Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 1 month ago

Principles for Marriage

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

1 Corinthians 7:7-39

Our heavenly father, we thank you thatwe can abide in you and that we can dwell in your house for ever. We thankyou that you shepherd us through the trials and difficulties of this world, a many that they are, and we ask thatyou would continue to do so. Even now, as we come to the reading and preachingof your word, we asked that by it you would direct our paths that you wouldhelp us to know and to better understand your will and your way thatwe might follow after you and not only in our specific actions, but in ourhearts and our minds. We ask that you would help us to do this and by thestrength that we have in Christ who died for us and for has forgiven oursins. We pray this in his name on men. Please be seated, let's turn in our bibles to FirstCorinthians chapter, seven, First Corinthians Chapter Seven! So in this passage Paul deals with anumber of questions concerning marriage. I'm going to read I'm going to readfrom verse six, I'm six through the end of the chapter. We considered the first first five verses in anearlier sermon and encourage you to ask me questions about that or listen tothat online. If you're able- and I did want to mention that there isa lot that is covered here in this chapter, I thought it would be helpfulto kind of get all at one time because it does hold together, but becausethere's so much I will be doing q and a after the service. So if anyone wouldlike to stay after some snacks around eleven, a D fifteen we'll meet back inhere and if there's any follow of questions that you'd like to ask, we can do that. I'm looking forward tothat with you for now, let's give our attention toGod's word. First Corinthian, seven beginning at verse, six now as a concession, not a command. Isay this. I wish that all were, as I myself am, but each has his own gift from God, oneof one kind and one of another to the unmarried in the widows. I saythat it is good for them to remain single as I am, but if they cannotexercise self control they should marry for it is better to marry than to burnwith passion to the married. I give this charge not I, but the Lord. Thewife should not separate from her husband, but if she does, she shouldremain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband and the husband shouldnot divorce his wife. To the rest, I say I not the Lord thatif any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever and she contents consents tolive with him. He should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who isan unbeliever and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce himfor the unbelieving husband is made holly because of his wife and theunbelieving wife is made holly because of her husband. Otherwise, yourchildren would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy, but if the unbelievingpartner separates, let it be so in such cases, the brother, a sister, is notenslaved. God has called you to peace, for how do you know? Wife, whether youwill have saved your husband, how do you know husband whether you will saveyour wife? Only let each person lead the life thatthe Lord has assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is myrule. In all, the churches was any one...

...at the time of his call alreadycircumcised. Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision was any oneat the time of his call uncircumcised. Let him not seek circumcision, forneither circumcision counts for anything nor UNCIRCUMCISION, butkeeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition inwhich he was called. Were you a bond servant win cold, do not be concernedabout it, but if you gain your freedom, avail yourself or if you can gain yourfreedom, avail yourself of the opportunity for he who was called in the Lord as abond servant is a freed man of the Lord. Likewise, he who was free when he wascalled when he when called, is a Bond Servant of Christ. You were bought witha price, do not become bond servants of men, so brothers, in whatever conditioneach was called there. Let him remain with God. Now concerning the betrothed,I have no command from the Lord, but I give my judgment as one who, by theLord's mercy, is trustworthy. I think that, in view of the present distress,it is good for a person to remain as he is. Are you bound to a wife? Do notseek to be free? Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife, but if you domarry, you have not sinned, and if a betrothed woman marries she has notsinned yet those who marry will have worldly troubles, and I would spare youthat this is what I mean brothers. The appointed time has grown very shortfrom now on. Let those who have wives live as though they had none and thosewho mourn as though they were not mourning and those who rejoice asthough they were not rejoicing and those who buy as those as though theyhad no goods and those who deal with the world as though they had nodealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away. I wantyou to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about thethings of the Lord. How to please the Lord, but the married man is anxiousabout worldly things, how to please his wife and his interests are divided, andthe unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord,how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious aboutworldly things how to please her husband. I say this for your ownbenefit, not to lay any restraint on you, but to promote good order and tosecure your undivided devotion to the Lord. If any one thinks that he is notbehaving properly toward his beloved or betrothed, if his passions are strongand it has to be, let him do as he wishes let them marry. It is no sin,but whoever is firmly established in his heart being under no necessity buthaving his desire under control. He has determined this in his heart to keepher as his betrothed. He will do well. So then he who marries his betrotheddoes well and he who refrains from marriage will do even better. A wife is bound to her husband as longas he lives, but if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom shewishes only in the Lord. Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remainsas he is as she is, and I think that I too have the spirit of God. Man, God bless his word to us. So here in our passage is I mentioned,and this is totally obvious from what I read Paul Talks about marriage right.He talks about it a lot he talks about being married and being unmarried andhow we think about each situation and what he does is he walks us throughvarious scenarios, various life situations in which you might findyourself in, and he helps us think, each one in the various categoriesabout who should get married and who shouldn't. So. If you're looking for advice onthis topic right now, it would do you...

