Switch to Audio

Listen to sermon audio here:

Intimacy In Marriage

1 Corinthians 7:1-5 • November 22, 2023 • w1418

Pastor John Miller continues our “Marriage and the Bible” series with an expository message through 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 titled, “Intimacy In Marriage.”

Pastor Photo

Pastor John Miller

November 22, 2023

Sermon Scripture Reference

I want to read the text as I always do, and then I’m going to read it in the New Living Translation. I’m going to project it on the screen because I want you to see that translation, which is kind of a paraphrase translation. I think it makes very clear what the issue is. Begin with me in 1 Corinthians 7:1-5. Paul says, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me,”—he’s writing to them about what they asked him; the Corinthians have asked questions, and Paul is answering them (we’ll come back to the issue in just a moment)—“It is good for a man not to touch a woman.” That phrase “touch a woman” is a euphemism for sexual relationships. He’s talking about the idea of being single and the issue of whether it’s okay to have sexual relationships prior to marriage. We refer to it as premarital sex. The Scriptures use the word porneía, which is sexual immorality. It covers a broad area of any sex outside the covenant relationship of marriage. I’m going to come back and pull all of these phrases out and explain them as we go through.

Paul says, “It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid,”—and here’s the word I was just referring to—“fornication,”—which is porneía in the Greek, sexual immorality—“let every man have his own wife,”—notice that—“and let every woman have her own husband.” You have man and woman mentioned. You have wife and husband mentioned in the context, a man as the husband and a woman as a wife; and you have your very own, which means your own individual wife and husband.

Verse 3, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power,”—or authority—“of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power,”—or authority—“of his own body, but the wife.” Notice the command in verse 5, “Defraud ye not one the other,”—that word “defraud” means to rob or to steal from—“except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again,”—the context indicates that “come together again” is in sexual intimacy in the marriage—“that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency,”—lack of self-control. The King James Bible has “incontinency” which is a big fancy word which means lack of self-control.

Can I have the New Living Translation on the screen? Look at the screen with me and let’s read that in this Living Translation. Paul says, “Now regarding the questions you asked in your letter. Yes, it is good to live a celibate life. 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”—notice that—“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.”

I want to look at the subject tonight, it is very clear and obvious, of sexual intimacy in the marriage relationship. You say, “Well, why would you even deal with this in the church?” First, because it’s in the Bible, and we do believe the Bible is the Word of God. Amen? And, we are a church that studies the Bible. It would be rather ludicrous to be reading through Corinthians and then skip over this section because of the sensitivity of this subject; and because of the culture in which we live, I know of no other issue that Satan wants to pervert or distort more than the gift of God, sexual intimacy in marriage. We looked at that earlier in our series how Satan has perverted, troubled, and twisted marriage, and we live in a culture today that has absolutely lost their minds when it comes to the subject of sexuality. We are completely inundated with sexual immorality in our culture that we live today, and, of course, Corinth was no different than we live today in California. Ray Stedman said that we actually could change the name of the book to 1 Californians instead of 1 Corinthians.

In Corinth they actually had the worship of Aphrodite. They had a temple with a thousand sacred prostitutes, and part of the actual worship of Aphrodite was sexual behavior in the temple. They were being saved in this very lascivious, corrupt culture and had a lot of questions about how to live pure, how to live holy, and how to live sanctified lives in their walk with the Lord. Some Christians in years past have said, “Well, we shouldn’t even talk about that,” and “We shouldn’t mention that,” and “We shouldn’t deal with that,” but I believe that it’s because we haven’t in the church, that we live in a culture that is so confused about what the Bible really teaches on this important subject.

