What is the purpose of marriage?
God created marriage, so He alone can decide its purpose and how it should be fulfilled.
1. God made the groom in His image. Genesis 1:26-27
Pastor Miles stressed the importance that we all understand the foundational truth that all humans are made in God's image. We can have an interactive relationship with God; He can speak to us, encourage us, teach us, lead us, and give us dominion. He made us unlike any other creature, with the ability and responsibility to carry out His will on earth.
2. God created the woman bride as the groom's compatible marriage companion. Genesis 2:18, 22
God said in Genesis that it was not good for man to be alone. God brought a lot of animals to Adam, but none of them made a suitable partner for him, and so He created woman to be the perfect partner for the man.
Although men may think they have reasons for needing a partner or know the purpose of a partner, God had His own reasons for creating woman, and He created woman to fulfill these purposes.
3. A groom/bride marriage is compatible with the image of God. Genesis 1:26-27
God intended a man and a woman to fulfill His plan for marriage. Each person has the freedom to choose something different from God's intention, but in doing so, s/he will be in conflict God.
There has never been a time on earth when it was acceptable to do whatever a person wants to do without consequence - even in the garden of Eden. (And as Miles reminded us, anyone who has had sex outside of marriage can attest to this fact; some live with the consequences for their entire lives.)
Together in marriage, men and women can reflect the image of God, give Him glory, love and encourage one another, act in humble submission to one other, and build a family.
4. A groom/bride marriage is compatible with the image of our salvation. Ephesians 5:22-33, Deut 22
God has made some beautiful things in His creation. Many created things have the ability to inspire awe in us - sunsets, wild animals, landscapes, etc. - but the most beautiful creation God made was a person.
Man is the focus of the devil's attack because it is the only thing God made in His own image, equipped and designed to carry out His plan.
Satan will do whatever he can through whatever means he can to keep you from fulfilling God's purpose in your life. He wants you to be confused about who you are and why God made you, and he doesn't want you to understand how much potential, power, and influence you have by His Word and by prayer. Most importantly, he doesn't want you to receive salvation or restore a right relationship with God.
It's crucial to understand that marriage reflects salvation, then, because it explains why the devil wants to attack marriage at its core and destroy it so that it cannot fulfill its purpose. Ephesians 5:22-33 shows us how men and women walk together and love each other like Christ loved His church.
A. A groom/bride marriage, like salvation, is a shameless one-flesh union. Genesis 2:25, Galatians 6:7-8, John 17
When you accept salvation, Jesus dwells within you, and you become one flesh, just as a man and woman become one flesh in marriage. God intended sex to be a beautiful representation of this union, so the devil wants to twist, abuse, and poison the image of sex.
B. A groom/bride marriage, like salvation, is a blood covenant. Deut 22
This passage of Deuteronomy references evidence to show a woman was a virgin before having intercourse with her husband: blood on a garment. God created a woman with a blood membrane as a seal. Once she marries, the seal is broken and blood is shed, just as Christ shed His blood on a cross to seal His covenant with the church.
C. A groom/bride marriage, like salvation, is a life-giving union. Genesis 1:28
In marriage, the physical union of man and woman has the ability to create life, just as in salvation, those who are spiritually dead have new spiritual life.
5. A groom/bride marriage is compatible with the celebration in heaven. Revelation 19:6-9
In heaven, Jesus the Groom and His Bride, the church, will enjoy a wedding feast. What God started in Genesis (man and woman united in marriage), He will complete in Revelation (Jesus united with His church).
DO Something! Write down the name of the person you will bring to the Fine Line on Wednesday, October 1.