MARRIAGE - an outline of what the Bible teaches.

  • It is an ordinance of God.
    • God created man male and female, and gave the gift of marriage even before the Fall. Gen 1:27, 2:18-25.
    • The Lord Jesus Christ declared that men and women united in marriage are united by GOD. Matthew 19:4-6
    • marriage must not be looked upon as a useful custom, but as a divine institution. It is, not man's idea, but God's idea for men.
    • men and women are God's creatures, and have no right to enter into any relationship with each other, except marriage, which God has ordained.
    • no State has a right to have a law of marriage which is different from that which is taught in God's Word.
  • It is to be a lifetime-union between one man and one woman.
    • Its original institution makes this clear. Gen 2:18-25.
    • The words of the Lord Jesus Christ make this clear. Matt 19:3-10.
    • The Bible permits. divorce in certain cases, but only very, very reluctantly.
    • It never commands, encourages or approves of divorce.
    • In fact God hates divorce. Malachi 2:16.
    • Marriage is for life; all divorce and separation is contrary to God's order.
  • It is given for clear reasons.
    • For satisfying companionship and mutual help. Gen 2:18.
    • For the increase of the human race. Gen 1:28.
    • For the prevention of uncleanness, 1 Cor 7:9.
    • For the good of human society - the family is a tightly-knit social group, which is the basic unit of authority, love, care, and nurture. ( Whole Bible: see 10 commandment's).
  • It is a gift which has certain restrictions.
    • It is honourable and lawful in all people. Heb 13:4. The Bible does not teach that it is 'more holy to remain single.
    • A Christian, however, may only marry a fellow-believer. 1 Cor 7:39.
    • Nobody may marry a close relative - that is anybody closer than a cousin, even if that relative is only a relative of your deceased partner. ( Lev 18:6-23, 20:10-21 still applies, because it refers to permanent relationships, not to the temporary ceremonies of the Jews).
  • It is a gift which has certain rules.
    • It requires a public wedding ceremony.
    • It cannot be entered into just by private consent, but the man and wife should pledge their exclusive and life long union to each other in front of witnesses.
    • (This was the practice in the Bible; referred to many times.
    • Jesus approved of it - He attended a wedding. John 2:1-11,
    • and often referred to them in His teaching.)
    • It is unthinkable that there should be physical union of husband and wife before a ceremony is performed. see Matt 1:18.
  • It sets up a new relationship
    • It means leaving one's parents, and joining to your partner. Gen 2:24. This new relationship has priority over all previous relationships
    • ONLY in marriage may physical union of man and woman take place. This is true, even if a couple must wait a long time before being married. See Jacob's example Gen 29:15-30.
    • the act of physical union makes two people into ONE. 1 Cor 6:15-20. We are only to be united as one person with a partner to whom we are totally and exclusively committed for life.
  • Any departure from God's order is prohibited and condemned. Exodus 20:14, Lev 18:20, Heb 13:4. ( See also 2 Peter 2:6, 1 Cor 6:18 ).
    • So sacred and holy is the marriage relationship, that God uses it to picture Christ's relationship with His people. Eph 5:22-33.
    • True happiness and blessedness lies in keeping God's Word. (Psalm 1). Those considering marriage do well to remember this, as do those already joined together by God.
    • For those who have failed there is cleansing and forgiveness available in the Lord Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:9.
  • A reminder:-
    • Our aim......
      • is not to see what different people have had to say about these subjects
      • is not to see what people have done in the past, so that we can copy them.
      • is not to see what is the most convenient way for family life to be run.
      • is not to share and pool our experiences.
    • We are coming to see WHAT GOD'S WORD TEACHES - its great principles.
    • We are coming to see how things ought to be.
    • Psalm 127:1 !!

With the whole Biblical teaching on marriage in our minds, let us now look at some things that husband and wife should remember TOGETHER:-

  • Marriage is a 3-way relationship.
    • When God gave marriage to the human race, Adam and Eve were upright & holy.
    • They were in a right relationship with GOD, as well as with each other !
    • This was how God intended marriage to be.
    • He never intended that men and women should enter into the marriage relationship - and not have HIM as the CENTRE !
    • Today men and women are, by nature, against God. ( Rom 8.7).
    • In this condition they marry - and leave God out !
    • It is only by His common grace that such men and women ever enjoy any sort of harmony - for One Person in the marriage is MISSING !
    • Christians are reconciled to God, through Christ. So ONLY Christians have the possibility of enjoying marriage as God originally intended it.
    • When their relationship with God is what it ought to be, ( which means obeying His instructions for family-life), they are able to rise to the heights of marital and family happiness intended by God.
    • the unconverted can never experience this.
    • we call on them to repent and believe the Gospel.
    • the rest of this series is about CHRISTIAN marriage and family-life.
  • Some privileges a Christian husband & wife share equally
    • They are equally the creatures of God Gen 1:26-27.
    • they BOTH share this honour and dignity.
    • they BOTH are made in the image of God.
    • They are equally sinful, as fallen creatures. Rom 3:10-19.
    • they BOTH share this humiliation and depravity.
    • they BOTH are alienated from God.
    • They are equally new creations in the Lord Jesus Christ. Cal 3:28.
    • they BOTH share this privilege and standing; 1 Pet 3:7.
    • they BOTH are reconciled to God.
  • Some responsibilities which a Christian husband & wife share equally.
    • They are to complement each other. Gen 2,18-25.
    • it is the man's glory that woman was made for him.
    • it is his humility that he is not complete without woman.
    • it is the woman's glory to know that she alone can complete the man.
    • it is her humility to know that he rules over her.
    • Acceptance of these God-given roles leads to mutual esteem. Mutual esteem protects existing love, and causes it to grow.
    • Happiness is found in God's way. They are to cleave to each other. Gen 2:24.and this cleaving is only to take place in the total-giving of marriage.
    • it is God's way by which the mystery of two becoming one takes place.
    • it is not a necessary evil but a God-given and holy pleasure
    • They are to subdue and replenish the earth. Gen 1:28-29..
    • God's norm is that married life should become family-life
    • and that family-life should be the basic unit of all human life.

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