Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Book Review -"This Momentary Marriage"- A Parable of Permanence by John Piper

After reading John Piper’s book “This Momentary Marriage- A Parable of Permanence.” I have come to the conclusion that this book is nearly perfect at defining the one-flesh marriage covenant between a man and a woman as it compares to Christ’s love for His bride, the church. Piper uses scripture throughout and exegetes many passages thouroghly and accurately. Piper also quotes Deitrich Bonhoffer throughout the book. This is significant in many of his chapters mainly because Piper thinks highly of Bonhoffer’s writings, including his “A Wedding Sermon from a Prison Cell.” Piper would have hit the bullseye with this book except for the fact that he clearly misses the mark in the last chapter on divorce and remarriage. This is paramount because if marriage is as Piper defines as “God’s doing”, then one point of inaccuracy could have eternal consequences.Nearly perfect is not good enough.  

 Throughout the book, Piper begins chapters with a quote from Bonhoffer and overall, Piper sticks to biblical truth that marriage is a he puts it, “God’s doing”. Piper emphasizes this with many examples complete with verses from the Bible. He sums this up God’s doing by saying marriage is God’s design in creation, that God personally gave away the first bride, that God spoke marriage into existence, and that God established the one-flesh union as marriage. This is very important to understand as Piper makes the reader believe that all marriages as we know are according God’s design, God’s will, and God’s glory. 
Piper also makes it clear that marriage is a one-flesh covenant and time and time compares this with Christ’s covenant with His bride, the church. One particular section, “CHRIST WILL NEVER LEAVE HIS WIFE” beautifully sums up this point.

“Staying married, therefore, is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. “Till death do us part” or As long as we both shall live is a sacred covenant promise-the same kind Jesus made with his bride when he died for her. Therefore, what makes divorce and remarriage so horrific in God’s eyes is not merely that it involves covenant –breaking to the spouse, but that it involves misrepresenting Christ and his covenant. Christ will never leave his wife. Ever. There may be times of painful distance and tragic backsliding on our part. But Christ keeps his covenant forever. Marriage is a display of that!  That is the ultimate thing we can say about it. It puts the glory of Christ’s covenant-keeping love on display.

The most important implication of this conclusion is that keeping covenant with our spouse is as important as telling the truth about God’s covenant with us in Jesus Christ. Marriage is not mainly about being or staying in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. it’s about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way he relates to his people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel.

Jesus died for sinners. He forged a covenant in white-hot heat of his suffering in our place. He made an imperfect bride his own with the price of his blood and covered her with the garments of his own righteousness.  He said, “I am with you…to the end of the age…I will never leave you or forsake you” (Matt 28:20; Heb 13:5) Marriage is meant by God to put that gospel reality on display in the world. That is why we are married. That is why all married people are married, even when they don’t know or embrace the gospel.” (Chapter 1 page 25,26.)

Piper does an excellent job throughout the book explaining the significance of an individuals covenant with Christ as this applies to marriage. Piper also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness, grace and forbearance. Piper also includes many important topics such as headship, submission, sexuality and the roles of the husband and wife in marriage. Perhaps the best part of this book was Piper’s willingness to show the importance of singleness as this pertains to marriage and the church as a whole. This is significant as anyone who enters marriage is first a single individual. The point that Piper makes is that singleness is just as a blessing in life as is marriage. In fact, singleness in Christ is where will be in eternity as marriage is momentary.
As noted, I believe this book is excellent in showing the significance of marriage as we go through life here on earth. Marriage truly is God’s doing, and Piper should convince any reader of this truth. As noted, this book is so close to being perfect that had Piper excluded his view on divorce and marriage, anyone reading the book would have an understanding that divorce and remarriage is something foreign to God’s covenant of marriage.  

Since Piper comes close to perfection in this book, I believe it is essential to note where he comes up short as well as the consequences of his missing the mark. At the end of this book, Piper addresses divorce and remarriage and asks four questions. It is easy to understand why Piper addresses these questions and why he answers correctly and accurately on all save one of the questions. Piper simply uses his view on marriage as the foundation to answer the questions. However, as we will see, Piper fails to not only use his foundation of marriage in answering correctly and accurately question number two, he fails in applied logic as well.

  It should be noted that John Piper’s view of divorce and remarriage is not widely accepted among other evangelicals. This unpopular view will be explained in detail as I present the questions. Nearly every scholar or theologian would never argue the first question, but I would have to say that the question structure, or rather the incorrect use of a word inside the question is a problem.

1.      Does death end a marriage in such a way that it is legitimate for a spouse to remarry?

Piper makes it clear that marriage is momentary in this life. His book title is a perfect example… He uses Romans 7:1-3 to make the conclusion that only death ends a marriage. I agree with this except I would include that a remarriage after the death of a spouse is not remarriage, but a “new” marriage in the Lord. Thus, I would rephrase the question:  “Does death end a marriage in such a way that it is legitimate for a spouse to marry in the Lord?”

