The Truth About Marriage
Posted on 03/26/2006 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.
The Psalmist wrote, "I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart, I will enter his courts with praise!" Let's put on our thankful caps and lift our voices and hearts to God in praise.
He's given us life, breath, food to eat, water to drink, friends and family even if we see them only here in the virtual world and at our local place of worship.
And he has offered us joy and peace both in this life and in the never-ending life to come, through the sacrifice of Jesus who died for your sins, and who died for mine.
What we focus on fills us with itself. If we think we don't have much to be thankful, it's because we have put our eyes on the negative until the negative has overcome us. Instead, let's put our eyes on Jesus; and with the help of his Holy Spirit, we will start to become who we were always meant to be.
Stand to your feet and click-touch the pulpit for a notecard. If you don't have any worship animations, you can click-touch the first step of the altar and receive some as a free gift.
Lord God, thank you for bringing us all here together yet another week. Thank you that you love us, every single one of us here, no matter what we've done or who we've been. As we reach out to you today, either with overflowing hearts or with brokenness, emptiness, and shame, wrap your arms of love and forgiveness around us, and let each of us know that you say to each of us, "You are important, and you are loved."
You want each one here to be a part of your family, to have royal blood flowing through their veins, to have authority over the enemy who has come to steal, kill, and destroy them, and to be filled to overflowing with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
As we prepare our hearts to worship the Great King, let's all pray this prayer together. Pray with me right where you are:
"Jesus, I come to you with nothing but my life; forgive me for my sins. Wash me clean. Give me a brand new start. Make something beautiful out of my life. I surrender my heart to you. Be the Lord of my life. Make me a part of your family. And I will serve you the rest of my life. Amen."
Let's worship the King together!
** to join in worship with us, go to livingsounds.org, find this message, and choose your connection speed **
JOYFUL JOYFUL WE ADORE THEE
Joyful, joyful, we adore thee
God of glory, Lord of love
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee
opening to the sun above
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness
drive the dark of doubt away
Giver of immortal gladness
fill us with the light of day
All thy works with joy surround thee
earth and heaven reflect thy rays
Stars and angels sing around thee
center of unbroken praise
Field and forest, vale and mountain
flowery meadow, flashing sea
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
call us to rejoice in thee
Thou art giving and forgiving
ever blessing, ever blest
Well-spring of the joy of living
ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother
all who live in love are thine
Teach us how to love each other
lift us to the joy divine
Mortals, join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began
Love divine is reigning o'er us
binding all within its span
Ever singing, march we onward
victors in the midst of strife
Joyful music leads us sunward
in the triumph song of life!
Celebrate Jesus, celebrate!
Celebrate Jesus, celebrate!
He is risen! He is risen!
and he lives forevermore!
He is risen! He is risen!
Come on a celebrate
the resurrection of our Lord!
I WANT TO BE WHERE YOU ARE
I just want to be where you are
in your dwelling place forever
Take me to the place where you are
I just want to be with you
I want to be where you are
dwelling in your presence
Feasting at your table
surrounded by your glory
In your presence
that is where I always want to be
I just want to be
I just want to be with you
Thank you Lord for loving us. Thank you Lord for forgiving us. And thank you Lord for welcoming us into your family with open arms as your own royal sons and daughters. Amen.
You may be seated as we open the Scriptures.
For the past few weeks we've been taking a close-up look at a very important message Jesus gave us. He ends this message in chapter seven by saying,
"If you hear the words I have just spoken to you and live by them, you're like a wise person who builds your house on solid rock. The rains will fall, the floods will come, and the winds will blow and beat on your house, but it will stand because it is founded on the rock.
"If, on the other hand, you hear these words I have just spoken to you and do NOT live by them, you're like a foolish person who builds your house on the sand. The rains will fall, the floods will come, and the winds will blow and beat on your house, and it will fall, and the destruction will be great."
If you have missed any of the past weeks, I urge you to point your Internet browser to livingsounds.org and listen to them.
Jesus ends this particular message by stressing the vital importance of what he had just told us, promising that if we put those lessons into practice we will stand through anything, but if we do NOT put those lessons into practice we will be weak and will fall and be destroyed.
Today we will pick up with verse 31 of Matthew chapter 5, where Jesus says,
"Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."
In the world in which we live, the meaning of marriage has been clouded by "politically correct" thinking and moral decay. Even parts of the Church have become confused and have gone along with satan's plot to destroy our families by redefining the meaning of marriage and the acts thereof.
Jesus, the author of all truth, and the one who created marriage and the desires associated with intimate and sexual union, told us the purpose of marriage, the origin of sexual and romantic desire, and their sacredness.
Let's read from Mark chapter 10, beginning with the second verse, where Jesus expounds just a bit on the issue of marriage and romantic and sexual desire.
"The Pharisees came and asked Him, 'Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?' They said this to test Him.
"And He answered and said to them, 'What did Moses command you?'
They said, 'Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.'
And Jesus answered and said to them, 'Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God "made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh" So then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'"
In this passage, Jesus condenses a universe-full of truth into one small paragraph.
The Parisees are asking about a man and a women and the legality of the two of them getting a divorce. Perhaps they already knew Jesus' stance on marriage, because we're told they were testing him, trying to trip him up.
Jesus not only answered their question, telling them divorce was allowed because of the hardness of their hearts and reminding them of the passage in Genesis which gives us the origin of marriage, he also tells them much more than they asked for.
