Sermon: Building Stronger Marriages #2: Understanding the Crea



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Purpose: That we might see God’s purpose for marriage

Building Stronger Marriages #2 

Understanding the Creator’s Purpose

Ephesians 5.31–32

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 17, In the year of our Lord, 2016

Scripture Reader and Reading: Paul Hannan – Ephesians 5.25–32

Song Leader and Song Suggestions: Phil Joseph – Songs on love


  1. Laying the Right Foundation 
    1. When does marriage begin? Or What is marriage?
      1. Genesis 2 shows why God made woman,

        18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said:
        “This is now bone of my bones
        And flesh of my flesh;
        She shall be called Woman,
        Because she was taken out of Man.”

        24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Gen 2.18–25).

        1. Marriage happens when God brings together a man and a woman, and
        2. they leave their parents and
          1. are joined to one another and
          2. they become one flesh.
      2. Ezekiel 16 shows how the Lord married Jerusalem,

        8 “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God (Eze 16.8).

        1. The Lord covered Jerusalem, providing for her.
        2. The Lord made a vow to Jerusalem.
        3. The Lord entered into a covenant with Jerusalem.
        4. The Lord took Jerusalem as His own.
    2. How long does God intend for a marriage to last?
      1. When God created Adam and Eve,
        1. He intended for them to live forever.
        2. Since He created Eve for Adam, and joined them together in marriage,
          1. we would conclude that He wanted their marriage to last forever.
          2. He did not build divorce into His original plan,
            1. although later He allowed it.
            2. His intention should be our intention.
      2. Now that death has entered the picture,
        1. we know that marriage lasts as long as the two are living.
        2. The marriage is so strong that only death can break it naturally.
          1. He allowed divorce for adultery.
          2. However, under normal circumstances, only death severs.
    3. God created marriage for more than procreation.
      1. Genesis 2 says nothing of children, but
        1. it says something of help, and
        2. it says something of their similarity, and
        3. it says something of their joining together.
      2. Ezekiel 16 says nothing of children, but
        1. it says something of the time of love,
        2. it says something of a covenant, and
        3. it says something of belonging to one another.
      3. The Song of Solomon says nothing of children, but
        1. it says something of love,
        2. it says something of togetherness, and
        3. it says something of pleasure.
    4. I am persuaded that the Lord gave marriage
      1. to illustrate several things, for
      2. it seems that the Scriptures use almost anything of the Earth
        1. to illustrate spiritual truths, and
        2. such is the case with marriage.
          1. Therefore, as a Christian I should see marriage
          2. as a means to teach spiritual truths.
  2. Marriage illustrates God’s Relationship with Israel 
    1. The Book of Hosea uses the prophet’s marriage
      1. to illustrate the Lord’s marriage with Israel, because
      2. He was as committed to Israel as a man should be to his wife,

        1 Then the Lord said to me, “Go again, love a woman who is loved by a lover and is committing adultery, just like the love of the Lord for the children of Israel, who look to other gods and love the raisin cakes of the pagans” (Hos 3.1).
      3. See the comparisons between God and Israel, and a man and a woman.
    2. Unbreakable Covenant
      1. Israel

        2 “And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly” (Gen 17.2).
      2. Marriage

        2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband (Rom 7.2).
    3. Mercy
      1. Israel

        2 Let Israel now say,
        “His mercy endures forever.”
        (Psa 118.2)
      2. Marriage

        12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (Col 3.12–14).
    4. Remembering the Covenant
      1. Israel

        5 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant” (Ex 6.5).
      2. Marriage

        1 Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
        2 Do not be rash with your mouth,
        And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
        For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
        Therefore let your words be few.
        3 For a dream comes through much activity,
        And a fool’s voice is known by his many words.
        4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;
        For He has no pleasure in fools.
        Pay what you have vowed—
        5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

        6 Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God (Ecc 5.1–7).

  3. Marriage Illustrates Christ’s Relationship with the Church 
    1. Christ and His church have a fully committed relationship like marriage.

      22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband (Eph 5.22–33).
      6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God” (Rev 19.6–9).
  4. Marriage Illustrates Christians and the Law

    1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God (Rom 7.1–4).


  1. What is the point? 
    1. Marriage is not about us.
    2. Marriage is not just about the two people.
      1. If I only see marriage for what is in it for me,
      2. I have set up my marriage for failure.
  2. Marriage fits into the larger framework of God’s creation. 
    1. He created the Earth
    2. with the intention that it support life,

      18 For thus says the Lord,
      Who created the heavens,
      Who is God,
      Who formed the earth and made it,
      Who has established it,
      Who did not create it in vain,
      Who formed it to be inhabited:
      “I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
      (Isa 45.18)

      1. Yet, initially He only placed one human pair upon the Earth, but
      2. He expected that they would fill the Earth.
        1. Why does God want the Earth filled?
        2. Ultimately they are His children.
          1. The more children upon the Earth,
          2. the more chances for them to be saved
            1. that they might live with Him in heaven.
            2. In the long run, He wants countless people in heaven.
  3. Marriage is a means to end. 
    1. The end is to give what God wants.
    2. Giving God what He wants is glorifying Him.
      1. Therefore, give your all to live your marriage
      2. as a God-honoring institution.