April 1, 2015 Dear Friends, The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus – the celebration of Easter around the world in Christian countries is upon us. Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:14 & 17. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain…And if Christ […]
Every year, on the first Sunday in May, I have tried to preach a sermon on marriage. The reason for doing that is Jannette’s and my wedding anniversary comes early in May. This year it will be 52 years since we “tied the knot” and the Lord Jesus has enabled us to keep it “tied” all these years.
Marriage is under attack in our current society – it seems that people believe they can redefine it. But consider these verses in the Bible, God’s precious word for us: Genesis 2:22-24; Matthew 19:4-6; 1Cor. 7:12 and Hebrews 13:4. Let me share that last verse from the Amplified Bible: “Let marriage be held in honor – esteemed worthy, precious, [that is,]of great price, and especially dear – in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be (kept undishonored,) undefiled; for God will judge and punish the unchaste (all guilty of sexual vice) and adulterous.”
The Constitution of Marriage
A. A Covenant Relationship.
1.Commences with engagement – Matthew 1:16-24
2. Consummated with vows – not sexual intercourse – Hebrews 13:4 *The Covenant authorizes sexual relationship
B. A Continuing Relationship – Matthew 19:4-6
1. Leaving – physically, psychologically – v4
2. Cleaving – commitment, communication – v5
3. Weaving – companionship, compassion – v6
Mrs. “C” and I attended the monthly preachers meeting of the Atlantic Independent Baptist Fellowship last month and it was given over to preaching and teaching on marriage for pastors and their wives (there was a good group of wives present for the teaching of Mary Calvert, the wife of Dr. Bud Calvert, of Fairfax Baptist Temple). Dr. Calvert brought a message on “Four Criteria for Companionship from Malachi 2:11-16. I shave with you his excellent outline:
“The Essence of a Good Marriage is a Covenant of Companionship. There are four needs of companionship:
I. Companionship needs commitment. This is not a part-time adventure.
II. Companionship needs caring. You have to exert effort and energy to build companionship. Your attitude is very important.
III. Companionship needs communication.
IV. Companionship needs cooperation. Doing things together.”
The former governor of Maryland, considering a run for president in 2016 stated on Twitter: “The dignity of every person tells us that the right to marry is not a state right, it is a human right.” I respectfully disagree with my former governor. God established marriage between a man and a woman in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:21-25) and Jesus added that it is to be permanent (Mark 10:7-9).
Now our Supreme Court is considering a case that deals with two legal questions. First, does the 14th Amendment require a state to license marriage between two people of the same sex? Also does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully permitted and performed in another state? (Maryland grants homosexual marriage.) Pray for our Nation! David Gibbs (of the Christian Law Association) states: “We are at a crossroad that will shape the direction of our nation for generations to come. God’s people must pray for the United States of America now more than ever!”
It seems that America has become like the land of Israel during the period of the book of Judges. The last sad verse in that book states: “There was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). How true that statement is of our country today. God’s Word (the Bible) is relegated to some dusty shelf and its teaching and precepts are ignored. It is time for those who are truly Christians to be the salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) God has called us to be.
Praying for our great country,
Dr. Frederick W. Carroll
Psalms 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.
Psalms 144:15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.