These are the two messages to and fro between Us, Eloise and family
T: Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
A: Husbands love, wives submit
I’ve got some very good news for everyone. Jesus loves you.
Jesus loves you so much that he gave up his life so that you could live forever.
Jesus’ love is huge!
Its so high you can’t get over it, so low you can’t get under it, so wide you can’t get around it.
If you believe in Jesus, then you are part of his church. Jesus loves his church – he died to save her.
This is the best news.
This morning we are going to hear from a bit of the bible that teaches us how Jesus’ love is the pattern for marriage.
What is marriage? Yeah, Marriage is a gift from God. When God joins 1 man and 1 woman together for life. God wants marriages to remind us of Jesus loving the church. He wants the husband to love his wife like Jesus loves the church, and the wife to love her husband like the church loves Jesus.
That’s how God wants marriages to be.
He wants them to be a real life sketch that teaches the world how Jesus loves his church. A picture that reminds of how Jesus loves his church and the church loves Jesus:
<Show sketch of loving husband and submissive wife>
We’re going to meet some wives and husbands, and we’ll see which ones are most like what God wants.
So first, bring in the wives:
<show picture of squashed wife>
Squashy Sheila doesn’t give her thoughts to her husband when they have to make an important choice. She doesn’t think what she says could be worth anything, so she just keeps quiet.
<show picture of bossy wife>
Princess Prunella is the boss in her marriage.
She orders her husband around and is always telling him what to do.
When he doesn’t listen, she shouts at him until he does.
<show picture of submissive wife>
Submissive Sandra respects her husband. She lets him be the leader, and enjoys letting him take care of her. Sometimes Sheila’s husband makes the wrong decision, and she lets him know she thinks he is wrong and wants to help him see why, she prays for God to show him, but she stands by him and lets him decide.
Who do we think is most like what the bible teaches? …….. Yes its Submissive Sandra
Let’s read what the Bible says about how wives should love their husbands in Eph Ch 5 v22:
Submissive Sheila is most like what God wants. Does anyone know what the word submit means?
In football the players submit to the manager. God wants wives to submit to their husbands.
This means he wants them to Let him be the leader.
<Mus calls Sylvie to the front>
When a man and a woman jive dance, the man decides which moves to do and the woman goes with that move, she submits to him and everyone has a fun time dancing.
This is what happens. ( Sylvia and Mus Dance )
But if the wife is a squashy Sheila and doesn’t dance… Or if the wife is a Princess Prunella and tries to lead… ( Sylvia and Mus Dance but it is a mess)
This is the way God has made marriages to work. They work best and everyone is happiest when the wife submits to her husband.
And the bible tells us why… Marriages work best when the wife submits because marriages are made to show us How Jesus treats his church and how the church treats Jesus.
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
The Church (God’s people who follow Jesus) The Church submits to Christ.
If you part of his church That’s how we act towards Jesus. We let him be the Lord, we surrender to him, we let him save us. So God made the husband the head the wife so that the wives can submit to them and show the world how the Church acts towards Jesus.
But what about the husbands:
<show picture of “Lordy” husband>
Lordy Leeroy believes men are better than women. He rules his wife by bossing her around.
He bullies her into serving him and doing what he wants. He is the boss, but his wife is miserable.
<show picture of doormat husband>
Dennis has given up trying to be the leader. He doesn’t give any direction to his marriage, he doesn’t have a plan. He doesn’t ask for God’s help to love his wife so that she will respect him, he just does what she says even if he doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
<show picture of loving husband>
Loving Leonard knows that God has made him the head of his wife. He knows that Jesus is the head of him. He uses the role God has given him to take care of his wife. He makes sure she is cared for just the way he’d like to be treated.
Which husband is most like what God wants?……It’s Loving Lenny.
Let’s read what the Bible says to husbands: Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Christ Jesus loved the church. His love is a strong love that means he would die for his church. Which is what he did. People turn away from God and deserve to die and be punished forever and never be with God. But Jesus loves his church so much that he took the punishment we deserve for our sins,
On the cross he died instead of us Now we can have eternal life with him. Those who believe in Jesus have been made clean by his death and will live with him in heaven forever.
26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
This is how Jesus loved the church. This is how God wants husbands to love their wives.
I will speak to Husbands for a bit. This doesn’t mean that you should take your wife into a warzone so you can jump in front of a bullet for her. It does mean that you will give things up for your wife’s good.
You will spend your pleasure and comfort, to do her good. You will work hard for her, so you can lighten her load. It might look something like this – Maybe one night you are both tired and it is the end of a long week and there is an absolutely huge pile of dishes to be washed.