1 Cor 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

This verse (1 Cor 7:39) is very important as it pertains to Pipers remaining questions, and in particularly question number two. If death is the ONLY way a one-flesh covenant ends, we can trust that any “remarriage” is NOT a marriage unless it is “In the Lord.” In addition, Piper writes this:

“In other words, Paul says that to divorce and remarry while your spouse is living is adulterous, but to remarry after death of a spouse is not.” -page169

We need to keep this in mind as Piper tries to defend his answer to his next question.

2.      If a divorced person has already married again, should he or she leave the later marriage?

This question starts out with some presuppositions. “If a divorced person has already married again”…In the first question, Piper believes that a widow or widower can enter into a new marriage because death ends the marriage, but a spouse that divorces a living spouse and remarries is adulterous. No one questions the fact that death ends a marriage. What this question suggests is that a spouse who divorces his or her wife or a spouse who was divorced from his or her spouse can marry in the Lord. Well, at the very least, the reader must assume that Piper agrees that a “remarriage” is a marriage in the Lord.

In Piper’s preceding chapter, “What God Has Joined Together”, Piper says this…

“So even though two humans decide to get married, and a human pastor or priest or justice of the peace or some other person solemnizes and legalizes the union, all of that is secondary to the main actor, namely, God. “What God has joined together…”God is the main actor in the event of marriage.” -page 161

No one can ever question that God is the primary judge of who marries. However, is not God also the actor in who “remarries” after divorce?  

Luke 16:18 says, Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

The Lord Jesus Christ says, “Whosoever.” This would refer to every instance where a man puts away his wife. Whosoever refers to any man that divorces his wife and remarries commits adultery. The word “marries” cannot indicate that God accepts the marriage since he calls this adultery. Therefore, it is the act of marriage not in the Lord. 
Therefore, we can conclude that if a marriage is NOT in the Lord, it is not a marriage. This brings to mind the extreme push by the fallen world for the validation of same-sex marriage. Most evangelicals will say that same-sex is not a marriage regardless what the human pastors, human priests, or justice of the peace say. However, the state and some liberal churches would say that same-sex marriage is a marriage. Could we not also apply this to “remarriage” after divorcing a living spouse? Yes, I understand that a same-sex marriage differs to a remarriage of a man and woman, but both same –sex marriage and remarriage are sins. Same –sex marriage is the sin of homosexuality and remarriage is the sin of adultery.  Thus, Piper’s question is invalid if we know that “remarriage” or this culturally accepted marriage is adultery and nothing more and most certainly, is NOT a marriage in the Lord.

Piper tries to make the reader believe that a remarriage is a new marriage and that he believes it should not be made undone. Yet he uses false logic in this sentence.

“The marriage should not have been done, but now that it is done, it should not be undone by man. It is a real marriage.” Real covenant vows have been made. And that real covenant of marriage may be purified by the blood of Jesus and set apart for God. -Page 170

I would ask Piper these questions in reply, “How can you say that a remarriage that should not have happened, be a marriage if the first covenant marriage was not undone by God in the first place? In addition, how can this “remarriage” be a real marriage if God calls anyone who marries after divorce commits adultery?

What immediately should come to mind is the death of John the Baptist. John the Baptist lost his head because of Herod’s marriage to Herodias. Was this marriage (called a marriage by man) according to God? In fact, even John calls this marriage unlawful.

 Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.

If you notice, John refers to Herod’s wife Herodias, as his brother Philip’s wife. Herod obviously married Herodias, however she was already Philip’s wife. Herod’s marriage to Herodias was unlawful. In other words, yes it was a marriage recognized by men, however it was an unlawful marriage not recognized by God. Thus, a simple answer is this…”This union is not a marriage because it is adultery, thus exiting this union is an act of repentance from adultery.”  John called Herod to repent of his unlawful marriage.   

However, Piper than uses scripture from the Old Testament to make us believe that what he believes is true. Piper throws out the New Covenant for the old laws, laws permitted for the sake of hard hearts.  

Piper writes: 
“”First, in Deuteronomy 24:1-4 where the permission for divorce was given In the law of Moses, it speaks of the divorced woman being defiled” in the second marriage so that it would be an abomination for her to return to her first husband, even if her second husband died.”-page 170

Piper contradicts himself because earlier he writes…”Of course, someone might say, it (divorce) has always contradicted the meaning of marriage-even when the permission of Deuteronomy was written. Good observation. But Jesus is not thinking that way. He is calling his followers to a higher standard than the compromise with hardness of heart in Deuteronomy.”-page 162

Piper continues in this same chapter…speaking on Jesus’ behalf

”I have come to give you the power to stay married, or to stay single, so that either way you keep in your promises and show what my covenant is like and how sacred is the covenant bond of marriage.”-page 163

I will argue that a man who puts away his wife in the case of Moses permission is “causing” his wife to commit adultery because of his hard heart. In addition, if a man puts away his “betrothed” virgin wife, it means that he never consummated the marriage and it certainly would be defilement since she married and consummated marriage with another man. The whole point is that hardhearted men treated women differently under Moses permission then Jesus treated women. Besides, Jesus says this,
Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6)
The Pharisees have no answer for this and neither should we. Only death breaks a marriage covenant.

