A Church Defending God’s Institution of Marriage
By Matthew Black, Pastor
Text: Mark 10:6-9, Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:6-9
Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 7pm
Tabernacle Baptist Church
7020 Barrington Road
Hanover Park, Illinois 60133
Introduction: Open your Bibles to Mark 10:6-9. We are also going to be looking quite a bit at the first couple chapters of Genesis. We continue in our series entitled “What We Believe”. We are strongly committed to guarding the doctrine of this church. Doctrine is important because what you understand in your heart about God and the Scriptures will be worked out in your life.
Tonight we come to a very practical subject. We are going to talk about how we are “A Church that Defends God’s Institution of Marriage”.
Thus far we have said:
· We are a Bible-centered Church
· We are a Trinitarian Church
· We are a Sovereign Grace Church
· We are a Biblical Creationist Church
· We are a God-Dependent Church (Trusting in God’s ultimate control of all things)
· We are a God-Awakened Church (Regenerate Church membership)
· We are a Christ-Exalting Church (Christ-centered, not man centered)
· We are a Evangelistic Church (Gospel is the Power of God that awakens men)
· We are a Evangelical (Gospel Preaching) Church
· We are a Heavenly Minded Church.
· We are a Assured Church. (We want all our members to have assurance of their salvation by looking at the work God has done and is doing in their heart).
Tonight we are looking at how we are a Church that Defends God’s Institution of Marriage. Each day it seems that a new state in America is calling marriage what God calls an abomination. Homosexuality is an abomination in God’s site. It is against nature. As believers we must be faithful to the Word of God in these days of great compromise. There are only two ways to approach this subject. You can say that the Bible is true and it is the revealed Word of God and we should live by it, or you can say that the Bible is not from God, and that we can change it like we can change any man made document. “Let God be true and every man a liar”!
God instituted the family early on in Genesis, but our reading comes from Mark 10. Let’s stand as we read about God’s institution of marriage in Mark 10:6-9. Jesus speaks of God’s instituting of marriage in Mark 10:6-9, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Marriage is under attack in our country. For the first time in history, we are having to define what a marriage and a family is. Our culture is crumbling because of the destruction of the family. We all need a reminder that when you reject God’s way, chaos and sorrow and confusion and misery follow. We have rejected God’s way. Tonight we are going to see that God’s way is the best way.
I want you to see first the Foundation of Marriage. Marriage was made in Paradise. Creation took place about 6000 years ago, not six billion years ago. On the sixth day of creation, God created man and woman, and of course you had the first marriage. Genesis 1:26, “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”. Look at verse 27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them”. We read in verse 31, “God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
We were made in the image of God, unlike all the rest of creation. There are some ways we are like God that make us different from animals. The image of God involves self-consciousness, rationality, personality, creativity, emotion, volition and the capacity for relationships. We desire a relationship with God and other human beings. Specifically, God made many human beings with a desire for marriage. Marriage was God’s idea.
I. Consider the Divine Author of marriage. We read in Genesis 2:18, “the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” We read in verse 21, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”. Marriage is God’s idea. God was the one who gave the first bride away to the first man Adam. The first marriage occurred with God Himself officiating. He pronounced them man and wife. He said this man and this wife are one flesh!
II. The Definition of Marriage was given at Creation. Now I want you to notice something so simple. Genesis 2:24 gives us the definition of marriage. It is the verse that Jesus quoted in Mark 10. God said in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” God took woman from the flesh of man and literally spoke marriage into existence. It is in this verse that God pronounced Adam and Eve man and wife.
This almost doesn’t need to be said, it is so obvious, but when God wanted to bring man into a marital relationship, He created a woman, He did not create another man, or two women, or anything else. He created man and woman and pronounced them man and wife for life! I know this is an elementary thing, but when people reject God, they become “vain in their imaginations” and their “foolish heart” becomes “darkened” (Romans 1:21).
