The Perils of Divorce (Matthew 5:31-32) by Bro. Jama Javier

Good morning everyone happy Lord’s day. It is so wonderful to join you this morning to to worship our Lord together and what a privilege it is to read from the gospel of Matthew and especially in this section, The Sermon on the Mount. And by way of introduction, introducing our topic today, I want to tell you that in 1975 in December, Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel released a single called 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. He says that there are at least 50 ways to leave your lover. He says, uh, he, he condones it; he doesn’t give absolutely 50 ways, but he lists a few and he rhymes them with the names of people. He says: “hop on the bus Gus, you don’t need to discuss much. Slip out the back stand..” sorry? yeah, “Jack, slip out the back, Jack” ..that rhymes much better. I’m not a songwriter but Paul Simon was. And so I’m glad you guys know the song. Clearly in this song Paul Simon was not talking about the covenant of marriage. He was talking about some relationship and indeed there are so many ways to leave a casual relationship. But when it comes to the issue of marriage, there are only two biblical grounds for divorce and that’s what we’re going to be discussing today, the, the issue of divorce. And we’re going to talk about particularly the perils of divorce in our passage uh in Matthew. So if you could turn your Bibles to me, with me to Matthew chapter 5 and we’ll go to verses 31 to 32. I’ll read it out loud for you and then we’ll we’ll have a quick word of prayer this is Matthew 5 verses 31 to 32 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.. Let us pray. Heavenly God, Lord we, we thank You for this privilege of hearing the Lord Jesus preach this wonderful Sermon on the Mount and how He so corrects our understanding of the things that we take for granted; of the ways that we live. Lord we pray that this scripture would confront us and renew our mind and change the way that we see life particularly Lord the covenant of marriage and the act of divorce. Lord what profound truths what hard truths. And may You, Lord, despite human weakness and inability to fully understand the depths of this truth, let alone communicate it, Lord would you please sanctify us and build Your church. Would You please Lord spread abroad the good news through the imaging forth of biblical marriage. So Lord, we pray that You would guide us and bless the reading of Your word in Jesus’ Name, amen, amen.

So as I’ve said, we’re here in Matthew and our kingdom in our series of the Kingdom hereafter. This, this is the gospel that is the most teaching and it’s one of my favourite gospels uh, of the four. And now in Matthew chapter 5, it is a sermon of the mount it goes all the way to chapter seven. It is possibly and I think probably the greatest sermon ever preached by the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the greatest sermons ever, throughout the whole Bible. And so again what privilege it is to be able to jump in and to hear the Lord Jesus Christ preach to us through this passage this morning. And so before we jump into our particular passage in 31 32, so much has happened already. We’re 31 verses into the sermon of the mount and we’re about a third of the way through. We want to recall the immediate context of this passage. So we’re in the middle of the antithesis which I think is a kind of parang hindi siya bagay na antithesis kasi hindi naman kinokontra ni Jesus yung law. He’s actually correcting it now. He’s not going against it, so it’s not exactly accurate but people do call it the antithesis, so that’s correct. But this flows from what he says in in Matthew 5 17 to 20. And I’ll tell you the first verse and the last verse, verse 17, verse 20 to give us a good idea. He says in verse 17 do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. So not only here does Jesus say He is able to fulfill this weighty and heavy law given by God through Moses. He also knows it well enough to obey it completely and perfectly. So He has such deep knowledge and understanding of this law. And then He says in in verse 20 for I tell you unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He’s pointing out here that the practices and the teachings of the Pharisees are not sufficient for this righteousness. They are not sufficient to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Hindi sapat yung mga turo ng mga Pariseo, right. So from that point, Jesus begins to address the misconceptions one by one. We talked about anger, we talked about um lust last week, right. So this righteousness of the Pharisees was not righteousness at all. Well, we commonly say in this series that they were whitewashed tombs – appearing clean and pristine outside but rotten on the inside. So Jesus is addressing these practices that were widely accepted. Sobrang nakakagulat yung tinuturo ni Jesus dito kasi akala nila okay yun di ba?

Di ba ito yung law, this is how we follow yung law, right. And He says no, no, no, no. Their teachings are wrong, their teachings are false. They’ve twisted scripture. You have a misunderstanding of it. That’s why they need a greater righteousness because even the most righteous people at the time were preaching the law incorrectly.

