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Summary: exposition on matt ch19v1-15

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The Institution of Marriage

Matthew 19 v. 1 - 15

v3 "Is it lawful for a man to put away hie wife for every cause?"

1. The source of this question v. 3 "the pharisees"

2. The subtlety of this question v. 3 "is it lawful?" to contrast Christ with the law

3. The solution to this question v. 4 - 15 the Lord explains the marriage covenant

he states clearly that :-

(a) Marriage is a Divine Institution v. 4 "at the beginning God made them male and female," teaching Marriage was to be :-

a perfect relationship "it is not good for man to be alone.",

a purposeful relationship, "I will make him an help meet for him."

a permanent relationship i.e. if Adam divorced Eve, who would he marry?

(b) Marriage is a Sacred Institution v. 5 "for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife." Here he indicates :-

The priority of marriage "leave" over every other human relationship

The partnership of marriage "cleave" i.e. glue, as a gift consecrated to God, so the husband gives himself completely to his wife, and the wife to her husband - consecrate to each other

The purpose of marriage - that the two may become one, literally, lovingly, and lastingly before God

(c) Marriage is a Protected Institution v. 6 "what therefore God hath joined together, let not man put assunder", God’s warning is clear, concise and comprehensive - let not man separate, when David had sinned with Bathsheba and was confronted with his sin, he realised too late, how marriage was sacred before God and nothing to be trifled with. He confessed "against thee only have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight" In splitting their marriage he had sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, and God who had united them.

(d) Marriage is a Threatened Institution v. 7 "Moses was allowed to give a bill of divorcement" but that was not the way God intended marriage to be

(1) The reason for divorce v. 8 it was a concession - because of hardness of heart

(2) The reaction to divorce v 8 it was common - many wives put away for trivial causes, but "from beginning it was not so"

(3) The result of divorce v. 9 it was costly - now many were living in adultery through their sin. With dreadful repercussions for themselves, their partners, and their children.

(4) The restructuring of divorce v. 9 "except it be for fornication" - unfaithfulness in the bond of marriage. It was not the law, on divorce was wrong - it was their abuse of it, that was wrong

(e) Marriage is a Demanding Institution v. 10 "it is not good to marry"

Notice here the :-

(1) Reaction of the disciples - or over reaction - it’s not good to marry

(2) Response of the Lord - it’s good to marry but all will not be married, some remain single and celebate by natural constitution - without their choice, some - by violence against their choice, others by grace with their choice, "for the kingdom of heaven’s sake."

(f) Marriage is a Responsible Institution v. 13 - 15 The Lord goes on to deal with the results of marriage the "little children" Notice here :-

(1) His attraction for them "There were brought unto him little children"


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