In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul talks about a third issue, divorce. He says, "The husband must not divorce his wife. A wife must not divorce her husband." But somebody will say, "Well, what about a condition where a Christian is married to a non-Christian?" Marriage is to be a union in the Lord, and this spiritual union is possible only if both parties are Christians.

A good friend of mine, Howard Hendricks, who is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, spends a lot of time counseling Christian people. He says one of the difficulties he discovers in marriages, Christian marriages, especially among some of the young couples associated with the seminary, is that one of the spouses, usually the wife, thinks that somehow sex is not the kind of thing a godly person would do. So when the husband has a desire for a sexual relationship, the wife holds back and thinks, "Well, you know, he's young and immature yet. I suppose it's the sort of thing you have to do, but maybe as he grows in the Lord, this will become less necessary." That is a terrible thing.

The Paul who wrote about marriage to the Corinthians also wrote Ephesians 5, where he gives a really beautiful description of marriage. There he states that God ordained marriage in order to illustrate the most sublime of all spiritual truths, namely, the way the Lord Jesus Christ is the bridegroom and faithful husband of the Church, and how we, the Church, are his bride. Paul is not saying something utterly different here in 1 Corinthians. He says that marriage is good. But notice, he is not saying marriage is the only good.

We come to the seventh chapter of 1 Corinthians where Paul discusses some specific issues within marriage. The spirit of our times has made these matters - sexual immorality and the difficulties of marriage - particularly problematic. Paul found that the church in Corinth had adopted the mindset and values of the world, and we find the same mindset in the church today.

That is why we need the Deliverer. That is why we need Jesus Christ the Redeemer to break the fetters of our sin. Any Christian ought to know that. If you have come to Jesus Christ as Savior, you know that you are a sinner. Not only do you know you need the forgiveness of sins, you need deliverance from your sin. Paul says, "Then how can one who has known Jesus Christ as the Redeemer, the Deliverer from sin, enter lightly once again into sin’s clutches?" That is the point I am making. This is the opposite of another characteristic of this secular age: the belief that man is self-sufficient and perfectible.