Each Born Again Believer in Jesus Christ as God’s Son, Messiah and Savior of the World, is a member of the Church of the Living God. The Word Church is used in the New Testament to describe a special “Called Out and Called Together” group of people chosen by God to be a part of His family forever.
In order for any single person to become a part of the Family of God two choices must be made:
1. God must choose that person to be in His Family.
2. That person must choose to accept God’s invitation.
Becoming a member of the Family of God is by invitation only and RSVP’s are required to get in. The invitation has an immoveable stipulated condition. The person wishing to accept the invitation must first believe that Jesus is the Son of God and receive Him into their heart by faith. The spiritual act of believing and receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior signals to God that the person has full intent to be “all in” the family.
The Church, this called out and called together special group of people who have been invited to join the family of God and have accepted God’s invitation, is referred to in the scriptures as:
1. The Children of God
2. The Family of God
3. The Saints of God
4. The Army of God
5. The Church of God
6. The Church of Christ
7. The Body of Christ
8. The Bride of Christ
2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
9 ¶ Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, "Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife."
10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
You might think this is simply a city, New Jerusalem … however, this is the habitation God is building for Himself in which to dwell forever and ever. We, His Children, we, His Saints, we, His Family shall be the dwelling place of the Lord throughout all eternity. He will dwell with us and be our God and we shall be His people.
He created us, chooses us, calls us by name and invites us to be His dwelling place.
1 Peter 2
4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious,
5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Chief Corner Stone and we are the rest of those living stones which make up the city of God, that great eternal dwelling place of our Lord.
The Bible tells only one story – the story of redemption. This one story God tells continues to point to the most important thing on God’s mind – His family! Throughout the scriptures God likens Himself as a Father with a first born Son and many other Children whom He loves. God adopts those who accept His invitation to become a part of His Family.
Psalms 68:6 God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; But the rebellious dwell in a dry land.
If we follow the pattern of God’s Word and apply the spiritual principles of the scriptures to natural life we see that these truths of family run parallel. There are a few ways in which we can become family.
· Be born into a family
· Be adopted into a family
· Marry into a family
All of these truths were first seen in the Bible as principles of God before they started to be practiced by man. In fact, God is the Author of marriage and family values. Ephesians chapter 5 reveals how marriage between a man and a woman is meant to be an expression of the mysterious relationship and spiritual experiences ongoing between Jesus and the Church, which is His Bride and by covenant also His Body.
The Book of Corinthians tells us that when a man and woman enter into the covenant of marriage that they no longer belong to themselves but even their body now belongs to their betrothed. These and a vast number of other scriptures continue to paint but one picture and tell but one story in relationship to marriage … God is for it!
So without further ado, let’s begin our series tonight on the Basics of Marriage realizing that the Bible contains the truth about our relationships and how we can make the most and get the best out of each one. The introduction to this Series is entitled:
A Predisposition to Marriage
Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.
Ecclesiastes shows that God has a general predisposition towards relationships. In fact, all the way back to the beginning of time God showed He had a predisposition towards marriage as well.
Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him."
You see, God never intended for His relationship with man to take the place of man’s relationship with man.
God is the Author of life and the very best we can do in life will be found as we strive to understand and live a God ordered life while embracing and supporting a God intended lifestyle. Marriage is not a contract but rather a covenant and as such demands both commitment and performance.
Marriage is not a 50/50 partnership but rather a 100%/100% union. A contract says I will if you will and if you do not then I will not and on top of that I will make certain you pay for not doing what you promised to do. As we have seen in America and throughout the Western World, dysfunctional families are the result of either one or both spouses refusal to commit and/or perform in accordance with the God ordered rules of life.
Family, whether God’s family or your family, is a team effort and in order to function properly respect must be given to each player. No one can make anyone else do their part or play their position. However, when we do our part it puts God in His best position with the greatest reason to intervene in the life of our family members as only God can do. Like or not, we are all dependent on one another.
1 Corinthians 11:11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.
In the following weeks we are going to cover the top 7 reasons why Christians have trouble in marriage and why many finally opt for separation and/or divorce. The material we will cover is designed to provide counsel and challenge some basic beliefs and shape personal choices.
I want to encourage each of us to open our heart and mind as we survey the word together and reinforce the God ordered principle of marriage contained within. This journey will not only help you with the various relationships you enjoy/endure, but it will also arm you to be a better servant of the Lord and friend to those in need around you. So for this lesson simply remember: God is a God of relationships and - “It’s not God’s will that anyone be alone …”.