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Doctrine of Marriage and Divorce - III

January 1, 2023 Series: Great Doctrines of the Christian Faith

Topic: Doctrine of Marriage and Divorce Scripture: Genesis 2:8–25

Scripture: Genesis 2.8-25, WCT 24.I-III

The Purpose of Marriage

We have been speaking about the Biblical definition of marriage and the attack that our society has declared on marriage.

We spoke about the reasons why marriage was given

#1 For the mutual help, comfort of Man & Woman

#2 For the generation of a Legitimate Issue

  • We spoke about the inter-generational responsibility of heirs and inheritance.

#3 Marriage was given to pass on our Faith to Godly children

·       Warned against Conformance with the World

  • Divorce has entered into the church in proportions remarkably similar to the world
  • Warned against Marriage Outside the Covenant of God - Genesis 6.1
  • The sons of God – the godly line of Seth
  • The sons of Men – the wicked line of Cain
  • Discussed criteria for a happy, godly marriage

Profaning the Covenant – Mal. 2.14

Some good commentators say that the covenant here is the marriage covenant.

  • I think there might be a better understanding

Malachi has already spoken of a covenant in this context in verse 10

The covenant of our fathers is to be God's people.

  • To take on a strange wife is to step outside of that covenant.
  • He is profaning the covenant to be God's people.
  • He is not going to raise up godly seed being married an unbeliever.
    • It does not normally work that way
    • It is profaning the covenant,
  • it is not the marriage covenant that is being broken
    • although he has broken that.

The primary concern here is that he has broken covenant with His God

  • because God commands him to raise godly children
  • To accept an ungodly wife, the wife of a strange god, is to profane the covenant of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7: a widow that wants to remarry is free to do so. Yet she can do so only in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 6

  • We have already seen who the sons of Belial are right, those unjust wicked accusers of neighbors.

So, we must marry in the Lord

  • the Lord seeks a godly seed in godly marriages
  • it is a duty to have godly marriages so that we can raise godly children

Point #4: To prevent uncleanness

The Lord has given marriage to prevent uncleanness

  • This refers to intimacy outside of marriage

The Lord has given a great gift to married couples

  • this gift is not to be shared outside of marriage
  • or you steal that gift from the future spouse
  • doing so is self-indulgent
  • doing so is taking what does not belong to you

The intimacy and the benefit we derive from this gift

  • binds the husband and the wife together
    • outside of marriage, this gift is turned into a curse
  • it helps us along the path of raising godly children
  • it helps us in continuing the mandate to subdue the world to Christ.
  • These things go hand in hand with one another.

And so there ought to be a good appreciation

  • for marriage
  • for the act of marriage
  • for the intimacy that marriage involves.

But it is to be within the bounds of marriage

Our society thinks that these levels of intimacy

  • are free to he using as desired

Our society thinks that dating for fun and intimacy

  • is free for everyone to experiment with

Our society has devalued the importance and meaning of marriage

  • it has made it so commonplace that people do not care and seek only after their own indulgence

But we are people in covenant

But we are the people of the covenant of Yahweh

  • we belong to Him
  • we are His people

And so even our marriages and our offspring ought to reflect that we never marry outside of the faith

Because we have a commandment

  • to raise godly children
  • that our children should continue the work as we leave our goods and wisdom to them

Because we realize that we have a great work to do that we cannot do by ourselves

The Lord has provided the health and marriage

  • both feed into those particular ends

And God made marriage pleasurable

When we seek these pleasures without responsibility

  • we become indulgent.
  • we leave off believing that God has granted these things for particular purposes enumerated in Scripture
  • we slap God in the face because
    • we think we deserve to have whatever it is that we happen to want at that moment
    • we think that because we feel we want it, then it must be good, and that God can just “overlook it” and accept whatever we choose to give Him whenever we choose to give it

Conclusion/ Application

First, for the younger ones.

