Jared C. Wilson: And Jesus said to them, “The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. — Luke 20:34-36 Jesus knows that the Sadducees he’s speaking to do not believe in a resurrection, and in a way, their very misunderstanding of what Jesus believes about marriage betrays their disbelief. The Sadducees, like so many others then and today who don’t believe in Jesus, think this is all there is. Nothing comes after death. You die and that’s it. They do not think on the scale of eternity. That God is endless and therefore life is endless. That when God created the world, not even the fall of mankind and the sin unleashed into the world
read more The Gifts of This Age Point Us to the Age Still to Come
Ray Ortlund (adapted from Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel): The Nature of True Love The heart of a Christian husband comes to a focal point in one word, the key word for the husband, in Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” The word love is wonderful. We can see its sacrificial boldness in this very verse. But this word love is overused in our world today. So can we drill down more deeply into this word? Paul helps us to do so, in verse 29. In the coherence of the passage, the words “nourishes” and “cherishes” in verse 29 restate and clarify the meaning of the word “love”: “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.” So Christ nourishing and cherishing the church as his own body is equivalent to Christ not hating but loving his
read more He Nourishes and Cherishes Her
Sam Storms: In an earlier post we looked at 10 things all should know about male headship as it is found in Scripture. Today we look at female submission. (1) Submission (Gk., hupotasso) carries the implication of voluntary yieldedness to a recognized authority. Biblical submission is appropriate in several relational spheres: the wife to her husband (Eph. 5:22-24); children to their parents (Eph. 6:1); believers to the elders of the church (Heb. 13:17; 1 Thess. 5:12); citizens to the state (Rom. 13); servants (employees) to their masters (employers) (1 Pt. 2:18); and each believer to every other believer in humble service (Eph. 5:21). (2) Submission is not grounded in any supposed superiority of the husband or inferiority of the wife (see Gal. 3:28; 1 Pet. 3:7). The concept of the wife being the “helper” (Gen. 2:18-22) of the husband in no way implies her inferiority. In fact, the Hebrew word translated “helper” is often used in the OT to refer
read more 10 Things You should Know about Female Submission
Darryl Dash: The older I get, the more I try to remember the basics. This is what I appreciate in the pastors I love. These are the qualities I want to see in my life. A deepening love for the Lord — Nobody should be more amazed by the depth of God’s grace than the pastor. The thing that people need most from a pastor isn’t strategy or charisma. It’s a heart that is alive to the triune God. A genuine, loving marriage — I remember seeing Jill Briscoe laugh at Stu Briscoe’s jokes. It told me more about him as a man and pastor than if I’d read every book he’d written. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. A ministry committed to the Word — I take 1 Peter 4:11 seriously. If you speak, speak God’s Word. Don’t give us your thoughts or musings, or repackage something you read or heard. Give us God’s Word. Gratitude and love
read more Nothing Fancy… Just the Basics
Sam Storms: Why do we who identify as conservative evangelicals put so much emphasis on the importance of heterosexual monogamy as the only morally acceptable option? Two reasons may be cited. Of course, I could mention historical, social, and cultural arguments, even psychological arguments for the benefits and blessings of heterosexual marriage. But let me mention two biblical arguments, both of which were recently discussed by my friend Ray Ortlund. First, this is God’s will for all mankind! Moses said it clearly: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). In a world where the primary human relationship was of a child and his parents, this was a stunning statement. We are being told that nothing trumps the one-flesh relationship between a man and his wife. A person’s deepest and most abiding loyalty is to his/her spouse. A man is to “hold fast” or
read more Why is Monogamous, Heterosexual Marriage so Important to Evangelical Christians?
C.S. Lewis on our Pattern in marriage: We must go back to our Bibles. The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church–read on–and gave his life for her (Eph 5:25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is–in her own mere nature–least lovable. For the Church has no beauty but what the Bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man’s marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his
read more The bible’s kind of marriage is most like a crucifixion
Sam Storms: Our society is being wracked by a seemingly never-ending dispute over the meaning, legality, and nature of so-called same-sex marriage. The experts tell us that it is highly likely the Supreme Court will soon issue a ruling making same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states. So what should be the Christian response? Perhaps the best place to begin is with the meaning of marriage. I would define marriage as the enjoyment of spiritual and physical unity between one man and one woman based on a life-long, covenant commitment, the ultimate aim of which is to display the covenant relationship between Jesus Christ and his Bride, the Church. Marriage is a unity of both flesh and spirit. It is a mutual commitment in which husband and wife share their bodies, their spirits, their possessions, their problems, their insights and ideas, their goals and gripes, their sadness and happiness. Ideally, nothing should stand in the way of this mutual experience.
read more What are we to make of so-called “same-sex marriage”?
