Presentation on theme: "Divine Principles Regarding Marriage North Little Rock Fall Gathering - 2007 Sunday School."— Presentation transcript:
Divine Principles Regarding Marriage North Little Rock Fall Gathering - 2007 Sunday School
Objective of Class 1.To review the scripturally provided definition of the ideal marriage 2.To discuss the characteristics that one should look for when searching for a mate 3.To review some scriptures that could be used to provide comfort and direction to married couples in their struggles after marriage. 4.We will not spend a lot of time on the variations of the marriage covenant – i.e. divorce and re- marriage of the believer; marriage between a believer and non-believer. As stated we want to focus more on the “Ideal”.
Definitions to be Used Marriage – a mutual contract, covenant or agreement resulting in the moral, physical and spiritual union of man and woman; to join in affinity; dwell together and cohabit. Fornication – Sexual intercourse of unmarried persons Adultery – Sexual intercourse where one or both parties are married to another Divorce – To separate; cut off; drive out; expel; put away; dismiss.
Basic “First Principles” Regarding Marriage –Marriage is a Divine Institution and includes a divine law (Genesis 2:18-24) that was endorsed and emphasized by Christ –Marriage is for life, not to be set aside by man (Matthew 19:4-6, Romans 7:2-3) –Fornication and adultery are sinful in God’s sight. (Galatians 5:16-19; Colossians 3:5-6; I Corinthians 6:18) –God hates putting away (Malachi 2:14-16). –The law of Christ prohibits “going to law”; that is recourse to legal action to right a (real or fancied_ wrong) – I Corinthians 6:1, 6-8.
The Marriage Standard Christ and the Ecclesia Ephesians 5:21-33 II Corinthians 11:2 Colossians 3: 18-19 Revelation 19:7-8
Food for Thought “Paul’s teaching about the wife’s submission does not in any sense conflict with his earlier exhortation to mutual submission or with the New Testament’s insistence on the equality of the sexes before God. Galatians 3:28. As an individual in need of salvation and as members of the body that is being redeemed, man has no superior excellence. … In the family, however, responsibility in major matters must rest upon the husband and when he seeks to play his apart in the spirit enjoined upon him by Paul’s later words, the truly “Christian” wife will readily accept the Apostle’s counsel. For it is no groveling, grudging subservience that is required but a willing, ready devotion. She is helped to give what is required of her by the parallel Paul draws from the Ecclesia. Her guide is the complete submission of the community of true believers to their Lord. As they are led by His wisdom in doctrine and in morals and acknowledge his headship and authority, neither rebelling nor seeking to improve upon his counsel, each wife in that community seeks to behave so in her own home.”
Food for Thought “What a love is set before us here in Paul’s second section, the husband’s love for his wife! It is no mere regularization of lust, but a challenge to transform desire into self-giving love in the most intimate relationship of life. Physical attraction alone will not equip us to meet this challenge. More is needed than idealized romantic love or intellectual sympathy or identity of tastes, invaluable though these helps may be. The flame of passion may flicker out, fidelity provides the lamp to guide our wedded feet; but only self- denying love, like that of Jesus, can help the husband to reach the exalted standard of conduct which the Apostle here implies. “For like that of Jesus, the husband’s love must be based says Paul; upon the example of Christ’s love for the ecclesia. He loved us when we were “without strength, ungodly sinners” – Romans 5:6-8 and by his love our purification and sanctification have been made possible. He loves us still, many as our faults are, if daily we are lending ourselves to his cleansing work through the Word and prayer. The love by which Jesus laid down his life for sinners and by which he still pleads for erring saints is the perfect model for the believing husband to follow. He is called to a loving care not only for his partner’s present health and happiness but also for her spiritual needs and her eternal welfare.”