Your wife seems a little low and you know that she loves to sew/watch movies/go dancing/read/ insert hobby. But the thought of doing the dishes for her feels like death to you, You would love to veg out in front of the telly or go to the gym/pub/insert hobby
You remember that Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. And think… Jesus loved me by giving up his life for me and I’m so happy that he loves me… Now I’ll go through the death of washing the dishes to love my wife… tonight I’ll give up my hobby so she can enjoy hers – and I will be so happy because I get to be like my Lord Jesus, And my wife will be blessed with some fun time.
Paul in this letter, makes it even clearer for husbands – If you’re wondering how to love your wife like Christ loved the church:
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church – 30 for we are members of his body.
Love your wife as yourself.
Do you feed yourself? Make sure your wife is fed. Do you think about how you want to relax and spend your free time? Think about what your wife would like to do to relax and plan something fun for her free time. Do you make sure you are spiritually healthy, that you read the bible and pray regularly, keeping your relationship with God good?
Make sure your wife is spiritually healthy, make sure she has time to spend with God in prayer, and is feeding on God’s word, make sure she has good friendships and relationships, that she knows she is cared for. If you can think of anything good you want for yourself, do that for her, this might seem like death at first, but it is the most fun, joyful way to live and is the way God wants marriages to reflect Christ and the church.
what if you are not married? Paul teaches us that submission is how all Christians should act towards each other.
Because Jesus is the Lord, Christians are to give up trying to boss each other.
Paul also says that Love is how all Christians are to treat each other V2
So we can all think about something good we like for ourselves and do that for our fellow brothers and sisters in love. So if for example… you would like someone to call you up to see how you are … call someone up to see how they are.
What if you are not married, but want to be? Well who seems like the best match from our wives and husbands? ……Yes Lenny and Sandra. If you are a woman who wants to be married, look for a loving Lenny, someone who isn’t “Lordy”, and someone who won’t be a door mat. Or if you are a man looking for a wife, look for a submissive Sandra someone who isn’t bossy, someone who won’t be squashed.
Now we’ve got to be honest and remember why Jesus had to die. It was because of our sin, because we do what God hates and we do what is evil. This includes being bad husbands and wives or just bad Christians. Sometimes husbands are rubbish and it won’t be easy for wives to submit.
Sometimes wives get it wrong and it won’t be easy to love them
But marriage is not about husbands and wives It is about Christ and the church
The bible says Verse 31
31 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ 32 This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church.
The reason that marriage exists is because Jesus loves the Church That’s why people get married
Marriage is meant to be a picture of Christ and the church. Marriages work best when they show the picture of Christ and the church more clearly
So husbands look to Christ as your example And know that he is in you to help you give yourself up for your wife in love. He’s there to forgive us when we are “Lordy” or a doormat, he died so we can be forgiven.
Wives look to the church as your pattern. The church loves Jesus, we love to submit to him, we cry to him to save us and gladly let him be our lord. Wives submit to your husbands in this way, knowing that Jesus is in you giving you power to submit, Jesus submitted to his father, let his submission be in you, and when you are squashed or bossy, remember that Jesus died for you so you can be forgiven.
Those of us who are not married, help your married parents or friends to be a picture of Christ and the church. Pray that they will be a clearer picture. Help them see when they get it wrong.
There is so much to say and learn about marriage, and there are husbands and wives with a lot of wisdom and experience who us younger marrieds can ask and learn from over tea and coffee and in life in general.
Marriage can be a painful thing to talk and think about especially if we have been hurt in broken and bad marriages. Whenever someone mistreats you in your marriage, or outside of marriage, we can remember that Jesus never treats us like that. Marriage can be painful to talk about because we want to be married and aren’t. We mustn’t forget that marriage is only a picture of the deeper, more permanent relationship between Christ and the church – which all of us take part in.
If you are a Christian, you are joined to Jesus as part of his bride the church Jesus feeds and cares for us and laid down his life for us – what love is this! This is the reality which marriage is only a faint echo of which all Christians are caught up in. and on the final day we will be presented perfect before Jesus as his Holy, clean bride.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
After our recent sermon series looking at an overview of the Bible I want to add two links to the respective websites
1) Clayton TV 9 videos each approx 13mins God’s Big Picture
2) Online version of the leaflet given out to the Church Little Book Big Picture
The following Sermons from the series are available from the Sermon TAB
|223||In the Beginning GOD…||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|224||Sin, Consequences and it’s Curse||Mus Yusef||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|225||How Bad Is Sin!||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|226||How can we have hope in desperate situations||Mus Yusef||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|227||If I ruled the world I would????||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|228||Old Testament teaching for New Testament times||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|230||Faith responds to God’s promises||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|231||How good do we have to be to be a Christian? Wrong!||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|232||Jesus in the OT concealed and in the NT revealed||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|233||The Holy Spirit: Force? Feeling? or Person?||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|234||The Last Days: Action Point – Preach the Gospel||Mus Yusef||Click Here||Bible Overview|
|235||When the End Comes: Everybody is included||Joel Edwards||Click Here||Bible Overview|
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A fishy tale
One morning, two young fish were swimming along together. An older fish swam the other way. “Morning boys, how’s the water today?” he asked. It was not until 30 minutes later that one of the youngsters turned to the other and say “what is water?”
