IN THE BEGINNING GOD / THE DOCTRINE OF CREATION (5)/ THE DIVINE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE
During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached from the Book of Genesis chapter two She said that we shall go and revisit the beginning of creation. The way Isaac dug Abraham’s well (Genesis 26), we want to dig our Heavenly Father’s well of eternal life! The Bible starts with four simple words: “In the beginning God…”. The Bible takes it for granted that God exists and God is the creator of everything that is created. You cannot read the Bible without faith. You must believe these words. If not, to you, the Bible looks like a foolish book.
The doctrine of creation states that creation is a miracle. God, who alone is uncreated and eternal, formed and brought into existence everything outside of Himself. He did this out of nothing, just by the Word of His power. Everything God created was very good.
Just the way Isaac went to re-dig his father’s wells, covered by the dirt of the Philistines, so we shall search for the deeper revelation found in the story of Creation. The Word of God is simple. That is why even the children understand it. But the evil spirits of religion have confused and complicated many people. This complication is a religious seduction. The intent of the devil is for us to forget the simplicity of Christ! We need to reject these demons of religion, to dig deeper and find the Water of Life, bellow, which in fact, is our Lord Jesus Christ! This process is part of the preparation for revival. As you read the story of Creation, you should have a feeling that you have heard these things in the past. But the anxiety of life, the cares of the world, the pollution of empty religion have covered the revelation. We should dig to find the water of life again! Spiritual warfare should not be strange to a believer! Jesus is Lord!
THE DIVINE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE
God gave two ordinances to mankind: To keep the Sabbath Day and the perform the institution of marriage. The Sabbath was given to preserve the Church that will be born later. Marriage was given to preserve mankind. God created marriage between a man and a woman to display His glory and for their good! Marriage is part of God’s original creation. It is an ordered, covenant relationship between a man and a woman, in the presence of God, who become one flesh, but keeping their individual personalities. Thru the marriage ceremony, the man and the woman become husband and wife. There is an order or distinction of roles within marriage. A covenant is a formal agreement between one or more people, to do or not to do something specified. Thru the marriage ceremony, the man and the woman make a covenant before God and people, acting as witnesses, that they shall live as husband and wife, for as long as they live on earth. Marriage has a spiritual, a sexual and a social component. The marriage should be between a man and a woman who are both believers in the Lord Jesus Christ! The couple pledges to serve God together, in private and in public, and to be sexually faithful to one another until death.
God created Adam from the earth. The meaning of the word ‘Adam’ is ‘The Son of the earth’. Out of Adam’s rib, God made Eve, who will be his wife. The meaning of the word ‘Eve’ is ‘The Breath of Life’. Marriage was invented by God before the fall of man. It is part of God’s original creation. There was no idea of divorce when God made Adam and Eve. God says: “I hate divorce!” (Mal 2:16). Primarily, marriage is a symbol of the relationship that exists between God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
*We see God’s image is in the plurality and unity of marriage. God said, “Let us make man in our image,” and then the text says, “male and female, he created them” (v. 26, 27). When God made man, He made a plurality. He made a man and a woman. He said they would become “one flesh” (Gen 2:24). The Trinity, they are one and yet still individual persons. When a couple gets married, they are meant to demonstrate this. Marriage demonstrates two individual people becoming “one” for the rest of their lives while maintaining their individuality.
*We see God’s image in the area of authority and submission. In the Trinity, God the Son submits in all things to God the Father and the Holy Spirit submits to both (John 5:19, 14:26, 15:26). There is perfect submission in the Godhead. In the same way, when God made man and woman in his image, there was meant to be order in the relationship. “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1Cor 11:3). God made the husband-and-wife relationship to mirror the Godhead specifically in the area of authority. Therefore, Ephesians 5:24 calls for wives to submit to their husbands in everything.
*We see God’s image in the area of love. “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8). Husbands love your wives! The submission of the wife happens in a perfect loving relationship with her husband. Throughout eternity, the Godhead has always dwelled in a perfect relationship of love and authority. The Father loves the Son and the Son willingly submits to the Father. The Father does not oppress the Son and forces Him to submit. He loves the Son, and within this perfect love, the Son submits to God. The Holy Spirit loves and submits to both. The husband is called to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25-27). How did Christ love the church? He died for her! He also teaches her the Word of God. The husband must love his wife sacrificially and lead his wife spiritually. He leads his family to a Bible preaching church. He leads family devotions. He is the pastor of the home. He serves his wife and edifies her with his words. The wife honors him as her head and submits to him in everything (Col 3:18).