And so He’s addressing their respectable sins. Yung mga kasalanan na tinatanggap ng mga tao. And we say, and this does several things. It corrects their understanding of the law, but not correcting the law itself. It exposes their failure, di nila kaya sundan yung mga commandments ni God. It reveals their great need for righteousness. Oh well, they can’t do this on their own. And so last week our brother Luis preached on the, on the section where he addresses adultery. And it is not merely an outward act we heard. It is a heart issue, it is, we are guilty of committing the moral equivalent of adultery when we fantasise, when we lust after people in our hearts, in our minds. What a weighty teaching. And this section follows immediately after that. iI’s still talking about adultery but there are many ways to commit adultery. And our passage is addressing now the adultery in divorce. So we have two points today: the first point being the Adultery Of Divorce and the second point being the Meaning Of Marriage. And hopefully we’ll understand why? Why is, why is divorce so, so abhorrent to God. Malachi 2 16 God says I hate divorce. If you have the ESV, it won’t say that, but in all other all other translations it says I hate divorce, says the Lord. And so why is divorce so hated by God and we can only understand that by understanding the meaning of marriage as well.

So let’s look at the first point, The Adultery Of Divorce. Jesus quotes the Pharisees again. He quotes their teaching, He says whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. So if you.. notice how there’s no specification. Walang mga clause. Bakit mo siya I-di-divorce? Okay lang. Bigyan mo lang siya ng certificate, yan ang importante, right. So He’s saying that if you want a divorce, you just need to give her a certificate. They thought that the certificate dissolves the covenant of marriage between the people and allow them to marry somebody else. They boiled it down to a matter of paperwork. Divorce, no big deal. All divorce does is make a certificate. You want divorce, where is it where’s the certificate? Now this teaching comes from Deuteronomy 24 verses 1 to 4. You can go there with me but I’m gonna read it for you. Deuteronomy 24 verses 1 to 4. This is Moses’s teaching “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favour in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance. So, if you’re following that, and if you, if you like to study your Bible and you’re critically addressing the text, you’ll notice that it never once actually condones, promotes or commands divorce. It’s actually meant to protect the wife, di ba? Parang it’s.. the divorce is not the main issue here, but the sinfulness of their hearts. The Pharisees saw, well marriage is hard; this person is difficult. While Moses says your certificate of divorce, so you just need to give a certificate and then bahala na siya sa buhay niya. But what he’s actually saying is: do you want to divorce your wife? This is a big deal; you’re gonna need to give her a certificate, you need to send her away and if you marry somebody else, you can’t have her back, ever. So think twice. It’s meant as a protection for the covenant of marriage. You got to think twice if you want to divorce your wife. Parang pag-cancel ng gym membership or cable subscription..di ba ang hirap? Kailangan mo tawagan, kailangan mo i-email tapos minsan wala akong nakuhang email.. there’s a reason for that, it’s because they don’t want you to cancel the membership. Well God doesn’t want divorce but what happens? The Pharisees twist it and they purposely taught contrary to it instead of instead of protecting marriage, they promoted divorce. We can see that in the passage that we just read Matthew 19 verse 7. They said to him why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce? They just took it for granted. Hindi ba commanded? And so imagine that.. you, you might, you might really love your wife and she does something that the community seems indecent thing.. you got a divorce her now. You have to. Moses commanded it. What a what a horrible teaching. And, uh, the commentator, Daniel Doriani says this about the Jewish teaching: According to Jewish tradition a man could legally divorce his wife if he simply gave her a certificate that declared her a free woman. Conservative Rabbi said a woman had to do something shameful before her husband could divorce her, but others said that a man could obtain a divorce for any reason at all. Some Rabbis judge it a sufficient cause for divorce if a woman spoiled her husband’s food or even if he found another fairer than she. So even the more conservative Rabbis, they have to do something shameful, well if that was our standard for divorce, how many of us would still be married today? The most liberal reason for the voice, divorce, sorry.. would be the husband finding someone prettier than the wife.. truly sad. Aways the wife would constantly be insecure and saying is she bigger than me? Is he gonna leave me today? Is he gonna find somebody else? Now you might imagine somebody at the time, a married man going around the workplace, social circles, yeah, mga party. May nakita siyang babae na sobrang ganda. Nagagandahan siya doon sa babae na yo. Kinakausap niya, oy, kamusta, ganito, know I’m married but you know, what’s your name? And she expresses that she’s single and she’s available and she’s interested and things get heated, and things get passionate, and then he says wait! I need to file the paperwork. I need to just cross some I’s, dot some I’s and cross some T’s.. and then we can have a relationship. The only difference between adultery and a valid relationship was a matter of forms. Bureaucratic na lang yung divorce.

