Posts Tagged ‘Marriage

10
Oct
17

The Vow Of Priority

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.

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14
Feb
16

Loving Your Spouse

The latest message from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This message is part of a new series based on Dave Willis’ book, “The 7 Laws of Love.”

28
Jan
16

There Is A Resurrection

As we read the story of Luke 20:27-40, we probably have many questions about Jesus’ words.  The Sadducees were a sect of Jewish priests (Luke calls them the “chief priests”) and according to one commentary, they controlled the Jewish temple.  Apparently they did not believe in a resurrection of the dead.  This is the crux of the matter in today’s passage.  Do people live forever and ever?  Once we die, what happens?  The Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection and they wanted to get Jesus’ opinion on the matter.
In those days, if a man died childless, his wife would be passed along to the next oldest brother so that she could bear children by him.  The Sadducees concoct a story where this happens over and over again.  If there is a resurrection from the dead, they say, then whose wife will she be in eternity?  Jesus says that it doesn’t matter for in Heaven, things are different than they are here on earth.  In Heaven there is no need for procreation because people will never die.  The marriage relationship will be so much different.  It will be perfected.  The jealousy will be gone because sin will be done away with.  Imagine never fighting over money with your spouse again!  There will be no more hiding and lying.  There will be no more cheating and deception.
That is not the point of this story, though.  The point of the story is that there is indeed a resurrection of the dead.  Jesus proves it by pointing to Exodus where the Living God says that He is the God of the patriarchs of Israel.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had all long since died by the time Moses comes on the scene.  Yet, God was still their God.  In other words, they were alive and living forever!  I think that Jesus’ wise words can comfort us and help us to see that eternity does not begin at His second coming.  It appears that Paul’s words of being absent from the body and present with the Lord are true.  When we die, we go to a place of comfort and peace.  We who follow Jesus go to be with Jesus.  That is a day I am looking forward to!
PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the promise of resurrection.  Help me to hold onto that promise today.  Help me to keep my eyes on the prize of Heaven where I will one day be with You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.
Luke 20:27-40 (NIV)

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

14
Jan
15

A Difficult Passage

There are some passages of Scripture that make us scratch our heads and wonder, “What does that mean?”  Today’s passage makes me do just that.  What is meant by Paul’s words to Timothy at the end of chapter 2?  I’ve done some research into the various interpretations of this passage and let’s just say that there are quite a variety of opinions.  The majority view is that Paul is talking about traditional roles within marriage and how those roles translate to the church.  Remember that when Paul was writing, the church was a brand new thing.  There was newly found freedoms that came from following Jesus.  People discovered that everyone was equal at the foot of the cross as it says in Galatians 3:28 (NIV):

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

This soon led to difficulties in a male-dominated culture.  Women were exercising freedom that went contrary to the culture and this was hindering the spread of the Gospel.
The context of Paul’s writings in 1 Timothy 2 is within the worship assembly.  Women were to learn quietly and in “full submission” (vs. 11) to the teachers and leaders of the church.  They were not permitted to teach or positions of leadership over the men of the church in a worship gathering.  Women were permitted to teach children and other women, but as far as corporate times of teaching, they were not allowed to teach men.  In Acts 18:24-28, we see that a Christian woman (Priscilla) helped to instruct a man (Apollos) privately.
Paul’s reasoning behind these instructions regarding women goes all the way back to Genesis 3.  Paul was not a chauvinist.  He was pointing to the order of creation and the events of the fall of humanity.  Eve was created second and yet she sinned first.  Men and women have roles within the marriage relationship that have been defined by God.  The husband is the head of the household.  The wife is the helper created as a gift from God to the husband as his helper in life.  When a woman respectfully fulfills her role as the wife in the marriage relationship and lives a life of faithfulness to Christ, she will be saved.
There are a couple of takeaways from this passage of Scripture that I think are very important in light of our culture versus Paul’s culture.  First, the Bible trumps culture.  We have lost our respect for and submission to God’s Word in our churches and in our culture.  We may not like everything that the Bible says.  The world will not like everything that the Bible says.  That makes no difference as to the Bible’s claim to be the living and active Word of God.  God’s Word is God’s Word.  What He says is Truth and what He says goes.  We obey God’s Word because it is the Word of God.  To disobey the Bible is to disobey God and sin.  Interpretation of God’s Word must be done carefully and with fear and trembling.  We must not allow the culture of our world to dictate our interpretation of the Bible.  This goes for many, many issues.  God’s Word is living and it speaks eternally for all generations.  We must be careful and wise with it.
Second, I believe that men have been abdicating roles of teaching and leadership in the church for far too long.  This passage may be difficult for Christian women to hear in the 21st century.  It should also be hard for men to hear.  Why?  Because just as women are called to learn in “quietness and submission” (verse 11), it means that men are called to step up and lead and teach in the church.  Men are to be setting the example for the congregation.  Yet men are lazy and they are content to sit back and let women fulfill roles that God did not intend for them to fill.  Praise God for the women of our churches who have filled the void left by lazy, contented men!  Without the women of our churches, there would be no churches!  The women of our churches work tirelessly and faithfully while men idly sit by and do nothing.  This passage should remind the men of our churches that God has given us a job to do and we are not doing it!  Men, get your lazy selves out of the pews and take the leadership reins of the churches again!  Lead and teach the way God intended you to do.  Give the women and children godly role models to respect and from which to learn.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 (NIV)
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
18
Aug
14

