Marriage Basics - Part 1

Faith Church February 20, 2010 Genesis 2:18-25

 

Introduction: 

1.  Today is the beginning of a NEW series – a series that fits into our 2010 church theme: Taking the NEXT Step With Joy

- Taking the NEXT Step is great theme because it emphasizes progressive sanctification (doctrine of spiritual growth – explain ‘sanctification’ = to be set apart)

- Explain the following – 3 different aspects of being ‘set apart’ by God:

  • Positional Sanctification = our position ‘in Christ’ (where we stand with God)
  • Prospective Sanctification = what we will be when Jesus comes

> the curse of sin will be removed – John put it this way in 1 John 3:1-3

  • 1 John 3:2 …we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is.
  • Progressive Sanctification = the process of changing and growing to become more like Jesus Christ

> identifying sinful habits (through the use of God’s Word) of thinking and action that God wants to change and REPLACE them with biblical thinking & actions

> that’s done through the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of God’s Word

2.  As we go through that process, remember :

  • It’s not instant sanctification – it’s going to take some time

- you won't change overnight, but you can start changing TODAY!!

  • It’s not easy sanctification – it’s going to take some effort
  • 1 Timothy 4:7 Exercise yourself for the purpose of godliness

exercise = Greek word, gymnadzo (English word: gymnasium – describe what happens in a gymnasium – work, sweat, effort)

- it’s not “Taking the NEXT LEAP OF FAITH” but the NEXT STEP

3. Also, “Taking the NEXT Step With Joy” implies a few things:

1) Acknowledging where you are currently – we’ve taken steps to get where we are

- in some cases that might to a good position, for others, it’s a not so good position

- one of the 1st steps in solving a problem is to realize YOU HAVE A PROBLEM (if a person does not admit where they are, it's not likely they will 'take the next step' and try to make it better

- as one person put it: "People don't change till they see the magnitude of their sin"

Example: Read the 1st few verses of Psalm 51 - David uses three different Hebrew words to describe the magnitude of his sin!!

Point: He realized He had a problem AND he saw the magnitude of the problem!!

2) Acknowledges we still need to make progress – we haven’t arrived

- it’s similar to Paul’s words in Phil. 3:10-14 [READ]

- nobody has a perfect marriage or family - the issue is what is the NEXT STEP that needs to be taken to bring glory to God by thinking and acting more like Jesus Christ??

3) Acknowledges we can engage in this process without hesitation or regret

> we can it WITH JOY!

> and that’s not ‘joy’ from a human perspective, but joy from God’s point of view

4. Joy is actually a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22)

- we’re not going to be able to Take the NEXT Step With Joy if we are walking in the flesh

- in addition, If you walk in the Spirit, you will not fulfill the desires (lusts) of the flesh!

5.  Now, let’s be more specific about the application of our 2010 Theme:

6.  For the next several months, we are going to study a VERY IMPORTANT subject: Taking the NEXT Step With Joy: In Your Marriage and Your Family

NOTE: For those who are single, not married, or married but no children – this study IS for you!

  • Hopefully, this will help you to PREPARE you for marriage – to help you develop a better understanding of what it takes to have a good marriage and a strong family
  • I can assure you this: A strong marriage and family doesn’t just happen

- it takes discipline (self-control – which is another fruit of the Spirit)

- it takes time in the Word of God – as you seek God’s wisdom in applying His truth

- it takes prayer [and we’re going to do that EVERY WEEK in our ABFs!!]

- it takes a deep level of commitment to the process (a selfless, sacrificial attitude)

- and . . . it takes patience (another fruit of the Spirit) – it doesn’t happen overnight!

7.  You might be thinking: Q: Why this study? Of all subjects we could apply to our theme, why this?

Answer: * Strong Marriages and Strong Families = Strong Churches!

