Heaven's Point of View

1 Corinthians 7:10-16, Part 3

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Senez Rodriguez (Host), Tom Shepherd


Series Code: HPOV

Program Code: HPOV000047A

00:16 Welcome to Heaven's Point of View.
00:18 Again, my name is Dr. Senez Rodriguez
00:21 and we have our Special Guest and Host, Dr. Tom Sheperd,
00:26 Professor of New Testament Interpretation
00:28 at Andrews University.
00:30 We have been discussing different topics
00:33 on the series of "Love, Marriage, Sex, and Divorce"
00:37 according to the New Testament.
00:38 Now, Dr. Sheperd, last time,
00:41 we saw how Paul echoes the teaching of Jesus
00:46 on the questions of divorce.
00:47 Yes, that's right, we saw that 1st Corinthians 7
00:50 verses 10 and 11 parallels Mark chapter 10
00:54 where Jesus talks about the permanence in marriage,
00:57 "What God has joined together, people should not separate. "
01:01 We noticed that this is the reason why Paul says,
01:04 "The Lord, not I... " in describing the teaching.
01:07 We also saw that Paul describes the situation
01:11 where the permanence and joy seemingly had deteriorated
01:14 because it says... it speaks of a woman who
01:17 separates possibly from her husband
01:19 "but even if she separates," he says...
01:21 the surprise might be that Paul says
01:23 that she should stay single
01:25 or be reconciled to her husband and then he adds
01:27 that the husband should not divorce his wife.
01:30 We notice, actually,
01:31 that this parallels the words of Jesus
01:34 when he said that divorce,
01:35 for any other reason than adultery,
01:37 plus remarriage equals adultery,
01:39 the separation itself was not counted by Jesus
01:42 as adultery... nor by Paul.
01:45 So it sounds like Paul actually echoes
01:47 the teaching of Jesus here.
01:51 Yeah, pretty much, and that's the important phrase,
01:54 "pretty much," because Paul goes further
01:57 in verses 12 to 16
01:59 and we want to look at those verses now.
02:01 Okay, so we want to open to 1st Corinthians 7
02:04 verses 12 to 16.
03:14 Hmmm... hmmm... okay, thank you for reading that passage.
03:17 So, we've noticed before that...
03:22 why Paul says, "Not the Lord, but I."
03:26 Hmmm... hmmm...
03:27 And that is that... in this particular situation
03:29 that Paul describes,
03:31 he didn't have the saying of Jesus.
03:34 So he's not talking about levels of inspiration...
03:37 they're both inspired statements
03:39 one... the inspired words of Jesus,
03:41 the other, the Apostle Paul... led by the Holy Spirit.
03:44 But, we're actually talking about a situation
03:48 which Jesus had not described.
03:51 It's a situation where
03:53 a believer is married to an unbeliever...
03:56 when you read the words of Jesus back in the gospels,
04:00 He is describing a situation of believers.
04:03 So, when Paul says also, "to the rest... "
04:06 he's talking about others in the Christian community
04:10 not covered by the previous verses,
04:12 we saw that in verses 10 and 11, he was talking about
04:15 people who are believers... both believers...
04:18 and how they were married to each other.
04:21 But here he's talking about somebody else
04:24 and the question would be, of course, "Who?"
04:27 Paul describes both the case of a brother
04:30 which, of course, means... a Christian...
04:33 who has an unbelieving wife and on the other hand,
04:37 he talks about a Sister... a Christian woman...
04:40 who has an unbelieving husband.
04:43 So, this is where Paul has a new situation that he's describing.
04:50 Now, why do you think that
04:53 a believer be married to an unbeliever?
04:56 Doesn't Paul, himself, advise against that?
04:58 He actually does, very much,
05:00 over in 2nd Corinthians 6 verse 14,
05:04 we should take a look at that, just flip over there real quick
05:07 to 2nd Corinthians 6 and verse 14,
05:13 he says, "Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers:
05:16 for what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?
05:19 and what fellowship has light with darkness?"
05:21 In fact, he is using the exact same term, which is, "apistois"
05:30 which means "unbeliever"
05:32 that he used over in 1st Corinthians 7
05:36 verses 12 to 16, it seems completely incongruous
05:41 that he would here say... "Don't be unequally yoked"
05:45 when you think of yoking...
