Monday, May 26, 2014

Marriage - God's Design

Last week - "Marriage is designed" - not accidental, incidental, cultural invention

IF designed, Then there's a purpose!!  ie:  designed to achieve, accomplish, bring about an intended outcome.


So, WHAT is Marriage designed to eventuate?  deliver?

#1.  Provide Companionship.  "not alone" - no friendship is comparable to what God is trying to accomplish in marriage.

#2.  establish a Partnership - "help mete" - plus " - working together in life and against life - "subdue, rule, have dominion"

#3.  provide Courtship - (romance, passion, LOVE) - "this is bone of my bone"

#4.  effect Completion (compliment, Add to, Round out)  Doesn't mean you are incomplete if not married.  But means, the Union is incomplete without Both male and female.

#5.  create a Couple - a pair, a mating pair.  Gen. 4:1 (KJV - "knew") - intimacy, need, enjoyment
Doesn't mean this can't take place outside of marriage.  Obviously, it does.

BUT, that's not God's design.  His design is within marriage, with commitment

What else is Marriage designed to effect??

#6.  Procreation - ie:  babies!!!  Gen. 1:28  (creation out of His creation)
Doesn't mean can't do this outside of marriage, BUT, God's design is within marriage!!!
Procreation is far more than just having kids.

#7.  Child raising - nurture, development within confines of home and marriage.
This is more than perpetuation of species - Mal. 2:16
Doesn't mean incomplete without kids, doesn't mean singles cannot nurture, develop, etc.
However, IF there are kids, God's plan is the best plan - nuture, etc. within marriage.  God is preparing a Kingdom of Godly people - Eternal people

#8.  Melding Together - Gen. 2:24   - 2==>1
Doesn't mean individuality is erased.  But "knit together", so.....

#9.  Staying Together - Matt. 19:4-6
Old English = "put asunder".    Mal. 2:16
Doesn't mean no place for divorce.  Doesn't mean God hates divorcees.   God understands divorce perfectly, but that's NOT His design or desire.  Jer. 3:6-8

#10.  Glorifying God.   ie:  make Him know, reveal Him, manifest Him
Point = people should encounter God in a Christian marriage.

Eph. 5:31-32 - Christ & church = model  for marriage!  Marriage is to reflect/display Christ & church


if marriage designed for this, why isn't it producing more of it? 
Answer:  SIN  (next week).  Nothing wrong with the institution - wrong with the people in the institution

Note:  we tend to ask "is my spouse providing this for me?"
We ought to ask "am I providing this for my spouse?"

Before marriage can deliver what it is designed to do, you must ...
A.  Submit to the design
B.  Submit to the designer

Monday, May 19, 2014

Family Series - Marriage

Design, Purpose, Function

Christians believe: 
#1.  in the Bible we find God's guidelines for marriage and family
#2.  When followed, practiced - marriage and family "work" better

Underlying this idea are some basic Biblical doctrines/teachings:
1)  Creation - we are not a cosmic accident, but intentional creation.  God not only created us, but designed us!!

2)  Design - we are:  intricantly, specifically, intentionally planned and formed and put together
for a:

3)  Purpose - for a reason:  to best achieve and accomplish

4)  Function - we are to operate accordingly - if we wish to achieve maximum performance and benefits..

We believe this to be true of  1)  His people   and 2) His institutions (organizations)
examples:  A.  the church   B.  marriage/family

Remember, believing God's Word about these things puts us in the minority.

BUT, how to KNOW His design?  purpose?  function?

(Answer = another basic doctrine) - Revelation:  general and specific
He has chosen to make many things known to us about Himself, His creation.  Not all things, but many things.

So, based on these doctrines,
Marriage - it's design, function, purpose

Gen. 1:20-25   Gen. 2:20-24

What is Marriage designed to do? 
#1.  Provide companionship - Gen. 2:18 "alone"- yet, more than friends!

#2.  Establish a partnership (pair up against life) - Gen. 2:18  "helpmeet" - you are created in image of God - not one of the animals. Gen. 1:26-28 - "rule and subdue"
             Gen. 2:15 - "dress and keep garden"
#3.  Provide courtship, romance - Gen. 2:23 = excitement
Song of Solomon 1:1-2, 7:10
Compare Eph. 5:25  Rev. 19:7, 21:2
This is more than friendship, companionship.  = exclusive love relationship.
Found in analogy between Christ and His church - He loves the church pursuantly, extravagantly

#4.  Complement one another ( a man and a woman) - supplement, complete one another
Doesn't mean that you are incomplete without a spouse.
It does mean that the union (institution, organization, alliance, association, firm) IS incomplete without Male and Female - has to have both to complete and to work

We are created/designed - 1) different from one another
                                         2) beneficial to one another
                                         3) dependent on one another (marriage doesn't work, can't work with one!)
Cannot have a complete marriage, complete union without man & woman.

