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April 16, 2021 4:00 am
When the divine pattern is followed the whole relationship is right. The woman is not to usurp the authority and dominate the husband.
Husband is not to unkindly and insensitively rule over somebody is responsible to lead the other has nothing to do with inferiority at it only has to do every day. He lingered at work, rather than go home to his wife. Both he and his wife wanted to divorce but they remain married, though only to keep the vow they made till death do us part. Sadly someone you know, maybe even in your church could be facing that situation right now. What can you do to repair a marriage that's starting to crumble one that seems beyond repair. Consider that today as John MacArthur shows you how any family can thrive if it follows God's plan stay here now as John continues a series the fulfilled family. The solution to the conflict in marriage is spiritual and it starts with letting the Holy Spirit. Control your life letting the word of Christ dwell in you richly obeying the spirit of God is revealed his will through the word of God.
Only the power of the Holy Spirit can reverse the curse in a home where you have a spirit filled person in the home you have hope. Never try to pick a fight with a spirit control person ever try to pick a fight with a totally joyful person that just as rising joy in their hearts ever try to pick a fight with somebody was thankful for everything, even the conflict never try to pick a fight with somebody was totally submissive, very difficult. Where that exists there's hope. It's a spiritual issue. Conflict goes where the Holy Spirit dominates. Now, as we look at the text before us. We've already kind of talked about this foundation and Paul in verse 22 is going to launch into the specific conduct of a wife, a husband, children and parents were looked at in detail next few weeks.
But before we do that it wouldn't be fair and it wouldn't do justice to the apostle Paul.
If we didn't at least for a few moments. Consider the kind of world that he was writing to. Because certainly, the argument comes up while you know this stuff is ancient history.
This stuff is way back it it it really doesn't comprehend the kind of world that we lived in that we live in that they live in a different time with different perspectives and I think you need to understand what was going on so I give you little bit of history I know that I may indulge myself on this from time to time. I happen to love history when I went to college I decided that I couldn't that I couldn't make up my mind about what I wanted to minor in I wanted to major in religious studies and and so far than I did that, but I couldn't decide what I wanted a minor, and so I double minored in history and Greek and I've always had a fascination fascination for history and I think through the years. If if if I'm ever very interesting to listen to it, it's probably because I have gone back into history, and reconstructed some of the backgrounds that make the Bible live and that's very very important so that the Bible speaks for itself and it was written in a time and in a context which demands our comprehension. So let's set a little of the scene to which the apostle Paul was writing and you'll see some amazing parallels. Let's talk about the Jews.
First of all obviously there were Jews in the church in Ephesus and this was a circular letter and got around to all the churches and eventually not only all the churches in Asia minor, but all the churches everywhere and is still getting around to all the churches everywhere, but there were many Jews in the early church and they too needed to understand the biblical view of marriage, the Jews themselves had a low view of women. It did not come from the Bible but then a lot of their religion. By the time of Paul and Jesus did not come from the Bible they developed their own apostate religion and part of it was a very low view of women.
In fact, there are Jewish prayers used by Jewish men every morning of their lives, and in one of these prayers. There was one line that illustrates their attitude.
This is what it was God. I thank you that you have not made me a Gentile slave or a woman now. They perceived a woman as lower on the human level than a man, a woman was an object, not a person. A woman had no legal rights. She was in the absolute power of her husband to do with her what ever he wanted whenever he wanted in New Testament times and among the Jews divorce had become tragically easy and tragically common, and they supported it with with a passage from the Old Testament, you know, wanted to be fast, hideous about their devotion to the Mosaic law. They quoted from Deuteronomy chapter 24 in verse one. When a man takes a wife and marries her. And it happens that and I'll give you what the old translation is, she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her NAS transit Indies translated indecent some uncleanness and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out from his house, stop right there know you notice that that's a that's really an apophysis or merely an introductory statement of something else, but they took it as if it was a command basically are certainly an allowance and they simply said, if you find if your wife loses favor in your eyes because you find some uncleanness in her, then you can write her a divorce and send her out of the house is a lot more to that passage than that it was not intended to permit that it was intended to forbid the fact that if that happens, and she remarries she can never come back and marry that was really the issue but they didn't get that far. They just said there is if you find some indecency, some uncleanness, uncleanness, shipper out, give her a bill of divorce. The question became what is the uncleanness. What is the indecency strict rabbis most familiarly represented by a rabbi named Shim I strict rabbis said it refers to adultery.
And that's all it refers to. If she commits adultery.
