The Covenant Relationship Of Marriage
   The Marriage
   Covenant Relationship

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for ... they ... testify of me." --- Jesus
   
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(God's Plan For Your Marriage)
(The Tenth "Covenant" of God)
(God Hates Divorce)


Mal. 2:14-17, "Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet [is] she thy companion, and the Wife of Thy Covenant. {15} And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. {16} For the LORD, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away (or divorce): for <one> covereth violence with his garment, saith the LORD of hosts: therefore take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously. {17} Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied <him>? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil (divorces the wife of his covenant) <is> good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where <is> the God of judgment?"

Proverbs 2:17, "Which forsaketh the guide (mate) of her youth, and forgetteth the Covenant of Her God."

Introduction:

A. The Bible records Ten Covenants between man and God.

1. The Edenic Covenant --- (Gen. 1:26-30, 2:8-17)

This Covenant Gave Adam Sovereignty Over The Earth.

2. The Adamic covenant --- (Gen. 3:4-15)

This Was An Unconditional Covenant of Promise --- "The Seed of The Woman".

3. The Noahic Covenant --- (Gen. 6:5-22)

This Covenant Provided Physical Deliverance From A Physical Judgment --- Also Included A Promise To Never Again Destroy The Earth With A Flood.

4. The Abrahamic Covenant --- (Gen. 15:4-18, 12:1-3, 7, 13:14-17, 15:4-21, 17:4-22, 22:15-18, 26:4, 28:13-15, 35:11-12)

This Covenant Would Make of Abraham A Great Nation, Give To Him The Land of Palestine, And Bless Those Who Blessed Israel And Curse Those Who Curse Israel.

5. The Mosaic Covenant --- (Exo. 19:3-8, 24:3-8, 26:14-18)

This Covenant Was Given To The Nation of Israel Only --- It Was To Reveal The Righteousness of God And The Sinfulness of Man.

6. The Palestinian Covenant --- (Deut. 28, 29:1, 10-15, 30:19-20)

This Covenant Was Part of The Farewell Address Of Moses To The Children of Israel --- It Will Be Fulfilled After The Second Coming of Christ.

7. The Davidic Covenant - (2 Sam. 7:1-17, 1 Chro. 17:1-15)

David's House, Throne, & Kingdom Would Be Established For Ever.

8. The New Covenant --- (Rom. 5:12-14, 1 Cor. 15:45-49)

(Grace Instead of Law)

9. The Covenant of Promise --- (John 14)

(Our Heavenly Home)

10. The Covenant of Marriage --- (( Our Lesson Text ))

B. Each covenant Reveals God's Perfect Will and Purpose for man.

Galatians 1:4-5, "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: To whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen."

C. Each covenant Reflects God's Love, Grace, and Mercy.

I John 4:10, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation for our sins."

D. Each covenant Reveals God Himself as a Covenant-Keeping God.

Isaiah 54:10, "For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the Covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee."

E. God is Faithful to His covenant Even When Man Is Not.

II Timothy 2:13, "If we believe not, (are not faithful) [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself."

F. So you see, God has Set The Example for the Covenant Relationship between Husband & Wife.

G. Although God is a Witness to the Marriage --- If He is Only A Witness and does Not Live Within the partners, it is only a Man Made covenant.

I. First, Let's Notice The Difference Between A Contract And A Covenant.

A. In this day when Promises are easily Made and easily Broken --- it is Difficult For Some To Understand the meaning of a Covenant Agreement.

1. A Contract is written to Limit Liability --- and often written with Loopholes to provide Escape from the terms.

2. A Covenant carries Unlimited Liability and there are No Loopholes.

B. A Covenant means Strong Commitment and Loyalty, even Unto Death.

II. Second, A Covenant Relationship Means Death To Independent Living.

A. Through this Death To Self, they truly become One Life in Two People --- "Me" has become "We."

1. Covenant partners agree to lay down their lives for each other.

2. Their Individual Lives are no longer their priorities.

3. To place the Needs of The Other Partner ahead of their own.

4. The Life They Share between them becomes the all important factor.

5. They Think as one and Act as one --- One Flesh --- One Mind --- One Spirit --- One Soul .....

B. This One-Flesh was God's plan from the Beginning - Adam.

1. Adam was Complete and Whole, containing within one person all the attributes we now know as Male and Female.

Genesis 1:26, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion ....."