God’s goal in our marriage relationships we’ve learned from Genesis 2:24 is oneness. That oneness speaks of sexual unity consummated in the sex act in the marriage relationship, and it’s a picture of the oneness that we have in Christ. In Genesis 2:24, the Bible says, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Marriage is consummated in this intimate relationship picturing the two becoming one flesh. It’s a broad concept involving the totality of life. It’s also true that there’s no place where this total sharing is more beautifully pictured or fully experienced than in the sexual relationship of a husband and his wife. Actually, the Bible pictures marriage in the relationship of Christ and the Church or the Church is a picture of the relationship of Christ and the Church in the husband and wife relationship. God’s purpose for marriage is unity and intimacy, and in Genesis 2:25, the very next verse, says, referring to Adam and Eve, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”

Paul is answering a question, verse 1, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me.” Here’s the problem that we have: we know what the answer that Paul gave was, but we don’t know how the question actually was phrased or formed or what they asked. It’s kind of like Jeopardy. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do Jeopardy. I don’t quite get it or quite understand it. They give the answer, and you have to ask the question. Sometimes when they give the answer to the question that’s the answer to the question, which I don’t know what they’re doing, I’ll say, “I know that,” but I don’t know what they were talking about. That’s just what’s going on here in this verse, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me.” If you try to take the answer, you can kind of conclude what the questions were; and the questions were, no doubt, about singleness—is it more spiritual to be single? Is it more spiritual to practice abstinence? Maybe if sex is evil and bad, maybe when we get married we should actually still practice abstinence.

Sometimes people have taught that sexual intimacy is a necessary evil in marriage for procreation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, it’s God’s gift for procreation, but it’s also for pleasure and for closeness and oneness in the marriage relationship. It’s not a necessary evil to have children. Christians have believed this sometimes over the years, and it’s actually terrible and tragic. Some people have stayed away from the subject altogether.

What I want to do is simply give you five points that we can take away and learn from in this passage. They’re going to be on the screen, and you can write them down. They’re taken right out of the text that we’re going to look at together this evening. First of all, Paul says, verse 1, singleness is good. He says “good.” He doesn’t say to be better or more important or more spiritual, he just says it’s good. It’s okay to be single; it’s okay to get married. Both are gifts from God. Go back with me to verse 1.

Paul says, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me.” Evidently, they were writing to him asking about, because of the present sinfulness of the culture, the present sinfulness of the world that they were living in, that perhaps you shouldn’t be married, you should stay single. Paul is saying singleness is good, “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication,”—sexual immorality—“let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband,” and “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again,” because there really is a devil who will tempt you and you have lack of self-control. The question was about singleness.

Now, I want you to jump down to verse 26 because this whole seventh chapter is about marriage, singleness, and some verses about divorce that we are going to look at next week. We’re going to look at the Bible’s teaching on divorce. Look with me at verse 26 where Paul says, “I suppose therefore that this is good,”—same word he used in verse 1—“for the present distress,”—notice they were living in a time of persecution and difficulty and distress—“I say, that it is good for a man so to be.” What he’s talking about is singleness.

Verse 27, “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed.” If you’re married, don’t think you should get a divorce to become more spiritual. That’s happened, too. “Well, I’m spiritual now, I’m a Christian. I don’t want to be married, I want to be devoted to the Lord,” so you leave your spouse. That’s not what you should do. Verse 27, “Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.” That’s what freaks people out. “Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.” Some of you guys are thinking, I’ve been looking for a wife for 15 years, and I still haven’t found one. The Bible says not to seek a wife? You need to understand because of the present distress and the challenges that it would bring into their life.

Verse 28, “But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.” Paul is saying we live in a time of persecution and difficulty and stress; and if you’re married and have children, you have a family, it’s going to add to that stress. It’s going to be challenging and difficult so be careful there.

In verse 29 he says, “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.” Everything Paul says about being single, and for that matter about being married, is in the context of a time of great persecution and opposition from the world against the church. He’s just basically warning them that if you are married, you’re going to have the care and concern of your wife, your family perhaps, and it’s going to add to your responsibilities and, “I would have you without carefulness,”—I would have you to be free so that you may devote yourself to the Lord.