05:46 you think of the "marriage thing"
05:48 which Jesus says, "What God has yoked together...
05:50 what God has joined together... "
05:51 over here he talks about,
05:53 "if you're married to this unbeliever... "
05:57 It doesn't make any sense except for one fact
06:00 and that is, Paul is talking to those
06:03 who are already married,
06:05 so in verses 10 and 11, he speaks to those who are
06:10 husband and wife that are Christians
06:12 and for them, he says,
06:14 "you should not divorce and if you separate,
06:17 you should seek reconciliation or stay single,
06:19 a change of heart is what you need
06:22 rather than a change of partners
06:23 a change of spouse... "
06:26 but he says, he starts in verse 12
06:28 "To the rest... " and that addresses...
06:30 suggests that these people are different
06:33 from those in verses 10 and 11, "To the rest... "
06:36 Different in what way?
06:38 Well, they are still a group of married people,
06:41 since he speaks of married relationships,
06:44 the way they are different is
06:46 that one of the partners in the marriage is a believer
06:49 and the other partner is an unbeliever.
06:52 And we say, "Well, how did that happen
06:54 in light of Paul's strong counsel
06:57 not to link up with unbelievers?"
06:59 Well, it happened because the person was already married
07:03 before they became a believer,
07:05 they were converted after...
07:09 after they were already married
07:12 and so then... but only one of them became a believer,
07:15 not the other one and so what you have is
07:17 a situation where one believes and the other doesn't
07:20 and that's the situation that he describes.
07:22 So, this really leads me to a question I want to ask you,
07:26 you're a Clinical Psychologist and you talk with people
07:29 in marriage situations... I'd like to hear from you:
07:33 Why is it important for an Adventist
07:37 to marry another Adventist believer?
07:41 Well, that is a very important question,
07:44 first of all, the question that I will ask is,
07:49 "Do you... " asking to the person,
07:51 "Do you really want harmony in your marriage?"
07:55 "If you do, if you want harmony,
08:00 then you need to look for all of those qualities
08:03 in the other person that connect with yours
08:06 so that the opportunity for harmony is increased. "
08:10 The greater the level of differences between you
08:13 in different ways,
08:15 the more the probability of having lack of harmony. "
08:19 But don't they say to you...
08:21 "Yeah but, he's not a believer
08:23 but he's very favorable towards... "
08:24 Senez: And he loves me...
08:26 Tom: "He loves me" that's right, "He loves me. "
08:27 "He loves me and love... love can do everything. "
08:31 Well, that opinion is likely to change very quickly
08:34 after the honeymoon when the real thing...
08:38 when the "yoke" becomes more heavy
08:40 with the conflicts and the problems that arise
08:44 as a natural consequence of living... two people together...
08:49 it doesn't matter how good each of them are,
08:52 any time that two people begin to live together,
08:54 there is going to be conflict. Tom: Hmmm... hmmm...
08:56 And so, when you marry someone
08:58 who does not believe like you believe,
09:00 doesn't want to go to the church as you would like to go,
09:04 when you have to receive the Sabbath,
09:06 they don't sit down with you,
09:08 when you want to read the Bible, they want to do something else,
09:11 when they want to go to the Baseball game on Sabbath,
09:14 you want to go to the Sabbath School,
09:15 is that leading to harmony... or the opposite?
09:21 And then, that's the moment or the time when...
09:24 then they wonder whether they made a mistake
09:27 and that is exactly what happens so...
09:31 and then when the kids come,
09:33 do you want the kids to have the education
09:36 that you want for them?
09:37 Do you want the kids to worship together with mom and dad?
09:43 So, again, the greater the difference
09:46 between the two of them,
09:48 the greater the probability of having conflicts.
09:51 Well, why do you think it is that
09:53 so many people have difficulty seeing that?
09:56 Because they fall in love with their eyes.
09:59 In other words, with their heart instead of
10:02 with the brain. Tom: Yeah.
10:04 So the eyes look at what is in front of you
10:07 but God looks at... what?
10:09 Tom: In the heart. Senez: The heart.
