God as Husband
The Biblical view of sex is unique. It rejects the view, held by some conservative cultures, that sex is dirty. Instead, the Bible views sex so highly that it cannot be shared casually with anyone outside the covenantal relationship of marriage. Sex is meant to bind two people together. It renews the covenant that they have made with one another.
The premise of Christian marriage is that two people are filled with the Holy Spirit and are committed to serving one another. Wives are to grant husbands leadership in the marriage. Husbands are to use that leadership not for their own selfish desires but to sacrificially serve their wives. The purpose of Christian marriage is not for individual self-fulfillment, but to work for the growth and sanctification of the spouse. Lastly, Christian marriage is not an end in itself, but a pointer to Jesus Christ, the ultimate spouse who will never let us down.
Everyone has a war within themselves. We all want to live according to a high moral code, but none of us can meet the demands of our moral code. The reason for this is that inside of ourselves there is a desire for evil as well as a desire for good. Therefore, none of us can win the battle. But the battle changes when we become a Christian. The deepest parts of ourselves change so that for the first time our most inner being delights in the law of God. We move from a battle we cannot win to a battle we cannot lose.
Modern people are often uncomfortable when the Bible speaks of God’s jealousy. Yet, God’s jealousy is intimately related to God’s love towards us. The relationship that God calls us to is not merely one of subjects obeying a king. Rather, God calls us into a marriage relationship with Him, and His jealousy is spousal. God seeks a relationship with us that is characterized by priority, fidelity, and intimacy.
In order to understand sin, we need to understand that we are not merely rebelling against a king or straying from a shepherd, but that we are committing adultery and breaking the heart of a God who has entered into a marriage covenant with us. In the book of Hosea, we see one of the clearest Biblical images of God as a wronged lover who sacrifices everything in order to save his wayward bride.
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Jeremiah 2-4; Ezekiel 16; Isaiah 54; Matthew 9:14-15.
When the message of the Gospel of Christ is being received, it creates the potential for the kind of community we long for, but generally fail to realize. What are the barriers to this kind of community and how do we overcome them?
Additional scriptural references made in this sermon are: Hebrews 3:13; Romans 15:14; Romans 12:9; John 17:20-24; Romans 15:1-3; Matthew 27:46.