And so you have to have the right paperwork. Can you imagine how, how scandalous that would be? If we twisted it around and said if you want to have an affair, you better have the right paperwork.. it’s unthinkable!

So Jesus now corrects the teaching in a big way. He says that if you divorce your wife for any, any grounds other than adultery, then you, in effect, commit adultery by divorcing your wife. Jesus now sets a high standard for the grounds of divorce. Jesus in fact equates the act of divorce with the sin of adultery. Now what’s, what’s crazy is that we, we know that if this man, this hypothetical person had been lusting over this woman in his mind and in his heart, we know okay, that’s adultery, that’s sinful. But even if he says it’s love. I get along with her so much better. We are so much more compatible. We like the same things. It is still adultery to leave her for those reasons.

Now just to be clear, technically in the passage, Jesus says everyone who divorces his wife except on the grounds of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries the divorced woman, the woman commits adultery, you might be thinking.. ah the man’s in the clear. All the guy has to do is to make sure that he doesn’t marry a divorcee. And if the woman commits adultery, he’s okay; he’s all good. Well, that’s not what He says. Jesus says in Matthew 19 9 whoever divorces his, divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another, commits adultery. Now even the man is guilty of adultery. Remarriage is always presumed in the ancient near East and they always assume that the divorce, the divorcee would marry again.

So this is my assertion to you today that it is not the act of remarriage that actually causes adultery but the divorce itself. In the same way that Jesus taught you want, you want divorce? Produce certificate. Actually no, you want divorce produces adultery. That’s equal. Now, marriage itself this is because it contradicts, divorce contradicts the covenant that the married people made in their marriage ceremony. Why does God consider that to be adultery? Because marriage itself is not a human invention that allows people to set the terms and conditions of marriage. It is God who invented marriage.

To further this point, let’s go back to Matthew 19. The Pharisees asked Jesus is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause and Jesus says, He responds with quoting Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 and chapter 2 verse 24 he says have you not heard that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female. That’s given. God made people they knew that. And He said therefore man shall leave his his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. God made marriage. The first people that God ever made were not brother and brother, sister and sister, father and son, father and daughter. No! The first people He made were husband and wife. Those, this is one of the highest institutions that a person can have.. The Institution Of Marriage. It is so important and so foundational that in the creation of mankind, God had established it. And He says, He continues all marriages follow this model. And it is God who made the institution, it’s God that actually binds them together. You see, He continues in verse 6 in chapter 15. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate, let no man tear asunder, let no man divorce. And so there is a divine joining of two people. They are no longer individuals, but one in the sight of God.

A.W. Pink once said marriage is not a mere civil thing, but it’s partly spiritual and divine. And therefore God alone has the power to appoint the beginning, the continuance, and the end thereof. Now with this in mind, divorce for shallow reasons sinfully disregards the union that God had formed in marriage. It is sinful because we are saying balewala lang yung ginawa ni God sa marriage natin. Mag-file na lang tayo ng paperwork para maghiwalay na tayo. They value the customs of man higher than the commandment of God. So it’s not the remarriage, again, that is sinful, but the act of divorce. There’s another commentator, Craig Bloomberg says it was probably not the taking of a new husband that made the wife commit adultery. We do believe in remarriage especially for the proper grounds of divorce. We’ll talk about that later. Since some divorced women remained unmarried, Jesus maintains that the divorce itself creates adultery metaphorically, not literally. In the same way that you lust after a woman in your heart or a man in your heart. You’re not literally committing adultery, but it is the moral equivalent of adultery. You might as well have committed adultery. Sorry, I keep interrupting this quote. this is what he says: “metaphorically not literally the through infidelity to the lifelong covenantal nature of marriage, the characteristic Old Testament use of adultery is used to refer to the breaking of one’s commitments to God.” So God, please catch that.. I hope that you caught that, that it said that marriage is to be a lifelong commitment to one spouse and breaking this commitment would go against God’s intention for marriage. Now unwarranted divorce is adultery because it again disregards the union that God formed in marriage. Marriage is created by God, ordained by God. I know there are a lot of engaged people here in this, in this church tonight. So I think it’s so important to know that God alone can join together and God can separate. There is no certificate that can dissolve the union of marriage, but only divorce on the grounds that God has allowed will be recognized. Since then marriage is God’s doing, we must not forsake it on our own terms. You cannot divorce casually. You can’t divorce over preference. You can’t divorce over burnt food. You can’t divorce if you think you’ve found someone better. You must not look to divorce as the first option, or the second option, or the third option. Divorce should be the last thing on your list of solutions to a happy marriage.