Another reason Piper thinks unlawful marriages (Piper writes “remarriages”) should stay together is the woman from Samaria had five valid remarriages. This is false to believe this since we know John calls Herod’s marriage to Herodias a marriage too. However, as we read scripture, Herod's marriage was unlawful. We certainly can compare this to the Samaritan woman. Yes, Jesus recognized her five marriages, but there is no indication that Jesus approved of the five marriages because He pointed out the fact she was living with a man who was not her husband. In addition, we do not have the facts of her five husbands. For all we know, they could have all died. Thus, we can conclude that Jesus was not approving her marriages anymore than He approved her current relationship with the man she was living with. 

Then Piper makes the reader believe that a person should keep their remarriage vows. After reading this whole book and how Piper beautifully shows marriage as God’s doing, Piper makes us believe that God will honor every vow we make even if it is unlawful.  I do not want to come across as harsh, but its as if someone else took over Piper’s pen when he wrote this part. How does God honor those that vow into an unlawful marriage after divorce? Again, read 1 Cor 7:39. A verse Piper ignores to answer this question. 

Piper’s last paragraph answering this question was not only so contrary to what he wrote previously, it was a different Gospel and an attack on God’s holiness.

There are marriages in the church I serve that are second marriages for one or both partners, which, in my view, should not have happened, but today are godly marriages-marriages that are clean and holy, and in which forgiven, justified husbands and wives please God by the way they relate to each other. As forgiven, cleansed, Spirit-led followers of Jesus, they are not committing adultery in their marriages. These marriages began as they should not have but have become holy.” -page 171   

First off, an unlawful marriage is not a holy marriage. Piper is essentially saying that one can remain in sin and this is acceptable because in his mind, these remarriages appear to be godly husbands and wives. Piper believes that God forgives unrepentant sins. This is not the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, do we judge a person by how godly they appear, or do we judge a person by the fruit they bear. In this case, Piper wants us to make judgment on his idea of what constitutes a holy marriage. Instead, we need to justify how Piper believes an unlawful marriage suddenly become lawful because he says so. 

Overall, Piper’s answers to this question have serious eternal consequences. If Piper believes that “remarriages” are lawful and God says they are not, then Piper is essentially encouraging unlawful marriages that are unrepentant adulterous unions. This not only a grave sin, it is a spit in the face to those covenant spouses who remain in singleness to restore a marriage.

In this scenario, I will use fictitious names to illustrate the point that distorts Piper’s view.

Joe and Mary leave their respective father and mother and join in a one-flesh covenant of marriage. After nearly 15 years of marriage, Joe has an affair with a woman named Sue at his work. Joe seeks to end his marriage with Mary to remarry Sue. Mary begs Joe not to leave and even enacts church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) so that Joe will repent of his affair. Joe refuses to repent divorces Mary according to the state in which they reside, and runs off to another state and remarries Sue in a church that is totally unaware that Mary remains single in obedience to the words of the Lord. (1 Cor 7:10,11)

After five years in his remarriage to Sue, Joe repents of his sin and finds that Mary remains single to reconcile the marriage. While Joe considers his decision on what he should do, he reads John Piper’s book- “This Momentary Marriage- A Parable of Permanence.” He concludes that he should not divorce Sue because he would be breaking his vow to Sue according to John Pipers book. Mary insists that Joe’s marriage to Sue is adultery and Joe remains in his remarriage to Sue. Mary remains single the remainder of her days sadly knowing that Joe and Sue will die in their unrepentant sin of adultery.

I can tell you folks, this is not far from reality. I know of many spouses who remain in singleness so that God will restore a one-flesh covenant of marriage while their spouse remains in unrepentant adultery remarriage. These "standers" stand for the covenant vow they made before God. They trust in God to restore a prodigal spouse as they wait in singleness. These standers also believe the words of Jesus; What therefore God hath joined, let no man separate. What words does Piper have for these standers? Do you also see the gravity of Piper's answer? I will explain the gravity in conclusion. Piper correctly and carefully related to the Gospel concerning the third question concerning 1 Cor 7:15 and abandonment of the unbeliever.