Tim & Kathy Keller: Without the help of the Spirit, without a continual refilling of your soul’s tank with the glory and love of the Lord, such submission to the interests of the other is virtually impossible to accomplish for any length of time without becoming resentful. I call this “love economics.” You can only afford to be generous if you actually have some money in the bank to give. In the same way, if your only source of love and meaning is your spouse, then anytime he or she fails you, it will not just cause grief but a psychological cataclysm. If, however, you know something of the work of the Spirit in your life, you have enough love “in the bank” to be generous to your spouse even when you are not getting much affection or kindness at the moment. To have a marriage that sings requires a Spirit-created ability to serve, to take yourself out of
read more The Holy Spirit in Your Marriage
Kevin DeYoung: So you’ve become convinced that the Bible supports gay marriage. You’ve studied the issue, read some books, looked at the relevant Bible passages and concluded that Scripture does not prohibit same-sex intercourse so long as it takes place in the context of a loving, monogamous, lifelong covenanted relationship. You still love Jesus. You still believe the Bible. In fact, you would argue that it’s because you love Jesus and because you believe the Bible that you now embrace gay marriage as a God-sanctioned good. As far as you are concerned, you haven’t rejected your evangelical faith. You haven’t turned your back on God. You haven’t become a moral relativist. You’ve never suggested anything goes when it comes to sexual behavior. In most things, you tend to be quite conservative. You affirm the family, and you believe in the permanence of marriage. But now you’ve simply come to the conclusion that two men or two women should be able
read more Five Questions for Christians Who Believe the Bible Supports Gay Marriage
As my lovely wife celebrates a special birthday, the best gift I can give her is outlined here by Jonathan Parnell: Our hunger for God will not be confined to our closets. As we know him and delight in all that he is for us in Jesus, our joy in him reaches beyond personal experience on a quest to be reproduced in others. One of the simplest ways we realize this is by taking serious how we pray — by wanting and asking for others the same things we want and ask for ourselves. It is a beautiful thing — a miracle — when we become as invested in the sanctification of others as we are in our own. And, of course, the best place to start is with our spouses. So men, here are ten things to want from God (and ask from him) for your wife: God, be her God — her all-satisfying treasure and all. Make her jealous for
read more 10 Things to Pray for Your Wife
Kevin DeYoung: In today’s cultural climate can you make a case for marriage in less than two minutes? Probably not. But we need many creative ways of getting the conversation started and making people rethink some of their assumptions. Here is one example from Ireland.
John Piper from This Momentary Marriage: Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically; it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. If we make secondary things primary, they cease to be secondary and become idolatrous. They have their place. But they are not first, and they are not guaranteed. Life is precarious, and even if it is long by human standards, it is short. “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Prov. 27:1). It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds. If we make secondary things primary, we will be embittered at the sorrows we must face. But if we set our face to make of
read more Focused Marriage
We must go back to our Bibles. The husband is the head of the wife just in so far as he is to her what Christ is to the Church. He is to love her as Christ loved the church–read on–and gave his life for her (Ephesians 5:25). This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is–in her own mere nature–least lovable. For the Church has no beauty but what the Bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her lovely. The chrism of this terrible coronation is to be seen not in the joys of any man’s marriage but in its sorrows, in the sickness and sufferings of a good wife or the faults of a bad one, in his unwearying (never paraded) care or his inexhaustible forgiveness:
read more Christ-ian Marriage
Adrian Reynolds: Many of us and people in our churches will have been praying about Tuesday’s vote on so-called gay marriage in the House of Commons. The Government’s success in the vote, and the sometimes empty arguments advanced, will have left many of us feeling a little cold, low and disappointed – not just physically, but spiritually too. As preachers, we will have the pulpit on Sunday, so what must we say? Plenty. But I would like specifically to suggest five things we must not say, despite the temptation. 1. Our God is not sovereign None of us would say this, of course, but might some of our people think it? How can the God we worship and adore possibly be sovereign and allow this vote to have gone through? If ever there were a time for a Mount Carmel type intervention, wasn’t this it? Surely the only reasonable deduction (and one that opponents might well make) is that God is not
read more Five things not to say this Sunday
John Piper, Ligon Duncan, Russell Moore, and Greg Gilbert at a panel of the 2012 Together for the Gospel (April 2012): Tim Keller, Don Carson, and John Piper at the Gospel Coalition council members’ meeting (May 2012): If you are new to this subject, here are some resources I would recommend starting with: 1. John Piper and Wayne Grudem “50 Crucial Questions About Manhood and Womanhood.” This is a free PDF that gives concise answers to 50 questions. This is the place to start. 2. If you want to hear the audio or read the notes of a weekend seminar, looking at passages and objections and application in more depth, take a look at this free seminar by John Piper. 3. For introductions written by women, consider Carrie Sandom, Different by Design: God’s Blueprint for Men and Women and Claire Smith, God’s Good Design: What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women. (HT: Justin Taylor)
Jonathan Parnell: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered on the cross in our place and was raised triumphantly from the dead. He ascended to the Father’s right hand and is now enthroned, sending his Spirit who by the Word gathers for himself a new people from every tribe and tongue and nation. This new people — the church — are those who by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus are welcomed into fellowship with God and now hope for his coming kingdom.We know this news changes everything. It has to. But how? What about everyday life? What about relationships? Or more specifically, what about marriage? In their book, Love That Lasts, Gary and Betsy Ricucci list out nine ways that the gospel directly affects marriage (and so much more). Because of the gospel, Christians have become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, in our marriage, our past does not define us, confine us, or determine our future. Because of
read more Nine Ways the Gospel Transforms Marriage
Jono Linebaugh (Assistant Professor of New Testament at Knox Theological Seminary) talks to Paul Tripp and Elyse Fitzpatrick: (HT: Justin Taylor)
This video Q and A with Mark Dever and Al Mohler is an excellent example of pastoral theology and an application of the gospel to a very difficult, but increasingly pervasive, issue: From Together for the Gospel 2012.
From Justin Taylor: This is a deeply moving story that I’d strongly encourage you to watch: John Piper writes: I tremble with the glad responsibility of introducing you to Ian & Larissa Murphy in this video. Tremble, because it is their story and so personal. So delicate. So easily abused. So unfinished. Glad, because Christ is exalted over all things. I am so thankful for Desiring God (a free-but-not-free blog and ministry), for books likeThis Momentary Marriage, and for the faithful testimony of people like Ian and Larissa. May stories like this abound ten-thousand-fold.
“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 and his church on display. That is why marriage exists.… Staying married, therefore, is not mainly about staying in love. It is about keeping covenant. ‘Til 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.” — John Piper This Momentary Marriage (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway Books, 2009), 25 (HT: Of First Importance)