Contract vs. Covenant What is a contract? An agreement between parties that agree in writing to specific terms to do something Often based upon a lack of complete trust It is legal and can be enforced in court.
Contract vs. Covenant What is a contract? Many marriages today treated only as a contract Cf. “Prenuptial agreements” – Such are sinful! (materialistic, a lack of trust, temporary marriage)
Contract vs. Covenant What is a covenant? A solemn agreement… by which two or more parties commit themselves to the rights and responsibilities demanded by their relationship and accept the consequences of breaking faith.
Contract vs. Covenant What is a covenant? From Hebrew, berith – meaning “to fetter” Found some 318 times in NKJV (292 – KJV, 321 – NASU)
Contract vs. Covenant Primarily deals with the agreement between God and His people Gen. 15:18 – Abraham Gen. 6:18 – Noah, Deut. 29:9-14 – Israel New Testament - Heb. 8:6, 13, etc.
Contract vs. Covenant Differences Covenant based upon trust – contract distrust Covenant unlimited responsibility – contract limited Covenant life long – contract can be voided by mutual consent
Contract vs. Covenant Marriage is a covenant Mal. 2:14 Prov. 2:17 Ezekiel 16:8 Eph. 5:22-33 – relationship compared to that of Christ & His church
Contract vs. Covenant Marriage is a covenant that is binding for life (cf. Rom. 7:1-3)
The Marriage Ceremony Many traditions associated with the wedding ceremony are based upon the reverence of the occasion in God’s eyes and towards one another
The Marriage Ceremony Groom enters first – He initiated the covenant White runner – the purity and sacredness of the union the wife is about to enter into White dress – presenting herself pure to her husband
The Marriage Ceremony The veil – a sign of submission and modesty “IF there be any cause” – demonstrates seriousness of the occasion Rings – symbol of unending love & devotion; a declaration to the world that you entered this covenant relationship
The Marriage Ceremony Pronouncing husband and wife – before witnesses announces the marriage has begun Guest book – a list of witnesses Marriage certificate – the legal “contract”, signed by witnesses.
The Marriage Vows The vows exchanged need to contain substance that demonstrates an understanding of the covenant they are entering into.
The Marriage Vows Vows are serious – Eccl. 5:1-5 Mal. 2:14 Deut. 23:21-23 What God has joined together – Matt. 19:6
The Marriage Vows “I __________ take you ________ to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife)” A declaration that you can and are willing to be joined to this person. You understand what you are entering into.
The Marriage Vows “To have and to hold from this day forward” to take your spouse to be your friend and companion BEFORE others (Eccl. 4:9-12)
The Marriage Vows “For richer or poorer” prosperity (or lack there of) can cause marital problems (1 Tim. 6:6-10) We will be there for one another regardless of material circumstances
The Marriage Vows “In sickness and in health” will we grow old together and take care of one another when our health fails?
The Marriage Vows Wives “To love, honor and obey” A promise to obey God by submitting to your husband (Eph. 2:22-24, 1 Pet. 3:5-6). NOTE: Is he worthy of submitting to?
The Marriage Vows Husbands “To love, honor and cherish” A promise to take care of and provide for her and your family (1 Peter 3:7, Eph. 5:25-33). NO selfishness
The Marriage Vows “Till death do us part” Marriage is for life! (Rom. 7:1-3, Matt. 19:6)
The Marriage Vows IF one were unwilling to say these things, I would be hesitant to perform the ceremony! And you should be hesitant to marry one who refuses to exchange these vows!