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Dr. O. Talmadge Spence

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Marriage: The Advisory View

Founder of Foundations Bible College
Date: Aug 31, 1986
Service Type: Sunday Evening Sermon
Text: 1 Corinthians 7:1–40
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Summary

A message dealing with marriage from the perspective of 1 Corinthians 7, covering the various questions surrounding marital difficulties.

Sermon Notes

Excerpts from the message:

“This is not embarrassing and insulting to us, but the more a couple loves each other, the less room there will be for that boy or girl to stay in the first love of their mother or father. And when a mother or father, or a mother-in-law or father-in-law want to cleave, it immediately brings in another headship in the home, and hinders the head of the new family from operating as a head. Fathers and mothers must give up their children, and gladly, so they will leave and cleave. All mother-in-laws be warned. All father-in-laws be warned. You must leave the marriage to their business, and you better leave that business alone.”

“Keep in mind that Paul`s own present unmarried state was not against marriage.”

“He had already said three times, let them marry, let them marry, let them marry. He wasn`t against marriage. He was talking about what is the best thing to do with the distressful condition in this church.”

“The present distress could make you wonder, should I have ever gotten married, when you see what is happening to couples. But I want to comfort you. Stay married.”

“I have met Christian women—I`ll tell you I`m sad by it—who have actually suggested to me, ‘My husband is not a Christian, doesn`t understand me, doesn`t do what I want to do. Don`t you think I ought to leave him?’ No. No. If you don`t have enough of Christ in your heart to live with that man, you do not have victory in Christ. I`ve met that in every church I`ve ever pastored....In the Mishna, it says he must come to bed and to breakfast. You know what that means? You can`t live in a separate room from him. You can`t have a marriage without a marriage. I`m sorry I have to say it, but there are some professing Christians that don`t know it. A husband, a wife is a full husband and a wife. That`s what they are. And this smug, sanctified attitude—‘He`s not worthy of me. I`m holy. He`s not’—this is my advice to you. You live with him. You love him especially. And don`t just always pray that God will send a lightning bolt. Ask God to love him very much and send a lot of mercy, because that fellow needs it. And you need to be the one praying for it, because you`re the one that knows it. For bed and breakfast, he is invited.”

“Do you think a church should accept members who are divorced and remarried? How does that strike you, holy saint? I know some Christians who don`t want them. The basis of membership is forgiveness by the grace of God.”

“When a couple has lived in adultery, and when a couple has been forgiven of their sins, they now must take their tragedy and turn it around to a testimony....I do not believe adultery continues in a remarried, divorced couple. I believe their sin is forgiven like a murderer, and now they must continue in the grace of God. And if that man doesn`t provide for that home, he is worse than an infidel, and if he doesn`t stick with her, he`s got a problem. So forgiven, grace saved divorce. Adulterers are forgiven. If they come to that church and sin, you excommunicate them, you get rid of them. Paul did that in the First Epistle, and they did get rid of him. In the Second Corinthian letter, they took him back. You say, ’How many times do you do that?’ Well, if you want a mathematical figure, Jesus opens up the door seventy times seven. Well you say, ‘I can`t take that.’ Well, I don`t suppose that will happen, but don`t forget, we take in thieves and liars and proud people—forgiven. But I`ll tell you it`s hard for me to measure the difference between them, and we have taken in people that never did anything wrong that split churches.”

“Should we not counsel people about these personal, private matters? No. No preacher should ever meet a woman in a room and counsel her privately. Counseling has ruined preachers. I do believe there`s a place for advice, and I am giving it tonight. This is it, lady. I`m not looking for an interview with you. I`m not looking for an interview with the husband. I will meet with you both and take neither side. But this is the advice to Christians for all those distressful cases. It`s not counseling we need, it`s advice from the Bible preached publicly.

“If a man divorces you, as a sinner, and gets saved and wants to marry you back, get married....I believe it is good for them to do it....They become Christians, I`ll take them in the church. I`ll try to be a pastor. I will help those who have been restored, remembering that I could have done it. And if any sanctified person ever forgets they could have done it, they know not what it means to have the grace of God that Christ gave to a lost world.”

“If my position is different than yours, preacher, what should I do? Be sure what you are doing is scriptural, and search it until you are as convinced as I am of mine, and then do what the Scripture says, ‘only in the Lord.’”

“Anyone of us here that gets out of the will of God can do any of these things, and lose our home. We do not have good marriages because we`re good.”