3.      If an unbelieving spouse insists on leaving a believing spouse, what should the believing spouse do?

If only Piper would apply this answer to the second question, maybe Piper would reconsider his answers to the second question. Piper believes scripture is clear that if an unbeliever departs, the believer is to remain in singleness. The peace the believing spouse is not a license to remarry. I would add that singleness also demonstrates the love one has for Christ to remain available for the possible salvation of the unbeliever that departs. I believe Piper answers this question accurately.  After using 1 Cor 7:39, Piper writes this….

“So it seems to me that Paul and Jesus are of one mind that followers of Jesus are radically devoted to one husband or one wife as long as they both shall live. This ideal tells the gospel truth most clearly: Christ died for his bride and never forsakes her.”- page 173

4.      Are there no exceptions to the prohibition of remarriage while the spouse is living?

As I noted previously, many evangelicals do not agree with Piper's view on divorce and remarriage. Piper's answer to the last question and this Matthew’s exception clause (Matthew 5:32 and 19:9) are the main reasons they do not. I believe Piper exegetes these scriptures correctly, according to the truth. In this particular case (exception clause) Piper compares Joseph and Mary’s example with “fornication” within betrothal marriage. Piper expounds in his example of what Jesus is actually saying: 

“When you hear me give an absolute prohibition of remarriage after divorce, don’t include in that prohibition the divorce of a betrothed couple because of fornication.”-page 174

 I agree with Piper’s answers to the all but the second question. My only request in the first question is to change the wording from "remarry" to "a marriage in the Lord." Piper’s overall view calls for the permanence of marriage with the exception that once there is a remarriage, it remains a marriage and should not be broken. I believe very few mainline congregations in the evangelical church agree with Piper’s view of divorce and remarriage and even more still disagree that “remarriage” after divorcing a living spouse is adultery and remains adultery until the union is dissolved.

In conclusion, I will say that not only does Piper’s book miss the mark on divorce and remarriage; it misses the mark on the Gospel. If divorce and remarriage is not a marriage, then it is exactly what Jesus said it is; remarriage after divorcing a living spouse is adultery. If remarriage is adultery, then only repentance from adultery speaks of the Gospel. Piper wants the reader to believe is that the grace of Christ covers unrepentant sin to remain in adultery. Repentance from sin is having a different view of that sin and turning from that sin. Never would a believer remain in a sin of adultery if they knew that they were living in adultery.

A believer of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ believes by faith that Jesus Christ paid the price for sin that we deserve. One does not remain in sin if they believe by faith in the grace of Christ. In fact, are we not ambassadors of reconciliation because God reconciled Himself to us? The Holy Spirit convicts us of this truth. This is the whole life of grace lived out in the lives of a new creation in Christ. Divorce is contrary to the Gospel because one must  believe that grace is not necessary to remain in covenant marriage. This then becomes those who go on to remarry demanding they receive this same grace to remain in adultery.

 Since remarriage after divorce of living spouse is adultery, lack of repentance of this sin will bring judgment. I understand there are thousands of remarried couples. Many pastors like Piper know this and rather than step forward to admit the truth about this, they remain passive and fearful. One could hardly blame them since their livelihood would be in jeopardy if they come forward to renounce all unlawful marriages. Paul clearly warns that we must not be deceived. The greatest deception of our time is divorce and remarriage. The sad fact is that these unlawful marriages are rampant in the professing church.
1 Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Piper needs to rethink his view and revise question two or he will continually lead many to judgment. His book must conform to God’s word or it should utterly be discarded. It is such a shame that he so eloquently shows the reader how marriage reflects Christ’s love for His church and then falls utterly and fatally short on divorce and remarriage. It is not too late. Should one generation stand forward and treat divorce and remarriage as God hates divorce and remarriage, we would save many generations to come. I understand this comes at a great cost, as many of these unlawful marriage families would have to break apart because of this sin of adultery. However, sin comes at a cost, what a man sows, he reaps, God is not mocked and the consequences of this sin are great, but to deny this sin all together is a greater sin for all eternity.

I leave you with Dietrich Bonhoffer’s excerpt from “Letters and Papers from Prison,28” which begins Piper's chapter on The Gospel and the Divorced. I only pray that we see marriage eternally and not what seems right in our own eyes. I pray too that Piper would reflect on his own words to reconsider his view of adultery remarriage and come to know that it is really no marriage at all.       

“God makes your marriage indissoluble, and protects it from every danger that may threaten it from within and without; he will be the guarantor of its indissolubility. It is blessed thing to know that no power on earth, no temptation, no human frailty can dissolve what God holds together; indeed, anyone who knows that may say confidently: What God has joined together, can no man put asunder. Free from all the anxiety that is always a characteristic of love, you can now say to each other with complete and confident assurance: We can never lose each other now; by the will of God we belong to each other till death.” ~ Dietrich Bonhoffer’s “Letters and Papers from Prison,28”

In Christ’s love,


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Why human sexuality outside of a marriage is a sin…

Human sexuality is everywhere. We see human sexuality in movies, commercials, sitcoms, the internet, sporting events, newspapers, magazines, video games, clothing industry, calendars, street corners, the workplace, and even church. Sex sells, and the world is buying. Pornography is a billion dollar industry that not only exploits human sexuality; it exploits the very minds of the youth. The masterminds of the pornography industry (demonic forces Eph 6:12) believe if you can get them while they are young, you can have them for a lifetime. Human sexuality is so common among the world that most people believe that it is just a part of our culture and see every reason to celebrate sexual freedom. 