The point of this strange story is that we are surrounded by ways of living but we don’t see them. More seriously, we are being trained into wrong ways of living but we don’t notice it. Paul tells us we can be trained or influenced or conformed by the world
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1,2
The world is the things around us that influence us to think God can’t be trusted and his ways are not good for us. That happens through adverts, songs, internet, films and in the way people around us party, use their money and train their children. An example is the world’s pattern for shopping.
THE PATTERN OF THE WORLD: AN EXAMPLE
The adverts tell us there is something missing in our lives. They tell us the answer to that gap is to buy something. Perhaps you have been influenced by this to buy things that you could afford?
We may go with others to the shops for a ‘trip out’. But shopping is not something that helps us grow together. Look at a group at the shops – when another person joins the group, everyone eyes up their fashion sense – they observe the shoes and handbags and mobile phone.
Shopping the world’s way teaches us to overvalue things (we enjoy them for making us special in the eyes of others, rather than just using the things).
The world tells us that buying things will make us feel better. But the product’s benefit quickly wears off. When we next feel low, we have learned that a shopping trip will cheer us up. So off we go and buy more.
Shopping the world’s way also teaches us to undervalue things (we throw them away to quickly because we think we need an ‘up-grade’).
When we go to the shops or shop on-line, we might be like the young fish in the story: We may not appreciate how we are being conformed or trained to fit in with the pattern of this world.
This view of shopping is just one of many ways the world influences us. The good news is that God uses church to give us a true outlook.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
GOD USES CHURCH TO TRAIN US
If you are a Christian, God has already given you a renewed mind – a new way of looking at life. But we need to be trained or conformed to fit with that. Church is one way God does that.
The things we do in a church meeting follow a particular order;
JESUS IS BUILDING HIS CHURCH: WHY DO WE SING WHEN WE MEET?
Sometimes when children visit our church building, they are surprised that there are instruments in the building. What are they for? They ask. Singing is not something people in other religious groups do. If you think about it, apart from church, when do we sing? Perhaps you sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to family or a workmate. Perhaps you sing along to the radio, the brave people might sing to karaoke. So why do we sing in church?
What is church singing for?
Singing is a way for God to rule over our church family. We sing ideas that are from God’s word.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts (Colossians 3 verse 16)
Singing is a way that we show ‘yes, I believe these things.’ But singing is more than agreeing God’s word is true…
Singing is a way God teaches the church family to connect our feelings and our commitments or priorities with God’s Word. A special aspect of singing is the musical aspect. Music can remind us of special feelings or it can help bring on those feelings in us. Good church songs will help us put the right emotions to the words.
But singing is more than a way to agree with the truth of God’s word and to feel right about it…
Singing is one way of showing we agree with each other and of making the church family united. Church singing is normally something we do together. When I speak, you listen, when you speak, I listen, but when we sing, we speak together. By singing songs together, we stop church from being a performance by just a few people. Singing together is one way of showing we are one.
Christian singing is for telling the truth, for showing or learning the right feelings and for being a united church family.
So what makes a good church song?
Many of us have a favourite hymn or chorus, but if our songs are for truth, for feeling and for unity, we need to make sure our songs help those things.
Christian singing is
• for telling the truth,
• for showing or learning the right feelings
• for being a united church family.
Truth: Christian songs do not have to be sentences of the Bible copied into a song. A good song can be a poem that teaches us the word of God. Some songs are not true. Some songs make false claims about God’s promises or about ourselves (along the lines of “All I ever think about is you Lord”). We should not sing them.
Feelings: God’s goodness to us is a reason for great joy. Our songs should help us feel that. That is not the only feeling songs should show. Other songs will help us show sadness or feel sad about our sin or about our suffering.
Songs are for the whole church family to sing. Some songs are true, helping right emotions, but the tune is too hard for us to sing. We should not try to sing them. So a good song is one that we can
sing together – some songs are amazing when a great performer sings them, but if we tried, it would fall flat.