Marriage certainly is a God-ordained institution. It’s a gift from God. The Bible says, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD,” so in no way is Paul saying that marriage is bad, he’s just saying in light of the distress, the persecution, the difficulties that you need to think about that if you’re going to get married. They lived in a very immoral, wicked, sinful city—no less wicked or immoral than what we live in.

I want you to back up into 1 Corinthians 6. Forgive me for all this running around, but start with me in verse 12, and we’re going to read down to verse 20, because everything he says at the end of chapter 6 helps you to understand what he says in chapter 7. It says, 1 Corinthians 6:12, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient,”—or profitable, in other words, I have great liberty and can do as I please, but all things aren’t beneficial—“all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” He refers to food, the King James uses the word “meats.” “Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for fornication,”—there’s that word again, sexual immorality—“but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. 14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. 15 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.”

Verse 16, “What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.” Here’s the command, “Flee fornication,”—sexual immorality—“Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” Then, without skipping a beat, 1 Corinthians 7:1, “Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman,”—not to have sexual relationships with a women. This is in the context of outside the covenant relationship of marriage, so he’s trying to make clear to them.

This is what the Bible teaches, that if you are not married, if you have not entered into the covenant relationship of marriage, then you are to abstain from sexual activity. You are not to have sex outside of marriage. It’s just that simple. The Bible is very clear. Marriage is a monogamous, heterosexual relationship, a covenant between a man and a woman, and God’s design for marriage is one mate for life. We’ll break down more of that next week when we talk about what the Bible teaches about divorce. It’s pretty simple. It’s not homosexual, it’s not bi-sexual, it’s heterosexual—one man, one woman for life in a monogamous, faithful commitment to one another in the covenant relationship of marriage. Anything outside of that is porneía, we get our word pornographic from, and it’s sexual sin. There is such a thing as sexual sin and sexual immorality.

All of God’s good gifts to man have been perverted by the devil. Some people say, “Well, it’s just a natural drive. It’s just part of the homeostasis. It’s just natural, and we should just do what comes natural.” Eating is part of homeostasis, but gluttony is sin. Sleeping is part of homeostasis, but laziness is sin. We need to understand that a good gift from God can become a sinful thing when taken outside of the way that God has designed it to be used and to be experienced in the covenant relationship of marriage. I can’t emphasize enough—it’s not part of my text but it’s implied—that if you want a blessed marriage, if you want a blessed life, live a pure life until you are in the covenant relationship of marriage. One of the greatest, most damnable things, lies fostered on our culture today, is that you can have sex with as many people as you want, as often as you want, it’s natural and won’t have its damaging effect. Nothing could be further from the truth. So, heed God’s Word and God’s warning and understand that God has given it to us in the covenant relationship of marriage.

Singleness is good, and Paul describes all that in 1 Corinthians 7. If you look at verse 7, it actually says, “For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” In verse 7 he’s saying, “I’m single, and I would love to see you single because I want you to be devoted and committed to the Kingdom of God without distraction; but it is a gift from God, and not everybody has this gift that comes from God.” Paul is not saying that singleness is better or necessary, only that it’s good.

If you’re single tonight, not married, it’s good. You’re not half a person. You can serve the Lord. I think singleness should be used for service. It doesn’t mean you can’t decide to serve the Lord as a couple, as you go on through this chapter he says that those that be married be as though they had none; those that have wives be as though they had none. What does he mean? He means, don’t make your whole focus of life your marriage. As a married couple, together look outward to love the Lord and serve others and be a blessing to others. A husband and a wife can covenant together in marriage to say, “Let’s bless others. Let’s serve the Lord. Let’s not hold back each other, let’s give ourselves to serving the Lord.”

