Single or Married?

[A special Note to any ‘weak’ ones visiting my blog or FB pages.]

When I led a College & Careers group in Bethel CanRC, I was asked by a former RCC if I thought that husbands own their wives. [Note: the CanRC don’t let the wives vote in ecclesiastical matters.] Like those who approached Jesus with the hopes of destroying his work, I have gotten used to this sort of approach. My response was ‘yes’, and the wife owns her husband. 

“For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” (I Cor. 7:4) Therefore to commit adultery is a form of theft, as is refusing conjugal rights, and coveting a neighbour’s wife is the same generalization used as also applying to a wife being deprived of her husband.

Not only this, but Paul stated emphatically that it was permissible to fast, as it were, if both partners agreed, and this not for any “irreconcilable differences,” but only that they might “by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer…coming together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (v. 5)

Therefore, it is no surprise to me that Paul preferred to be single, as the LORD had given him this gift, but only so that he might give himself completely to the LORD’s ownership of him – as we all are. “All things are lawful…,” in this context – sexual activity (6: 12-20), but also other matters within the body of the church (6:1-11).

To commit adultery, or fornication, (including prostitution – v. 17), is to sin against God’s ownership, your own self, and others, especially (in the human context) a marriage ‘partner’. What would have been obvious, and still is among many, is that it is also the same with homosexuality – as contrary to a creation ordinance, and the law-word of the covenant (v. 16).

Sexual sin, as Paul so clearly laid out, has its own pernicious fallout. “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person (man or woman) commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person commits is outside the body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own.” (v. 18-19)

“For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” Ours is a culture that states quite emphatically, in word and deed, that sexual activity is on a par with eating and drinking. I am 60 now, and became a Christian at 17, and by God’s grace have never crossed this line, which is why people either do not believe me, or think I am ‘queer’, by which I mean both senses.

Another single man once taught that this teaching on marriage, and entrance into its covenantal structure or paradigm, is not for everyone, for all time (Mt. 19:10-11), that there was a place for singles in his kingdom and church (v. 12). I could go on to note the existence of children (13-15), but this would be to digress.

J. Gresham Machen was The Leader, under the grace of Almighty God, and his LORD, to oppose the liberal apostacy of our previous generation, known worldwide for his mastery of Greek etc., both classical and biblical (also Latin, German etc.) I have a copy of his lecture questions to accompany his Greek text (rare). He never married, and John Murray until 62, and had 2 children. I rest my case.

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