What many people fail to realize is that a marriage between a man and a woman is the only acceptable place for human sexuality. Of course, this is from a biblical worldview that points us to God and His design for marriage according to His written word. This stands contrary to what the world tells us. Co-habitation before marriage is on the rise and marriage holds very little value among heterosexual couples.  On the other side, homosexual unions seek to redefine the marriage as not just between a man and a woman. These homosexual couples seek to marry and have made every effort to impress to make this a reality. A side note: Anyone (specifically those with a biblical worldview) who disagrees with this agenda is intolerant and unloving.

A few presuppositions need to be addressed here. One, there is a God who created man in His image and therefore sets boundaries of how we perceive human sexuality. The second is that He has a reason for the human sexuality defined as He sees it. Before we go any further, we also need to understand that the Holy Bible is God’s word written by people under the power of the Holy Spirit. This is not an argument for the validity of the Bible or God, this is an argument for the definition of human sexuality and how it pertains to humanity.

The very first definition of humanity is in the book of Genesis. 

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

We see in this one passage that God created man in His image. He created them male and female. This is simple enough. Everyone alive knows if he or she is a male or female. Our human sexuality is an objective reality that we are either male or female. Therefore, a man cannot sexually be a woman and a woman cannot sexually be a man. It is an objective reality.

Genesis 1:28  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

God, the creator of man and woman blessed them. In Genesis 1:31 it says:

And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Therefore, God blessed this creation of male and female, commanded that they be fruitful, and multiply. God called this good. This is where we see that human sexuality is essential in procreation. A human life can only come from the sperm of a male and the egg of a female. This is a scientific proof, which not only proves that life originates from this process but it also proves that any termination of this process results in the end of this life. Abortion is the common term we use for the definition of terminating a pregnancy.
Abortion and life in the womb is not under question here, the fact that human sexuality creates life is. God called this process of procreation good.

            Now that we know that God called procreation good we can see further in his word that the union of male and female through a one-flesh covenant is good.

 Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 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.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
God provided a suitable helper for man when He created woman from the man’s rib. If we know that all God created was good, we see in verse 24 that God designed that a man and woman would join to become one flesh. Nearly anyone who reads the Bible points to this verse of God’s definition of marriage. The Lord Jesus Christ also spoke of the one–flesh union. In Matthew (19:4-6) and Mark (10:6-9) the Lord Jesus Christ said that from the beginning, God created man and woman and they were joined to become one-flesh that no man may separate. The man (Adam) also makes a vow of marriage (vs23) in God's sight...These verses speak volumes in terms of the covenant of marriage. These verses also point to the beginning of creation. These verses also speak to the importance of sexuality is only reserved for this union.
God never said we were born heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, or no sexual. Sexuality on man’s term is based in the desires of the flesh. God said that we were created either male or female and that the only viable sexual situation is between a man and woman in the one-flesh covenant of marriage. Therefore, any sexual activity other than between married couples is a direct assault against the truth of His word. The Lord Jesus Christ summed this up in two verses.

Matthew 5: 27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

Lust is the beginning of sin. We think sin in our heart before we act it out. The Lord Jesus Christ says we sin when we lust for something even though we did not act it that lust out. Therefore, any sexual thought that is not within the confines of marriage is sin. This speaks volumes against the acts of masturbation, fornication, homosexuality or sexually immorality. This is saying your very thought becomes sin and acting these thoughts calls for a need to repent. 
In conclusion, it is time to point to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. The word of God tells us that the heart of a man is desperately wicked. The truth of God’s word points to us that human sexuality is only reserved for the union of marriage between a man and a woman. Anytime we deviate from the truth we enter into sin. Repentance of sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way we receive the Holy Spirit. It is the power of the Spirit that helps us to live in abundant life in Christ.  We have a Spirit inside that directs us to a Christ-filled life because we are reconciled to the Father. We simply cannot fulfill the lusts of the flesh if we are in prayer with the Deliverer.
Galatians 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.

Repent of sexual sin and believe the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ!

 Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

In Christ’s love,


Friday, May 16, 2014

Essentials to Defend Marriage

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 2:1Now 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.