...well to pay attention, but even if you're, not this passagehas great value for you for one. Knowing God's will in these matters cangive you the tools that you need to prepare for the future or perhaps fixsomething in the present or perhaps help someone else in their situation.It's never a bad thing to know what God's will is on just about anything. Another reason it might be a benefit toyou is this Paul's discussion on marriage here is agreat example of how Christians ought to think through any of life'simportant choices. Now, of course, some of what he says here is specificallytied to marriage and some of what he says is even more specifically tied tothe church as it is in Corinth, but nevertheless the way he thinks the wayhe argues and reasons morally about these life choices is it provides anexample for us about how we can think, through other things, even not relatedto marriage and there's lots that we can learn from his example and hisguidance here. The third thing I'll mention is that Paul takes marriage asmuch as it is here, and he places it in a bigger context. He puts it in aBieger perspective that helps us to know God better. So let's consider now the core of whathe's saying about marriage, and it begins with the question that I didn'tread, but it is found in verse. One and I'll read that now the question comesas kind of a thesis statement right. If you remember in school, your teachersmake you right, you know your thesis statement and then you have to defendit. Paul is given a thesis, and these askedwhat he thinks about it and here's the thesis and Verse One. It is good for aman not to have sexual relations with a woman. So that's the thesis. It is goodfor a man not to have sexual relations with a Womanto R. False right is, itwould be the question and Paul doesn't answer that way. His answer is, itdepends, as most good moral reasoning does answer. So what Paul says is simply this, while in most cases this is true in thecontext of marriage, it's not true. It's not good to refrain from maritalintimacy in marriage and in versus two through five to review from what wecovered. Previously, it's not only good, but it's necessary that a husband andwife give themselves to each other and not deprive one another. You know thatin life there are things that belong only in one place, though you might beable to use them outside of that place outside of their intended context. Youwould perhaps ruin them or do damage to other things. Imagine you had a veryexpensive set of dishes. That was only used for avery specific purpose in a very specific time, and you tell your kid toset the table and you find them pulling all the expensive stuff and throwing itout on the table like no that's grandma special dishes. We don't use that hereright sure you could use them for that purpose, they're capable of holdingfood, but that's not what they're for and that's why they're captain aspecial cabinet in a special place. Another example might be a judge'sgavel right: it's not a hammer, it's perhaps capable of hammering things,but it's not a hammer. It's a gavel. It even has a special name. It has aspecial form. It's put kept in a special place. Marital intimacy is like that sure the physical act of touching inthese ways can be done outside of marriage, but when it does happen thatway, it debases the thing and it causes all kinds of problems,...

