Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Gospel and Marriage

Currently at Brook Hills, David is leading a series on The Gospel and the Next Generation. For the first couple of weeks we learned about Biblical manhood and womanhood as well as the importance of passing the gospel on to our children and the next generation. If you click on the link you can watch or read those sermons. They were great! Last Sunday we learned about how the gospel relates to (or is in fact central to) marriage. I just wanted to share a few notes from Dr. Bart Box's sermon on biblical marriage with you.

In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul discusses the mystery of the gospel that's seen in a marriage relationship. He says that God's purpose for marriage isn't just for us to have an earthly companion (as wonderful of an aspect as that is), but the intent is for us to display the relationship between Christ and the church (his followers/ the body of believers/ God's children).

The mystery of the gospel in marriage is ultimate. It's the main purpose for our being together (to advance the gospel and bring glory to God). And it's the main thing we need in order to have a loving, lasting, biblical marriage. We want our Savior to be exalted and others to come to know him by witnessing our gospel-centered relationship.

The wife portrays the church to the world. The mark of the gospel among wives is glad submission.

The husband portrays Christ to the world. The mark of the gospel among husbands is sacrificial love.

In order for wives to be an example of the church that shows glad submission to Christ, they must submit willingly to their husbands, they must show reverence to their husbands, and their submission must be comprehensive. If our submission is to reflect the church's relationship with Christ, then it cannot be based on our husband's worthiness of our respect. No matter how he is living- whether or not he's doing "his part"- we are to show respect and yield to him out of reverence for Christ.

Likewise, in order for husbands to be an example of Christ that sacrificially loves the church, they must love their wives unconditionally (not based on her worthiness of it or deserving of it), effectively (always leading her to the gospel and pointing her to her Savior), tenderly (as they would love themselves) and sacrificially (paying a high cost or price/ denying their self for her sake). "Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy."

Wives, we should not wait until our husband starts to be a better leader and loving spouse who is worthy of our respect and submission before we start showing it to him. Husbands, you should not wait until your wife starts respecting and following you before showing her love, patience, sacrifice and tenderness. 

I know this is a high, seemingly impossible calling, but it's the mystery of the gospel! Isn't it?! It's how God loves  us. He loved us so much while we were still in our transgressions (while we were his enemies still living in sin) that he sacrificed his Son for our sake. And Christ was so loving, selfless and submissive/obedient to his Father that he willingly sacrificed his life for our sake. It's the beauty of the gospel; the mystery of such a great love!

If we could love each other like this, then not only our children and the next generation but all other married couples and adults in this fallen, broken world would see the love of God that he has for his creation! 

And it is possible for us to do this! We have help from the Spirit of God living within us and we have God's grace which is our mercy when we fail and our strength when we are weak.

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