8.  If FBC is going to be STRONG (growing, serving, outreach, bringing glory to God), we have to have strong marriage relationships and strong families where :

  • Problems are being solved
  • Jesus Christ is the CENTER of attention – Matt. 6:33; Col. 1:18
  • The goal in life is please God by being like Jesus Christ – 2 Cor. 5:9; 1 Cor. 10:31

[OPEN your bibles to Genesis 2:18-25 - READ]

1.   For some, it would be ease to pass over this text by saying, “It is self-explanatory, already understood and accepted.”

- some may think that it’s so obvious that we don’t even need to take the time to study it

- but if it’s that obvious, then why is the divorce rate so high?

2.  However, we can see that our Corinthian-like society has permeated the thinking of many. 

- We live in a different day, and the world is saying, “We have outrun the usefulness of marriage and the family unit.”

a. We live in a day when the world is saying, "We have outrun the usefulness of marriage and the family unit." – Examples:

1)  2 homosexual's living together, adopt child, want to be called a family.

2)  Single person adopts a child, wants to be called a family.

3)  2 people in a "warm relationship" (but not married) and want to be called a family

b. Many believe there are only 2 options.

1)  Divorce or staying in a bad marriage.

2)  Because of this many kids have never seen a godly marriage.

> they are NOT getting the right opinion of God … and Christ’s relationship to the church

Q: What are some of the results of this reality?

> they lose hope that they can have a good marriage – they don’t know what it looks like

> the divorce rate is higher with them because they don’t know how to solve problems

- think about the following stats:

George Barna report: Variation in divorce rates among Christian faith groups:

Q: Guess who had the 2nd highest divorce rate? . . . BAPTISTS -- see below!

Denomination (in order of decreasing divorce rate)

% who have been divorced

Non-denominational **

34%

Baptists

29%

Mainline Protestants

25%

Mormons

24%

Catholics

21%

Lutherans

21%

** Barna uses the term "non-denominational" to refer to Evangelical Christian congregations that are not affiliated with a specific denomination. The vast majority are fundamentalist in their theological beliefs.

- on this website, I saw the stat that the USA has the highest divorce rate of any country!

> and we have on our money: “In God We Trust” – what’s wrong?

- maybe churches are NOT doing the job God called them to do:

> Great Commission:   “go into all the world . . . teaching all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Matthew  28:19-20)

Point: That ought to MOTIVATE us to be faithful to this series & invite others!!

3.  Our text tells us that "marriage is of God"; therefore, it does not need a mandate from the majority in order to make it work.

- it’s not like we have to take a vote to see if marriage is a good thing

- God already said that is was ‘very good’

- we have to admit that Gen. 3 (the curse of sin) has impacted marriage – just like it’s negatively affected ALL other areas of life and creation (which is why we have COLD weather!!)

4.  The problem is not that it cannot work, but that we have listened to the counsel of the ungodly and ignored God's basic truths.

a.  It’s not “marriage” that is in trouble, but people.

- they are solving problems in a biblical manner – they are digging into the MEAT of God’s Word … they still are at the ‘milk’ level (which is fine for a new believer – but we have to GROW STRONGER in our faith through the Word of God and get to 'MEAT' level )

READ Hebrews 5:12-14!!

-  As a result, people are having problems with marriage, parenting their children, etc.

b.  God gave marriage and He has the answers.

-  God's blue print works in 20th century and for eternity!

Recommended Resources for Further Study:

Adams, Jay.  Christian Living in the Home.

Thomas, Gary.  Sacred Marriage.

Tripp, Paul.  Marriage, Whose Dream?

Building Marriages God’s Way (Resources of Faith)

Mack, Wayne.  Homework Manual for Biblical Counseling, Vol. 2.

Mack, Wayne.  Strengthening Your Marriage.

Wheat, Ed. Love Life for Every Married Couple.

Viars, Steve et al.  Marriages That Last (audio series).

Adams, Jay.  Solving Marriage Problems.

Faith Church