The state of marriage is in serious decline. Perhaps perilously near extinction, some say. Divorce rates skyrocket. Sin abounds. What, then, is there to be encouraged about in a study of “Love and Marriage”?
Studying and following God’s ways in love and marriage is encouraging. Not without its trials, but rewarding, joyful and fruitful. As we begin this series on “Love and Marriage” today we’re going at it under the assumption that:
- God has something to say to us
- There are successful marriages for our example
- God’s Plan is always good, and
- Following it brings blessing.
God brought the first wife to the first husband and made a statement about His plan:
“And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:22-24)
One man, one woman. No longer two, but one. Lifelong covenant. Faithfulness.
Does that mean marriage is problem-free? No. Soon after God brought Eve to Adam, sin entered the world, and marriage, as everything else, was marred forever. As long as marriage is between a sinful man and a sinful woman…with sin comes, well, a host of ills.
We live in a sin-sick world. But Jesus has promised,
“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
These hopeful words Jesus gave just before He died on the cross to pay for our sins, and God brought Him back to life again, triumphing over sin, death and the grave.
Power for Marriage, Power for Life
The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the grave is available to all who will believe in Him. He has overcome! Believing in Him results in His Spirit living within us and we have the same power within us that raised Him from the dead, so that we can live new lives. Romans 6:4 says,
“…that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
That also means new marriages through the power of God in Christ. It’s a new day!
Why We Should Be Encouraged About Marriage
I’m encouraged, because when men and women, Christians, inhabited by God’s Holy Spirit, let God transform them by the renewing of their minds, through reading His Word and obedience to it, not following or conforming to what they see around them, they do prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Loving one another as Christ loved us, by the power at work within us, the world will be changed, the marriage of each man and woman will be changed, and all who come in contact with them will feel the impact.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Additional verses for your study:
Ephesians 1:17-20, 22-23; 2:1-10:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:…that ye may know…what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, accordng to the working of His mighty power. Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places…And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is His body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.
And you hath He quickened (made to live again), who were dead in trespasses and sins; wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world…: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
But God, Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us (made us alive) together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
2 Peter 1:3:
“According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
Marriage Divine Style by John MacArthur
Love and Respect, by Emerson Eggerichs