Category Archives: Marriage

“From the Beginning It Was NOT So”

Matthew 19:1-9. The question posed to Jesus was controversial, meant to trip Him up. It had to do with the Law of Moses and the subject of divorce. In His response, Jesus went to the Word of God and the Beginning of time.

I. GOD: FOUNDER & DEFINER OF MARRIAGE

A. Founder (Matt 19:4-6)
1. Companionship (Gen 2:18)
2. Procreation (Gen 1:28)
3. Oneness (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:27-29)

B. Definer (Matt 19:4-6)
1. Male and female (4)
2. One male and one female (5a)
3. Complementary (5b)
4. Life-lasting (6)

II. MOSES: PERMITTER OF DIVORCE

A. Command? or Permit? (Matt 19:7-8; Deut 24:1-4)
B. Acceptable? or Unacceptable? (Mal 2:16)

III. JESUS: EXPLAINER OF MARRIAGE, DIVORCE & REMARRIAGE

A. Answer given (Matt 19:9; Heb 13:5; Mark 10:12)
B. Exception made (Matt 19:9)
C. Warning issued (1 Cor 6:18)
D. Difficulty admitted (Matt 19:10-11)
E. Cost considered (Luke 14:27-33)

God designed marriage for OUR GOOD. But it can only BE GOOD if we observe what Jesus taught on marriage. Apart from His wisdom, there is only heartache and hopelessness.

Being A Christian: The Wedding & The Marriage

We are on solid biblical ground when we suggest that becoming a Christian is very much like marriage. Paul made good use of this meaningful analogy (2 Cor 11:2–3; Eph 5:22–33) and had behind him the rich imagery of the Old Test. prophets (Hos 2:19–20; Isa 62:4–5; Jer 3:14).

When we are single, unmarried, we are free of responsibility and commitment to another. Our time is our own. Everything turns on the simple question of what we want for ourselves. Even so there is something bittersweet about that exhilarating “freedom.” It is also, we note, a freedom to be alone, unloved and unfulfilled.

Then we meet someone who makes our single freedom lose all its appeal. We realize that marriage will be costly to our independence. It will now be “we” instead of “me.” We will have to take into consideration the needs of our new-found partner in every decision. But, we say, it’s worth it! So we gladly renounce our old freedom for a higher one—the freedom to love and be loved in return, to have a companion who cares and shares life intimately with us. We, therefore, commit ourselves “to love and to cherish ‘til death do us part.” In a sense we lose our life to gain it.

When we live our lives without any commitment to God we are free to do what we please without concern for His wishes (Romans 6:20). There are no agonizing moral and spiritual decisions to make. We travel the open road of our own desires and whims. There are no entangling promises to honor. But even while the wind of freedom is blowing tantalizingly through our hair, there is a disquieting sense of guilt which hovers around so many of our free-wheeling ways. Our self-serving concerns, once so attractive, become gradually tinged with emptiness and loneliness. The things we feel “free” to do seem less and less worth doing and the further down the road we go the more death haunts the future (Rom 6:21).

Then we come to know of God in His Son—a chance reading of the Bible, a conversation with some concerned Christian—and the formless guilt in us turns specific and deep. The vague sense of emptiness becomes a yawning chasm. The love of God manages to make our free-and-easy ways seem more like slavery—a pointless freedom to self-destruct, to live life against the grain, to drive through the stumps and the thicket instead of on the road. The liberty to live with guilt, alienation and hopelessness loses its appeal and we respond longingly to the selfless love of Christ for us. As in a marriage vow, we who have so long said “No” to Him, now gladly say, “I will.” We lose our lives to gain them back again remarkably transformed (Matt 16:25). We give up our freedom to be what we please to be to gain the freedom to be what we need to be—what God in His mercy and wisdom planned that we should be.

