Sermon: What Makes a Marriage Christian
Scripture: Matthew 5:27-30
In this week’s lessons, we see that marriage is established by God, and serves to illustrate the relationship of Christ with His Church.
Theme: Spirit with Spirit
I have said that a true marriage must be a marriage of body with body and of soul with soul. But it must also be a marriage of spirit with spirit. It is for this reason that the only marriages that can approximate the kind of marriage that God intended to exist in this world are Christian marriages. What does a marriage of spirit with spirit mean? Primarily it means that both the husband and the wife must be Christians, for the unsaved person possesses a spirit only in the sense that he supports a vacuum at the center of his life that can only be filled by God. He has a spirit, but the spirit has died–just as Adam’s spirit died when he disobeyed God and ran from Him. The only persons who possess a live spirit are those who have been touched by the Holy Spirit and have entered into God’s family by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, only these can be married in the full sense of the word, which means body with body, soul with soul, and spirit with spirit.
If you are a Christian, you must marry another Christian or else you must not marry at all. If you do marry a non-Christian, then you are willfully choosing much unhappiness. For you will be unable to share that which is most real and most precious to you. What will happen to you can be illustrated from the case of Solomon. Solomon had been the recipient of many blessings from God, first because of God’s promises to his father David and then because of the fact that Solomon had himself determined to walk in the Lord’s way. However, after the temple was finished and Solomon was at ease in Jerusalem, he began to get ideas, one of which was to marry the daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. This was not God’s will for him, for the princess of Egypt did not worship Jehovah. It was one step in his downfall. Nevertheless, he did it, and he did it even though he knew it was wrong. Someone will say, “How do you know it was wrong?” The answer is that one verse in the story tells us so and indicates that even Solomon knew it. In 2 Chronicles 8:11 we read, “And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her; for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David, king of Israel, because the places are holy, to which the ark of the LORD hath come.” In other words, Solomon was saying, “I recognize that this woman does not fit in with the things that I know to be true about God; and whenever I bring her around the palace of David or the temple I feel guilty and my conscience bothers me. The only solution is to build her another house and hereafter to live my life in as nearly separate but equal compartments as is possible.”
If you marry a non-Christian, that is what will happen with you. Do not think that you will lift the non-Christian up, and that he or she will become a Christian. That may happen eventually because of God’s great grace, but even if it does there will still be years of heartbreak and sorrow. If you are obeying God, make sure it happens before the wedding, or do not get married. For if the other person is not a Christian or does not become one some time before the engagement, I tell you on the authority of God’s Word that he or she is not the husband or the wife for you. The Bible says, “Be not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Cor. 6:14). You will have a marriage of body with body and sometimes even of soul with soul. But you will never have a marriage of spirit with spirit. And that is what God wants your marriage to be.
Explain the meaning of having a marriage of spirit with spirit.
What happens when this component of a marriage is ignored?
Reflection: Do you know any Christian who may be in danger of marrying outside the faith? How can you carefully encourage them to reconsider this tragic decision?
Prayer: Pray for those contemplating marriage to consider only another Christian.
Key Point: The only persons who possess a live spirit are those who have been touched by the Holy Spirit and have entered into God’s family by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, only these can be married in the full sense of the word, which means body with body, soul with soul, and spirit with spirit.