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This Light and Momentary Marriage, Part 3

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
May 10, 2022 9:00 am

This Light and Momentary Marriage, Part 3

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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May 10, 2022 9:00 am

What are you looking for when you yearn for love and romance? Pastor J.D. looks at our expectations in marriage and God’s plan for singleness.

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Today on Summit Life with J.D. Greer. The point of marriage is not to make you happy by giving you a perfect soul mate. God's point of marriage is to make you holy by teaching you to love like Jesus. I love how Elise Fitzpatrick says it, the point of marriage is to learn to wash the feet of another sinner.

A sinner who has disappointed you, a sinner who has betrayed you, and in Jesus' case, a sinner who's going to crucify you. Welcome to Summit Life with pastor, author, and theologian, J.D. Greer. I'm your host, Molly Vidovich. Today, Pastor J.D.

helps us answer the question, what are you actually looking for as you long for love and romance in your life? We're going to deal with our expectations for marriage, but also clearly see God's plan for singleness as he continues our study of Ephesians chapter five called first love. If you've missed any of our previous messages, you can listen online free of charge at J.D. Today is part three of a message he titled this light and momentary marriage. Let's jump back in with Pastor J.D. in Ephesians chapter five verse 31. Therefore Paul says, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery of marriage is profound because I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. Paul in these two verses explains to us that marriage was given to us not as an end in itself. It was given to us as a sign of a higher reality and that is, according to Paul, Christ's relationship to his church.

So here's number one and you should write this down. This is deep. Number one, marriage is not ultimate. It is a sign and a shadow of a higher reality. A gift of God, no matter how good, should never replace in your heart the thing that symbolizes.

So here's my question for you. To be honest, could you be single your whole life and not feel devastated? Could you go through life without a happy marriage and still feel happy and fulfilled? Because if the answer is no, then marriage has probably become an idol to you. I don't mean do you want to be married because that's a God-given desire. I'll show you that in a minute.

But I mean is it so significant to you that you don't see how life would be worth living without it? So let's leave there and let's go to 1 Corinthians 7. Paul wrote both Ephesians and 1 Corinthians. So he is going to take the concept that he's got here in Ephesians 5 and he's going to apply it in 1 Corinthians 7 to a church that's made up of a lot of single people. All right, 1 Corinthians 7. Paul says, regarding marriage, I wish that all were as I myself am. Now, merrily speaking, what was Paul? Do you know this?

He was single. That's right. But each of us has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. Here's number two.

Write this down. Singleness is not an inferior state to marriage. Look where Paul talks about this again, verse 29.

This is great. The appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none. He helps you see it in verse 30.

He goes on. You see, for the present form of this world is passing away. The world is passing away and along with the world is passing away, marriage is passing away, biological families are passing away.

They're not ultimate and they're not permanent. So watch, he's saying to people who are married, you ought to reflect on the fact that this marriage that you're in, that your biological family you're in, it's just temporary. It's light and it's momentary and it's not eternal.

It's not eternally significant. Oh, and you single people, you ought to reflect on the fact that that state that you're in right now, that's not permanent or eternal either. That's just a temporary life thing that what's ultimate and what's eternal is Christ in the church, not marriage and biological family. Christ and the church are what's permanent and ultimate.

So that leads me to number three. Both marriage and singleness are temporary gifts that God uses for the fulfillment of his purposes. Both marriage and singleness are temporary gifts that God uses for the fulfillment of his purposes. Look again at verse seven. Each of us has his own gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. Notice that both marriage and singleness in this verse are called gifts.

All right, which leads me to number four. Both singleness and marriage have their advantages and their drawbacks. Okay, marriage is wonderful, it really is, but it has its drawbacks.

Paul acknowledges this. Verse 33, the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And to the women, he says the exact same thing, verse 34, the unmarried or the betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit, but the married woman is anxious about worldly things.

By the way, worldly there doesn't mean sinful, it just means things of the world. Worldly things, how to please her husband. Now listen, I don't want to take away from being married. Marriage is my gift. I would not be half the man that I am or the minister that I am if I wasn't a husband and a father.

The things that God has done in my life through these roles are wonderful, but my interests are by God's design divided. There are advantages to being single, there are drawbacks to being single, there's advantages to being married, there's drawbacks to being married, which leads me to number five. The answer to should I get married, I'm gonna give you two parts to this. The answer to get I married is A, do I have the gift?

That's the answer. Where you're like, how do I know if I have the gift or not? Good question, verse nine, for it's better to marry than to be a flame with passion. In other words, if you're not good at virginity, then you should work toward getting married. Are you a flame with passion? You know what a flame with passion means? It means when you look at a girl, guys, you're like, man, she is hot. That's a flame with passion.