2. God placed Adam in a deep sleep and Removed from him a "Rib" or "Chamber."

Genesis 2:21-22, "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

3. Although they now were Two people --- Together they became the One that God continued to call Adam.

a. Genesis 5:1-2, "This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and Called Their Name Adam, in the day when they were created."

b. Together they had the Same Unity that Adam previously contained Within Himself Alone.

C. Also, together, Their Combined Power and Ability was Greater.

1. When Adam Was Alone, God assigned him the job of cultivating and trending the Garden (Gen. 2:15).

2. Together, God assigned them the job of filling the earth, subduing it, and ruling over it.

D. It has Always Been God's Plan that husband & wife become One.

1. In the Garden of Eden, everything, including man and woman, Dwelleth Together In Unity and Took Delight In One Another.

2. However, Evil came into God's creation and tried to Completely Destroy This Unity.

a. All Unity Was Destroyed and man and woman Became Rivals and were No Longer One --- Gen. 3:7-19

b. When our Marriages are Separated From God, Rivalry soon takes root and Selfishness Rules Us.

c. In Competing With Our Partner to rule the roost, we strive to create our Own Little Paradise on our own terms.

d. We soon sink into Emptiness and deep Discontentment.

e. We Remain Bound to one another only through Convenience.

f. We continually Blame Each Other and Seek Our Own advantage and independence.

g. The Joy of Total Giving Is Gone --- Only the Curse of Half-Heartedness is left.

(1) Not the give of money ore gifts --- that can be a Cop Out For Real Giving .....

(2) The Total Giving of Yourself to each other .....

3. The Enemy of the Contented Life in God is an Independent and Covetous Will.

E. Pride Saparates Us From God and from Each Other.

It was not just the forbidden fruit that enticed Adam & Eve.

a. They each made Idols of Themselves.

b. The Self-Seeking, Prideful Desire To Be Like God.

c. They were Deceived by a False Love --- Love of Self.

F. The Marriage Covenant is also Sealed With An Oath or vow, such as "I Do".

1. In An Oath Before God, We Promise To:

a. Love,

b. Honor,

c. Cherish,

d. For Better or Worse,

e. For Richer or Poorer,

f. In Sickness & In Health,

g. Till Death Do Us Part.

2. Eccl. 5:4-5, "When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for <he hath> no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. {5} Better <is it> that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay."

3. Deut. 23:21, "When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will [surely require] it of [thee]; and it would be sin in [thee]."

G. God Is Also A Witness to our marriage.

Malachi 2:14, "... the LORD Hath Been Witness Between Thee And The Wife of Thy Youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet <is> she thy companion, and the Wife of Thy Covenant."

III. Third, A Covenant Provides A Binding Sense Of Commitment To The Relationship.

A. The Covenant agreement Obligates the partners to the Relationship --- therefore, Insuring its Continuation.

B. All possessions, goods, wealth and power are exchanged.

All of their Wealth as well as their Debt, --- All of their possessions now are Shared In Common.

C. If Couples do not understand this Complete Exchange and Mutual Sharing Of Everything, certain Problems can and will arise in their marriage.

1. Financial disagreements (Pre-Nuptial Agreement) often center around "My" salary or "Your" debt.

2. Gifts or Inheritances given to one or the other may be viewed as Belonging Exclusively to that one and Not To The Covenant Relationship.

a. In others words, It Is Easy to view yourselves as one Until One Or The Other receives something of Value.

b. Then, it is "Mine, Mine, Mine" and the Oneness and Mutual Sharing of everything that God Intended is Gone.

3. Strife and Division can begin when Death To Self Is Not Manifested --- and the good of the One-Flesh Relationship is Not The Prime Concern of Both Partners.

D. If you think this is tough, wait until we get to point four.

E. Their Strengths are to be pooled --- one goes to Battle for the other As Readily as if he himself had been attacked.

They Think As One --- they Act As One.

F. Jonathan and David made a Covenant.

1. I Samuel 18:3-4, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that [was] upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle."

2. The things which Jonathan Gave David are Representative of all of the things which are Exchanged in a Covenant.

a. His Cloak, (symbol of Wealth),

b. His Garments, (symbol of all his Possessions),

c. His Sword, (symbol of Strength),

d. His Belt, (symbol of Protection).

