WP 105: Sanctity of Marriage

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Manage episode 286061997 series 2884712
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Marriage is woven throughout the entirety of scripture. It’s always more than a man and wife. It’s a picture of God’s covenant love for His people: Christ and the Church. A picture of the gospel.

God’s original design for human flourishing:

Genesis 1:27-28: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, 'Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'"

Genesis 2:24 - That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Throughout scripture marriage is a picture of God and His people:

Isaiah 54:5 - "For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called."

Jesus begins his public ministry/first miracle at a wedding:

John 2:1-2, 10-11 - On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding…and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.

Jesus is asked about marriage and he refers to Genesis 2:

Matthew 19:3-6 - 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 flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

The culmination of the Biblical narrative is a marriage supper between the groom and bride, Christ and the Church:

Revelation 16:6-9 - Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure,” for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

Marriage was intended for man and woman in lifelong covenant with one another in submission to God as a reflection of God’s covenant with His people and His design for human flourishing.

The unconditional commitment and love of marriage is a picture of the Gospel promise of God.

It is a loving covenant of complete vulnerability; physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, financial, and legal vulnerability.

A husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church by serving her and sacrificially giving his life for her:

Ephesians 5:25-33 - Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Wives submit to their husbands in mutual service as the husband loves the way Jesus loves:

Ephesians 5:23-24 - For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

God hates divorce as it is a breaking of the covenant relationship and picture of His love for His people:

Malachi 2:16 - “The man who hates and divorces his wife,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “does violence to the one he should protect,” says the Lord Almighty.

Matthew 19:3-6 - And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Jesus tells us that divorce is permissible when one breaks the marriage covenant by infidelity. He permitted it under these circumstances. He did not command it:

Matthew 19:8-9 - 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 sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Mark 10:10-12 - When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

The goal is always reconciliation. Reconciliation is the goal—a spirit of, "How can we work through this serious breach in our relationship?" not, "How can I get out of it?":

Galatians 6:1 - Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer* is overcome by some sin, you who are godly* should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

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