...because, like the gavel or like the setof China or or marital intimacy, has a special place and a specialpurpose, and when it's used for that good things happen. We consideredbefore how it creates a bond between a husband and wife. It renews and creates this covenant ofone flesh in which each is for the other, and it creates children whichare in a way the one flash to becoming one, and for these reasons, maritalEnites is wonderful and good, but then we get to the end of versefive and we find out that Paul has more to say about the answer. To thisquestion: Is this thesis true? He affirms itsgoodness in a certain place, but then he has more to say- and he says this inverse- Six. He says now as a concession, not as a command. I say this and thisis what he says. I wish that all were as myself am and he clarifies what hemeans by that in verse, eight when he says it is good for them to remainsingle, as I am in other words, Paul wants us to know that, though those sexwithin marriage is a good thing that doesn't mean that everybody shouldget married. In fact, he says singleness is preferable, it's thebetter option and he wishes it for everyone, but he's very careful in theway that he says it notices the distinctions that he makes. He iscareful, though he prefers it and from an apostle that carries a lot of weightand he'll, give reasons for that, though he prefers it, he doesn'tcommand it for everyone. Why? Well? He has several reasons. Oneis that it would undermine what he just said about marriage if he were to nowcommand everyone to be single, but the reason that he gives that comes inverse, six rather in verse. Seven is this: Each has his own gift from God, one ofone kind and one of another, so Paul can say. While I wish thatevery one were single, I think there would be really great things about that. He says in another way. I don't wish it because everybody has their own giftfrom God, and it is right that each an act according to that gift. So then that leads us into this longsection about. Well now let Paul who should marry and who shouldn't bemarried, who should stay single and who should seek marriage, and he lists a whole bunch of differentcategories. Let me let me list some of those foryou now Paul addresses single people who havenever been married. He Address as single people struggling too controlsexual desire. He talks to married people. He talks to married peopleswhose spouses want to leave them because now they've become Christians.He talks to married people whose spouses have died. He talks about topeople who are about to get married and also to people who are about to getmarried but are not being chased in the period of their engagement. So, depending on how you divide thesethings up they're somewhere between six to seven eight, maybe differentcategories of people that he's mentioned. So what's the right thing todo? Well, it depends right. A lot of things in life are like this are lifechoices. They depend on the situations we find ourselves in now. Some of us are in I'd, say all ofus are in one or another of these situations. Some of us have beenthrough a few of them. Paul has something to say for everyone here andlet's go through these different categories and think just how does heanswer the question? So what I'll do is...

I'll address each category and pulltogether the various verses that we find throughout the chapter? In whathis answer to that question is all right. Here we go so the first one. Areyou unmarried and able to remain unmarried? Are you able to control yourdesires? If that that's the question, the answeris, then you should, if you are unmarried and able to remain unmarriedthan you should stay single. That's not because marriage is bad.Paul, says in verse. Thirty six! It is no sin, but because being free from theobligation of marriage allows you to give yourself more freely to God, andperhaps others as well. We also see and for seven that Paul as we've read Paul,prefers singleness in verse, eight. He says to the unmarried and the widows. Isay that is good for them to remain single, as I am in verse. Thirty eight.He sums up, and he says he who marries his betrothed does well and he whorefrains from marriage will do even better in verse, Twenty Six twenty six.He says. I think that in view of the present distress, it is good for aperson to remain as he is now. This, of course applies to married people, butit applies to single people too. Let me pause just here and talk about whatthis present distress is. There was a famine. There were multiplefamons and food shortages during this time, and so there was a lot of stressin the world you can read, you can imagine what famine would do and youcan read in both in the New Testament outside ofthe New Testament. What happens when there is food shortages? We experienced something not too longago, where we didn't have a shortage, but it was difficult to get right. Wewent into the grocery stores that there was no milk, there were isles withempty things and how did that have? How did that? Go where people calm and relaxed andpeople just take what they needed and share it? A lot or did it create a lot of stress andanxiety and frustration and confusion. Food shortages can cause riots, foodshores, cause anarchy, great disruptions, all kinds of things happen,and during this time in Corinth in particular, there were food shortagesand it was not good. We have records of one wealthy person, basically bailingeverybody out. I believe I, for I think it was he Iforget whether he provided the grain or he sold it at a low cost, but he haddone this multiple times, and we know this because they are inscriptions tothis man, I'm all over, that we find in the city of Corinth during this time,multiple times and in a way that wasn't received by any one else. For Him beingthis benefactor and basically saving saving the city. It was a stressful,stressful time and so people in the middle of this bigstressful time or asking what about marriage I mean. Is this agood time to get married and Paul says better to stay where you are better toremain, as you are in a broader way, not tied to the particular presentdistress in verse? Twenty eight, he says those who marry have worldlytroubles and I would spare you that by worldly troubles he doesn't meansinful things. He means things of this present age, things that are passingaway and then, finally, in verse, Forty tothe widow who decides not to remain Marr or not to remarry. He says in myjudgment, she is happier if she remains as she is. I think Paul adds in my judgment thereis a way to qualify a statement just a little bit. He doesn't know everysingle widow that ever has been or ever will be and their particular situationshe's speaking in a broad way of to a...