I really believe I don’t think that I could do what I do for the Lord without the support, the backing, and the help of my wife. When it says in Genesis, “It is not good that the man should be alone,” that’s referring to John Miller. I need my wife, and she helps me so tremendously. But there’s those cases where when you become married…I remember when I was single and I was pastoring a church of about five hundred. We hadn’t gotten married yet, and I had a very small salary and didn’t have a lot of money. People used to bring me food and feed me. One time this woman made me a big chocolate cake, and I lived on that chocolate cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a whole week. After I got married, it wasn’t going to go like that. I couldn’t say, “Kristy, we got a chocolate cake. You don’t need to grocery shop, we’ll just eat that chocolate cake all week.” After I spent the whole week eating chocolate cake, I realized I need to eat a little better, I can’t just eat chocolate cake.

Another person gave me a bunch of dates one time, and I ate nothing but dates for a week or two. I definitely don’t want to do that. It did not work. When I got married, we actually had to have a refrigerator. Like, “What’s a refrigerator? What do you do with a refrigerator?” I didn’t understand that. Now we have to have a refrigerator, now we have to have a bed that’s actually off the floor. It has a headboard. We have to have a couch and a house and closets. It’s like, “What in the world is all this about?” That’s why Paul says, “But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.” He says, “I want you to be without distraction. I would like you to be like me, but all men have not this proper gift of God.” He’s not saying that singleness is better or necessary, only that it’s good and it is a gift from God, verse 7, nor is Paul saying that sex is bad or evil or a necessary evil.

The second thing that we can take away from this passage is in verse 2, that marriage is actually commended. Singleness is good—you’d be without distraction, and I don’t want you to be burdened down by the cares of the world—but marriage is actually commended in light of the danger of sexual immorality. Look at verse 2. He says, “Nevertheless,”—in my King James Bible he has the words “to avoid” which is italicized, so it actually is not there in the Greek—“fornication,”—and the implication is to avoid fornication—“let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” Here we have marriage commended because of the sinfulness of the city, so the importance of marriage and the importance of keeping your life pure. The implication is don’t get married if you don’t want to be a part of a marriage relationship where you have a conjugal duty to meet the sexual needs of your spouse, but marriage is commended.

Note also, verse 2, marriage is a man and a woman. As I said, it’s a monogamous, heterosexual relationship between one man and one woman. Satan’s attacks on marriage was seen in Genesis 4, by bringing in polygamy; in Genesis 16, by bringing in adultery; in Genesis 19, by bringing homosexuality, so very common today; in Genesis 34, by bringing in fornication and rape; Genesis 38, by bringing in incest and prostitution and even the idea of cohabiting, which is so common today. Marriage is on the decline in America. People are getting married later, but a lot of people aren’t getting married, they’re just living together, and it’s detrimental for our culture and for individuals. Marriage is commended in verse 2, and I like that verse.

In verse 2 of the New Living Translation, “But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.” That word “own” is actually emphatic there, that the wife is yours and the husband is yours and you belong to one another. Remember, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which God dwells in, so in that second verse, he’s saying that God has provided marriage to prevent sexual immorality. Notice also verse 2 shows us that the fulfillment of sexual desires within marriage is right and that fidelity to the marriage relationship is enjoined upon each partner when he uses the word emphatic “own.” So, this is your own wife; this is your own husband.

Write down Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” God has designed it for not just procreation, obviously, but for pleasure, for oneness, and intimacy. Nothing is equal to what that brings in a marriage relationship between a husband and a wife. Wayne Mack in his excellent book, Strengthening Your Marriage, said, “Sexual relationships are normally an integral part of the genuine unity in marriage. They are a means of expressing, establishing, confirming, enhancing, nourishing the complete oneness of two persons in married life.” It’s so very important.

Here’s the third take away from this passage; that is, married people should meet the sexual needs of each other. This is where the rubber meets the road in the marriage relationship. Married people should be committed to meeting the need of their spouse in the marriage relationship. It’s so very important. Sexual satisfaction is one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your spouse.