John MacArthur in a sermon on this passage said this it is clear that divorce is like a person cutting off an arm or leg because he has a splinter in it. Instead of dealing with whatever trouble arises between a husband and a wife, divorce tries to solve the problem by destroying the union on a deeper level. Divorce destroys a union that God Himself has made. The union of marriage is one which God as its creator never desires to be broken. Divorce is a denial of His will and a destruction of His work .

So brethren and friends, let us not view divorce lightly as the world does. W thankfully do not have divorce in the Philippines.. not yet. But you know last year, in August 17 the Philippine House of Representatives approved a bill proposing the legalisation of divorce in the country. I’m not following this uh you might want to ask brother Eli about this or brother Moncie. I don’t know, I don’t follow it a lot. But I did, I, I was surprised to find out that there are movements coming here to promote divorce, to allow divorce. And I’d say this not to be political, not to raise a protest, but so that we can see the relevance of this passage today for us. Divorce might seem like a far away thing but there are Philippine equivalents – annulment, separation, it’s the same thing.. You will be forsaking the covenant that God had made. Do not see this legalisation as an opportunity to divorce your spouse on your own terms. Let us hold marriage in high regard as a sacred covenant, as the author of Hebrews commands in Chapter 13 – let marriage be held in high honour among all that the marriage bed be undefiled for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Do not sin against God by despising the covenant of marriage and the work of God within it.

So brethren, do not take divorce lightly and but hold marriage in high esteem. To the single people that might be wondering what is the relevance of this to me, do you desire to be married? Then please have this understanding what marriage is and know that whoever you choose you cannot believe once the covenant is made for God hates divorce.

And you can encourage your married friends to think this way as well. So we may ask ourselves, is there reason to divorce? Baka, kung sinusundan niyo yung text, wait lang Jama, parang may naiwan ka..yung clause. May clause si Jesus dito. He says that there is a part that we have not yet discussed, uh, a reason or, or a grounds for divorce.

Now we move on to our second point in order to understand this.

Why these are the grounds, it’s because of God’s purpose for marriage or the meaning of marriage. Jesus states that there is in fact a legitimate ground for divorce and that is sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is legitimate grounds for divorce because it violates the essence of marriage which is meant to be a covenant of exclusive lifetime commitment between one man and one woman. Now this is not the only uh, legitimate ground. We recognise what Paul says in First Corinthians 7 verse 15 – but if the unbelieving partner separates let it be so. Covenant desertion. You can be at peace. You’ve been left by your unbelieving spouse, let him leave. This desertion also breaks the covenant to stay committed to the spouse. It’s a physical abandonment. The only other way to dissolve marriage in the eyes of God is death. I hope you don’t get any ideas from that. But notice I said dissolve marriage, not divorce. Murder’s a sin. So moving on.. divorce, divorcing an adulterer are unfaithful why, but an unfaithful spouse is not considered adultery because adultery has already occurred, nangyari na. So yung pag- prevent niya, yung sinasabi niya huwag gawin ito kasi adultery siya, eh nangyari na ang adultery, so, it’s valid grounds, right.