Food for Thought “The supreme aspect of this concept is the resultant unity. How “ought men to love their wives”? “So as their own bodies” – Ephesians 5:28”. “Here then is the lofty ideal. The Apostle has taught us that by the creation of woman, God was not only providing for the continuation of the race and for man’s physical, psychological and social well being, but was directing our attention to His glorious purpose of achieving a perfect union between Himself and the faithful of all ages who would owe their redemption to the sacrifice of His Son. In the closest of human bonds, in the very focal point of mortal life, the believer is lifted beyond it to the contemplation of glorious spiritual truths. That which would most persuasively tie us down to earth, claiming all our interest and attention, is to be constantly penetrated by the example of Christ and to be lived as a parable of nobler things. How good it is that disciples should be taught these things before they marry and should be reminded of them on their wedding day.” End Quote. (And we could say every day thereafter.) Pages 6 - 8 – Christian Marriage – H.A. Twelves
Types and Antitypes There are several stages of the marriage procedures that were prevalent in the days of Christ that we wish to review and see how they apply to the true Groom and Bride. –The selection of the Bride –The marriage contract –The dowry –The preparation of a place for the Groom and Bride to live –The betrothal period –The waiting period before the Groom returns –The preparation of the Bride –The apparel of the Groom and Bride –The return of the Groom to take His espoused to their place of abode –The wedding procession –The wedding feast –The physical union when the Bride and Groom becomes one –The ongoing feast and the celebrations among the friends of the Groom and Bride –The Groom’s exemption from military service during the betrothal period and after the wedding
The Selection of the Bride In Biblical times, most marriages were arranged between the fathers of the groom and bride. Genesis 24:1-4; Genesis 38:6; Judges 14;1-3 Scriptural symbolism – God “created” a wife for Adam- his son –God selected a wife for the second Adam – his only begotten son John 6:44; John 6:65 - No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
The Marriage (Betrothal) Contract Most biblical marriages began without any dating or courtship, it was simply a practical legal matter established by a contract with exact procedures to follow. The bridegroom would go to the prospective bride’s home with an offer to pay a suitable price for her (the dowry). If the bride and family accepted the offer, they would drink a cup of wine and sometimes feast together to bind the contract with each other. The marriage contract was often confirmed by oaths and presents were offered to the bride. See Malachi 2:14 Scriptural symbolism – If the Bride accepts the spiritual gift that Christ offers, the bride will enter into the Everlasting covenant with the Broom and His Father. The spiritual marriage between the Groom and the Bride is a legal contract with exacting procedures, just like the natural marriage of a Jewish groom and bride. The cup of wine and the feast is symbolic of the Memorial Feast that we partake of in celebration of our marriage covenant that we have made with the Groom after accepting his offer of marriage.
The Dowry The groom would offer and pay the price (money, labor or services) agreed upon by himself and his father and the bride and her family. Hebrew word = “mohar”. Read Genesis 29:18-21, 29:22, 27-28; 34:1-12; Exodus 22:16; I Samuel 18:24- 26 Scriptural symbolism – the price that Christ paid for His bride – his own life 1 Corinthians 6:20 - For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. Matthew 20:28 - Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Ransom – the Bride’s release from her previous family) John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ephesians 5:2 - And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. 1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Exodus 19:6 and I Peter 2:9 – the bride is a peculiar and purchased people
The Preparation for a Place for the Groom and Bride to Live After paying the agreed on price to ratify the covenant, the groom would depart to his father’s property and prepare a place for the future bride and groom to live in. This preparation could take a long time, because everything had to be just right for the newly married couple. The groom’s father usually would have the final say in when the bridal chamber and future home would be ready for the bride. Scriptural symbolism – Christ has departed to His Father’s dwelling place to await the time when He will return for His Bride. John 14:1-4 - Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Matthew 24:36 - But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
The Betrothal Period What is a betrothal? Webster – to contract to any one in order to a future marriage, to pledge one’s troth (faith, fidelity, one’s self) The betrothal in the times of the Hebrews was actually a covenant. This was legally more significant than the actual wedding. See Ezekiel 16:8 Betrothal is not the same as the marriage – Scriptural symbolism – When does the Bride of Christ enter into the betrothal period? Galatians 3:26-29 –Exodus 21:8-9, Exodus 22:16 Deuteronomy 20:7 Deuteronomy 22:23-27
The Waiting Period Before the Groom Returns The Bride did not know when the Groom would return. During this waiting period, the Bride was supposed to prepare herself for the most important event of her life. Therefore, she had to be always in a ready mode, because the Groom could return at anytime. She would have her lamp full of oil, in case the groom comes in the darkness of the night. During this waiting period, she was to wear a veil so that others would know that she was betrothed to her groom. The veil was worn until the marriage was consummated. See Genesis 24:65; Genesis 29:23-25 Bride had to be patient and ever faithful that the Groom would return as he had promised. Scriptural symbolism - Matthew 24:42 - Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. –We should be consecrated or set apart from all others during our waiting period. –We can not be unfaithful to our contract, as we have been bought with a price. I Corinthians 6:19-20 –We must not faint nor falter as we learn patience during the period of the Groom’s absence. We must not be as the scoffers in II Peter 3:3-4 – Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. –We must always be ready, with our lamps full of oil. Discuss the parable of the ten virgins. Matthew 25:1-13. What does the oil represent, who are the virgins – the bride or the companions of the bride? How do we keep the lamps full? –When we come into covenant with Christ, we put on Christ. This is our veil, so that those around us know that we have been espoused to our Groom, Christ. Galatians 3:26-29.