G. Through The Marriage Covenant We Exchanged All That We Previously Held Separately.

H. Even our Bodies are Given To Each Other.

I Corinthians 7:4-5, "The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud (Take That Which Belongs To Another) ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency (Abandonment)."

IV. Fourth, Stepchildren Are Even Included In This Covenant Exchange.

A. Remember, a Covenant Relationship Includes Everything you possess --- your Wealth --- your Debts --- Even Your Children.

B. A Major Problem In 2nd Marriages is that the Stepchildren are Considered to belong Exclusively to their Natural Parent.

1. This sets the family up for Strife and Rebellion.

2. This Gives the children Power To Separate the husband and wife --- No One Should Have That Power.

C. Stepchildren belong As Much to the Stepparent as they do to the Natural Parent.

D. Jesus was a Stepchild and He is Our Example.

1. Luke 2:51, "And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was Subject unto Them:"

2. Jesus was Obedient (subject to) Them --- Both His natural mother, Mary, and His stepfather, Joseph.

(( Case Closed ))

E. Stepchildren Must Honor and Obey their Stepparent in the same manner as their Natural parent.

1. Stepparent may not be their Natural Parent --- but they are their Present parent --- They are In Authority over them.

2. Neither are their School Teachers their parents --- but they are In Authority over them.

3. Neither are Policemen their parent --- but they are In Authority over them.

F. If it were me --- I Would Say --- Remember:

1. I may not be your "Natural" parent --- But, I am your "Present" parent --- Therefore I am your "Real" parent.

2. I am your Authority.

3. Everything Your Mother/Father & I Have --- We Have In Common --- Including Our Children.

G. Mother/Father, if you are not willing to go that far --- you Need To Get More Into God's Word.

H. Mother/Father, if you are More Concerned About Your Children than your mate --- then you are Not Ready for marriage.

1. Neither are you Right With God,

2. Neither are you setting the Right Example for Your Children of What God Intends their life to be.

3. Neither are you teaching your children Principles by which they may have a Happy Home & Successful Marriage.

I. Yes, I know, this will Not Happen Over Night --- there must be a lot of:

1. Adjustments that must be made,

2. Acceptance that must be given,

3. Love that must be received.

J. However, by Covenant Relationship children belong As Much to their Stepparent as they do to their Natural Parent.

1. As Christians, they should Desire to follow the Example of their Lord, Jesus Christ.

2. Remember, Jesus was "Subject" unto His Stepfather.

K. If children are not Taught to Respect the Authority of their Stepparent (be "Subject" unto them), --- neither will they Respect the Authority of (or be "Subject" unto) God.

L. Now, How Important Is Your Covenant With God?

1. How Serious do you take your commitment?

2. Is your word or vow of Any Value?

3. Can you be Taken Seriously when you make a promise?

4. Are you To Be Believed when you talk of loving God?

5. Can you Faithfully Serve God in one area of your life While at the same time Breaking Your Covenant with God in another? --- No!

M. Question --- "Can God Forgive The Sin of Divorce?" --- Of Course, ask the Woman At The Well!

John 4:28-29, "The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, {29} Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"

V. Fifth, How Can You Enter Into Covenant Relationship With God?

A. From the time of His covenant with Abraham --- Only The Jewish Nation was in covenant with God.

1. In order for someone who was not a Jew to enter into covenant with God, they Had To First Become A Jew.

2. Gentiles were Included in covenant relationship with God Only After they were Grafted In.

Romans 11:17, "And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;"

B. Since the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the only way to enter into Covenant With God is through Jesus.

1. John 14:6, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

2. I John 5:11-12, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."

C. We Cannot work our way to God or win His approval by our good life.

1. Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

2. Titus 3:5, "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"

3. All Must Enter Into Covenant Relationship Through Jesus.

D. Covenant relationship is Not Available Without Christ.

Ephesians 2:12-13, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: ----- But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

E. Jesus Paid The Price for us to be Able To Enter into covenant with God and He is the Only way to the Father.

Acts 4:12, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."

F. I John 5:11-12, "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."




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There Is No Second Chance After Death!
Hebrews 9:27
                                                                      

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