Summary: Part 3 of this series focuses on what Jesus says about Marriage, Swearing and Revenge/Longsuffering in His Sermon on the Mount.
Pulling Against God Part 3
Scriptures: Matthew 5: 31-42
In my message last week I focused on the first two areas that Jesus dealt with in His sermon on the mount. This week we will continue from where we left off. Before I get into the heart of this message, I want you to ask yourself a question: Do you believe that God had anything to do with where you are right now, today? This question goes to the heart of what I am trying to convey to you about our pulling against God. God has a plan for your life, one that was established while you were still in your mother’s womb. There are times when we will deviate from His designed plan for us, but His plan for our lives, even if we do not fulfill them, does not change. God does not make mistakes; He is never wrong; and He knows what is best for us. Our pulling against Him grieves Him just as it did when King Saul pulled against Him and we know how that ended. When we stop pulling we come to a place where we can clearly see where He is taking us. Now, let us begin where we left off last week. Turn to Matthew chapter five and we will begin at verse 31.
I. Renewing Our Minds About Marriage
I shared with you last week that greater than 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. There are more single adults today than married ones (this data does not include those under the age of 21). The prevailing thought around marriage is that it is a convenience that is good while it lasts but when it ceases to be fun, it is no longer a convenience and you have the option of leaving. Some actually believes that since God wants us to be happy that if we married the “wrong” person God will approve of us leaving them – since that will make us happy. Some of you reading or hearing this may have gone through a divorce and I am not standing here in judgment of you, but trying to simply show everyone that marriage according to God’s purpose should not be entered into lightly and when you do enter into it, your mindset should be one of permanence. As I have shared with you in the past, in my flesh, I recognize that there are cases where divorce is necessary, but marriage in its original design was to last till death. I am going to go out on a limb and make this statement: If someone marries the person that God has truly chosen for them and they are both trying to live for God as best they can, the marriage will have a 99.9% chance of lasting versus the less than 50% it has today for the average marriage. The problem is we like arm candy, someone we feel good to be with because they look good physically. We like them to be all that and a bag of chips plus a soda. We like what we like regardless of what God knows is best for us.
So what is God’s design for marriage and why should that be important to us? Matthew 5:31-32 says “And it was said, ‘Whoever send s his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife except for the cause of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” When you look at these two verses plus Jesus’ other teachings on divorce one thing stands out, when a man marries a woman that relationship was supposed to last. The term “unchastity” means sexual immorality which includes premarital sex, extramarital infidelity, homosexuality and bestiality. We often limit this to adultery, but it goes further than this. Now here is the problem today, even when problems arise there should be forgiveness available, but I will save that for another sermon.
In Matthew chapter 19 Jesus was asked by the Pharisees whether or not it was permissible for a man to divorce his wife for any reason – something we have today. Today you can divorce for “irreconcilable differences” which encompasses everything from adultery to not liking how someone cooks. When Jesus answered this question He said the following: “…Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?’ Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6) In this answer we find the purpose, when a man and woman become husband and wife, they become one flesh.