We may think that it is falling on deaf ears, but you can use all things. We may never know how much people were really hearing. Don’t let us worry about whether or not people are listening. Just give us the courage to speak up with our voice and our lives. We will leave the rest to you!