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Sermon No: 1101-Marriage



Gavin-Paynter/20130105_Wedding.jpg

SERMON TOPIC: Marriage

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 5 January 2013

Topic Groups: MARRIAGE, FAMILY

Sermon synopsis: The Bible opens and closes with a wedding. It starts with the marriage of very father and mother of the human race. It ends with the spiritual marriage of Jesus and his bride.
R.C. Sproul wrote, 'The first negative judgment we find in Holy Writ is a judgment on loneliness. God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.'
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MARRIAGE

When defined broadly, marriage is considered a universal culture. Marriage is the process by which two people who love each other make their relationship public, legal and permanent. It is the formal joining of two people of opposite gender in a bond intended to last until death.

Our Statement of Faith defines our view on marriage as follows ("http:// agfbrakpan.com/ statement-of-faith.aspx">http:// agfbrakpan.com/ statement-of-faith.aspx):

We believe in the principle of heterosexual relationships between a natural man and a natural woman within the confines of lawful matrimony.

A Christian marriage is a couple’s public declaration of love and commitment to each other in the eyes of God.

DEFINITION

The Bible opens and closes with a wedding. It starts with the marriage of the very father and mother of the human race. It ends with the spiritual marriage of Jesus and his bride.

The first negative judgment we find in Holy Writ is a judgment on loneliness. God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” - The Intimate Marriage, p. 43 by R.C. Sproul (1939- ), American theologian, philosopher, author, and pastor.

Instituted by God

Gen 2:18-24 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” … So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Instituted by God

Despite what the cynics say, the Bible says in Prov 18:22: “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.”

Prov 19:14 Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.

Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. - Erica Jong (1942- ), American author and teacher best known for her fiction and poetry)

The greatest happiness of life it the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. - Victor Hugo (1802-1885), French poet, novelist, and dramatist.

Marriage is good

The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman’s heart. - Josiah G. Holland (1819–1881) an American novelist and poet.

Love - so naive, so immature, so unsophisticated, yet ever so charming! Every generation warns the next of the heartaches and the heartbreaks that come with this love. Yet, each generation is still eager to experience love.

There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends. - Homer, Odyssey (BC 800-701), greatest of ancient Greek epic poets.

Marriage is good

A contract

Marriage (also called matrimony or wedlock) is a social union or legal contract between people called spouses that establishes rights and obligations between the spouses, between the spouses and their children, and between the spouses and their in-laws. 1

1 "http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Marriage">http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Marriage

A covenant or contract

A covenant made before God (lasting):

Mal 2:13-16 Another thing you do: You flood the LORD’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel…

A covenant or contract

Matt 5:37 Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

God requires faithfulness in marriage:

Heb 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Meant to last

Matt 19:3-9 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Meant to last

Marriage is used by God as a picture of the relationship between God and His people:

Rev 19:7-9 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’”

Isa 62:5 As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.

It’s symbolism

2 Cor 6:14-18 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

If you marry an unbeliever you have the devil as a father-in-law. I can’t imagine worse in-law problems.

Equally yoked

Eph 5:22-27 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 1 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

1 i.e. sacrificial love

Submission & Love

Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christlike, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. - This Momentary Marriage - A Parable of Permanence, p. 80 by John Piper (1946- ), Baptist preacher and author.

To submit to anyone less than Christ is difficult in a marriage. Yet it is Christ who commands women to be submissive to their sinful, fallible husbands. In this sense Christ is the silent partner of the marriage. It is hard for a wife to submit when she disagrees with her husband. But when she knows her submission is an act of obedience to Christ and honours Christ, it is much less difficult. - The Intimate Marriage, p. 48-49 by R.C. Sproul

Headship & Submission

1 Pet 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Col 3:18-19 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

When the New Testament speaks of the church’s glory, it is speaking of its dignity. By analogy, the husband is called to give himself to the purpose of establishing his wife in the fullness of dignity. When he uses his authority to destroy his wife’s dignity, he becomes the direct antithesis of Christ. He mirrors not Christ but the Antichrist. - The Intimate Marriage, p. 57-58 by R.C. Sproul

Headship

1 Pet 3:1-5 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands…

Submission & Love

Eph 5:28-33 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Love

Marriage itself is consummated with the literal bodily union of husband and wife. From that point on, the husband should regard the wife as his own flesh. If she hurts, he ought to feel the pain. If she has needs, he should embrace those needs as his own. He should seek to feel what she feels, desire what she desires, and in effect, give her the same care and consideration he gives his own body. - The Fulfilled Family by John MacArthur (1939- ), American Evangelical Christian pastor and author

Success in marriage is much more than finding the right person; it is a matter of being the right person.

Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave. - Martin Luther (1483-1546), German reformer

Love

What higher motive could there be for the husband to love his wife? By loving her as Christ loved the church, he honours Christ in the most direct and graphic way. He becomes the embodiment of Christ's love to his own wife, a living example to the rest of his family, a channel of blessing to his entire household, and a powerful testimony to a watching world. - The Fulfilled Family by John MacArthur

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. - Robert A. Heinlein (1907-88) American science fiction writer.

Love

Wives too must love their husbands:

Titus 2:2-5 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

A good marriage is the union of two forgivers. - Ruth Graham (1920-2007), wife of the famous evangelist Billy Graham.

Love

1 Cor 13:1-8 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

1 Cor 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Love

Eccl 4:9-12 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

The third strand is God!

Ps 127:1 … Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

A cord of three strands

It often happens that when couples get their relationship to God straightened out, their relationships with one another begin to straighten out as well. - Strengthening Your Marriage, 1977, p. 125 by Wayne Mack, pastor, author, lecturer and counselor.

The Wife of Noble Character

Prov 31:10-30 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value… Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

A cord of three strands

“How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice… Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit… They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God’s church and partake God’s banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts… Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.” - Tertullian (c. 160 – c. 225 AD) – early North African Church father

A cord of three strands

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, The rains fall soft upon the fields.

May the light of friendship guide your paths together. May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home. May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.

An Irish Wedding Blessing

And when eternity beckons, at the end of a life heaped high with love, May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you the whole length of your joy-filled days.

May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands. And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts. Amen.

An Irish Wedding Blessing

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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