20/21 JUNE 2020 | Prayer & Praise Services
Rev Gladwin Lee, Pastor
Scripture Passage: Ephesians 5:21-33 (NIV)
WATCH | SERMON (Video)
(Click on video below)
READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary | The Covid-19 pandemic has unveiled a rise in family violence and divorce in China and Saudi Arabia. In Singapore, a Straits Times article wrote, “It was the best of times for tight-knit families, but the worse for those with fragmenting relationships under the same roof.” This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in our relationships; a divine invitation to experience God's magic in our marriage whether you are still single dating or have been married for decades.
Why God created marriage? [from The Book of Genesis]
1. For mankind to experience companionship and sex in a committed lifelong relationship.
2. To multiply by providing a safe community for raising and nurturing children.
3. To be fruitful in God's call.
Why is marriage sacred?
1. Marriage transforms our character.
a. Challenging our unrealistic expectations of a perfect life. According to the philosopher Plato, humans were originally androgynous; each with four arms, four legs, two sets of reproductive organs - one male, one female, and one head made of two faces. Zeus, the King of the gods, split humans in half, cutting their strength in half and doubling the number. Plato also claims that we have been searching for our missing half since. In Blaise Pascal's Defence of The Christian Religion; he said we have a God-shaped vacuum that can only be satisfied by God. Therefore unlike Plato who suggests that we have a missing human half that is required to complete us, God is the only one who makes us whole.
b. Moving us from self-centred people to Christ-centred people. Marriage exposes our flaws. God uses our spouses to change our characters when we are unwilling to change. God's will is for us is to become Christlike, our marriage is meant for us to become holy, more than merely happy. If the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, we will also be happy when we are holy. We need a spirit filled life to submit and sacrificially love our spouses; to put ourselves out of the centre and to put the needs of the other ahead of our own.
- A wife’s submission does not imply inferiority. God did not make woman with inferior quality to men but are equally made in God's image to complement each other.
- Does not imply blind obedience. Submit unto the Lord while walking in the spirit filled life. If our husbands direct us to act in ways that violate God's commandments, such as to murder or to profane God, we are not to follow.
- Recognising God’s chosen leadership. The Greek word for ‘submit’ has military origins of soldiers organised in military order under a commanding officer, with the sole purpose of serving the country. Husbands are the (commanding officers) heads of God's households whom God has called. Spirit-filled wives submit to their husbands as to the Lord in order to fulfil his divine purposes.
- A matter of humility. Jesus is equal with God the Father in The Trinity, but Jesus chose not to cling on to equality with the Father. He laid aside his eternal glory to take upon himself the form of a servant. His submission does not diminish his divinity. Wives submit to show their unbelieving or backslidden husbands so that they may be brought back to faith in God.
2. Marriage is a testimony of God's love to the world. The world is watching how our Christian faith shapes our marriage and witnesses Christ’s love. In Ephesians 5:25-33, the husband is instructed to love his wife in 3 ways:
c. Sacrificial service.
God desires that our marriages do the sacred act of witnessing to the world, through the way we love one another, we also make disciples. As the body of Christ, we need to be committed to protect and strengthen our marriage covenant by:
a. Satisfying and sacrificing - make time for love. Love is not stagnant. We either become part of each other or become apart. Now that many of us are working from home, plan to make time with your spouse.
b. Sanctify our spouse - encourage each other in our spiritual disciplines. Pray, worship and join a small group together. Invest in your marriage; go for marriage seminars, seek out mentors and counsellors to grow your marriage.
God is using our marriage to save us. Marriage is sacred because it is redemptive. One of God's greatest act of love is on the night Jesus celebrated the last supper. Jesus took on the lowly role of a servant to wash his disciples’ feet. He gave us an example of submission and sacrificial service. Love is about washing each other's feet. We need to humble ourselves and ask, how may I serve you today?
(Sermon Notes by Honey Vreugdewater)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS:
1. In the sermon, the preacher gave 2 reasons why marriage is sacred. How have you observed or personally experienced a marriage that transforms and/or is a testimony of God's love? Elaborate.
Marriage transforms us
Recall the four things about submission mentioned in the sermon. In Eph 5:21-24, we are instructed to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
2. What does it mean to submit or be subject to someone?
3. What is the hardest thing about submitting to one another?
4. How does the Spirit-filled life help us to submit?
5. How would submitting to one another transform me?
Marriage is a testimony of God’s love
6. In Ephesians 5:25-33, how are husbands supposed to love their wives? To what extent are they to show this love? How have you observed or personally experienced such love?
7. What would you need to sacrifice in your life to deepen your relationship with your spouse?
Sermons In This Series:
- SACRED PARENTING | P&P Svcs | Rev David Ho | 13/14 JUN 2020
- SACRED FAMILY | Trad Svcs | Rev Edmund de Souza | 14 JUN 2020
- SACRED MARRIAGE | P&P Svcs | Rev Gladwin Lee | 20/21 JUN 2020
- SACRED HONOUR | Trad Svcs | Rev Lilian Ang | 21 JUN 2020