                God’s word is the sword of the spirit. (Eph 6:17) It pierces the soul, cuts to the marrow and exposes the heart and nothing hides from the word of God. (Heb 12,13) The word is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ for he is the Word of God.(John 1:1) He has preeminence in all things and is the visible image of the invisible God. (Col:15-20) The word can only be understood by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26;1 Cor 2:2 Peter 1:21)and centers on the Lord Jesus Christ.
            There are essentials to defending the covenant of marriage within the Church.

  1. Stand fast on God’s word.
            The Lord Jesus Christ used the word of God to rebuke the devil. He could have destroyed Satan at the moment, but His plan was to defeat him at the cross. That was God’s plan. God came into the world as flesh to redeem us from sin and death. This was not by anything we can do on our own. We need to by faith, believe in the substitutionary   atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe this in our hearts by His word for justification and we confess this with our mouths unto salvation. (Romans 10:9-13)
                 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.

  4. Christian married couples need to intervene in the lives of couples seeking divorce.

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,


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Drop Your Rocks

John 8:2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Many people know the story of the woman caught in adultery. This story is a wonderful example of the grace of Jesus Christ. It shows us the willingness of how we can be so eager to throw stones with ill intentions. It also shows the ignorance of those who use the law for their own benefit. In this case, a group of scribes and Pharisees who were the examples of the Law of Moses so perverted the law to benefit their own twisted agenda. They have the audacity to come before Jesus expecting to trap Him. The reason they failed was not that this woman was an adulterer, the reason they fail is that they perverted the law. 

Jesus was not blind to the Law of Moses knowing that adultery always involved a man and a woman. Where was the man of this adultery in these passages?  According to the Law of Moses, both the man and woman were to be stoned. These religious men made a mockery of the law. Jesus fulfilled the law, and what He wrote in the sand made these men see no reason to condemn this woman for her sin. We have no idea what Jesus wrote in the sand, we just know that what ever it was corresponded with Him saying, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  

This story also shows us that none of us is without sin and that we have no right to throw stones and condemn others. That is Jesus’ right. . However, at no time are we to approve of sin in our own lives and the lives of others. What it also shows is that Jesus sets the example of why we must forgive and when we must forgive. He also showed us that when there is repentance, we must forgive as He forgave us.

Forgiveness for this woman came with knowledge that she was most definitely guilty of the sin of adultery and that she knew her penalty of this sin was death. What she came to know from Jesus is the mercy he extended to her, and that she must never sin again. Jesus never condemns her sin because she knew she was guilty. However, Jesus extends this mercy on a condition that she goes and sin no more.

Many forget the significance to the end of the story. What would be our response if Jesus said, 

“Neither do I condemn thee: continue to remain in your adultery.” 

We would wonder the purpose of this story if Jesus let her remain in her sin. We must never read this story and think that this woman was not a sinner. She was an adulterer. She did sin.
 What is important is whether she understood that she was a sinner or not, and not that she was a sinner who could continue in sin.

What also plays significance is that her accusers cared little for her sin because their intentions were to expose Jesus. What we should all do is see this story as a remedy to sin. It is a conscious effort to believe by faith that Jesus Christ forgives and forgets our sins when we repent of our sins. His command to us is this. “I forgive your sins when you admit your sins, now go and sin no more.”

Now that we know that repentance is important in the reconciliation to God through faith in Jesus Christ. I would like to make this story personal as an example. 

Let us say that this woman caught in adultery was a woman who committed adultery with YOUR husband. Would you forgive her? On the other hand, would you use your rock for revenge? If she admitted adultery with your husband and admitted this as sin, would you forgive her? Your husband too admits this adultery and seeks forgiveness from you? What is your response?  

The point of this is to see if we have really dropped the rocks from our hands. Once the story becomes personal, the decision becomes harder. Yet, Jesus still writes in the sand as He looks at you. If we set the standards of forgiveness and judgment, we still clutch the rock. We may also have redefined the law of marriage. The law of marriage is binding until death. We have not shown compassion by forgiving like Jesus.  

Now that we have made it personal, let us change the story a bit. Your husband comes to Jesus testing Him by saying; “This woman committed adultery against me. Moses said that we might divorce our wives if we find them to be unclean. What say you?” If we study the scriptures, we see that Jesus addresses this very thing in Matthew 19:3-12 and Mark 10:2-12. If we look at the intention of this, we see that a husband has already perverted the law. Thus, divorce would be the actions of those who grip stones. The wife who realizes her sin of adultery, and repents of her sin of adultery must be forgiven. Jesus would say to her…Go and sin no more.  

Jesus says this about those who divorce and remarry. Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery. (Luke 16:18)

If a man fails to repent of his adultery and then divorces his wife to marry his mistress, is he married to his mistress? In addition, if a woman divorced by her husband remarries another man, is she really married? The answer is “no” in both instances.

The one who holds the rock in this story is the person who believes they need not stay in a one-flesh marriage covenant they vowed to God. The moment we pick up a rock and demand justice is the moment we had better not tempt the word of God.    

