The Gift of Celibacy and Singleness

Written by admin on Jun 17, 2018 in - No Comments

What does scripture mean when it calls singleness and celibacy a gift? In this sermon, Abby explores Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19 in historical context and offers three correctives to common misconceptions about celibacy and singleness. She closes with a glimpse into the love story God is uniquely telling through the lives of those who walk as singles.

Sermon Discussion Questions

1)      Secular culture, and to a large extent church culture, have valued marriage over singleness, yet in the New Testament, one is not considered better than the other. Have you tended to think of one as better than the other? What has informed your opinion?

2)      Paul calls both singleness and marriage a gift (charisma in Greek, the same word used when talking about the gifts of the Spirit). According to the Bible, a gift is not just a special ability, but a special ability with a kingdom purpose. What are ways in which you’ve experienced or seen singleness lived out as a gift with a sense of kingdom purpose? What about marriage?

3)      In her sermon, Abby posited that God uses singleness and marriage to form us, in other words, to sanctify us. What fruit of the Spirit (see Gal. 5:22-23) has God been growing in you through your singleness or marriage? What fruit of the Spirit hasn’t been growing so well?

4)      According to Paul, one of the benefits of the gift of singleness is an undivided focus (1 Cor. 7:32–34). Have you experienced this undivided focus? Have you witnessed it in others?

5)      Jesus promises that “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life” (Matt 19:29). Have you seen or experienced this promise?

6)      If you are single, think of the people God has brought into your life who have encouraged you, helped you, or walked with you in some way as friends & family, and take a moment to thank him for them.

7)      If you are married, has God given you the opportunity to be part of the fulfillment of the Matt. 19:29 promise in a single person’s life? How might you come alongside singles in your life or community as friends & family?