...broad category and says it is myjudgment that this is typically how things are. She would be better to meas she is well. This is the longest of thesesections and it reminds us how much and perhaps a way that might surprise youhow much emphasis Paul puts on the preference for singleness. If you haveever doubt that this is the case, I'm just take a look at these verses andsee what he says. singleness is not a second classcategory for Paul. It's not a problem or a thing to be avoided. At all costs.Paul says it's great you'll be happier you'll, be fear from will the troublesgo for it if you can do it, this is a good thing and a gift from God. So for this category of people, if youare unmarried and able to remain unmarried, go for it, do it it's a goodthing. That's what the Scripture says. The next category deals with unmarriedpeople who are struggling, however, to control their sexual desires and tothem Paul says you should get married. So in verse, nine he says if theycannot exercise self control they should marry, for it is better to marrythan to burn with passion in verse. Thirty seven, he says those who remainunmarried are those who can keep their desire under control in verse. Thirty six Paul is well getto in a minute, speaks to those who have who are engaged to be married but arenot being chased in it and he says, get married, it's not a sin, not theirfornication. That's a sin, but getting married is not a sin and they should doit and then again in verse, two thousand a eights. He says if you domarry, you have not sin, and so you notice the balance here. Just as Paulemphasizes his preference for this state of singleness, he doesn't makeunmarried people feel like they've done something sinful. In fact, he says twotimes explicitly. You have not sinned. He tells us that it is a good thing andnot something to feel bad about or guilty about. Marriage is God'sordinance and we do well. He says to get married all right next up. Are youmarried? What do you do then? Stay married? That's what Paul says a verse.Twenty six! I think that, in view of the present distress remain as you are,as we mentioned in verse, Ten, he says to married. I give this charge not I,but the Lord. The wife should not separate from her husband and thehusband should not divorce his wife, the in verse, Twenty Nine. He says awife is bound to her husband as long as he lives, and that applies to husbandsas well, and when we are to be married, weshould not take a part of what God has put together next. What if someone leaves you ordies? He says, then you are free to remarry the first part about being leftspecifically. He applies to a specific question that they have and that's thisquestion of conversion right, so imagine that you are married, you'reliving with your spouse and neither of you trust or follow Christ, and thenone of you becomes a Christian. Does your identity in Christ, as your nowbeing owned by him, belonging to him change your relationship with yourspouse in such a way that you should divorce? That Person Paul says noremain married and he gives various reasons for that which we won't go intonow, but he says remaine married. This is in versus twelve through sixteen. I remain married, but if your spousesays I'm out, I don't want anything to do with this. I'm not willing to remain,then you are free to remarry.

Similarly, he says that in verse,Thirty Nine and following that, if a spouse dies, a person is free to remarry. Now what if you are engaged to bemarried and you become a Christian or you'reunder this present distress? Should you call it off right and Paul says no remain as you are goahead and get married, you have not sinned. So he says this in verse.Twenty seven, if you're bound to a wife- and he doesn't mean here that you are already married but boundto marry this person- that's what he means if you're bound to a wife do notseek to be free. Are you free from a wife? Do not seek a wife, but if you domarry you have not sinned and if a betrothed woman marries she has notsinned, but then he says, whoever in verse,Thirty Seven. Whoever has a step who is firmly established in his own heartbeing under no necessity but having again his desire under control. He hasdetermined this in his heart to keep her as both his betrothed. He will dowell now, when Paul says, keep her as hisbetrothed. He doesn't mean keep her in a perpetual state of engagement right.That's not a good thing right, don't marry her. Just if you he's not sayingif you've decided that you don't need to get married, just keep herconstantly engaged. That's not what he's saying that would be cruel. Not The word herefor betrothed or or couldn't means means something like of marable age,someone who is unmarried, sometimes it trans translated is engaged sometime asvirgin sometime as young woman, but basically he's saying let her remain inthat state keep her not as your own, but do not marry her. Essentially, ifyou have decided that you can be single and would do well, you can remain as you are or or stay unmarried now. What if you are engaging inunchaste ways if you are having sex while you are engaged and Paul says, get married sex outside of marriage issin, but getting married is not and again that goes back to this principleof dealing with our desires in proper ways all right there we made it through. Wewent through the different categories that Paul mentions and we talked aboutthe advice that he gives under each now. That's a lot right, and if this is thefirst time you've heard it that can be a lot to take in it can feel kind ofoverwhelming kind of hard to hold in your head all at the same time. That's okay! It's there! You can goback to it. You can read it again, but take this away and I'll give you asummary as well. First of all remember that varioussituations require very different responses. We ought to be sensitive tothat. It's an important part of wisdom and so take that away with you takeaway the sense of aught, it's important for me to be sensitive to my situationand then to think about that. According to the principles of God's word, and ifwe were to summarize all the advice together, we might say something likethis: If sexual immorality is getting youinto trouble, then you should get married and put sex in its proper place.It's no sin to get married. Indeed, it's a good thing and you do well, but if it's not necessary, you do wellto remain single and in fact it's even better so than he who marries hisbetrothed does well and he who refrains from marriage does even better.