Let's take a closer look at what he says, and then we'll open the altar for prayer.
He says, "In the beginning, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his mother and father and will be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no one separate."
Let's take these words from the end and go back to the beginning, and I pray that God will open our eyes and that any blinders placed there by the enemy to destroy us will fall away, in Jesus' name.
Jesus ends by saying, "Let no one separate." He tells us in Matthew that if we marry someone who has divorced for any reason other than the unfaithfulness of their spouse, we are committing adultery.
I'd like to stop a moment here and say that if any of you are married to someone who fits this description, or if you are remarried and you fit this description, you are indeed joined as one to the person you are with. You may have committed adultery to become joined to that person, but you are now indeed joined, and you are to remain with this person faithfully for as long as you both shall live, realizing that God removes our sin as far from us as the East is from the West. We are a brand new creation, and we are as pure and holy as if we had no past.
Jesus is pointing out here the seriousness of sexual union. Scripture tells us that, "he who is joined to a prostitute is one flesh with her." Even in the case of prostitution, you are joined as one with that person. Countless people have needed to go through deliverance because of soul ties caused by sexual relations with more than one person, and our mental institutions are filled with people who are there because of the sexual misconduct of themselves or someone else.
You see, this is an issue that goes to the very core of our being. It was designed by God to join two people together at the deepest levels so they can enjoy a pure, undefiled, intimate fellowship that can be enjoyed with no one else, making it a fellowship of the deepest joy, freedom, and peace.
From this sacred union, a family is born, and that family, nurtured, instructed, disciplined, and loved by these two who conceived them in that undefiled, intimate, blissful union, will grow up into men and women who are solid, stable, secure, and can themselves enjoy that same union they felt as a child with the one and only they will spend the rest of their life with as one.
This union is so sacred and goes so deep, that the only true divorce is either one of them having that union with someone else, which is a type of death, a destroying of the entity the husband and wife had become, or the physical death of one or both partners.
Therefore, a divorce which is a piece of paper decreed by a judge is no divorce at all, for Jesus tells us that no human can separate them, but only one of the deaths we just mentioned.
Before Jesus says the two become one and only death can truly separate them again, he says, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife."
When he says "for this reason," what is he talking about? What is the reason a man leaves his mother and father and cleaves unto his wife?
Is the reason for marriage love? Is the reason for marriage feelings? And is that love and are those feelings legitimate reasons for marriage regardless of whether the two people are man and woman, or man and man, or woman and woman?
Let's back up a few words and see what the only legitimate reason for marriage is:
"In the beginning, God created them male and female. For THIS reason, an MAN shall leave his mother and father and be joined to his WIFE, and the two shall become one flesh."
Here Jesus clearly tells us that the reason for marriage is that God created them male and female.
That's worth repeating, and we should let this sink into our spirits and be engraved upon our hearts:
The reason for marriage is that God created us MALE and FEMALE.
The enemy has gone to great lengths to destroy this sacred, undefiled, life-long union between a man and woman.
He has used television, magazines, books, and the Internet.
He has used political correctness, those who demand tollerance of everything besides the truth, and desires that are within some of us which, as are all the desires of our fleshly nature, twisted, corrupted, and destructive of ourselves and others.
Whatever method he has used to weaken, twist, cloud, and otherwise destroy YOUR view of intimate union, you can now have no doubt in your mind today of the TRUTH.
Endless studies on societies, culture, and human nature have revealed over and over that anything less than the pure union between a male and female has a destructive effect on the family. And what destroys the family destroys society.
History reveals to us that time and time again, empires have fallen as a direct result of sexual immorality. And yet we swallow the lie that the immorality with which we are comfortable isn't really that bad, or isn't immorality at all.
God wants to build us up and bring peace and joy into our lives. He loves us. He loves you. And this is why he has plainly spoken the truth to you through his Word.
The same God who spoke a word and created the universe can speak into your life and create a miracle.
No matter how hopelessly bound you think you are, there are no chains so heavy, no fetters so strong, no bondage so overwhealming that God cannot and will not set you free, if you only surrender your life into his hands.
At this time I will ask the ministry team to stand across the front, as we all stand to our feet.
Time and time again throughout Scripture, Jesus is presented as our shepherd, and we as his sheep. When one sheep goes astray, the Good Shepherd doesn't say, "Stupid sheep, serves him or her right. I hope the dumb sheep gets what's coming to it." Instead, he goes out and searches for the sheep, and when he finds you, with your permission, he picks you up, treats your wounds, and carries you home to the safety of the fold.
No matter how far you've strayed away from God and from his perfect plan for you, he is here with you today. He has found you and is asking you to let him pour healing ointment on your wounds and to take you to where you're safe.
And as your wounds heal, and as his love is poured out freely on you, you will be filled with a peace, a joy, and a strength which you never knew before.
Say yes to the Shepherd today. In your own words, speak to him now:
Jesus, thank you for searching for me. Thank you for bringing me here today, so I could hear you calling to me. I accept your help. I surrender to you. Pour your healing oil on my wounds. Take me into the safety of your care. Teach me your ways. Change my heart. Make me yours. Amen.
This altar is open for prayer. Feel free to come and kneel, or instant message one of the ministry team to talk and pray with you.
After this time of ministry we will all meet next door for a time of fellowship.
"May the peace that surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Philippians 4:7)