There Is A Resurrection

As we read the story of Luke 20:27-40, we probably have many questions about Jesus’ words.  The Sadducees were a sect of Jewish priests (Luke calls them the “chief priests”) and according to one commentary, they controlled the Jewish temple.  Apparently they did not believe in a resurrection of the dead.  This is the crux of the matter in today’s passage.  Do people live forever and ever?  Once we die, what happens?  The Sadducees did not believe in a resurrection and they wanted to get Jesus’ opinion on the matter.
In those days, if a man died childless, his wife would be passed along to the next oldest brother so that she could bear children by him.  The Sadducees concoct a story where this happens over and over again.  If there is a resurrection from the dead, they say, then whose wife will she be in eternity?  Jesus says that it doesn’t matter for in Heaven, things are different than they are here on earth.  In Heaven there is no need for procreation because people will never die.  The marriage relationship will be so much different.  It will be perfected.  The jealousy will be gone because sin will be done away with.  Imagine never fighting over money with your spouse again!  There will be no more hiding and lying.  There will be no more cheating and deception.
That is not the point of this story, though.  The point of the story is that there is indeed a resurrection of the dead.  Jesus proves it by pointing to Exodus where the Living God says that He is the God of the patriarchs of Israel.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had all long since died by the time Moses comes on the scene.  Yet, God was still their God.  In other words, they were alive and living forever!  I think that Jesus’ wise words can comfort us and help us to see that eternity does not begin at His second coming.  It appears that Paul’s words of being absent from the body and present with the Lord are true.  When we die, we go to a place of comfort and peace.  We who follow Jesus go to be with Jesus.  That is a day I am looking forward to!
Luke 20:27-40 (NIV)

27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?”

34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”

39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

01
Jul
14

The Serious Matter of Marriage

God takes marriage and adultery seriously.  Jesus’ teachings on adultery and marriage tell us that this is so.  Here are some of Jesus’ teachings:

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.​ – Matthew 5:27-28 (NIV)​

It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.​ – Matthew 5:31-32 (NIV)​

Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.​ – Matthew 19:8-9 (NIV)​

…at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.​ – Mark 10:6-9 (NIV)​

In this passage immediately preceding, Jesus makes it clear that it is God who joins husband and wife together.  So why are we so flippant about marriage?  I believe that it is because we have taken God out of marriage.  He is the Designer and Definer of marriage.  He designed marriage to be one man and one woman for life.  That takes more than just mushy feelings of infatuation.  That requires commitment – to God and to each other.  We do not live in a world that is big on commitment, though.  We are surrounded by liars who don’t keep their word.
I recently had the honor of performing my best friend’s wedding.  Here are the vows he repeated to his wife:
I, take you, to be my wife.  To have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish until we are separated by death; as God is my witness, I give you my promise.
I think about our world today and it seems like we want to rewrite the vows.  Take out the “in sickness” and “for poorer” parts.  Take out the “God is my witness” part.  That makes me accountable to God as to whether or not I keep up my end of the bargain.
Think about the vows you repeated (or may one day repeat).  Are you keeping your vows?  Or are you looking for loopholes out of them?  God takes marriage seriously and so must we.
Luke 16:18 (NIV)
18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
10
Feb
14

God’s Design For Marriage

The message from 2/9/14 at Griffith First Christian Church.




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