Tuesday, March 14, 2017

9 Steps For Witnessing The Truth of Marriage in the Church

Titus 1:6-9 If any (bishops) be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.Titus 2:1-5 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Many people question the idea of marriage permanence and the thought that it is solely about brow-beating people that they are headed to Hell if they remain in adultery. While we must never entertain the idea that sin is something to hide or ignore, we must also be considerate to the fact that remaining in sin and not calling it sin is a very dangerous and eternally damaging. We must also consider, and have compassion for the sinner so as to bring them back into fellowship with the Lord. This latter fact should be our reason why we stand for marriage truth. If it isn't, then your witness for marriage will be nothing more than

"sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal". (1 Cor 13:1)
There needs to be grace and truth when we talk about marriage. We must never be a banging gong. We must love with the love of Christ and do so with the purpose of bringing people to the power of the Gospel. This is why I believe that marriage is a perfect reflection of Gospel when marriage is properly witnessed by those who believe this covenant is for a lifetime.

I have written several posts in the past to clergy, family ministries, and laypersons (I detest using these words, but it is no surprise that we have come to this period in history where "denominationism" is the current, but false representation of the church) in what they must do to be a witness of marriage. Yet, I felt it necessary to have a short, yet concise steps to speak boldly and become a bold witness to the definition of marriage founded on the love of the Gospel. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6; Mk 6-9; Eph 5:31,32)

Here are 9 steps which I believe are necessary in restoring marriage truth in the body of Christ. These need to be position papers in every denomination and congregation who calls Jesus Christ Lord.

  • Preach the Gospel. The Gospel is the key to knowing God’s love, and knowing God’s love is the key to know how to love people. (John 3:16-18; 1 John 4:2-18) 

  • Define marriage truth. We must define marriage as God defines marriage. Marriage is one man and one woman for life. Only death can sever this covenant bond. (Gen 2:24; Mt 19:4-6;Mk 10:6-9)

  • The body of Christ must be an unwavering witness to marriage. We can only be an unwavering witness of marriage if we love God and love people by remaining in the vow…until death do we part.

  • The body of Christ must teach the truth about marriage. One man and one woman for life. No excuses, no exceptions. This must include older married couples ministering younger married couples. This is a great ministry for "empty-nesters" in guiding young couples to be godly marriages which reflect the love of Christ. A great example of this is found in Paul's letter to Titus...of which I included some of these verses in this post.

  • The body of Christ must be accountable to every marriage in the body. This includes an unwavering stance for church discipline (Matthew 18:15-17) so that all who sin (no matter the sin) can be restored into fellowship with repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration.

  • The body of Christ must be accountable to those who chose not to repent of sin. In the cases where a sinner chooses not to repent (This will most likely be very scarce if church discipline is properly handled) then he or she is considered reprobate and expelled from fellowship. This does not equate to the body of Christ rejecting them, rather it is a further discipline to bring such person to repentance. (1Cor 5:4,5) If the body of Christ is united in this stance, the sinner will not be included in fellowship with the body, and he or she will not share in anything associated with the body of Christ.

  • The body of Christ must be accountable to all innocent parties of those who are directly affected by the sin of the church disciplined sinner. A perfect example is any family member who was under the care of a man was rejected from fellowship due to church discipline. This would include the spouse and children. This does not give the innocent party freedom to ever believe the disciplined sinner will never repent. This gives the body of Christ accountability to saints in need.  

  • All current “remarriages” because of a civil divorce from a covenant of one-flesh marriage are states of adultery and must be dissolved and must be called what they truly are…adulterous unions and not covenant marriage. All future “remarriages” because of a civil divorce must be abolished since these unions are unions of adultery.  Any person or persons in one-flesh covenant marriages who initiates, or is a victim of unilateral divorce must reconcile this marriage or remain unmarred until death. In plain terms, a divorce cannot end a one-flesh covenant marriage, and all “remarriages” are adulterous unions.

  • The body must teach the truth that states of adultery remarriage are under the wrath of God and will not permit such party to inherit the Kingdom of God. If any member of the body of Christ does not seek to understand this important fact, then he or she is under church discipline. It is the duty of every believer to bring the unrepentant to repentance. (Heb 13:4)

I pray that the body of Christ would open eyes and ears to the truth of marriage as God commanded (1 Cor 7:10,11) and that we take steps to be a witness to marriage and one man and one woman for life...in doing so, we show a fallen world the love of Christ, and His love for us. 

Titus 2:11-15 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

In Christ's love,