Monday, 20 June 2016

Sermon: Marriage is Ordained of God

The use of the word Marriage in our world today is a far cry from what the Lord intended in the beginning. Our Lord corrected many false notions then existing on the subject of marriage (Matt. 22:23-30), and placed it as a divine institution on the highest grounds. The apostles state clearly and enforce the nuptial duties of husband and wife. As we read in Ephesians.

22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband
(Inspired Version New Testament :- Ephesians 5:22 - 33)

9  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10  For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11  Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
( Inspired Version New Testament :- 1 Corinthians 11:9 - 12)

Marriage is said to be "honourable" (Heb. 13:4), and the prohibition of it is noted as one of the marks of degenerate times (1 Tim. 4:3).

3  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the
4  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
(Inspired Version New Testament :- 1 Timothy 4:3 - 4)

The marriage relation is used to represent the union between God and his people (Isa. 54:5; Jer. 3:1-14; Hos. 2:9, 20). In the New Testament the same figure is employed in representing the love of Christ to his saints (Eph. 5:25-27). The Church of the redeemed is the "Bride, the Lamb's wife" (Rev. 19:7-9).

We can look at a marriage from a negative, or positive perspective. There is a sad song which expresses the collapse of a marriage. The words read like this.

The congregation sang. We knelt and prayed

As we stood before God On that beautiful day
The church bells rang And the champagne flowed
As our friends gathered 'round For the wedding photo
But here we are barely 5 years on And our whole world's falling apart.
All the plans we had together Up in smoke and gone forever Poisoned by the lawyer's letters It's over
I don't want our kids to suffer Can we talk to one another
You were once my wife, my lover It's over.

Rumours and whispers tear you apart But I know you better than that
Inseparable were we With a breeze in our sails
Now I feel the chilled wind Of a marriage that fell
And our friends are divided They've taken their sides
Now they'll all sit back And watch the circus arrive
I don't stand here tryna focus the blame But I'm hurting deep down inside
All the pain and all the grieving When did we stop believing

Too late now to stop the bleeding
It's over
What's the sense in pointing fingers Who's the saint and who's the sinner
There ain't gonna be a winner
It's over
Oh my dear, what happened to us? Tell me where did it all go wrong?
What's the use in keep on fighting? All the tears, all the crying
Why do we keep denying
It's over
In all this time I thought I knew you Don't forget our children's future
I would do whatever suits ya

In contrast to the words of this song.

I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you. I swear we've been through everything
there is. Can't imagine anything we've missed. Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do.
Through the years You've never let me down You turned my life around
The sweetest days I've found I've found with you Through the years
I've never been afraid I've loved the life we've made
And I'm so glad I've stayed Right here with you
Through the years
I can't remember what I used to do Who I trusted whom, I listened to before
I swear you've taught me everything I know Can't imagine needing someone so.
But through the years it seems to me I need you more and more
Through the years Through all the good and bad
I knew how much we had I've always been so glad
To be with you Through the years It's better everyday
You've kissed my tears away As long as it's okay I'll stay with you.
Through the years.
Through the years When everything went wrong
Together we were strong I know that I belonged Right here with you
Through the years I never had a doubt.
We'd always work things out I've learned what love's about
By loving you Through the years
Through the years
You've never let me down You've turned my life around The sweetest days I've
found. I've found with you. Through the years It's better everyday You've kissed my tears away. As long as it's okay I'll stay with you Through the years.

In closing  how blessed we are to have a knowledge of the gospel that can bring about out eternal happiness.

In the name of Jesus Christ . Amen.
Elder Peter C. Barber

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