This is a redemptive picture of the gospel. With so many troubled marriages ending in divorce, the glory of God has been greatly dimmed. It is no surprise that so many people doubt God’s existence or are falling away from him. In marriage, it should be our desire to reflect God and bring glory to him since that was his original plan. The Biblical marriage is between one man and one woman. God must be at the center. Marriage on earth is a symbol of the marriage between Christ and His Bride (Eph 5:22-33). Marriage is a mystery. The ideal marriage is between two believers in Christ. It must have spiritual foundation to have eternal value.
What is God’s plan and purpose for marriage?
1-To serve God together; to agree in prayer and worship God together! The main purpose why God created the institution of marriage is so that both husband and wife are holy. In the original pattern of marriage, holiness comes before happiness. Happiness is a by product of holiness.
2-For Companionship and love
The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’ (Gen 2:18). God has put a deep desire in mankind for intimate companionship. Adam named all the animals but did not find one that is suitable to him. This is when he felt lonely. God made a helper to him, comparable to him. No animal can be a mate to a man. In Hebrew, the word ‘helpmeet’ means someone who can stand face to face with man, who can be his mate or counterpart. The word ‘helper’ in Hebrew is ‘ezer’. It is the same word used for the Holy Spirit!
God gave the gift of singleness to some to allow for a deeper devotion to God and his work (1 Cor 7:32). Many singles (Like Jesus, Paul) have accomplished great work for God. But this gift is not for everyone. God wants most people to have a mate: someone to fellowship with, to dream with, to serve God with.
3-The Couple will Make a New Family Unit with God at the center
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). In Hebrew the word ‘leave’ means to let go of. The word ‘cleave’ means to catch by pursuit, to cling by force. “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD” (PV 18:22). It is the man who does the seeking. He is “the hunter”. The woman prepares herself to be found by him. Both have a part to play in the dating process and marriage later. God said that a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife. In marriage, a couple is starting a new family unit. This does not mean that they are no longer their parents’ children, but it does mean that the priorities of a man and woman have changed. Their priority must now be their marriage. They are always called to honor their parents and even care for them in old age (1 Tim 5:4, 8), but they must honor their spouse first. Even Jesus left His Father to come to earth to find His Bride. his is the pattern for a successful marriage: The man and the woman must LEAVE – TO CLEAVE – SO THAT THEY BECOME!!! The man must leave the authority of his parents to go and cleave to his wife. The new unit called marriage has a stronger bond than the natural relationship between parents and children. To marry, there is a change of authority! The woman leaves the authority of her parents to go and submit to the authority of her husband. Without ‘leaving’ there is no ‘cleaving’ and therefore there is no ‘becoming one’.
3-To Raise Godly Children
God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1:28). “Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth” (Malachi 2:15). God’s command for people is to be fruitful and multiply. It is not just children he wants but godly children. One of the parents’ highest purposes is to teach their children the Bible, to help them grow in character, and to help them find their spiritual gifts and calling in serving the Lord. The bond between the husband and wife is stronger than the bond between parents and children. As parents, we train our children to know and serve God. We also prepare them to leave our nest to go and marry. There is a time to hold and there is a time to let go. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Pv 22:6)
4-To Establish and Build His Kingdom
After telling Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, God told them to have dominion, to subdue and rule over the earth. They were to be co-rulers over God’s creation and to be stewards of it. A godly marriage is a powerful weapon for the kingdom of God. The powerful prayer of agreement works best in the marriage. Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt 19: 18-20). They build the kingdom through raising godly seed, corporate prayer, service to God’s church, missionary and evangelism of the world.
JESUS AND MARRIAGE. Jesus affirmed, honored and commended Marriage. His every allusion to marriage not only reaffirms it but strengthens it. Although He is clear that marriage is a created institution for this world (Luke 20.27), He is also emphatic that it is an honorable institution to be respected by all (Matthew 19.6; Luke 16.18).
“The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘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.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.” His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.” (Matt 19:3-12)
According to our Lord, the greatest hindrance to a successful marriage is the hardness of heart. This hardness is a sin quite common even among the believers. The heart is the center of the feelings, of the total personality. Unconfessed, unrepentant sin hardens the heart (Heb 3:7-11). The hardness of heart is defined as an un-sensitive heart, merciless, stubborn, un-teachable, harsh, wicked, and cold blooded. Religious hypocrisy leads to hardness of heart (Mk 8:13-21). We repent and reject every form of hardness of heart! Holy Spirit take control! In Jesus’ name! Worship the Lord!