10:11 So we need to pray to God for guidance
10:13 and seeking the counsel of those who have more experience
10:17 so that then... we can be aware of the things
10:21 that may be problematic down the road
10:24 so, prevention is much better than
10:28 trying to resolve a problem
10:29 that was created in the first place for your choice,
10:32 and every choice has its consequences.
10:35 Okay, good counsel, thank you so much
10:38 but Paul does have counsel for somebody who's married
10:45 to an unbeliever, it seems like,
10:46 like we said that they did not get in this situation...
10:51 in a way... they didn't "choose it to be this way"
10:54 it's just that their spouse didn't believe
10:57 and he gives two different counsels to these people
11:02 we'll see the first of these in the discussion this time,
11:07 and then... in our next discussion
11:09 which is the last in this Series,
11:12 we have his counsel to the other aspect or other condition.
11:18 The counsel here on this... is to stay in the marriage
11:22 if the unbeliever is willing to dwell with the believer,
11:27 he applies the teaching to both the male believer
11:31 with an unbelieving wife
11:33 and to a female believer with an unbelieving husband.
11:35 It's impressive to me to here in 1st Corinthians 7,
11:38 the way Paul continues his emphasis on mutuality,
11:41 we saw it at the beginning of chapter 7
11:44 where he was describing this sexual relation
11:47 and the idea of not touching a woman
11:49 was... not using her as a sexual object
11:51 and then he goes on to emphasize
11:54 that the husband has conjugal rights,
11:56 the wife has conjugal rights,
11:57 and you respect each other,
11:59 it's that expression of the "agape love"
12:02 that we've been talking about all through this Series
12:04 and here he continues to talk
12:06 about this kind of idea, he doesn't just say,
12:08 "Well, if the man has an unbelieving wife?"
12:11 he also mentions a woman
12:12 that would have an unbelieving husband
12:15 and that can be very, very challenging,
12:18 he applies the teaching to both the male believer
12:21 and the female believer in the different circumstances.
12:24 It is simple, direct counsel that Paul gives.
12:28 The Christian is not to be the one to break up a marriage.
12:32 The Christian is not to be the one... to break up a marriage.
12:37 This is in keeping with the teaching of Jesus
12:39 actually in the gospels.
12:41 Thus, so far there is no departure or addition
12:48 to what Jesus has said, actually,
12:49 even though the situation of the believer
12:53 is somewhat different from what Jesus described,
12:55 Paul is applying the teaching of Jesus in this new situation
13:00 and he follows the principle of staying together.
13:04 You know, Jesus said,
13:06 "What God has yoked together, let man not separate,"
13:09 He said, "the two become one. " Hmmm... hmmm...
13:11 But it's so important that it almost supersedes saying,
13:18 "But what if I am yoked with an unbeliever?"
13:23 Some people might have gotten the idea,
13:24 "Well, maybe that means I should separate from them,
13:27 maybe I should... maybe I should divorce them... "
13:30 You see, sometimes people will rationalize
13:36 they'll say, "Well, my situation
13:39 isn't really like what Jesus described. "
13:42 That's really not what my situation's like
13:44 and they'll set His teaching aside,
13:47 because they think their situation is different
13:50 or shall we say,
13:52 "They want their situation to be different,
13:54 and they don't want to do what Jesus has said, perhaps. "
13:57 Paul isn't like that, he prefers to see
14:01 how Jesus' teaching applies in the new situation.
14:05 How Jesus' teaching applies in the new situation...
14:09 and the position Paul takes
14:11 is in keeping with Jesus' overall teaching
14:13 that Christians should stay in a marriage,
14:16 "What God has yoked together, man should not separate. "
14:20 The other thing is that some people get the idea
14:23 that if you are married to an unbeliever,
14:25 it is acceptable to leave the marriage
14:28 because you should not be linked to something "unholy"
14:31 and so they... like we said a little bit before
14:35 they think it's okay to walk out of that.
14:39 That sounds like what verse 14 is all about.
14:43 It's true, if... let's read verse 14 again
14:46 so we just have that... clearly.
14:48 "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife,
14:52 and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband
14:57 else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. "
15:02 Yes, now this is really interesting.
15:05 The "For" at the beginning of that verse,
15:08 indicates that it's a supporting reason
15:11 for what he said in verse 12 and 13,
15:14 so in verses 12 and 13 he said,
15:15 "If you're married to an unbeliever...