Remember thy creator as Solomon tells in Ecc. 12

Remember the Creator in the days of your youth

  • so that you will know how to choose a godly spouse
    • not according to looks
      • according to godliness
    • not according to feelings
      • according to faith
    • so that you yourself can raise up a godly seed.
    • so your children will continue the work of subduing the world to Christ after you are gone

Children, are you ready?

Children, are you preparing yourself to step into these shoes and beyond?

  • Are you ready to take greater ground than your parents have taken?
  • Are you ready to do better than they have done to advance the cause of Christ in their marriage?

Remember, it is intergenerational.

Second, for the parents:

We ought to be thinking trans-generationally, and not individualistically.

  • And that means preparing our children to occupy the world after our demise

Third, for all of us

We spend a lot of time on the outer man today but so little time on the inner

  • You will be with your inner man a lot longer than you are going to be with your outer man
  • Spend your time accordingly.

The enterprise of subduing the world for Christ

Whether you are a plumber, an electrician, a lawyer, a doctor, a president, a janitor, do you have a sphere that the Lord calls your little garden?

  • Are you addressing it?
  • Are you keeping it?
  • Are you working it to His glory and subduing it to him?
  • Are you leading by way of example?
  • Are you acknowledging God in all your ways?
  • Are you subduing your place in the garden for him?

Do you need help doing so?

The Lord has given you he is given you help.

  • This is why the Lord has given us a great and grand institution.

Marriage is not the archaic, patriarchal, oppressive institution that many indulgent and lawless call today.

  • It is the way God has said that he will pursue the Dominion mandate for his people as they progress forward.

The Lord has also given us other helps to speed us on our way.

  • He has given us the Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper

1 Corinthians 11:17-34 is clear and definitive teaching about the purpose and the meaning of the table.

The word remembrance does not mean a memorial.

  • It is to remember the work that Christ has done
  • It is a symbol of what was accomplished.

There is a direct relationship between the symbol and the thing itself

It means to remember the work Christ has done

  • as the great Redeemer
  • as the Messiah
  • as the true Savior
  • as the one sent from the Father
  • as the Son who has come to redeem

It means every time you come to the table, you bring back to memory the work that Christ has done

The blood and wine represents the new covenant
  • It represents the blood of redemption.

It means when we drink the wine

  • we remember that the new covenant was established in the blood of Christ.
The body and bread is represents the new covenant
  • It represents the crucifixion and the suffering of Christ and redemption

The elements are to remember what they symbolize

Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death

It means

  • you are proclaiming the redemption of Christ

It means

  • you are proclaiming that He died for your sins

It means

  • that you are demonstrating a living faith in Him

It means

  • that you are abiding in Christ.
How can one be said to be abiding in Christ?

Scripture says, Faith is the requirement.

Eating the bread and drinking the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner

It means an unworthy man does not realize the meaning and the purpose.

It means an unworthy man takes for granted the significance of the table and will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

Examine yourself

The word examine means he must cognitively have an idea of what it means to eat as the table

  • One must be able to understand what it means the body was broken.
  • One must be able to understand what it means that the new covenant is in the blood.
  • One must be acting out as a Christian not only in thought, but in life.
  • One must be living the Christian life.

Examination is a judgment of one's life and faith

It means examination

  • is a judgement of what he believes
  • is a judgement of what he believes about the body of the Lord
  • is a judgement of what he believes about his redemption
  • is a judgement of what he believes about his relationship with the Lord.

Judgment is tied to this examination

It means that through judgment

  • we are chastened by the Lord that we may not be condemned with the world.
  • we are directed back to the meaning and purpose of our redemption

$The purpose of the Lord's Supper is to keep us alive

  • It is one form of self-discipline

The church has oversight responsibility to its Christian brothers and sisters to ensure that they are walking right with Christ.

Fencing the table is not wrong.

It is the responsibility of the reformed Christian individual in the Reformed Church.

  • To examine himself
  • To judge himself
  • To understand the meaning and purpose of the table

The table signifies that one who is partaking is a believer

  • It is a sacrament that says I am abiding in Christ
  • It is a sacrament that says I am obedient to Christ


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