It's what a girl feels when she sexually desires a guy. And if he's like, you can't control that, then you ought to ask God for the gift of a spouse so you can have an easier time being holy. Paul, who had the gift of singleness, describes himself like this, verse 37, look at this. Whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity, having his desire under control, he will do well.

Right? Underline those three phrases, firmly established in his heart, under no necessity, having his desire under control. If those things describe you right now, then you probably have the gift of singleness, at least for the time being, and you ought to take advantage of it. Now, if those phrases don't describe you at all, then you should ask God for a spouse. The second part of that, the answer to should I get married is B, is it time? Do I have the gift, and is it time? Sometimes, I mean, let's face it, you might feel like you want to get married, but it's obviously not God's will because you don't have the right person, it's not in your life, or circumstances dictate that it's just not the right situation.

So you've got to ask, is it time? Look at what Paul says in verse 26. This is a tad bit, follow me, because it might not make a whole lot of sense in verse 26. I think that in view of the present distress, it's good for a person to remain as he is.

All right. When Paul's writing this, we're in an era of history where Christians are experiencing an unusual amount of persecution. Families are literally being torn apart, kids are being sold into slavery, families are being butchered in the arena and fed to the lions. And what Paul says is, in view of the present distress, it's probably best if you don't get married. Because, I mean, face it, you can go through persecution as a single person. If you've got to go through it as a married person with a family, that's a whole different level.

When you've got to watch your kids fed to the lions, that's different. And in view of the present distress, you should probably not seek to be married. Okay. That was then. But we're not in a particularly persecuted era of history right now. We're not in a present distress, at least not compared to them, we're not. So what does that mean for us? Here's how you extrapolate the principle and apply it.

All right. In your life, there can be present situations that would make it more advantageous for you to wait. You can find a situation, just like they were in, where you realize it's more advantageous for you to wait.

A few examples. You're completing your education. You're trying to get established in your career. Maybe you need to heal from something in your life, some past relationship, that it's just going to complicate things if you're in another relationship. And so that's a present distress that you've got to go through single.

Or maybe it's a call to a mission assignment. Listen to me, there are times when marriage or a relationship would hinder some of the good things that God wants to do in your life. And if that is the case, take advantage of this chapter of your life right now.

Press into the charisma tie, the spiritual empowerment that God gives you to be single because it's a gift. It's a gift that God's going to use to do some things in your life and through you that he would not do otherwise. Don't look at it as a curse.

It's not a curse, it's a gift. Paige Benton Brown says this, I love this, I'm not single because I'm too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband. Nor because I'm too spiritually mature to possibly need one.

I am single because God is so abundantly good to me and because this is his best for me right now. Which leads me to number six. Don't squander one blessing by coveting another one. Don't squander one blessing by coveting another one.

I see what I thought about with this. I think about David, King David, when he was called by God to be king. Do you know the story well enough to answer, think of it, true or false? After David was anointed by Samuel to be king by pouring oil in his head.

True or false? David immediately was whisked off by their version of a limousine, a chariot. Whisked off to the palace where he was robed in kingly robes. He was paraded out on the balcony and the whole nation cheered and he went right to making good kingly decisions that day. Is that how it happened?

Wrong, false. David was anointed to be king and where did David go? Right back to the pasture.

What is that like? What is it like to just have been told by a prophet of God that you're supposed to be king of Israel and the next morning you get up and you chase a bunch of sheep around shoveling up their dung and keeping them from falling off a cliff. But David would not have been half the king had he not gone through that time in the pasture. That's where God taught him some of the best lessons of his life. That's where he learned courage. That's where he learned to depend on God. That is where he learned to commune with God in a way that he probably wrote Psalm 23 in the pasture. Some of you feel called to be married but you're in a pasture of singleness and you're going to squander the things that God wants to do by his spiritual gifting in this time because you're coveting a blessing you think is coming later. They're both gifts. Don't squander one blessing by coveting another one.

David would not have been half the king he was without the pasture. You will never be half the person God intends you to be unless you learn to take advantage and press into the charisma that God is going to give you right now in this chapter of your life of singleness. You do not have to wait to start your life. You need to get going with what God is doing in your life right now.

If you're called to be single during this time you need to put your sights not on marriage. You need to put them on the will of God and you start chasing the will of God as fast as you can and let God add marriage when he chooses. Matthew 6 33 one of my life verses. Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things Jesus said will be added to you. Not seek first marriage. Seek first the kingdom of God and let him add that to you when he wants.