All this comes about because we finally realize that every man must be a servant of something (Rom 6:16). Everyone who refuses to serve Jesus Christ is not thereby free. He is destined instead to become a slave to his own pride and insatiable passions. Long after the “season of pleasure” (Heb 11:25) has ended mindless lusts and stubborn self-will will keep him in bondage to a grinding necessity. The addiction to sin will continue even when one knows it is destroying him. So we begin by luxuriating in our freedom to sin and end up longing for the freedom to be good. It is that possibility of the freedom of righteousness and the true life it promises which draws us to the Son of God (Rom 6:23).

Just as becoming a Christian is very much like getting married, so being a Christian parallels the ongoing marriage relationship. The commitments of the wedding last only a moment but working them out takes a lifetime. The joy of that first moment will be tested by problems which will come to try the depth of your commitment to one another.

One of those problems may be doubt. You won’t be together 24 hours a day. How do you know your mate will be faithful and keep on loving you? Basically, because he or she promised to do so. Marriage is a relationship built on trust. When doubts about your partner’s faithfulness begin to arise out of nowhere, the relationship will soon begin to unravel.

Doubts will also arise in the new Christian’s mind about his relationship with God. Satan will be urgent in feeding every uncertainty (“Hath God said …? Genesis 3:1). “How do you know the Lord loves you?” “What makes you think the Son of God would want the likes of you?” “What makes you think you’re a Christian?” The answer is simple—because He promised! He said He loved and died for all men (John 3:16; Hebrews 2:9) and that all who truly believed in Him and sealed that faith in baptism would be saved (Mark 16:16) and united with Him (Rom 6:3–5; 7:4). Moreover, He said that He would never forsake those who came to Him (John 6:39; Hebrews 13:5) and would always be the same (Heb 13:8). When we doubt, all we have to do is look at our “marriage license.” The One who cannot lie promised (Titus 1:2) and the seal on the marriage covenant is His own blood! (Heb 9:17–18). — Paul Earnhart, Christianity Magazine, Vol. 2 #6

God’s Three Principles Of Marriage

God’s marriage law, it seems to me, is based on three principles. The three are: 1) the law of origins; 2) the law of harmony; and 3) the law of order. Disregard for these three basic marriage regulations has ramified in many different directions wreaking havoc on the home and family as God has defined it in His word. Adultery, fornication, homosexuality, child abuse–all are related to a disrespect for these three basic principles. Many other deviations which are subtler, but just as dangerous–things like feminism, the uni-sex movement, gang violence–may well be related to a disregard for these three basic parts of God’s marriage law.

The law of origins: “In the beginning” as Jesus used it in Matthew 19 is significant. It is at the heart of the law of origins. “Have you not read,” he said, “that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh?” This is further amplified in the ninth verse when he said, after having been questioned about Moses’ allowance of divorce, “Moses, because of the harness of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” I have denominated this as the law of origins.

God had a plan for man and woman from the outset, one which He expected should govern the relationship for all time. Notice that at the beginning and from the beginning it was God’s law that a man–one man–should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife–one woman. Why God allowed divorce during the time of Moses I don’t know. I do know–and that for a fact–that from the beginning it was not so. Think of all the trouble which has been caused by unconcern for the law of origins.

The law of harmony: There is a basic difference between unison and harmony. Unison means being in agreement in exactly the same way (in music, singing exactly the same notes). Harmony means a simultaneous combination which makes for agreement. In music, it is the pleasing combination of notes which make a chord. It means to be “in accord.”

We need to realize that God never demanded “unison,” but He did command “harmony” in marriage. Men, together, are unison. Women, together, are unison. Men with men is not harmony. Women with women is not harmony. A man and a woman together in God’s arrangement make harmony. Compare the idea of “they twain shall become one flesh.” They didn’t start out as one, they became one. That’s harmony. Notice, too, “what God hath joined together let not man put asunder.” They are con-joined in a harmonious relationship. Life consists of interlocking opposites. Marriage is the most beautiful one of them.

When Paul says, in I Corinthians 7:5, “Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a season,” he speaks to this harmonious relationship. The term translated “with consent” is from a Greek word sumphemi which is where we get our word “symphony,” a together sound. The law of harmony is basic to God’s marriage law.