You can divorce her, but liberal rabbis said it refers to absolutely anything and that it's a vagueness is intended by God to allow you to fill in the blank.
This is represented by a famous Rabbi named Hillel sought throughout the sort of rabbinic history. Even till today. Jews argue over the view of Shim I and Hillel Hillel said that of a Minuteman to divorce his wife if she spoiled his dinner it, it meant that she could divorce he could divorce his wife, get this.
If she spilled his dinner because of course a spilled dinner is a spoiled dinner he could divorce her and she put too much salt on it. He could divorce her as she walked in public with her head uncovered, he could divorce her if she talked with men in the streets. I like this one. He could divorce her if she spoke, disparagingly of her mother-in-law, and this is really good. He could divorce her if she ever argued with him.
Rabbi Achenbach even went further, he interpreted the phrase to mean that a husband could divorce his wife if she became unclean in his eyes because he found somebody prettier not take a guess which was the most popular view among men. Shim, I had very few followers.
Hillel had many, so divorce became rampant in the time of Jesus.
Women were discarded all over the place and they were victims of such discarding left with nothing. All a man had to do at the time of Jesus the time of Paul was simply to hand her a bill of divorce and all it took to get one of those was to have a rabbi write it in the presence of two witnesses, and it was done was that you go to the rabbi. He writes it might be a little cash involved two witnesses were there, it's done.
The only alimony or support that was required was the return of the dowry and it was a done deal. Jews were fast, hideous, by the way, about following the technical side, making sure you get to a rabbi and get the documentation, but their hearts were full of cruelty and wickedness. In Matthew 531. Jesus refers to this common custom, it was said, whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of dismissal. That's what you offer your divorce your wife.
Just make sure you do the paperwork and soul. Just do the paperwork and I think just in fairness to Jewish history in different eras of Jewish history.
There were different views at the time of Jesus.
This was the prevailing view so divorce was the solution to any conflict, short-term or long-term, and consequently the whole institution of marriage was threatened and by the way prostitution was rampant in Jesus time. Even among the Jews. Now let's look at the Greeks. The Greeks had a very similar approach to this they didn't have to worry about any Old Testament technicalities. They didn't have to worry about finding a verse to misinterpret to justify what they did, they just lived in blatant disregard for any marital fidelity. Prostitution was an absolutely essential part of Greek life there religions were just loaded with prostitutes and it was believed not only did you commune with the gods by drunkenness, but you commune with the gods by having sexual relationships with a priestess/prostitute Demosthenes no less than that famous orator said, we have courtesans for the sake of pleasure. We have concubines for the sake of daily cohabitation and we have wives for the purpose of having children legitimately and having a faithful caretaker for our household affairs. You have the babies and you pay the bills and that was it. The Greek man found his pleasure, and even his friendship outside his marriage. His wife was a housekeeper and a baby maker's pleasure outside his marriage sexually his friends outside his marriage, home and family life were almost extinct and fidelity was nonexistent. There was no legal procedure for divorce just put them out. So when Paul lays down the principles that he's laying down here.
He is really running head on into the culture.
This is why Paul writing to the early churches emphasizes the sin of fornication so strongly as you read the Pauline letters, the center 40 fornication comes up again and again. He talks about Corneille.
The verb form for new owed engage in sexual sin references to prostitution, harlotry, sexual perversions of all kind. Because the world was dominated by those things. The Gentile world. It's a it's not hard to to remember that when you read his epistles. How common that kind of stuff was its just a part of life. The word porn new lower poor nailed the root means to prostitute Corneille is a woman for sale. Parnassus is a man who lies with a prostitute or a male prostitute, a gigolo or a homosexual.
It was just everywhere.
Corneille is a common word in Pauline vocabulary, according to citizenship law of 451 BC.
For example, now were going for 1/2 centuries before Christ inhabitants of Athens, for example, didn't have any citizenship rights if their parents were not both Athenians for many, this meant material disadvantages so that nine Athenian women had no hope of getting married if you weren't an Athenian woman. You didn't get married because you couldn't produce children who would be citizens and no man wanted to have children who couldn't be citizens of Athens, so nine Athenian women became prostitutes. In fact, they were a professional class called header ride, which in Greek means of a different kind of the ancient world. For example in in Athens was just loaded with prostitutes.
