Friday, May 02, 2008

Single in Christ

Continuing our discussion on singleness, John Piper preached this sermon last week which I have found challenging as someone who is married with children. There are many times when I find myself idolizing my marriage and family life. I needed to be reminded once again that these things are temporary and that my relationship with Christ defines the value of my life. To be in Christ is to have God's best, it is not his gift of a husband and children.

The following is an excerpt from the sermon of which I encourage you, whether single or married, to listen to and gain wisdom.
My main point is that God promises those of you who remain single in Christ blessings that are better than the blessings of marriage and children, and he calls you to display, by the Christ-exalting devotion of your singleness, the truths about Christ and his kingdom that shine more clearly through singleness than through marriage and childrearing. The truths, namely,
  1. That the family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ;1
  2. That relationships in Christ are more permanent, and more precious, than relationships in families (and, of course, it is wonderful when relationships in families are also relationships in Christ; but we know that is often not the case);
  3. That marriage is temporary, and finally gives way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along: Christ and the church—the way a picture is no longer needed when you see face to face;
  4. That faithfulness to Christ defines the value of life; all other relationships get their final significance from this. No family relationship is ultimate; relationship to Christ is.

To say the main point more briefly: God promises spectacular blessings to those of you who remain single in Christ, and he gives you an extraordinary calling for your life. To be single in Christ is, therefore, not a falling short of God’s best, but a path of Christ-exalting, covenant-keeping obedience that many are called to walk.

If you don't have time to listen to all the sermon, here's a 5 minute excerpt:

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