The law of order: Paul states God’s law of order in I Corinthians 11:1-2. “Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them unto you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” This is an ordinance–what has been ordained. God is the prior person, Christ next, man, then woman. You can no more mess with this order with impunity than you can violate the law of gravity. Punishment follows the disregard for either. It’s just that the payoff is immediate in the latter and is delayed in the former.

In order for the marriage relationship to function as it should there must be respect for this role order. It’s a law, not a wish, and a law always has some punitive measures attached to it or it isn’t a law. Make no mistake about it, you violate this law and you’ll pay.

The law of order is illustrated beginning at Ephesians 5:21, (“submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of the Lord”) and amplified through the rest of chapter five and into chapter six. As it relates to man and woman it is briefly stated in such commands as “Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church….” And “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.” This is a practical commentary on I Corinthians 7:1-3. It’s God’s law of order at work.

To disregard these three laws is to invite sure disaster. The immediate punishment is seen in the loss of hearth and home and its ensuing detrimental effect on society. The eternal disaster will be even more devastating.

– Dee Bowman

The Truth About The SCOTUS Ruling

Psalm 11:1-7

The Supreme Court ruling on marriage will both drive our nation further from God and place us in conflict with our government.  Don’t Despair!  We have an anchor in God and His word.   We don’t need the nation, we need deeper faith.  This world has never been our true home.  Let’s notice some basic truths that will equip us to discuss these matters with people.

I.    LOVE: CONDITIONAL / UNCONDITIONAL

A.    God is love (1 John 4:8)
B.    God’s love is NOT unconditional acceptance (1 Cor 13:4-7; John 15:10; 1 John 3:24)
C.    God’s unconditional love sent Jesus (John 3:16; Rom 5:8)
1.    Conditions for access to His love (Acts 17:30-31; Rom 6:3-4; 10:9-10)
2.    Conditions to remain in His love (1 John 1:7-9; Jude 1:21; Rom 6:1-2; Heb 6:4-6)

II.    MARRIAGE: DESCRIPTION / PURPOSE

A.    Marriage prioritized:
1.    God – man – work – help – woman (Gen 2:18-25; Matt 19:3-9; Eph 5:22-33)
2.    Intimacy
3.    Reproduction

III.    RELATIONSHIPS: SAME GENDER / SIN

A.    Abomination: abhorrent or repugnant to God (Lev 18:22)
B.    Condemned whole cities to destruction (Gen 19:1-11; Jude 1:7)
C.    Impurity, dishonored, degrading, indecent, due penalty  (Rom 1:24-27)
D.    Will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9-10)
E.    Contrary to sound doctrine according to the gospel (1 Tim 1:9-11)
F.    Ungodly lifestyle (2 Peter 2:6)

God’s love is constant (Rom 3:24-26; Heb 2:17; 1 John 2:2; 4:10)
God’s patience grants repentance (2 Pet 3:9)
Speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15)
ALL sin is unacceptable to God (Rom 3:23; 6:23)
Everyone will be judged by Christ (2 Cor 5:10)
Repentance is necessary to salvation from sin (2 Cor 7:10)

God and His Word: An Anchor That Will Hold

  1. God reigns in unrivaled power and supremacy (Isa 46:9-10)
  2. Man is utterly wicked apart from God (Rom 1:28; 1:32)
  3. God looks with derision on the rebellion of nations, kings, and rulers (Psa 2:1-4)
  4. All human rulers and judges will give account to the one Ruler and Judge (Psa 2:11-12; Rev. 20:11-12; Gen 18:25)
  5. Any victory for sin and its propagation today will be an unspeakable defeat in the future (Jer 2:12-13)
  6. God ordained human government, but Jesus Christ built one institution (Matt 16:18)
  7. The Lord’s church shall stay fervently committed to the same plan of God (Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-19)
  8. Through faith, repentance and obedience to Jesus Christ, God’s enemies can become his children (Gal 3:26-29).