Look at verse 3, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence.” That phrase means you have a duty, notice the words “due benevolence," the concept is conjugal rights. For the husband, the wife has a conjugal right to you; to the wife, she has a conjugal right to her husband—“own husband, own wife,” never outside the covenant of that marriage relationship—and that you should seek to meet the sexual needs of your marriage partner in that marriage relationship. It’s so important. It’s a gift that only you can give in that marriage relationship. No one else can meet that need, no one else can satisfy that need. This is why it’s so important to be devoted to your wife, to be devoted to your husband, and to think more of their needs than your own needs in trying to meet their needs and not worrying about your own. So many people have ended in divorce court because, “He doesn’t meet my needs anymore.” “She doesn’t meet my needs,” or “We have irreconcilable differences.” Welcome to the club. Who doesn’t have differences, but they’re not irreconcilable, they’re to be complementary. They’re to be encouraging and strengthening your marriage relationships.

Tim Keller, who has gone to be with the Lord, says this in his book on marriage, “Paul is saying that marriage is the place for the satisfaction of sexual desires, that sex and marriage must be an important part of their life together, that sex should be frequent and reciprocal, one spouse should not deny sex to the other.” This is where I know it kind of gets very difficult and very touchy, and I can kind of almost feel the vibe in the room right now. Some think, I can’t believe that we’re talking about this subject, but that’s what the Bible simply teaches. I know there’s all kinds of issues that come into play in a marriage relationship. My wife and I, this Sunday, are going to be celebrating our 46th year of marriage. I tell you, I believe in miracles, that God miraculously has kept us together because of our commitment to the Lord and to one another. Amen? But you have to work at marriage. It doesn’t come easily, but the longer you’re married, the more you become one in Christ. What a blessed relationship that is.

Verse 3 means that you have conjugal rights, conjugal duties, that you should seek to meet the need of your husband, you should seek to meet the need of your wife. It’s so very, very important. Let me break this down a little further. The words “due benevolence” as I said refers to the conjugal or sexual rights. The word “render” in verse 3 is a command, and it’s in the present tense, so you keep giving, you keep meeting the need of that other person. Sexual intimacy should be a constant part of the marriage union and relationship. It’s very, very important.

Let me give you some important points. Husbands, seek to know what your wife’s needs are and commit yourself to meeting those needs. Wives, seek to know what your husband’s needs are and talk together openly and honestly and seek to meet that need of your husband in the marriage relationship. It’s so very, very important.

Write down Proverbs 5:15-19. Actually, I would really encourage you all to write down Proverbs 5 and just read the whole chapter. It’s all about sexual dangers and warnings of young men, especially young people here tonight, read Proverbs 5. Let me read verses 15-19. “Drink water from your own well—share your love only with your wife. 16 Why spill the water of your springs in the streets, having sex with just anyone? 17 You should reserve it for yourselves. Never share it with strangers. 18 Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.”

I’m going to give you another reading assignment. Read the book in the Old Testament, Song of Solomon. A year ago our marriage retreat was all through the book of Song of Solomon, and it’s a beautiful picture of the love relationship between a man and a woman, which is also reflective again of Christ and the Church. So, this sexual intimacy is a gift from God to bring unity and oneness in the marriage relationship.

Here’s my fourth point that we learn from verse 4, marital partners belong to each other, so he’s still breaking it down. You should seek to meet one another’s needs realizing that you belong to one another. Go to verse 4 once again, “The wife hath not power,”—that word “power” means authority—“of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power,”—or authority—“of his own body, but the wife.” Now, again, you can do your own homework, you can do your own study. You can look it up in your Greek Lexicon or do whatever you want. If you’re married and you’re a husband, you belong to your wife; if you’re married as a wife, you belong to your husband. That doesn’t mean that he can be abusive and do whatever he wants with you, but it means you are one—you’re not running two, you’re like two rivers that come together as a tributary to make one stream—the two become one. You need to understand there in verse 4 that you actually belong to each other, so don’t focus on your needs, focus on your responsibilities and your duties.

