Pastoral Encouragement – The Work of God in Marriage – February 15, 2019

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3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
– Matthew 19:3–6 (NASB95)

When you think about the works of God, what comes to mind?  His work in creation?  His work in salvation?  His work in providence?  All of these are wonderful and true works of God for us to meditate on and rejoice in (cf. Psalm 8:3ff).  But how often when you think about God’s works, do you consider His work in marriage?

Listen to the way that Jesus speaks of God’s work in marriage with such simplicity and clarity in Matthew 19:6, “What therefore God has joined together…” (emphasis added).  Genesis 2:24 tells us that God’s design was for “a man [to] leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”  And Jesus helps us understand that this work of unifying the man and the woman is God’s doing!

In these verses, Jesus is answering a question from the Pharisees on the subject of divorce.  They were seeking to test Him (Matt. 19:1).  Jesus responds to them by quoting from Genesis (Gen. 1:27; 2:24; cf. 5:1) to remind them of what God’s design for marriage was “from the beginning” (Matt. 19:8).

If you are married, do you realize that you have already “become one flesh” with your spouse?  This is God’s work!  He is the only one who can do this!  This is not something that you have to achieve but it is a reality that you must revere and seek to nurture.

And it is also obvious from this passage that divorce is a very serious violation against the work that God has done in the marriage of a man and a woman.  But praise God that the awful sin of unbiblical divorce can be forgiven along with every other sin!  And Jesus does make a very narrow allowance for divorce in the case where there has been “immorality” (Matt. 19:9; also see Paul’s instructions in 1 Cor. 7:12-16).

Pastor George preached on this passage back in June of last year and I would encourage you to listen to that if you would like to take a more in-depth look at this passage: Till Death Do Us Part

By God’s design, marriage plays such a crucial role in the family, society, and in His church.  As elders, Pastor George and I recognize this critical role of marriage and so we want to try to provide resources and opportunities to strengthen the marriages at BBC. 

It is with that goal in mind, that we wanted to remind you of a special opportunity that you have to invest in your marriage.  On May 4, we will be hosting our annual Marriage Getaway at the beautiful Restoration Farm.  Please SAVE THE DATE and make plans to join us!  This will be an all day event (9am – 5pm approximately).

Our guest speaker for this year is Dr. Irv Busenitz.  Dr. Busenitz had a significant influence on Pastor George and myself during our time at TMS.  Here is a little more about him taken from the Grace Community Church website:

 Irv grew up in central Kansas and, after completing undergraduate studies in Omaha, Nebraska, came to California with his wife Karen to attend Talbot Seminary. During residency for his Master of Divinity studies, he served as a youth pastor and associate pastor in Downey, California. Following his seminary training, Irv joined the Bible and Old Testament faculty at Talbot, and from 1977-1986 served as the Director of their Valley Campus based on the campus of Grace Church. He became a founding member of The Master’s Seminary in 1986, where he continues as the Vice President for Academic Administration and Professor of Bible and Old Testament. Irv serves as an Elder and as chair of ECHO, while his wife Karen is active with Seminary Wives’ Discipleship Program. They have been married for over 40 years and are the parents of two married sons and six grandchildren.

His faithful and godly wife Karen will be accompanying Dr. Busenitz and we look forward to benefitting from both of their wisdom during our time together.

We hope that every married couple at BBC will be able to join us!  Please make plans to join us and stay tuned for further details.

In Christ alone,

Pastor Matt
Pastor George

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