We need to answer some very serious questions when we read the story of the woman caught in adultery as this pertains to divorce and remarriage. Many are quick to use this story to validate their remarriage after divorce. They will say that God blesses their remarriage. However, once you ask this same person why they could not forgive in their first marriage, they use this story as the example.

“Those without sin cast the first stone”.

They justify their remarriage by saying… “Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, and Jesus forgives my remarriage.”

Jesus makes it clear that forgiveness of sin comes when there is repentance of sin. He also makes it clear that we must not cast stones with ill intentions. If our intentions are devoid of the Gospel, then the rocks remain in our hands as we create our own laws. This is true of a spouse who initiates divorce. Those who seek divorce believe that repentance and forgiveness are not options and that Jesus does not have the power to write into the consciences of the heart. Those who divorce have a different law of marriage that is not binding. They become covenant breakers.

Many people know the story of the woman caught in adultery. This story is a wonderful example of the grace of Jesus Christ. It shows us the willingness of how we can be so eager to throw stones with ill intentions. It also shows the ignorance of those who use divorce and remarriage for their own benefit. In this case, a group of religious people who were to be examples of God’s law of marriage so perverted the law to benefit their own twisted agenda. They have the audacity to come before Jesus expecting to trap Him. The reason they failed was not that their spouse was without sin, the reason they fail is that they perverted the law of marriage to initiate a divorce.

When you look at this story think of the mercy Jesus has for us. While we were yet sinners, the Lord Jesus Christ died for us. If your spouse divorced you and remarried someone else, they are those who have rocks in their hands and have not let those rocks go. You need to write in the sand so that they may see the truth of God’s word as it pertains to marriage, divorce and remarriage. Therefore, that one day, they drop the rock and realize that they are the ones who will be forgiven if they, go, and sin no more.

If YOU divorced and remarried, you picked up rocks and you never dropped them. Jesus says that those who initiate divorce have hard hearts. Those who remarry after divorce are in adultery, not a marriage. You have not only kept the rock, you ignore the writings in the sand. Repentance means leaving your adultery and to remain in adultery no more. My message to you is drop the rock, repent of your sin and run to Jesus Christ. 

In Christ’s love,


Sunday, May 11, 2014

9 lies and 9 truths...Divorce and Remarriage

Lies of divorce and remarriage

  1. Divorce ends a marriage covenant.
  2. Remarriage after divorcing a living spouse is not adultery
  3. Adultery remarriage is a one time sin, thus one can remain in remarriage
  4. If your denomination said you remarried, you remarried.
  5. Your pastor has the final say on your remarriage.
  6. You can remain in your remarriage after you repent.
  7. God’s grace covers divorce and remarriage.
  8. God blesses remarriages.
  9. I can see God’s blessings in my remarriage

Truths of divorce and remarriage

1.      Death ends a marriage covenant. (Gen 2:24; Mal 2:10-14; Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-9; Romans 7:2,3; 1 Cor 7:39)
2.      Remarriage after divorcing a living spouse is adultery. (Matthew 5:32; 19:9; Mark 10:11,12; Luke 16:18)
3.      Adultery remains a permanent sin until repentance. (Matthew 12:41; Luke 3:8; Luke 5:32)
4.      Denominations are not the word of God. (Mark 7:8)
5.      Your pastor is not God. (Ex 20:1,2)
6.      Repentance is permanently dissolving the adulterous union. (2 Cor 7:10)
7.      God’s grace covers those who repent from the sin of adultery. (Acts 11:18)
8.      God calls remarriages adultery (see 3.) and those who remain in this sin will perish.(Matthew 7:21-23;1 Cor 6:9,10; Heb 13:4)
9.      Deception is evident in those with hard hearts. Divorce is hardheartedness and remarriage is nothing more than sanctified unforgiveness. God warned of the deceptions that are to come. Divorce to remarry is the greatest deception of our time.(1Cor 6:9; Gal 6:7; 2 Tim 3:13)  

God is patient that none should perish, but that they come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9; 1 Tim 2:4; Rev 2:21)

In Christ’s love,


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Marriage-Permanence vs Popular

