Digging Deeper is a weekly Bible study usually available on Monday morning. We offer this unique spiritual formation tool to anyone who wants to receive it. Use Digging Deeper as a personal Bible study tool, for family devotions, and small group discussions. Weekly lessons are based on the current sermon series at The Chapel.
The following blog post contains notes and application questions from our April 7, 2019 message, God-Centered Contentment & Wisdom in the Circumstances of Life.
LISTEN TO THE SERMON
Don’t forget to listen to the sermon again as you work through this Sermon Based Study Guide. You can download the sermon through a variety of venue. The easiest way to listen to the sermon and get information about our church is on our church app. You can download our app by searching for The Chapel at Warren Valley in the App Store or get it on Google Play. Or you can always listen to our sermons on our church’s website http://www.thechapelnj.org/sermons
SUMMARY OF THE SERMON
Pastor Doug’s message continued our series, entitled, “The Right-Side-Up Gospel for an Upside-Down Church” from 1 Corinthians. Doug preached from 1 Corinthians 7:17-24 from his message, we see:
A-B-A format in 1 Corinthians 7
A – Paul’s advice to the married and formerly married: Preferably remain as you are (7:1-16).
B – Paul’s guiding principle: Remain in the state in which God called you (7:17-24)
A – Paul’s advice to the virgins and widows: Preferably remain as you are (7:25-40).
Principle (1 Corinthians 7:17)
Remain in light of your calling: We should be content to be where God has sovereignly assigned us.
God calls people to a relationship with Himself. He also calls them to a variety of life situations.
We are to be faithful in whatever condition God has called us to live.
We are to find contentment in God no matter the situation in which you have been called to live
Example (1 Corinthians 7:18-19)
Circumcision vs. Uncircumcision
In the ancient world, there was a significant pressure on Gentile Christian to become Jewish in their actions.
God has savingly called us to Christ in a variety of situations. If we are a Jew who is called to faith, we should not seek to be a Gentile. If we are a Gentile who is called to faith, we should not attempt to be a Jew.
What matters is not whether we are circumcised or not; what matters is faithful obedience to God. We can be faithful and obedient to God no matter the situation in which we find ourselves.
Principle (1 Corinthians 7:20)
Remain in light of your calling
Example (1 Corinthians 7:21-23)
Paul now uses the illustration of slaves. Paul is not condoning slavery as an institution.
Slavery in biblical times was very different from the slavery we experienced in the United States. Trafficking people (“man-stealing”) is sin (Exodus 21:16; 1 Timothy 1:10; Revelation 18:11-13).
The slavery of the Bible was usually because
a person was a prisoner of war
a person was seeking to pay back a debt.
Paul’s point is that whether you are a slave or a free person, you can still live a Christian life.
A Christian can, because of the power of the gospel and the indwelling Holy Spirit, possess true peace and contentment even amid very trying life situations
Principle (1 Corinthians 7:24)
Remain in light of your calling
God-centeredness produces contentment in circumstances that should never or may never change, and wisdom in circumstances that could possibly change
BRINGING IT HOME: (REFLECT, REQUEST, RESPOND)
REFLECT: QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
Read 1 Corinthians 7:17-24. What are the major themes in this section?
Paul states a principle in verses 1 Corinthians 7:17, 20 and 24. What is the principle and why is it important?
Paul gives an example in 1 Corinthians 7:18-19. What is the example? Why does Paul say that the person does not need to change their situation or circumstance?
Instead of trying to change their circumstances, what is the Christian to do based on 1 Corinthians 7:19?
Read 1 Corinthians 7:22. How is a slave, who is a Christian, a truly free person? In what sense is free person, who is a Christian, a slave?
Can you think of other circumstances that demonstrate the principle of 1 Corinthians 7:17-24?
Jeremiah Borough, in his book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, stated, “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God's wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” How is that quote similar to what Paul stated in this section?
REQUEST: PRAYER AND PRAISE
Ask God to help you to be more Cross-centered in your life
Confess and repent of any sins that are in your thoughts, words or actions that are hindering your glorifying of God.
Ask for the Holy Spirit to help you live in the forgiveness and freedom of cross of Christ.
RESPOND: APPLYING WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED
How can you love God more through what you have learned? (read, study, meditate, memorize, share)
How can you love others more through what you have learned?
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
Suggested Scripture Study: Read John 18:36; Luke 19:10; Romans 6:15-22; Galatians 5:1-3; Ephesians 6:5-8; Colossians 3:23; Philemon 1:1-25; 1 Peter 1:19