So this are the rules that Paul gives.This is the guidance that he gives now. All that we have had so far givesus a lot of help, but in addition to giving these specific guidances orfools Paul gets underneath them and gives them gives us the reasons why he helps us to understand the reasonsbehind them and we do well to get them into our system. What is guiding these decisions? ARETHEY RANDOM? Are they just Paul's? You know, I think this and I think that-and this seems like a good idea and that doesn't or is there some kind ofdeeper moral logic that is leading him to each conclusion in each of thesesituations? Well, it's the latter. Paul has a way of viewing the worldaway, that a Christian way of viewing the world that he wants us to adopt. There's a lot of different situationshere right, but you know what there's even more and more specific things youmight say. Well, yeah! I see myself in this category, but what about this? Andthis and this? How do I decide about those things? Paul doesn't give meexplicit instructions. The scripture is certainly complete in everything thatit tells us, but it's not exhaustive. If the Bible told us the exact rule forevery situation, can you imagine how big that book would be, how impossibleit would be to read and to memorize and know that, so God doesn't tell us every singlething that we ought to do in every single situation. Infinite number ofthings. So, instead, what he does is he gives us a framework for how to thinkabout life, so that then adopting that framework and adopting on theseprinciples that accorded with our situation thataccord with Realitye as it is that accord with what God, who God is andwhat he is doing. We can then go and we can make wise decisions even insituations that he doesn't explicitly addressed address. So what odd? What are those things andwill conclude with this one of the big ones that the the riverwhich all of these streams and washes like, are flowing down this water shedto is expressed in the latter part of this chapter? Hesays in verse, Thirty Five, I say this for your own benefit, not to lay anyrestraint on you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivideddevotion to the Lord, to promote good order and secureundivided devotion to the Lord. This corresponds to what he says beforeabout each one of US living wisely according to the own gift that we have. When this happens. This or this happenswhen a single person is not burdened by marriage and when the married person isnot burdened by a burning desire in this, both married people and singlepeople find freedom and greater devotion to God. This is the big thingthat he's after that, we, together as a Church of people under the name ofJesus Christ, are single minded undivided in our devotion to God and sand promote among ourselves and in our lives good order. Paul says in Colernies Colossians, twoD D, fifteen that he rejoices at seeing this among them causans to five. Hesays for though I am absent in the body. I am with you in spirit rejoicing tosee your good order and your firmness of your faith.

So we think about how we make thisdecision or that decision. Ask Yourself, am I rejoicing at these things? Am Iaiming at these things? Am I looking to live my life according to good orderand undivided devotion to the Lord? How important are those two things to you?Is there one or the other that you tend to ignore some of us? I think some of us aredevoted to good order, but in a way that misses the point of the order,like always keeping your house clean, but never really enjoying it. Others say they are devoted to God, butdon't really show that in a consistent way, because they don't devote or ordertheir time and their space in ways that they need to. In order to show thatdevotion to God we're not really devoted to order orwhat I should say, we're not really devoted to God. If we are live lives ingood order, if we don't put him first, are we devoted to good order? You seethe way that these things go together, it's not one against the other, butlike a good marriage, they go together. So this is Paul's goal here is appliesto intimate relationships in the church and as we keep that in mind, not our culture, not our feelings inthe moment, not anything else, but God first and what he wants and live ourlives in an orderly and devoted way to him. That's what Paul's, after how do we do that, though? How do weachieve that? Big Goal and Paul gives us if I could put itthis way and summarize some of the things he says he gives us four steps? The first is that we believe what Godhas given each our own gift and in their own way we take account for things as theyreally are in our lives. If you struggle controlling your passions andyour desires be honest about that, don't act like that's not the case,just be honest about it and, if you don't just be honest about it, just be wiseto how things really are be wise to your present circumstances be wise tothe situations that you find yourself in if you're in the middle of a presentdistress notice, it pay attention to it and then live your lives accordingly. The second thing that we do is weremain open to change notice. How Paul says this in relationship to bondservants? He says if you're, a Christian and you're a servant, a slaveor a bond servant don't seek to you. Don't have to immediately changethat because of your Christianity, but if you had the opportunity to get freego ahead and do that because that's a good thing freedom is a goodthing right,so notice. How Paul says, respect the situation that you're in but be open tothe fact of change, especially when change leads to better things. Ourlives are not static. Our lives are full of change. Things are constantlymoving and shifting relationships are changing. We need to be prepared forthat. We need to be open to that and ready to move toward God in orderlyways, as he calls us to, and the final thing that we wouldremember it relates to both of things that have come before is that thesepresent states, partly because they're changing so much,don't really count for too much, at least in the ultimate scheme of things,and because of that we ought to live our lives accordingly. Paul says somepretty controversial is perhaps one way to putit things when he says in verse, Twenty Nine. This is what I mean brothers.