We don’t like to hear about that today. It’s all about my needs and meeting my needs and making me happy and what I want. But a marriage that is designed the way God wants it to be designed and will last for a lifetime, is designed to be meeting the needs of your spouse. Remember Philippians 2, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests,”—or his own concerns—“but also for the interests of others. Let this mind,”—or attitude—“be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,”—but emptied Himself—“taking the form of a bondservant. . .and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” In the marriage relationship, the husband dies to self to meet his wife’s needs, the wife dies to herself to meet her husband’s needs, so we should have honest communication with each other and seek to lovingly meet one another’s needs in the marriage relationship.

Fifthly, and lastly, verse 5, married persons should not rob or defraud each other. Look at it with me. “Defraud ye not one the other,” again, it means to rob or to steal, and it’s a command in the Greek, don’t steal from one another, “except it be with consent for a time,”—that both husband and wife agree upon—“that ye may give yourselves,”—there it is—“to fasting and prayer,”—and notice—“and come together again,”—and you do it because there’s really a devil—“that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency,”—lack of self-control. Sexual abstinence in marriage must be of mutual consent. So, you seek to meet one another’s needs. If you’re going to practice abstinence in marriage, then there must be mutual consent or agreement, not one-sided, you must both agree on it, and then your abstinence should be only for a time, notice for a period of time. You set that period of time, it’s dangerous not to do that, and it should be for the specific purpose of fasting and prayer, and then sexual intimacy should be resumed so Satan does not tempt you to fulfill your desires outside of your marriage relationship because of your lack of control.

That verse is very key to this text. Every facet of that verse is important. Sexual abstinence in marriage must be of mutual consent. Don’t use sex as a weapon. Don’t withhold sexual intimacy as punishment to your spouse. There really is a devil. Isn’t it interesting that Satan is mentioned in this text? Do you want to drive your spouse into the arms of someone else? Use sex as a weapon. I’ve seen it happen hundreds of times in my 50+ years of ministry. It’s very, very dangerous. That’s what this verse is telling us not to do and that our abstinence should only be for a time by mutual agreement set by both, and it is given a specific purpose for that—for prayer, for fasting, for seeking the Lord. Again, verse 5, sexual intimacy should be resumed because Satan wants to tempt you to fulfill your desires outside your marriage relationship.

Let me tell you, whether you’re single or married, you’re going to be tempted. You’re going to be tempted, so you must purpose in your heart that you’ll not be defiled with the food of the world or the things of the world. You must purpose in your heart in your marriage that you’ll not be defiled by trying to go outside of your marriage in many different ways to satisfy that sexual desire in your life.

When Paul says because of your lack of self-control, you need to remember two things. First, you are weaker than you think. We are weaker than we think. You need to constantly say, “If not for the grace of God, there go I.” “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” “Oh, I would never do that.” “Well, I would never go there,” or “That would never happen to me.” Be careful. Realize how vulnerable you are, how weak you can be, and keep your eyes on the Lord and depend upon the Lord.

Secondly, you need to realize Satan is stronger than you think. You are weaker than you think, Satan is stronger than you think. He is very, very sly and sneaky—he’ll set up things, he’ll set up situations, he’ll shoot his fiery darts. He’ll do all he can to get you to go outside your marriage relationship or to commit sexual immorality because he wants to destroy, kill, and ruin your life and your relationship to God. Don’t drive your mate into the arms of someone else by failing to keep God’s Word in 1 Corinthians 7.

Martin Luther said this, and I love it, “Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, let him make her sorry to see him leave.” I love that. Amen? Let’s pray.

Pastor Photo

About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our “Marriage and the Bible” series with an expository message through 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 titled, “Intimacy In Marriage.”

Pastor Photo

Pastor John Miller

November 22, 2023