15:17 you're a believer... you're married to an unbeliever,
15:19 you shouldn't be the one to go away,
15:21 it doesn't matter whether it's the husband or the wife,
15:24 you should stay in that situation. "
15:26 And so... he indicates that
15:31 the Christian should stay in the marriage
15:34 as long as the unbeliever is in agreement,
15:38 the reason Paul gives is that the unbelieving spouse,
15:42 is "sanctified" or made holy by the believer.
15:46 Now this is really...
15:48 this is an idea we have to delve into
15:51 we have to try to understand this better
15:53 because it seems a little odd to us,
15:56 what does the word, "holy" mean?
15:58 Well, this word is actually what we call a "cultic concept"
16:04 cultic... I know today people think... "oh, it's a cult"
16:10 but this is different,
16:13 when we're talking about a cultic concept,
16:15 we're talking about something that links a person or an object
16:21 to divinity... to that which is divine
16:24 okay, that's a cultic concept,
16:27 the "cultus... " is the worship of the god...
16:30 whether it's... the true God of heaven
16:33 or in the ancient world that they were worshipping other gods
16:36 the cultus... is the service they have in their temple,
16:39 that the cultus... okay...
16:40 so, to be holy means to be dedicated or consecrated
16:45 to the service of God, all right...
16:49 it means "to be pure or perfect
16:52 or worthy of God... that which is holy... "
16:55 or even the Sanctuary...
16:57 the verb has the idea of "consecrate or dedicate"
17:00 it includes a person in the inner circle
17:04 of what is "holy-able... cultic"
17:07 and the moral associations that go along with it,
17:09 so, that word... if you hear that and say,
17:12 "My! you mean that just being married to an unbeliever
17:15 does that... to this unbeliever?
17:17 You know, the believer makes them 'holy' somehow?"
17:21 Well, Paul uses the verb "to make holy"
17:25 three times in 1st Corinthians.
17:27 He uses it in chapter 1 verse 2, chapter 6 verse 11
17:31 and chapter 7 and verse 14.
17:33 In chapter 1 verse 2,
17:35 he refers to the sanctifying work of Christ
17:38 in setting the Christians apart to belong to God.
17:40 It is a perfect tense that's used there
17:44 so it means... a past action that has ongoing results
17:49 they are holy, they are sanctified
17:51 that they are set apart for God, okay,
17:53 and that's because of what Christ has done in their lives.
17:56 So, it talks about this "act of God"
18:00 over in chapter 6 verse 11, the verse says,
18:04 "Such were some of you: but you are washed,
18:07 but you are sanctified,
18:10 but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
18:13 and in the Spirit of our God. "
18:14 It sounds fairly similar to what we said in chapter 1 verse 2,
18:20 there's a different kind of "tense" here...
18:25 it's called the "aorist" it's kind of a simple past tense
18:27 in most cases,
18:29 the "aorist" tense points more toward the event of
18:32 crossing over from outside... to inside the church,
18:36 okay, so, "you were washed... you were sanctified,
18:40 you became a Christian," we would say,
18:42 "you were baptized," okay,
18:44 then he says, "You were sanctified... "
18:47 suggested that it's not something you did to yourself,
18:50 it was something that God did in your life,
18:54 again, this is connected with Jesus,
18:56 in whose name they were washed
18:58 and sanctified and justified,
19:00 so the Trinity is at work together there to save us,
19:04 the Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God,
19:07 the activity of God.
19:09 Some of the other uses in 1st Corinthians illustrate
19:13 the call to a holy lifestyle, if anyone destroys God's temple,
19:18 Paul says in 1st Corinthians 3 verse 17,
19:20 God will destroy him... for God's temple is holy
19:23 and you are that temple.
19:24 So, Paul is battling factions
19:28 in the Corinthian church in chapter 3,
19:30 there's this very unseemly division
19:34 between groups in the church instead of unity,
19:36 and he calls on the Christians to be unified
19:39 and to not destroy the church by their divisions,
19:42 oh! amen... they still do that today.
19:46 Holiness is... being set apart for God
19:50 it's the reason... one must not break the community apart.