The appointed time has grown very shortfrom now. On he's talking about the time between now and when Jesus returnsfrom now on, let those who have lives live as though they had none. What is Paul saying right, he just toldus that it's good to get married and stay married and devote yourself tothem, and you all these obligations to them and now he's saying live as thoughyou weren't married. It helps to read on he says and knows who mourn asthough they weren't mourning and those who rejoice as though they weren'trejoicing and those who buy as though they had no goods and those who dealwith the world as though they had no dealings with it. So, as Paul saying out of two sides of his mouth, be awareof your reality and respect it and then ignore your reality and disregard it. No, he sang two different things, notopposing things. He saying pay attention to the situation that youwere in, but remember, but keep it in the larger perspective, and we knowthat because of the way, he concludes the reason that he gives at the end ofverse. Thirty one for the present form of this world is passing away. It'smuch like we find throughout the rest of the scriptures. It's not wrong toearn money, it's good to earn money, but don't store it up in storehouses.thinking, that's going to save you from everything or or the trials and tribulations thatwe often want to be saved from don't think that those are going to lastforever. Don't think that the thing that you'resuffering under the state that you're in is going to be the way it always is life change as life moves. The presentform of this world is passing away and God is going to bring something solidand stable and complete at the end, and so hold things whitly get married, be married, be a greatspouse. Do well, but don't treat your spouse as a god. Don't treat your spouses, though, thatmarriage and that relationship is going to save you from everything, becauseyou know what it won't or don't think that okay, that's good,I'm not struggling with sexual desires. I can remain single and,in my singleness I will repeat: Re reach some sort of perfect a holy statein which I will be single mindedly devoted to the Lord and all will bewell with no problems in my life. No, it's passing away. It's passing a way.We need to respect the gifts that God has given us enjoy the stations that weare in, but not cling to them as though they were God himself, as though therewasn't something greater coming and with that frame work. With thatthing in mind, we can approach all kinds of life situations whether itshould I marry or should I not, should I get this job or should I not onwhat's the next move in this situation? If we think about the end in mind, ifwe think about who god is and what he's after, if we think about the thingsthat are coming in relation to the things that are, if we think about thethings that are as they really are, we begin to get wisdom about. The world. Wisdom is about operating from from principle according to truth, according to reality, as it really iswell, physical reality, providential, more reality and moralreality. I'll give you a good example and thenI'll close a wood worker who tries to make a wood bench out ofplastic he's nott operating according...