Now then now under these circumstances, I want you to see this as well if you’ve zoned out, please zone back in because under these circumstances, divorce is permitted and the divorce is would be acceptable to God. It is permitted and acceptable but it is not commanded still. Please know that. Kahit na tinatanggap ng Panginoong Diyos yung divorce na ito, hindi siya commanded. So kung kaya, pray na mas maganda pa rin yung reconciliation. Mas maganda pa rin yung forgiveness. Mas maganda pa rin yung pagtuloy ng pagmahal. Infinitely better is that it’s permitted but not commanded. Even in the event of marital and faithfulness, which is how sexual immorality is defined, divorce is not commanded. As I said, divorce should never be the first option and ideally is never an option. And this is why, this is the profoundness of our sermon today. That what is marriage meant to represent, what is the purpose of marriage.. do you remember when Jesus is asked can I divorce my wife he quotes Genesis 2 verse 24.

Paul quotes the same verse and he expounds on it with one profound statement Ephesians 5 verse 31 therefore man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two. shall become one flesh. Verse 32 this mystery is profound, this is a mystery. This is hidden from those in the past. We have the privilege as New Testament believers. The word of God, the whole counsel of God, to know that this mystery which is profound, I’m saying that it refers to Christ and the church. That is the goal of marriage, that is the purpose of marriage to portray this wonderful, unbreakable what such gracious covenant of Christ and the church. It is a drama of the Gospel. The man is to play the role of Christ in that he has to love his wife as Christ loves the church. He is called to protect and to provide for her. Wash her with the word, gently rebuking and correcting her and helping her grow in holiness and grace because he is a sinful, fallible man. He grows in holiness and grace as well as he does this. And the wife is to portray the role of the church wholly devoted to her husband. And that takes the form of submission, commitment and service never abandoning Christ. Even if the man is not Christ-like, she portrays the submission of the church in her submission to him. In her faithfulness to him, in her love towards him. And even if the woman is rebellious, unlike how the church should be submissive, the man is called to show the faithfulness, the patience, the graciousness, the forgiveness of Christ in His steadfast love for her.

Husband and wife are meant to stay committed to one another because Christ is forever committed to His bride, the church. Christ shall never divorce His bride. He shall never leave nor forsake you so for if you are here today and struggling, brother sister, know that Christ is with you. If you have experienced unfaithfulness, know that there is Christ who is faithful to you as the husband should have been. He is steadfast in His faithfulness to you. He shall never leave nor forsake you. He sustains you, he loves you as you should be loved. And this not only applies to the wife, but also to the husband.. applies all of us as His bride, as His church.

And that is our encouragement for us today. So why then is there a provision for dissolving this covenant of marriage? It’s meant to portray this, its mental image for this indissoluble, permanent, hindi matatanggal, hindi matatanggal. Uh, between His people because of the sinfulness of people. Referring again to Matthew 19, he says because of the hardness of your heart, Moses allowed you to divorce your wife. But from the beginning, it was not so. Because of sin, all people will fail to keep the covenant of marriage. Whether it’s at best lusting in your mind which who of us can boast that they have not lusted in years. It is a daily struggle, it is a common struggle. And yet by the grace of God, we may yet still restrain our actions against the temptation of lust. And at best it will be a failure in that regard, in the, in the viewing and lusting after. And at worst, acting up, acting upon that lust and committing sexual adultery.

Many pastors and scholars by the way, would agree that physical abuse falls under the category of covenant assertion. So that might, may very well also be a grounds of divorce. Because of the inclination of the heart towards sin, what will happen if you tell an unfaithful person to be faithful to their wife? They will not divorce her because you do not make a provision for divorce, but they will continue to drag the covenant of marriage to the ground. They will portray a false image of marriage. It will corrupt the image of marriage. Now if you have a sign on the road it’s meant to point somewhere, maybe it’s a stop, maybe it says turnover 500 meters, whatever, and it has been eroded, rusty, twisted, no longer pointing to what it’s meant to point to, you will do well to replace that sign. It is that same principle behind this. Grounds for divorce are given to protect the sanctity of the covenant of marriage. So again, divorce is permitted and, and under the conditions that God has provided but again, never commanded. The ideal is always to keep the covenant of marriage in order to put on display the greater covenant between Christ and the church. John Piper in his book, this “Momentary Marriage” sums it up wonderfully by saying in the opening chapters – staying married is not mainly about staying in love.. totally opposite to what the world says. Do you love her? Well then marry her. Oh you don’t love her anymore?