19:53 And that's another thing
19:55 further we should think about in the church,
19:57 there's a reason why we shouldn't break it apart
19:59 because the church is holy and that's dedicated to God.
20:02 In 1st Corinthians 6:19, we've studied before
20:05 "What? do you not know
20:07 that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within you,
20:09 whom you have from God, and you are not your own?"
20:12 Our bodies are to be kept holy, undefiled with illicit sex
20:16 as a temple of the Holy Spirit.
20:18 So, what do these all mean in 1st Corinthians 7:14?
20:24 Yeah, all right, so, there we...
20:26 first we talk about the unbeliever,
20:28 these are... there are only two verses in
20:32 1st Corinthians where both the verb, "to make holy"
20:36 and the adjective, "holy," appear together,
20:40 and those two verses are in 1st Corinthians 1 verse 2
20:44 and our verse here, 1st Corinthians 7 verse 14,
20:48 in chapter 1 verse 2, as we saw...
20:52 the Perfect Tense of the verb indicated
20:53 that it was a past action that God performed
20:56 by means of Christ, which set His people aside
20:59 on a new path in which they are to live out
21:02 what they're set apart for
21:03 so you're "set apart for God, now, live like that"
21:06 show a holy life.
21:08 In chapter 7 verse 14, there's an interesting parallel.
21:12 The unbelieving husband is "sanctified" and that's again
21:16 a Perfect Tense, "has been sanctified"
21:19 it was something that happened in the past somewhere
21:21 and presumably, God was acting
21:25 and the means is, by the believer,
21:28 so the question is, "how can this be so?"
21:32 Well, there are three concepts from the Old Testament
21:36 and from Judaism that help to explain
21:39 what Paul is saying here
21:42 in 1st Corinthians 7:14,
21:44 this is just another one of those illustrations
21:46 that... when you have the background information
21:48 it helps you understand things better.
21:50 The first is the idea of holiness being transferrable.
21:53 Senez: Hmmm... Tom: Exodus 29 verse 37,
21:56 it says, "For seven days
21:59 you shall make atonement for the altar, and consecrate it;
22:01 then the altar shall be most holy:
22:02 and whatever touches the altar shall be holy. "
22:06 Senez: Hmmm...
22:08 If it touches the altar, it's holy.
22:09 Holiness is a relationship more than a static state
22:12 or an attribute, the "altar" is set apart for God
22:15 and it's the place of sacrifice and when it's most holy...
22:20 when you touch... you put something on it,
22:22 it makes it holy, it's transferrable,
22:24 all right, that's the first idea,
22:26 the second idea
22:28 comes from Judaism which is very interesting,
22:30 it has to do with "betrothal practices. "
22:33 Now, this is where you would, you would get engaged
22:36 and in the ancient world
22:37 getting engaged was a bigger deal
22:39 than what we do today.
22:41 If you get engaged today and you break it...
22:43 oh, people are sad and they're saying,
22:45 "But... okay... well, maybe it wasn't the right person"
22:48 but then... back then... if you get engaged...
22:50 it's like... you're like... you're married
22:53 and if you did break it up, it's like divorce.
22:55 This is what happened with Joseph and Mary
22:57 when he wants to... he's going to "divorce" her...
23:00 they've never slept together, they've never been together
23:02 but they're betrothed to be married.
23:05 Jewish marriage documents were going through a transition
23:07 in this era and at the time of Paul
23:09 and were altered from saying that the man acquires the woman
23:12 to saying that he sanctifies her.
23:14 "You are made holy to me," is one of the sayings,
23:20 it's in one of the documents,
23:22 the term may also be connected
23:23 with the ceremony of purification
23:25 which was part of the betrothal
23:26 or a marriage ceremony,
23:28 so, sanctification, in Judaism, even had this idea
23:33 that it was a part of marriage.
23:35 The third idea is: "the two become one flesh"
23:38 as we've already studied in Genesis 2 verse 24,
23:42 that Paul describes in 1st Corinthians 6:16,
23:45 "the two become one flesh. "
23:47 Because the believer is sanctified
23:49 by connection to Christ, anyone who touches the believer,
23:52 now, this isn't the touch we were talking about
23:54 in the beginning of the chapter,
23:55 but more of the idea of the transference of holiness,
23:58 becomes holy and is sanctified as well,
24:01 it doesn't suggest that the
24:03 unbeliever is somehow saved by this,
24:05 that's what we've got to understand,
24:07 it doesn't mean that the person is saved.