All certainly includes the blessing of marriage. I love how Tommy Nelson describes it. He says think of like the kingdom of God or the will of God out here. He's like as a single person what you got to do is you got to set your sights on the will of God and you got to start running as fast as you can toward the will of God. He said what happens is after you're running for a while eventually you turn over and look and there's somebody running right beside you going as fast as you are in the same direction and they're cute. And you're like hey want to go together?

And you do. You don't find that person by wandering around in obsession and desperation. You focus on the kingdom of God and let God add it. If I write this down get on the highway of God's will for your life. Don't putz around in the cold sack of desperation.

Are you sensing there's so much more to these relationships than you thought before? To go along with this teaching I wanted to quickly share a little bit more about our resource this month. Don't let the distractions of today destroy the peace and satisfaction that come from sitting and learning and resting at the feet of Jesus. To get started we've created a book of devotionals for anyone who feels distracted and even disconnected at times. It covers the topics of relationships, faith, and rest. And in addition we've got a set of 20 conversation cards to help kick-start faith-based conversations in your home. Make these lessons on relationships truly personal by reaching out today in support of this ministry. Give us a call at 866-335-5220 or go online to and reserve your copy today. Now let's get back to the final conclusion of our teaching on marriage and singleness. Here's Pastor JD.

Number seven. When it's time don't wait. When it's time don't wait. Watch this again. Let me interpret this. I love what Paul says in verse 36. If anyone thinks he's not behaving properly toward his betrothed his passions are strong and it has to be. Let him do as he wishes.

Let them marry it's no sin. Then in verse 37 he says but if you're single be firmly established and do that. Translation. Watch this. Translation. Whatever you do do it confidently and do it boldly.

I've got a special word from the Holy Spirit for some of you single guys. Write this down. Make up your cotton picking mind.

