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Summary: This sermon looks at Jesus' teaching about marriage & divorce

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“WHAT DID JESUS SAY ABOUT MARRIAGE?” Matt. 19:1-12

INTRO – Annual life insurance policy notice – “Note: A change in marital status could necessitate a new beneficiary designation. Please contact your agent if your marital status has changed.”

I think we can safely say that the status of marriage in America has definitely changed – and NOT for the better!

- Our government has gotten involved in the society shifting decision to redefine marriage to legitimize & legalize same-sex marriage.

o Just this past wk, a district judge in PA struck down that state’s ban on gay marriage. Washington Post article: “Judicial victories for gay marriage are coming almost daily now.” Said the decision broke “new doctrinal ground” (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/05/20/federal-judge-strikes-down-pennsylvania-ban-on-same-sex-marriage/).

- The ease of divorce – Did a Google search for “easy divorce” – 1st page had websites & ads that made these types of statements:

o “Easy online divorce – Doing your own divorce is easy”

o “Quickie divorce”

o “Completed divorce in 3 easy steps”

o “Do It Yourself Divorce Kits”

o “Divorce online is fast & easy”

o “$89 Divorce Pkg – Call now!”

- Reality TV has jumped on the polygamy bandwagon w/ shows like “Sister Wives” & “My Five Wives.” Fox News website had this to say about “My Five Wives”: “Their show begins airing in a social and political climate that has softened significantly toward plural families in recent years.”

- Cohabitation/Living together – This trend is growing more & more all the time. Unmarried couples living together in unprecedented numbers now. One report I read said that 2/3 of new marriages in the US start in cohabitation. It’s the new normal for most marriages in our society today.

o Rachel’s conversation w/ nurses at work.

So, as we’ve noted, it’s pretty obvious to even the most casual observer that the status of marriage in our society today is changing, & not for the better. When we consider the status of marriage in our society today, it has some interesting effects on us as Christ-followers:

- Fires us up – Makes us mad as we see more & more opposition to the truth of God’s Word. Sometimes it’s hard to remember Eph. 6:12 – “We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world” (GNT).

- Freaks us out – Just can’t believe that we are seeing these things happen in our society. And can’t believe how rapidly things are changing.

- Frightens us for the future – Can’t help but wonder what kind of long-term effects these changes are going to have on our kids, grandkids, our communities, the church, our laws as a nation, & other areas of our lives.

But, as our sermon title reminds us, we need to discover what Jesus said about marriage & base our lives around these unchanging truths, no matter what our world says about marriage:

THE PERFECT MARITAL STATUS: There were always people around who were maliciously trying to trip Jesus up, trying to trick Him or ensnare Him w/ a question that would cause Him to incriminate Himself or contradict Himself. There are plenty of people out there today who are doing the same thing, especially in the marriage arena. All you’ve got to do to see that is read some of the comments made in response to news articles about marriage.

But when Jesus answered them, He didn’t go back to the Mosaic Laws in Deut. He went all the way back to the Garden of Eden to make these tremendously strong points that we MUST remember & always stand on.

Created by God’s design – v. 4 – Jesus’ immediate response to the Pharisees showed that they should have known the truth – “Haven’t you read…” They knew the foundation for marriage was the design of God. It also revealed their underhanded motives for even asking this question.

Jesus made it abundantly clear that marriage was & is God’s idea. It was His creation. Therefore, its status is not up for debate or alteration. God created man & He created woman. And His design for marriage is that it is always only to be a relationship of 1 man & 1 woman for life.

Last year, the Supreme Courts said that essentially the only reason anyone could have for defining marriage the way every human civilization has for millennia is hostility toward gay and lesbian persons (http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/04/15/same-sex-marriage-and-the-future/). They are completely wrong. The only reason we define marriage as only between 1 man & 1 woman for life is b/c this is how God Almighty has defined it since the beginning of time! It is foundational in HIS perfect marriage status!

Completed in God’s plan – v. 5 – Jesus went on & made THE most profound statement in the Bible regarding God’s perfect marriage status. It is so clear that the fulfillment of His plan for marriage is that a MAN & a WOMAN unite themselves to each other & only each other. This uniting together has 3 different facets:

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