God is the Author of the marriage covenant. He instituted it. It was made in Paradise, and He defined it. As creatures on this earth we do not need to come up with our own definition of marriage. God has already given us a definition of marriage.
God says in Mark 10:9 “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” What God has put together, we do not need to tear down and redefine! Yet our country is tearing the fabric of our society apart.
III. Let’s consider the Destruction of Marriage in our country. No one can go against that which God designed in perfect wisdom without serious consequences.
God’s Law is a foundation for humanity. How long would your house stand if you started jack hammering the foundation? The reason marriage is under attack in our country is because of a rejection of God and His Word. The world is taking a jack hammer to the foundation of this country, and they are destroying it. The solid rock of God’s revelation of marriage is being torn apart and destroyed. In its place is the sinking sand of adultery, divorce, co-habitation, promiscuity of every kind, homosexuality, and every perversion known to man.
I am not overstating what I am about to say. I have thought about it and say it in all seriousness. I believe America is in a worse state than Sodom and Gomorrah. Sodom had no Bible, but we as a country have gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah with a Bible in front of our eyes.
God’s Word is a fortress and a protection for any society. When you go against God’s Word in a society, the society falls apart. God’s Law must rule us or we will all fall apart. What happens when you reject God’s Law? Romans 1 tells us Romans 1:21, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
A. God tells us that he hates Divorce (Malachi 2:16). God hates divorce. We used to have God’s law ruling us in this country. It used to be extremely difficult to divorce in our country, but now we have “no fault divorce”. In times past, before a person were granted a divorce, they had to show harm in the marriage through adultery or some other scandalous activity.
B. God calls Homosexuality an abomination. God created male and female. A woman is different than a man, and God wants us to retain those differences.
1. Homosexuality is a sign of a reprobate mind. When a society wholly rejects God, and His Law, we have a description in Romans 1 of the wholesale unraveling and destruction of society. Consider the frightening description that resembles American society in Romans 1:21-28, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient”.
C. God hates Adultery. Not so long ago, extramarital affairs were scandalous. Today, they're viewed as the norm. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed [KOITUS-marital intimacy] undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.”
Those who pervert the purity of intimacy reserved only for marriage will be judged. Some unmarried people will say, well I love so and so, so I am going to sleep with them. That is not love! That is like putting a gun to their soul and pulling the trigger. If you love someone, then do all that you can to keep them pure!
D. Co-habitation is NOT marriage. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed [KOITUS-marital intimacy] undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” This verse shows that relations outside of marriage does not constitute a marriage. Those who co-habitate are given a name by God. They are called “whoremongers”. And those who break the marriage relationship once they are married are called “adulterers” in this verse and God will judge them both. So “shacking up” is not marriage. You may have a ring and a date, but until you say “I do” you are not married, and you have no right to defile what God has reserved for marriage alone.
E. God also has a list of abominations in Leviticus 18 including incest, homosexuality, and bestiality. These are the sins of the pagan nations. Yet it seems what God says is an abomination, our country wants to esteem.
God hates adultery, divorce, fornication, and homosexuality. This world esteems them and wants to call them “normal”. May hold fast to God’s Word and be faithful and pure. As the world seeks to destroy marriage, let us seek to defend it! We can do that by understanding God’s design for marriage.
IV. God’s Design for marriage. This society has their own ideas of what marriage is for. All the deviations from marriage seems right in their eyes. You see it doesn’t matter what is right in my eyes or your eyes. That is humanism. What matters is what is right and pure in God’s eyes. What He says is truth. So what is God’s design for marriage.
A. Marriage is for procreation. We read in Genesis 1:27-28, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth”. God wants us to raise up a godly seed. Malachi 2:15 asks why God instituted marriage. He asks, “Why did God make two people into one?” The answer is “That he might seek a godly seed.” Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.” He’s speaking of divorce. Don’t divorce, because when you do that, you are doing great damage to your ability to raise up a godly seed. You are sowing the seeds of destruction to the children’s soul.