What does this mean for our singing on a Sunday?
The musicians and song leaders serve the church by helping us to sing. The role of the song leader is to help us to sing, and they will know if they have fulfilled that ministry when they can hardly be heard because of the singing by the church family – so join in!
Singing is not just a way for us to express our feelings. God can use it to teach us the right feelings. So don’t wait until you feel like singing –so join in!
The most beautiful instrument in any church meeting is the sound of the congregation singing. You may not be the best singer. It doesn’t matter. God wants you to stand with other Christians and sing with them – so join in!
The church is God’s people meeting. To teach us more, the apostle Paul uses a word picture or metaphor for the church. The church is like a body – one person, but with different parts.
The church in Corinth was a church with lots of problems. Paul wrote the famous 1 Corinthians 13 about love not so they could read it at weddings but because they were so unloving. They needed to learn what love is. They needed to learn how to love other Christians. That is what 1 Corinthians chapter 12 is about.
No one who is speaking by the spirit of God says, ‘Jesus be cursed,’ and no one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12 verse 3)
Paul starts by explaining who is part of church. (Look at the text above). It is anyone who knows, trusts and serves Jesus. It is not about wearing the right clothes, knowing enough stuff in the Bible, or being good enough. God’s Spirit teaches you to know the truth about Jesus. That makes you part of Jesus’ church.
Now if the foot should say ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. (verse 15)
Then Paul says the church is like a body. A body is one person, but has many parts – the church is one group, but with many parts (that is in verses 12-14). And just as the parts of a body are different – the ear, the nose, the arm and so on – the people in a church family are different. What does that mean for us?
The eye cannot say to the hand ‘I don’t need you!’ (verse 21)
First, Paul says, don’t count yourself as nothing. Just because you do not have an impressive or noticeable role in church life, does not mean you are not part of it. That would be as daft as a foot thinking ‘I’m not as special as the hand, I don’t really belong’. If everyone was a preacher, the church would have no music. If everyone was a musician, who would teach Sunday school?
Then Paul says, don’t look down on those with roles less impressive or less noticeable than yours. That would be as daft as the eye saying to the hand ‘I don’t need you’. God has made them part of the church. We must not say to people, ‘we don’t need you, you don’t do enough’.
Paul is not teaching Christians to work out what part of the body I am, what my ‘gift’ is, so I can use it. He is teaching us to accept others and to be confident that I have a place in the Church family because of Jesus. Be glad for the different people God has put in our church family. Don’t compare yourself to others.
No matter how impressive you are at speaking, how joyful your singing, how exciting and fun the Sunday school class you lead, how brilliant your musical ability, if you do not love Jesus as Lord and saviour, you are not in the body.
What are some of the roles in the church family?
You could use these questions and answers to teach children what we have been hearing about the church.
Look at Hebrews 3 verses 12,13 below.
12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today’, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. (Hebrews 3)
‘See to it.’ Here is a command, not just a suggestion. Instead of seeing other turn aside, encourage each other.
There is a process going on here. Look at it carefully.
It is said another way in verse 13
The danger is that we drift away from God. We believe lies about him and so disobey him. Don’t think that this couldn’t happen to you or even to the ‘really keen’ Christians. It can. That is the danger. The answer is that God gives us each other to help us to hold on to him, to protect us from turning from him. We need others; others need us.
Paul Tripp, a helpful Christian author, wrote this:
“Physically blind people are always aware of their problem and spend much of their lives learning to live it. But the Bible says that we can be ‘blind’ to our sin and yet think that we ‘see’ quite well. I need you in order to really see myself. Otherwise I will listen to my own arguments, believe my own lies.”
Sin leads us to believe things are true about God and us that in fact are not true. And so sin makes us spiritually blind: we don’t see ourselves properly. We end up believing one thing about ourselves when another thing is true.
Though we are often blind to our own sin, we may see other’s sins clearly – we can be better at seeing others are wrong than seeing it in ourselves. That can be very irritating! But it can be very helpful. Because you can help me by pointing out how my life is drifting from God.
How are we going to get that help? Again Paul Tripp helpfully wrote:
“Doing this for others is not about being a private detective, forcing someone to obey. Instead, we need to invite others to intrude.”
This is a good way of looking at this isn’t it? Rather than snooping around and trying to catch others doing wrong, we start by asking someone to do this for us. We say: “I need your help to keep going as a Christian. I need your prayers. I need you to ask me if I am praying. I need you to remind me that our Heavenly Father loves us, even when I have mucked up and been angry in the office yet again.”
What are the practical issues?
What are the steps?
24 Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10)