The Preparation of the Bride The bride would spend a lot of time in preparing herself for the special night when the Groom would return. She would try to make her complexion as glossy and shining as possible. (See Psalms 144:12). Scriptural symbolism – The true bride should let their light shine before men. Matthew 5:16
Wedding Apparel of the Groom and Bride When the appointed time for the wedding arrived, the groom would dress up as much like a king as possible. If we were rich enough, he wore a gold crown. His garments would be scented with frankincense and myrrh. Isaiah 61:10; See the margin for the bridegroom decking himself. Indicates that the bridegroom would be dressed in garments similar to what a priest would wear. See also Song of Solomon 3:11 The bride would put on all the precious stones and jewels that the family had inherited from previous generations. She would be dressed in bright clothing. Psalms 45:14. The Bride’s adornment would never be forgotten. (See Isaiah 61:10; Jeremiah 2:32). She would also be perfumed and wearing a crown. Ezekiel 16:8-14. She would be wearing a bridle girdle around her waist.
The Return of the Groom to Take His Espoused to Their Place of Abode The Groom would return to get the Bride when the groom’s father declared that it was time. The groom was accompanied by his groomsmen (companions of Judges 14:11, children of the bride chamber of Matthew 9:15). As the Groom came closer to the bride’s house, someone in the groom’s party would shout out, “The Bridegroom comes”. Scriptural symbolism – Scriptures plainly state that the Lord will return for his bride. –I Thessalonians 4:16. Matthew 16:27, Mark 6:28, Could the angels that come with Christ be the groom’s companions?
The Wedding Procession The wedding procession would begin at the Bride’s house. The bride and groom would be accompanied by invited guests that went with the groom to the bride’s house. Other invited guests who did not go to the bride’s home would be allowed to join the procession along the way. The invited guests would have to carry a lamp to light the way to the Groom’s house. Without a lamp, the guests were not allowed to join the procession or to enter into the Groom’s house. The procession was marked by demonstrations of joy, accompanied by sounds of music. Psalms 45:15. Scriptural symbolism – The parable of the ten virgins – Matthew 25:1-13, Revelation 19:7-8 –We must always be ready, having our lamps lit, adorned with the right attire. Oil in the scriptures is associated with light, which is associated with the Word of God. The foolish virgins cannot obtain the word of God when the bride groom returns.
The Wedding Feast A feast at the Father’s house was prepared to celebrate the wedding and the newly married couple. The feast could only be attended by the guests that were invited by the Father. Genesis 29:22; John 2:1-10 The Wedding Feast usually lasted a full week, but could go as long as two weeks. The couple would not participate in the Feast until after they became one in their marriage. The wedding feast was usually accompanied by much wine that was provided by the Father of the Groom. John 2:1-10 Scriptural symbolism Psalms 45:9-15 – the bride and the wedding Matthew 22:1-14 Luke 14:16-24 John 2:1-10 The spiritual bride and groom would share in the wedding feast when they are joined together at Sinai and the feast would continue until the conclusion of Armageddon, when the Jewish land would be cleansed of the northern invader and the Jews would finally recognize their Messiah. Isaiah 25:6-9
Groom’s Exemption from Military Service Until After the Wedding Feast See Deuteronomy 20:7 and Deuteronomy 24:5 See John 18:36, Revelation 19:11-16
Conclusion “The true believers in Christ who have entered into a covenant with God to walk in his ways and be pleasing unto him are not left in doubt concerning God’s wishes, for he has said the “he hateth putting away”. Our entire hope is centered upon participation in the marriage of the Lamb. The ecclesia is to be the wife. “Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.” – Revelation 19:7-8. All of our heart and strength and mind should be devoted to the avoidance of anything which should besmirch our characters and make us unacceptable to Christ. As Paul said to us, along with the Corinthians, “For I am jealous over you with godly jealously: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” II Corinthians 11:2. Our marriages are types of the marriage of the Lamb with the ecclesia as we have seen in Ephesians 5. “This is a great mystery,” says Paul, “but I speak concerning Christ and the ecclesia” (verse 32). CAPCO book – “marriage – Considerations for Christadelphians” – page 12-13