...to reality. He is not a wise skillful.woodworker he's not even working with wood right. You don't get to make awood bench out of plastic. He's not wise he's a fool. This is this is what we are talkingabout when we're talking about living life wisely according to reality, butthere's also a moral reality that he has to respect. If he takes hiswoodworking skills and he creates a really excellent idol, he has not donewell. He has not acted wisely sure he has made a beautiful object, but onethat is abhorrent to God, and so he, a good wordworth one that is faithful tothe Lord, takes account of both of these things. The world, as it reallyis the moral order, as it really is. Our problem is that we're all fools our problem is that we're stuck in oursins. Our problem is that were controlled by our desires, and thispresent world holds us. It enslaves us and the devils always whispering us inour ear saying this is all there is. This is all there is grasp cling holdfast, don't let go, and so we need a saviour to point US outside of the things inlife under this sun, outside of just the law and a moral order to a hope,that's a beyond those things. If we are to truly live for God, wehave to put all of this wisdom in the perspective of the Gospel, because otherwise we just get clobberedby it. We hear the law that we ought to do this and this and this and do itwisely, and we say I'm undone, because I'm already a mess. I'vealready put myself in all kinds of bad situations. I see no clear way out the forget that the guilt of my sins ispiling up and we feel crushed what God does for us in Christ. Is He removes that guild from us? He takes it away and he puts it on hisown son who dies, though he was not guilty on across, to forgive us our sins, to release us to service. He creates a relationship through hissacrifice on the cross that allows us not to be battling and at war with God,all the time constantly going against the grain, but have new hearts that love him frominside. How does that happen? How does that happen? It happens whenthe spirit of God comes into our lives and changes our hearts through themessage that Jesus has come to. Forgive us our sins and lead us into a lifethat is beyond the things that are passing away. The scriptures tell us that when we putour faith in Jesus, we put our faith in something that is beyond the Sun. Weput our faith in the one who made the sun. We put our faith in the one who is fromeverlasting to everlasting the one whose steadfast love in tours forever. The Gospel removes our enmity with Godso that we can respect his gifts instead of fighting against them,ignoring them, despising them or worshipping them, but just respectingthem when Jesus removes are fighting againstGod and he creates a stability and peace with him. We can take food andmarriage and singleness and and dancing and music and all kinds ofthings and just enjoy them for what they are not as gods,...

...but it's from God. The Gospel allows us to be open tochange when we clamor after the things of thisworld, when we make them our only hope when we fear them, above all, thingswe're not trusting the Gospel, but the good news of Jesus. That ease comes tosave us from all that and establish US permanently in him and when we're established permanentlyin him, we can relax. We can say so: There's apresent distress, so there's a family. So there are foodsort ages. So there's whatever, and sometimes that's really hard, really really hard and really scary,and that's when we have to remind ourselves over and over and over ofwhat God has done. We have to remind ourselves- and we have to be remindedby him- that things are going to be okay, that the sufferings of thispresent time as paulsays are not even worth comparing to the eternal weight of glory that isto be revealed when our Lord returns. It's not even worth compared like tostop, in other words right. If you try to take your present sufferings andcompare them to what's coming in heaven and in Christ. Well, just stop it's noteven worth spending the time, because the difference is so vastly great. Whatan encouraging thought that is, and that comes to us because of what Jesusis done for us, Jesus in being our husband and we, the bride as his church inloving us, the way that he did in becoming one flash with us as he hasand joining us into his one body. He allows us to live in this world this temporary world in a temporary way and know that we are going to havepermanent things happy things pleasurable things in the love of God in Christ. For Ever So, my encouragement of my charge toyou beloved is look at this world and be wise to it, but also look to thethings to come. Look to God who has entered in this into this world, torescue you from the passing things and know that when you put your trust inhim, you will be saved from the things that are passing and you will know howto act wisely in them as well. A God give us the grace to do all this.In our marriages, in our singleness and in other places, let's pray, our heavenly father. We thank you foryour wisdom to us and we ask O Lord that you would renew our hearts andrenew our minds according to your word that we might move forward according towisdom, wisdom not only of this world, but thewisdom that is from above a wisdom that takes into account not only the law butthe Gospel too. And let us trust you, Lord, for the forgiveness of our sins.Let us not be broken down and enslaved to the things of the past, but insteadlet us repent of them and turn into new life in Jesus Christ. Turning away fromthe things that once ate US alive and enslaved us to enslaved us to death and turned toJesus in the living way that was is provided in him. We ask a spirit that you would renewour hearts that we might love you as we ought thatwe might honor and glorify you as the one, true God not tracing after thethings of this world, not fearing the things of this world more than we ought,but instead o lord seeing you in all things seeking to devote ourselves to you in every wayand living in good order. As you grant...

Lord. There are many trials andstruggles that we deal with. Many of us came in here this morning with greatheartaches and Sadnesses, regrets and troubles in our minds. We ask Lord thatyou would speak to each and every one here in their own particular situationthat they might be freed through the Gospel to the joys that Hap that arefound in in Christ that we might that we might all live in this world, as youhave called us to do, and look forward to that which is to come. We pray thisin Jesus name, Amen,.

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