You do not have that in any other relationships outside of marriage. You need a husband and a wife. You cannot raise up children in sodomite relationships. God would have a godly man and a godly woman raise a child. It is ungodly to bring a child into this world without a father. It is immoral. It is going to make life extremely difficult at times for your children.
B. Marriage is for partnership or companionship. That’s why God says in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” A wife is more than just a partner for the purpose of having children; she is a partner for the purpose of companionship. If you are married, then your best friend in all the world ought to be your spouse.
C. Marriage is also for pleasure. After sin and the fall of man, God still called it good and honorable. Hebrews 13:4, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed [KOITUS] undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” Any other view is a sinful view. Relations in marriage are just as holy as praying, reading the Bible, preparing a message, preaching, tithing, praying with someone about his soul, teaching a Sunday school class.
Proverbs 5:18-19 tell us that the husband is to “rejoice with the wife of thy youth” He is to be satisfied with her “at all times”. Solomon says to the husband, “be thou ravished always with her love.” A husband is to be overwhelmed with the friendship and intimacy of his wife.
Earlier in this chapter of Proverbs (in verse 15), Solomon says, “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.” The husband and wife are to be satisfied with one another and no one else.
Paul further gives us further understanding in 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency”. Incontinency is uncontrolled intimate desire reserved for marriage. One way that husbands and wives can keep marriage strong in culture is by making sure they love and serve their spouse in the marital intimacy.
D. Marriage is for purity. Most people are wired for marriage. If you sense the need to be married, and you are not yet married, then you will run into problems. 1 Corinthians 7 is Paul’s chapter on singleness as you know. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:1-2, “It is good for a man not to touch [HAVE RELATIONS WITH] a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.” He goes on to say in verse 9 that he wishes every one were single like him, but if you cannot contain your self, it is BETTER to be married. Why? Because “it is better to marry than to burn” (verse 9).
E. Marriage is for protection. 1 Peter 3:7, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life”. A single mom is still a weaker vessel. Marriage is given by God for the man to protect the wife. Spend time with her. Take care of the home. Repair the house. Also repair any tears in your relationship with your wife. If you are able, you ought to give your wife the privilege of being at home. Don’t send her out to work. Let her main responsibility be the home! Let her fulfill the biblical title that she has as a “keeper of the home”. Protect her from this world.
Illustration: On that note, let me tell you that my mother left my father after she had her own job for a while. Her main focus of the home was replaced with another focus. It wasn’t long before she had committed adultery and was divorcing my dad. The safest place for a woman is in the home under the protection of her husband. Your wife is the weaker vessel. Marriage is for protection.
F. Marriage is ultimately a picture of Christ and His Bride. Marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant commitment to His church. Christ thought of himself as the Bridegroom coming for his bride, the true people of God (Matthew 9:15; 25:1ff; John 3:29). Jesus said in Matthew 25, that He is coming again as a Bridegroom for His Bride, and His church needs to be pure and ready at all times.
Look over at Ephesians 5:25-32, “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” Now look at the imagery in verse 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.” We leave our present circumstances in the world and cleave to Christ. We are bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.
I won’t expound too much on this since we will cover this on Sunday. But every married person here tonight ought to understand the gravity of your marriage relationship. It exists to proclaim the Gospel that the Bridegroom pursues a Bride and marries her! You become one as we become one with Christ.
Conclusion: We need to guard marriage today. How do we do that?
1. If you are single, keep yourself pure. Avoid fornication. Avoid pornography or anything that would cause you to lust. That means you are going to have to avoid most magazines, because this world uses immorality to sell products. “Flee youthful lusts”.
2. If you are married, keep yourself pure, and STAY MARRIED!! Devote yourself to your spouse. Do not defraud one another. Keep yourself pure within the marriage. Be careful of the media. Be careful of the many relationships that can become very dangerous at work. If you leave your marriage, you are leaving God’s way. Destruction and misery follow when that happens. Marriage God’s way is the most satisfying and enjoyable things in this temporary life we have.
Mark 10:9 “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”