Married women were uneducated, they were regarded as core Raima chattel use for keeping the house, and having children slavery, which was rampant in that Greek world allowed men to take slave girls basically for no other purposes than sexual fulfillment. Mistresses widespread prostitution harlotry sexual sin of all kinds was all over the place in Greek culture. They encourage the Athenian women to fulfill their sexual needs with slaves and indulge in lesbian love by the way, also spreading all over the ancient Greek world long before Paul and still there during Paul's time was cut Ophelia men having sex with young children, prostitution existed as a form of worship and the fertility cults that was Athens moved to Rome for a moment the degeneracy in Rome. If anything was worse. William Barclay was done a lot of background history rights for the first 500 years of Rome. There had not been one single case of divorce on record.
The first recorded divorce was that of spurious Giannoulias Ruger 234 BC, but at the time of Paul Roman family life was wrecked. Athens was way ahead of the game. 451 was another couple hundred years before Rome endorsed by Paul's time Seneca says women were married to be divorced and divorced to be married.
The Romans did not commonly date their years by numbers. They dated their years by two things men dated their years by the name of the Roman consuls who ruled in the women by the number of husbands. Jerome tells of one woman who married the records that we have found on this who married her 23rd husband and she was his 21st wife. That's kind of how was Emperor Augustus demanded that the one woman should divorce his wife, one man should divorce his wife.
This is Emperor Augustus while she was pregnant so he could have Jerome Cargill, Pinot is written a little book called daily life in ancient Rome and in the book he says there was rampant feminism in early Rome that led to continual demoralization. Some women he writes avoided having children for fear of losing their good looks, sounds familiar, some took pride in being behind their husbands in nothing and even vied with them in tests of strength so you had women involved in building up their physical strength so that they could compete with her husband. Some women carried our lives apart from their husbands never blushed to charge into a male world to compete by the end of the second century, Cargill Pinot rights.
Many Roman marriages were childless. He writes if the Roman women showed reluctance to perform their maternal functions. They devoted themselves. On the other hand, with a seal that smacked of defiance to all sorts of pursuits which, in the days of the Republic men had jealously reserved for themselves.
Women didn't want to be in home again.
This is the curse working itself out. They wanted to dominate. They wanted to be defiant and they started charging into areas where only men up to that time had been allowed to go.
They quit their embroidery rights there reading their songs, their playing of instruments and they put their enthusiasm into an attempt to rival men if not to outclass them in every sphere that sound familiar, some plunge passionately into the study of legal suits or current politics, eager for news of the entire world greedy for the gossip of the town and the intrigues of the court well-informed about the latest happenings in three-story and China weighing the gravity of the dangers threatening the king of Armenia or of Parthia with noisy effrontery they expound their theories and their plans to generals, clad in field uniform while their husbands silently look on juvenile another writer criticize the women listen to this, who joined in men's hunts with spirit in hand and breasts exposed.
They took two pigs sticking, especially those who engaged in fencing and some would you even believe in female wrestling.
I don't know if they did it in the mud or not, but they did. He writes what modesty can you expect in a woman who wears a helmet and delights in feats of strength. These women took the gluttony and they took to drunkenness. Before long rights, Cargill Pinot women began to betray the pledge which they should have made to their husband and which many of them in marrying had had the cynicism to refuse to make to live your own life became the formula which women had already brought into fashion by the second century BC. We agreed long ago, says one lady that you were to go your way and I mine.
You may confound the sea and sky with your bellowing.
She said to her husband, but I am a human being.
After all, sounds familiar, equal rights, equal everything unhappy marriages were innumerable divorce was epidemic juvenile again writes this is an ancient Roman writer. Thus, thus, does she lorded over her husband but before long she vacates her kingdom.
She flits from one home to another wearing out her bridal veil marriage literally became a form of prolonged prostitution divorces were so common from Roman jurists that a series of them. Not infrequently led to the lady returning after many intermediate stages to her original bridal bed. He writes well you get the picture.
It is against this kind of background, which is basically because of the fallenness of the human race is against this kind of background, so similar to ours today background of infidelity. A background of divorce, a background of incest, homosexuality, adultery, prostitution, pet Ophelia all that stuff is against that background, the Paul writes these not here saying what everybody believed is not reciting the common view is calling men and women to a kind of life that was the absolute opposite of what they were involved.
Reminds me of when I went to Northridge Cal State Northridge to speak in philosophy class. The professor was a former rabbi with a PhD in philosophy asked me to speak to the class on biblical Christian biblical sex ethics knowing that that's a great way to get your head chopped off in a secular university was a very challenging opportunity. After having laid out what the Bible says.
I said of course none of you will agree with this because you don't have the internal commitment by virtue of knowing God having a transform heart and love in Christ, to be interested in maintaining the standards but just as they are countercultural today.
