There is no question that the sacred covenant of marriage is under fire. The surprising and least recognized fact is that this covenant is being twisted, altered, and ignored in the Church. What people fail to realize is the devil first assaulted this marriage covenant in the Garden of Eden. In the book of Genesis, the devil took the word of God and twisted it into deceiving the woman. These are the tactics of a ruthless and calculating enemy. Satan uses the same tactics repeatedly and the world will not understand his agenda, but the Church not only knows his plans (1 Cor 2:11), they have means to thwart them.
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
The enemy takes the word of God and twists it ever so slightly to deceive, steal, kill and destroy. He did this in the beginning and continues to do this today. His plan is to twist the word of God so that we believe that we are god. He wants us to define sin according to our own understanding. He wants us to be the authors our own destiny. He wants us to question the authority of God’s word. That is what he wanted when he was cast from heaven (Is 14:12; Luke 10:18; Rev 12:9) he would do whatever he can to steal joy from the believer and destroy the unbeliever. His destiny is sealed and his time is short. Satan and his demons are headed for eternal torment they want to take as many in this world as they can with them.
Genesis 2:13 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
God told the man that they would surely die if they eat the forbidden fruit. The physical death was over time but the spiritual death was immediate. God allowed the man and woman to be tempted. God tested their obedience. The man and woman failed to obey the word of God and it cost them their lives. Thus, sin and death entered into the world.
The battle against evil is not just against the flesh(which of itself is in the world), it is against dark forces of the heavenly realms.(Eph 6:12)Every believer must be aware that the enemy will use any means to take us away from the truth and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to prepare daily for the battle that rages all around us. (Eph 6:13)We have many means of defense in this battle and in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians; he explains our protection with pieces of armor. (Eph 6:13-18) The only weapon we have against this enemy is the same weapon the Lord Jesus Christ used in the wilderness.
Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
There are essentials to defending the covenant of marriage within the Church.
- Stand fast on God’s word.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. We believed when we heard the Good News. We know we are saved by the power of the Holy Spirit and the written word. Therefore, it is imperative that we stand fast to the word of God regardless if we feel the called to do something that opposes the word. We need stand on the word for the covenant of marriage and we need to oppose those who teach contrary to the word of God.
2. Mark and avoid those who speak against the truth of the covenant.
This includes any pastor or teacher who preaches against the word of God. We need to mark them and avoid them.(Matthew 7:14; Romans 16:17; Gal 1:9; Titus 3:10; 2 John 1:10) There are denominations who have caved into the lies of same-sex marriage and have even ordained homosexual pastors. They must be marked as heretics and strictly avoided. The God’s word commands elders to protect the flock from heresies and unbiblical doctrine. Any “Christian” book, movie, internet videos, or teaching curriculum must be thoroughly scrutinized to the word of God. There are many false teachers in the world and the local Church must protect the flock from these wicked wolves.
3. Have nothing to do with the world.
We need to be in a process of sanctification and steadily growing to become more holy in our lives. We are to live in the world and not of the world.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The Church has slowly brought worldly devices into the fold and this is a dangerous to not only the sanctity of marriage but it leads to trivialization of God’s word, a falling away into sin and a decline into apostasy.
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
This is so important today. The Senior Pastor is expected and paid to intervene in these lives and often he has very little support. This must never be his full responsibility. The elders and their wives need to set the example in this case. Godly couples must stand in the gap and sacrifice their time to bring truth and grace to those seeking separation. An elder is responsible for his own family (1 Tim 3:5) and he needs to be responsible for the people under his care. He must use sound doctrine and rebuke those who contradict it. He has the words to the husband, and how the husband must be the spiritual guide to his wife and his children. He must also instruct the man to love his wife as Christ loves the church. (Titus 1) The wife of the elder is to speak truth and grace to any woman that seeks to walk out on the marriage. Her words of wisdom will provide truth and grace on how to be a godly wife.(Titus 2:3-5)
5. The Church will not tolerate unrepentant sin.
The Church must confront any spouse who breaks this covenant through an adulterous affair or sexual immorality. God’s word is clear on what to do if there is an unrepentant sinner who seeks to remain in adultery. (Matthew 18:15-20) If an adulterous spouse repents, the Church must forgive them. If they choose to remain in adultery, the Church must treat them as an unbeliever. Therefore, they cannot marry anyone because they are an unrepentant adulterer. This leaves them but one choice and that is to to reconcile to their spouse. If there is physical or emotional abuse, the guilty spouse must repent or be persecuted to the full extent of the law. Even still, there already may be sufficient damage to the innocent spouse and they need to be punished and suffer the consequences of their sin.
6. The Church must be involved in any new marriage.
The marriage can only happen if a man and woman love each other and desire to live together for the rest of their lives. Both the man and woman must be believers who have a full understanding of God’s word concerning marriage and this must be the responsibility of the father and mother of the groom and bride respectively. The Church needs to be responsible for who gets married and why. The Church is responsible for communicating importance of the marriage ceremony. They must make sure that the groom and bride are committed until death do they part and that they are agreeing to a covenant of God. This covenant models the relationship of the Lord Jesus Christ and His church.
The marriage, and how we treat those who oppose marriage, must be centered on the grace and truth in Christ. It is so important that we use God’s word for truth to anyone unrepentant of sin. In the same way, we need grace when they come to repentance. We need to forgive them and reconcile any differences so that we would be complete and holy before the Lord. The Church must set the standard of the Lord Jesus Christ in everything we do. Marriage is the beginning of a life where two become one flesh and this beautiful gift from God stands as a living example of the Lord Jesus Christ’s love for His bride.
Eph 5:31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
In Christ’s love,