All right. Don't string her along. Do not put a ring her on her finger with an elusive promise of marriage way out there three four years down the road. If she's the right one and it's the right time Paul says marry her. And if you if this is a calling in your life if you feel called to be married show some confidence. Listen I'm not I realize this is it probably gets close to gender gender stereotyping so again just give me grace but girls usually do not respect some wishy-washy guy who does what we call in our church the sneak a date you know what that is it's where the guy doesn't have doesn't have the courage to actually ask the girl out so he just kind of arranges ways for them to be together like oh look we're together again sneak a date you know and you've got it you've got you've got it you've got a friend-ation ship you know it's not really relationship it's kind of like a little weird to be friends so don't don't do that right I mean at least show some confidence to ask her out you know it's just I don't be mad at me but grow up right put on a shirt with buttons that's where you can start shave bathe get somebody show you how to put product in your hair girls are not into a guy that's had the same haircut since he was three all right put up star trek outfits don't play playstation all the time show become a man and show some initiative if it's not listen if it's not time for you to get married gentlemen guys as in you don't have a job then quit flirting with her quit leading her on and get on with what god's doing in your singleness girls you too it's not time to get married don't lead the guy on don't make him the victim of your propensity to serial dating because you got to be attached to the drug of a new relationship to make you feel good about yourself dating is a road that leads to marriage and if you're not ready for the destination get off the road whatever you're gonna do it do it boldly the point is listen when it's time to wait on god wait when it's time to act go boldly into the land be strong and courageous now guys one word of moderation if she says no leave her alone do not go too quickly do not pull the god card do not drop the marriage card on the first date okay yeah it probably shouldn't need to be sad but i guess it does don't drop the marriage card the first date godliness and confidence should never be confused with creepiness okay fine line between those two things godliness and confidence creepiness don't confuse those number eight number eight quickly reject the e-harmony myth nothing wrong with e-harmony nothing wrong with it but the myth is that if you could just find the perfect person then you'll have a happy marriage and that leaves you almost paralyzed trying to find mr or mrs or not mrs perfect that'd be bad never mrs perfect mr perfect or miss perfect it leaves you paralyzed because you're so afraid that if you don't get the exact right person you're gonna have an unhappy marriage that's a myth you want to know why we believe it we believe it because we we buy into what kim keller calls apocalyptic romance apocalyptic romance god you'll appreciate this you ever notice that every romantic movie every romantic movie has the exact same plot the life story begins as two people are about to meet each other and then they realize that everything in their lives has been leading up to this point so then they exchange some witty banter and then they have a disney-esque romantic affair where they find true love and once they do the story fades out and you don't want to see the sequel because the sequel will be boring if it's just them you know hanging out in their married life you don't want to watch that and the message is clear life begins and ends by finding romance saturated in infatuation let me give you a news flash okay there is no perfect person if you think that you found the perfect person check their hand and unless it's nail scarred that's just an illusion that you will see through in about 18 months which is how long i psychologists say it takes for an infatuation to wear off think about this listen the person you are so into that you think is so perfect was so bad that jesus had to die to save them there was something in them that was so screwed up that only jesus's blood could fix it you think that's going to cause some problems in your marriage if it was bad enough that jesus had to die to fix it it's probably going to cause you some mild irritation at least here is the point because you idolize marriage you're trying to find the perfect person you're terrified you'll marry the wrong one or if you are married how about this you're miserable thinking that you married the wrong person i know that some of you are married and you just secretly maybe you vocalize it maybe you don't you're like i think i was too young and immature when i chose my spouse and i married the wrong person and so we're never going to be happy that's the e-harmony myth that's the e-harmony myth can i tell you something that will really help your marriage write this down you always marry the wrong person that's not a joke that is gospel truth because you are marrying a sinner and by the way even if they were the right person when you married them Veronica says that she's been married about four different jds in the 13 years we've been married because i change and so do you so even if she was married to the right one at one time that guy's going to be gone in a few years and it's going to be a brand new jd in his place the e-harmony myth is that happiness and marriage depends on finding the right person but it's not compatibility that makes for a happy marriage it's grace that makes for a happy marriage the point of marriage you see listen is not to make you happy by giving you a perfect soul mate the point of marriage god's point of marriage is to make you holy by teaching you to love like jesus i love how elise fispatrick says it the point of marriage is to learn to wash the feet of another sinner that's the big point in marriage is to learn to watch the feet of another sinner a sinner who has disappointed you a sinner who has betrayed you a sinner who lets you down and in jesus case a sinner who's going to crucify you last one here we go real quick number nine number never settle never settle verse 39 tells you to marry only in the lord never marry an unbeliever or somebody who is not walking strongly in jesus again i don't mean to gender stereotype because all these things apply to both genders but just for sake of illustration a lot of girls freak out about the age of 25 that are single oh my gosh i'm not married oh i got married i gotta find somebody if you get married listen and god gives you children those children become the most precious things in the world to you and the person that you attach yourself to is going to become the biggest spiritual influence on your kids for good or for bad if they are not if they are not a believer if they're not somebody who is a spiritual leader don't sacrifice don't sacrifice the souls of your children for the temporary euphoria of the drug of infatuation why don't you learn to be happy in jesus to be satisfied in jesus and then why don't you then let god give you his choice god gives his best of those who leave the choice to him never settle paul says only in the lord men only marry someone who is running after jesus like you are women only marry someone who is running after jesus like you are never settle here's john piper's final word here to single listen listen marriage is light and momentary god promises you singles blessings in the age to come that are better than the blessings of marriage and children i am not sentimentalizing singleness to make the unmarried feel good i am declaring the temporary and secondary nature of marriage and family over against the eternal and primary nature of the church marriage and family are temporary for this age the church is forever i am declaring the radical biblical truth that being in a human family is no sign of eternal blessing but being in god's family means being eternally blessed relationships based on family are temporary relationships based on union with christ are eternal marriage is a temporary institution but what it stands for lasts forever so renounce the primacy of your natural relationships and follow jesus into the fellowship of the people of god i say it again to all singles in christ god promises you blessings in the age to come that are better than the blessings of marriage and children marriage is temporary and it will finally give way to the relationship to which it was pointing all along christ and the church that's it you gotta get that principle marriage is light and momentary christ and the church are eternal because everything else we learn about relationships and love and romance grows out of that solid biblical truth here on summit life with pastor author and theologian jd greer jd we've been blown away by the generosity of our gospel partners we mention them often here on the program but remind us again what exactly is a gospel partner oh my goodness molly gospel partners are so much a part of our team here at summit life they're listeners who have become integral pieces of our boldly proclaiming the gospel through our radio and podcast ministry and so this group allows us to be able to expand into new places where where the gospel is not being preached this way or it allows us to stay on the on the air in your area as a growing ministry we would love to have more gospel partners join us because it allows us to to accomplish that purpose of saturating our country in in the past and our country in in the gospel centered teaching that we find in the scriptures if god is stirring in your heart at all just go to and you can find information out about how to consider becoming a gospel partner thanks jd we'd love to have you join our team of partners today we'd like to send you a copy of our exclusive summit life resource called devotions for the distracted family 15 days on relationships faith and rest it comes with our thanks when you become a partner or donate to support this ministry at the suggested level of 35 dollars or more call 866-335-5220 that's 866-335-5220 or request the pair when you give online at i'm molly vidovich be sure to join us tomorrow as pastor jd continues our study in ephesians that's wednesday on summit life with jd greer today's program was produced and sponsored by jd greer ministries
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-21 01:59:54 / 2023-04-21 02:10:33 / 11

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