Then leave her. Staying married is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. it is greater than your struggles, it is greater than your differences, it is greater than your fights. It is about keeping covenant because of our faithfulness to God, we must keep the covenant of marriage. For it so reflects Christ in the church. So in the hardship of marriage, constant adjustment, clashing of wills, dealing with the sin of another up close. It’s crazy! You deal with your sin, you deal with her sin, she deals with her sin, she deals with your sin. It’s like sin is like four times four times, more sinful.

So now in this hardship of marriage, there is a greater privilege in keeping the covenant not out of love but because of what the covenant represents. The husband endures a quarrelsome wife and he portrays the steadfast love and faithfulness of Christ to a troubled church. Now I’ve said this already; I’ve expressed this, this application for you. And I want to tell you what Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, also quoting for that same book of John Piper: “it is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” We’re nearing the end of our sermon, so please bear with me for a little bit longer. But I want to address uh this to you. It is in in the extreme case of adultery and unfaithfulness I know, but this is a hard truth. You can only imagine how difficult it can be. Adultery is an evil thing, it is devastating to a relationship. It is agony to endure and as a comfort to you, I want to reduce Psalm 34 Verse 18 the Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. The Lord is there for you, come to the Lord for your comfort that He may heal your broken heart. But this understanding of marriage calls us not to look to ourselves, but to look instead to God and the vow we made before Him to be a living example of His covenant between Christ and the church. In the same way that you have sinned and fallen short, in the same way that you have rebelled against God, and sin against Him on a daily basis constantly, despite your best effort, and in most days, and some days, not effort at all, your sin against him yet Christ is steadfast towards you. His love never wanes, He never sees you as any less. He doesn’t love you any less. You are no less accepted before God. He has died for all of your sins before, today, tomorrow, all the sins that you could ever commit against Him have been paid upon in the cross of Christ. And now you are called to come and be reconciled to God, no longer condemned, but you have the righteousness of God that you can come to the Father. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. If we are faithless, He is faithful and so if you, if this covenant is alien to you, you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve never experienced this, friend, if you stand outside of this covenant with Christ, you are now at this moment called to come. You are invited to enter into this covenant with the Lord Jesus Christ. That all the sins cannot hinder you! All of you, you don’t know what I’ve done well I don’t need to know what you’ve done! Your sin is what qualifies you to come. He has not come to save the righteous but the lost. He has not come to heal the well, but the sick. And so your sin is what allows you to come and be saved by the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh won’t you come and trust in His works and enter this covenant of grace with Him that He may change your heart. But in the same way, that the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation is something that God does. Marriage is something that God does so look to God to sustain your marriage. Do all the things, all the practical stuff, communicate better, make date nights, go to counselling. But ultimately you must look to God who had instituted marriage to sustain your marriage.

I’ll leave you with one last quote before we go to the conclusion. It’s again by John Piper – the ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to His redeemed people, the church. And therefore the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ in his church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married. If you hope to be, that should be your dream. So brethren, let us treasure the covenant of marriage and portray God’s faithfulness by faithfully keeping it. Pursue marriage that portrays Christ in the church and encourage others to do the same. Let us pray.

Heavenly God, Lord we thank You for Your word which addresses us and corrects us and at times Lord, though it is painful, convicts us. Lord, we thank You for Your, You speaking to us tonight and we thank You that these things that You have commanded us, we know that we cannot do. But Lord, You have promised that You would do them for us. That you will sanctify us and give us the strength to follow Your commandments. You have put the law in our hearts to be made delight to do it. So Lord, tulungan Niyo po kami Gawn yung uh, yung calling namin Lord. And Lord we pray that You would bless the marriages here in CHC and the hearers. We pray Lord that You would bless those who seek marriage that they would have a right understanding of it and those Lord if they are blessed with singleness, may they see the beauty of Christ in the church portrayed in the marriages around them, that it would Inspire them to glorify God all the more. Lord, sustain the marriages here that they might not end in divorce and rightly reflect Christ and the church. We pray this Lord in the Name of Your Son, amen.

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