#5.  Couple (a man & woman) ie:
     A.) to pair up - two people in exclusive relationship
     B.) couple up/MATE - sexual intimacy .... for:
               sexual needs - 1 Cor. 7                sexual enjoyment - Song of Solomon

These are things that marriage is designed to do.  However, marriage doesn't assure you of all of these.  Won't happen unless two people make it work!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Family Series - 25th. Year

Began with "Butterflies & Buffaloes" in 1989. 

Why continue with this series? 

#1.  Family is important - to God and His Kingdom, to society, to US.  According to polls taken in Money Magazine regarding the American Dream, 2 questions raised:

"Rate the most important elements of the American Dream."
#1 answer = "having a happy home life" - 97.8%
If you miss that, you have missed the Dream.

"What is the greatest obstacle to achieving the American Dream?
#1 answer - "catastrophic illness in the family

(typical of many polls)

So, why continue with the family series?
#1.  Family is important 

#2.  Instruction is needed - clearly, the desire for something is no assurance that it will happen.
Example:  stats/polls show a breakdown of marriage/family.   (ex.= divorce in USA is at "highest level of marital failure in the History of mankind - of any culture, any period of time.

#3.  We need to be reminded.  --> we are human - we forget what we learned.

So, we begin the 25th. year, because it is not enough to desire/want this, need additional things.

Prov. 14:1 - "builds" - implies Work - doesn't just happen because you want it. 
Need knowledge, application, discipline, reminding - 2 Tim. 3:16-17 - God's Word is useful for every day.
Not just for Sunday morning, Sunday School, etc.

2 Pet. 1:12

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

Luke 18:1-8

The Point:  Vs. 1 - "Always Pray & Not Give Up"

The Context:  (begins in Luke 17:20 - must know the setting before can apply the teaching) = 2nd. Coming, Establishment of Kingdom.

Before His Coming (prior to His return and establishing the Kingdom) - EXPECT
1)  injustice, unrighteousness, turmoil, unbelief
2)  delay
3)  doubts - (caused by the turmoil and the delay)

But also Expect ... His Return/Sudden Judgment and a setting right of all things!!

Illustration:  Noah - Luke 17:26-27
                  Lot - Luke 17:28-30

So, in Spite of the situation, circumstances, appearances - believers should "A.P.and N.G.Up" (always pray and not give up)

Compare:  Rev. 19:11 with Rev. 6:9-11
2 Pet. 3:3-4, 8-11

Anybody serious about following the Lord will go through these times.  Going to have to fight, fight, fight upstream and not give up.

Three Questions by Way of Application:

#1.  Is this true of prayer in general?  ( should a.p. & n.g.u)
Answer:  Yes!!  Luke 11:5-13 - text following the Lord's Prayer

Application = Luke 11:9

God does not get annoyed by persistence. - He sees, hears, cares. unlike the unrighteous judge
God doesn't avoid petitions - He will respond  - unlike the annoyed neighbor
AS a Righteous judge, AS a Loving Father
He is delighted by persistence because He's the one to whom we should go!!

Question #2:  What about "Quickly"??  - Luke 18:8
Some suggestions:  A)  suddenly - as in His Return
                              B) quickly - according to His time frame - relative term - ( 2 Pet. 3:8-11  Rev. 3:11 )

On one hand, neither answer is satisfactory.
However, must remember:  1)  Prayer Remains a mystery.  (example:  if God is omniscient, omnipotent, why pray??0
Must also remember 2)  Prayer is a mystery but = a mystery with a Promise!!
James 5:16 (b)
There is no promise that the answer will be what we want, or that it will happen when we want, just promises that it will make a difference!!

Question #3:  (posed by Jesus) - Luke 18:8 (b) - in spite of situation, appearances, delay, doubts, will He find perseverance?

Isa. 62:6-7 (after the exile) - Context = Restoration of Israel and Jerusalem.
                                           Point = "Always Pray and Not Give Up"

Promises:  He cares and He responds.  He wants us to come persistently, knowing He will make it right.