"Singles in the U.S." He started with the following stats *
- Singles are defined as adults who have never been married or divorced, or are widowed
- 43% of all Americans over 18 are single
- 61% of them have never said "I do"
- 46% of American households are maintained by a single
- In 2008 over 6 households were made up of singles who were cohabitating
- About 500,000 of those households were same-sex couples
[Pastor observed that the same sex statistic seems far less than what is being portrayed by the media]
- 766,000 single grandparents were caring for grandkids in 2008
Discuss: Pastor asked the following questions that we now ask you
- What does this tell us about our American culture today?
- How do we relate as a Church?
- How do we reach them?
- When there is a mindset that marriage is no longer necessary or sacred, how does the Church relate to them without compromising the Biblical standard?
"We live in relationships and every relationship involves certain responsibilities. These relationships and responsibilities are outlined in God's Word" (p. 43).
Ephesians 5.1-2: Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (The Message)
1) To do what God does literally means "to mimic" in the Greek
2) His love was not cautious but extravagant - this is what we mimic
1) Paul repeats the term if, which is also translated "since," changing the dynamics of the verse
2) "Since" we are receiving these graces in our relationship with God, then they should become part of our relationships with others
LIVE RIGHT: Ephesians 5.3-14
1) "Living a godly life means that we live a life of love and holiness" (p. 47).
2) As children of the light, we are now separate from those in the dark (verse 8)
3) "Separation does not mean isolation, but it does mean insulation" (p. 49)
BE SPIRIT-CONTROLLED: Ephesians 5.15-20
1) The word circumspectly means to have an awareness, to be aware of our surroundings
2) Redeem the time is to purchase or take advantage of every opportunity to do what is right
Ephesians 5.18: Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (NIV)
1) To be filled or "controlled" by the Spirit is an on-going, daily control
2) "The negative is, 'Don't get drunk!' The positive is, 'Get drunk!'" (p. 51).
3) "If the Christian is going to get intoxicated with anything, it should be with the Holy Spirit" (p. 52).
Ephesians 5.19-20: Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
"Spirit-controlled Christians have a song in their heart. They know who their Lord is. They know who they are in the Lord and it comes out in their relationships with others. There is mutual love, respect, and submission" (Vernell Ingle).
* Statistics available from C.N.N. article Single? You're Not Alone (Census information)
Adapted from Vernell Ingle. (2005). The truth about the family: Biblical patterns and principles. Joplin, MO: Messenger Publishing House.
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