The Permanence Marriage.
  1. Stands on solid biblical hermeneutics and principles.
  2. Promotes a lifetime one-flesh covenant of marriage between 1 man and 1 woman till death.
  3. Promotes selflessness. 
  4. Forgiveness is the essential prerequisite in this marriage.
  5. Repentance of sin is essential in this marriage.
  6. Grace and truth abound in this covenant.
  7. Faith in God is required regardless of the circumstance.
  8. Divorce, which is centered on a hard heart, is not an option.
The Popular Marriage.
  1. Stands on ignored scriptures and less then sound biblical hermeneutics and principles. 
  2. Promotes a lifetime covenant of marriage with exceptions.
  3. Promotes selfishness.
  4. Forgiveness only applies in most, but not all cases.
  5. Repentance is not required in some cases since forgiveness is subjective.
  6. Grace abounds, but is also subjective.
  7. Faith in God is also subjective to whether or not a spouse is willing to remain in the marriage based on their subjective view on when to leave or stay in the marriage.
  8. Divorce is an option, though not recommended. In the case of martial infidelity, the "innocent" spouse has the option to forgive, seek repentance from the "guilty" spouse, and/or both so there is reconciliation of the marriage. However, the "innocent" spouse is not required to forgive, seek repentance from the "guilty" spouse. Divorce is also an option if an "unbelieving" spouse leaves the marriage. 
  9. Remarriage after divorce is acceptable if a spouse is the "innocent" party in martial infidelity. In some, not all cases, the "guilty" party is never allowed to remarry and must remain single. In some, not all cases, the "guilty" party is never allowed to remarry unless the innocent spouse remarries. In some, but not all cases, the "guilty" spouse may remarry after divorce regardless of the "innocent" spouse actions. 
The pros and cons of Permanence Marriage.
The pros:
  1. Puts marriage as the highest standard in which we base the definitions of love, forgiveness, gender roles, procreation, parenting, and social reform. 
  2. Makes marriage one of the most profound and important decisions in the life of an individual.
  3. Provides a sound foundation for the family unit for all of society.
  4. Exhibits a sound definition of forgiveness, grace, and love. 
  5. Represents the relationship that Christ has with His church.
  6. The push for same-sex marriage or any other marriage re-definition has no merit against this view.
The cons:
  1. Is not widely accepted by the standards of the world. 
  2. Is not widely accepted by the Evangelical church.
  3. Is under constant attack from the enemies of God.
  4. May require one spouse to stand for the covenant in spite of the decisions of a wayward spouse.
The pros and cons of Popular Marriage.

The pros:

  1. The fact that there is so much subjectivity in this popular view causes many to ask questions. These questions cause many to search the truth of God’s word. This causes some to reconsider this view to the point of repentance from this view to a view of the permanence of marriage.
  2. Some children make a concerted effort to not repeat the pain of divorce by adhering to the permanence view of marriage as adults. They know all too well the pain that the divorce of their parents has caused in their lives.
  3. Some adults who divorced and remarried begin to search the truth of scripture and the permanence of marriage. They have since repented of their divorce and remarriage.

Note: The pros of this marriage have considerable consequences because of the pain subjected by the failed definition of this popular marriage. It must be noted that God restores the broken lives of those who have experienced and repented from the many faults and failures of this popular marriage.

The cons:
  1. The enemy has a firm grasp on this popular marriage. 
  2. The majority of the world recognizes this marriage and it is widely acceptable by man. This may seem like a "pro" until one compares scripture to those who love the world as to those who remain obedient to God.
  3. Since divorce and remarriage are acceptable, there is very little discernment as to who is able to divorce and remarry as opposed to who may not. Since many congregations differ on various interpretations of scripture, a reason to divorce may be acceptable in one area and frowned upon in the next. This subjectivity is contrary to the objective word of God and is a poor representation of Christ.
  4. Since divorce and remarriage is as an option entering marriage, there is a loophole in place to exit the marriage if it does not work out.
  5.  Since forgiveness is subjective, those who believe they had biblical grounds to divorce in the case of infidelity may error if the "guilty" spouse repents.
  6. When grace is used without truth, there is contradiction. A person who seeks grace to "remarry" after divorce, may actually deny grace to a spouse in order to reconcile a marriage. If there is an "innocent" spouse in the case of martial unfaithfulness, it is possible that remaining in the marriage to wait for repentance from the "guilty" spouse is a very real possibility. Not waiting is a clear indication that grace and truth need not apply. 
  7. The statistics of divorce are astounding and tragic. Divorce leaves a path of destruction on the lives of individuals, families, friends and co-workers.
  8. The statistics of divorce and remarriage within the church leave a black mark on anyone trying to make a stand against same-sex marriage. The biggest attack by the LGBT against "popular" marriage is the fact that there are so many divorces and remarriages within the professing church.
  9. Children have lasting effects when subjected to divorce and remarriage. These effects last well into adulthood and often lead them to divorce themselves.
  10. Blended families of remarriage create many more problems.
  11. It demonstrates to the children that marriage is not a permanent decision.
  12. This view of marriage is contrary to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
  13. This view promotes unforgiveness and adultery. This could and will have eternal consequences if not repented. 
  14. The fact that many, many clergy promote this view is astounding. Since these hirelings promote a false view of marriage, it is a clear indication that this clergy/laity system may be the underlying problem. A church system that time and time contradicts the early church of Acts is a sure indication that we should compare the word of God to what we thought to be true.

Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
In Christ’s love,