24:09 Paul is focusing more on the legitimacy of the marriage
24:12 and the fact that the believer is not defiled
24:15 by remaining married to the unbeliever.
24:18 So how do we know this?
24:20 Because Paul immediately gives a counterstatement
24:24 of what would be the case if it were true
24:26 that the believer was defiled by the unbeliever.
24:30 What's the case?
24:31 He says literally, "Since... because... then... "
24:35 and the case... in this case there's that...
24:38 something... a little something left out
24:39 but it goes like this...
24:41 where the full statement would be...
24:42 it would be: "Since, if it were otherwise,
24:45 your children would be unclean but now they are holy. "
24:51 What Paul means...
24:52 here's the simple thing that he means,
24:54 that marriage to an unbeliever
24:56 does not make the children of such a union...
24:59 illegitimate children, they are not bastards,
25:03 the Christian is not sinning
25:05 having children "out of wedlock," so to speak,
25:07 because he or she is married to an unbeliever.
25:10 Now, you might say today,
25:12 "I would never have thought that"
25:13 but they did back then,
25:15 remember these were people coming
25:16 out of paganism into Christianity
25:18 and they learn about the concept of holiness,
25:20 they probably had a clear sense of holiness
25:22 than we tend to today
25:24 and... so they had these kinds of questions,
25:26 so Paul makes it clear,
25:27 "Once a person is in such a marriage,
25:29 it is sanctified by God
25:32 through the presence of Christ in the believer's life,
25:35 he or she is not to seek escape from such a marriage
25:38 because the spouse is not a believer. "
25:41 Now, we just got a couple of minutes here
25:43 and I'd like to ask you, as a Clinical Psychologist,
25:46 what you recommend for people who are married to an unbeliever
25:51 for whatever the reason it might be...
25:52 but they're married to an unbeliever
25:53 and they're trying to cope with it,
25:55 what kinds of strategies do you suggest to them?
25:56 Well, I will suggest that the person look for common grounds
26:00 rather than focusing on differences,
26:04 what is common to us that it does not
26:07 put me in a difficult situation with my faith?
26:11 What is common to us that we...
26:13 what are the "likes" that we can share?
26:16 Also, respect the differences,
26:18 they don't have to be exactly the same,
26:22 but respecting the differences
26:24 and admit that there are differences, that's good,
26:26 but also, avoiding arguments over each other's religion,
26:30 any time that there are two
26:32 that believe totally different things,
26:34 there are grounds for a conflict
26:38 and also be faithful to the Lord and be a positive example...
26:43 positive model of what a Christian should be
26:48 and in doing that,
26:49 you are less likely to make the situation at home
26:54 much more stressful... conflicted...
26:57 This reminds me of 1st Peter chapter 3
26:59 where the Apostle talks about a wife
27:01 who's married to an unbeliever,
27:03 a believing wife and an unbeliever and she talks about,
27:06 "By their way of life, that they attract them. "
27:09 and she says, "By saying nothing,"
27:10 she says, "without a word, they evangelize their husbands,"
27:14 so they're not pestering them, they're not trying to force them
27:18 but they're living the Christ's life in front of them
27:21 and that has such a winning influence
27:23 and some of these people will be won.
27:25 I think we need to pray for
27:27 people who are in these situations
27:28 because I know that they carry sometimes... very heavy burdens
27:31 and they need the support of the church.
27:33 In our next discussion,
27:36 we are going to look at the important question
27:40 of being married to an unwilling... unbeliever.
27:44 It's a last one of our presentations
27:46 and it also talks about,
27:48 "Where does the Adventist Church
27:49 stand on the question of divorce?"
27:51 So we... I'm sure that you'll want to be here
27:53 and be able to hear
27:54 that last presentation that we've had,
27:56 we're glad that you've been able to watch these
27:59 and we pray that God will bless and use your life
28:02 and that you'll be encouraged
28:03 as you look forward to the coming of Jesus.
28:05 Thanks for being with us today.


Revised 2016-04-26