They were countercultural in Paul's time is important to realize that what we've got going on today is a whole bunch of individuals demanding to do whatever they want. Living out the fall.
Listen carefully without any cultural restraint in some cultures, even hours.
Years back. There were some cultural restraints, no more so now you're seeing the reality marriages just to fight for rights but not by God's definition.
God has a completely different plan and that plan unfolds here and just to give you the that the basic principle of that plan. All I need to say is it is an authority and submission plan. Somebody is responsible to lead the other to follow has nothing to do with inferiority at all. It only has to do with harmony.
The woman is not to seek to usurp the authority and dominate the husband. Husband is not to unkindly and insensitively rule over whenever this is allowed, it creates massive chaos as we are living to attest in our own day when the divine pattern is followed the whole relationship is right. Father, we thank you tonight for some time to think about these important things so foundation we want Lord in our marriage is that the spirit of God would be in charge of everything authority S submission. Yes, but an eager devotion to each of those roles that is absolutely contrary to the curse were a man doesn't seek to dominate, but to tenderly provide lead sustain, cherish where a woman doesn't seek to rise, take charge, but lovingly, willingly long to follow. And we know that this can only happen through your power only in the spirit of God.
Can the curse be set aside and replaced with this magnificent picture father, may we know that the most important thing in our marriage is not the behavior of our partner, but our relationship to you and if it's right will be what you want us to be in that marriage. That's the only way the ideal can never be met.
I pray for every person here every partner will lead us to the place where we take complete responsibility for the quality of our marriage bring ourselves before you'd be the men and women you warmest and we thank you Lord for such clear instruction our Savior's name you're listening to John MacArthur as he continues his series titled the fulfilled family.
John teaches daily here on grace to you is also chancellor of the Masters University and seminary you know so much goes into having a family that honors God. Maybe when you see how often your families in conflict. You've doubted whether you or your marriage or your kids can please the Lord, and thankfully John. The family is not a mystery.
God is the original architect of the family and his word tells us exactly what we need to do to make it work so basic God has designed the family in his kingdom to be the cell to be the organism that passes righteousness from one generation to the next and that means they have to be well ordered godly families.
That's why back in Deuteronomy 6 the Lord said, you know, talk about talk about me.
The Lord when you walk in you lie down and you walk in the way. This should be the conversation of the family. It should be God talk conversation about the word of God. The truth of God, the Lord Jesus Christ. It's not complicated and it's not complex.
I was saying somebody today.
Every society is basically defined by what it will not tolerate the mean just look at our society and see what we will not tolerate. Once we wouldn't tolerate pornography, homosexuality and immorality long ago. Now we won't tolerate anybody who speaks against that becomes hate speech so this culture has completely flip but every society is known by what won't tolerate.
That's why would God talk to us what he say only give you 10 suggestions of things like you to do. He said no. I want to give you 10 commands what not to do because that's how you define life and I think parents sometimes forget to grasp the fact that successful family life is the product of what you do not tolerate what you do not tolerate that's going to the wayside. So we have to go back to the basics. I have gotten the book in my hand right here called divine design takes you back to the beginning. The delicate issue of women, men, male leadership women working women is that biblical lots of very important issues. You have to start with what you believe but then you have to understand that your family is going to reflect the things you didn't tolerate those things are clearly lay out in Scripture. So here's a special offer.
If you've never been in touch with Grace to you before will send you a free copy of divine design just ask us and it will be on the way. Yes it will.
And this is a helpful book for newlyweds as well as for couples who have been married for decades. Again, we will send you a free copy of John's book called divine design. If it's your first time contacting us. Get in touch today.
The number here 855 grace and our website Jide TY.org divine design looks at how your marriage can honor the Lord and be a continual source of joy.
It answers questions like what does God expect from husbands and wives. How can I best serve my spouse and how can I raise my kids to follow the Lord again divine design is our gift to you. If you've never contacted us before.
Just call our toll-free number 855 grace or go to the website Jide TY.org and while you're at Jide TY.org. Make sure you take advantage of the thousands of free resources that are there meant to help better understand God's word. You can read our blog or download any of John's sermons or read daily devotionals and much more to tap into those resources go to Jide TY.org now for John MacArthur.
I'm Phil Johnson. Keep in mind you can watch grace to you. Television this Sunday on DirecTV channel 378 or check your local listings for channeling times and then be here Monday when John continues his study, the fulfilled family with another 30 minutes of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you