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September 8, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit begins a chapel series entitled, “Divine Design” and the scripture is Matthew 19:2-6.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today.
That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today on The Daily Platform are beginning a study series entitled divine design which is a study of Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. Today's message will be preached by B2 you president Steve Pettit. What motivated this series actually came from last year's conversation with our student leadership Council.
As we talked through various things that we've done in our chapel series that a been helpful in our typical approach is been a take a passage of Scripture and walk through the Scripture in a thematic way as we study the verse by verse process. But this particular series really came out of the heart of our student leaders recognizing the need for biblical answers to some of the most pressing issues of our day and so that's the purpose of this series entitled divine design will have 12 messages. I'll speak about eight of them. Dr. Horn will have to Mr. Benson will have to so will have a little bit of variety in there but were going to try to address and answer some very, very basic questions the secular world that we live in today is aggressively and unashamedly proclaiming its opinions, its viewpoints and its beliefs about the nature of manhood and womanhood and the roles of men and women and what we we are to do in this life.
Furthermore, their propositions reflect fallen, sinful human culture and have an impact on almost every major area in which we as believers are called to live out our faith.
What are some of the areas in which these issues are rising today. What are some of the areas in which we need to have some really answers to vital questions. These areas include things like our sexual identity. What is it mean to be a man or to be masculine. What is it mean to be a woman to be feminine. How do we address the issue of transgender is what is the meaning of marriage. What is a biblical marriage. What are the boundaries of human sexuality with with whom are you to have a consensual sexual relationship, and many other questions. So as we began this study on this subject.
What I'd like to beaded this morning is to begin with just the very basic question and that is why why is this study so important. Many of said I'm excited.
I'm interested I'd I want to learn about why why is it that were interested and what do we need to properly approach these questions will, in order to guide our thinking I'd like us this morning to begin with Jesus. How did Jesus respond when we when he was when he was asked a question concerning a real life issue in his day, and I'd like you to take your Bibles this morning and turn with me please to the book of Matthew chapter 19 because I'd like us to start with our Savior. What did he say and how did he respond we find in Matthew chapter 19 in verse three, a response that I think makes it very clear why this study is so important for us. It is a question concerning a real life issue had to do with marriage and specifically, it had to do with divorce.
And so what does Jesus say in Matthew 19 in verse three. I'm going to read out loud as you read along with me. The Pharisees also came under him. That's Jesus tempting him, and saying unto him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause, put away means to divorce and he answered and said unto them, have you not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife in the twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, or to but one flesh. What therefore God joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away and he saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you are allowed you to put away your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. Jesus was asked a question. Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause that's very interesting to me that the question was never asked.
Is it lawful for a woman to divorce her husband because that question would've never been ask in Jesus's day. It was always the man with the wife. Now this was a real life issue not only in that day. But it's also in life issue and our day and I want you to notice that the question was not about the legality of divorce because divorce was legal under the Old Testament law. According to Deuteronomy 24 one.
That's the passage where they spoke about Moses. The point of the question that was asked to Jesus is found in the last phrase of the question. Notice what it says is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every calls. In other words, what are the grounds for divorce. What is the calls for which a man can legally divorce his wife well in Jesus's day. There were two primary schools of thought among the right rabbis concerning the calls for divorce.
The first school of thought was the stricter school. The second was the more lenient the stricter school was led by a rabbi name, show my shame. I understood that the only ground that justified divorce was adultery. However, the more lenient school led by Rabbi named Halal argued that when Moses allowed for divorce.
It was based own and you can read the text yourself in Deuteronomy 24 one it says for some King James says for some uncleanness. The ESV says for some indecency. Now they thought that the indecency could range anywhere from adultery to spoiling the husband's dinner or to the wife not being pretty enough so as a result.
Obviously, there are two different schools of all the more conservative than the more liberal and people were divided over this particular issue. So the question I want to ask is what prompted the Pharisees to ask the question.
Did they really want to know Jesus's position were they really seeking information and look at what it says in verse three the Pharisees also came under him, tempting him, and saying unto him, is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every calls. Matthew tells us the reason they asked the question and that is they were tempting him, it implies that if Jesus had answered the question as they proposed it, it would have created a problem. It was a temptation, a test and obviously it would have created tension and conflict because Jesus would've sided with one school fall or the other school.
So what did Jesus do well. He did not side with one viewpoint over the other instead, he gave a totally unexpected answer and it's in his answer that we see why this study is so important, why what were doing the semester so and why we need and what we need in order to answer the same kind of questions in our day.
In other words, Jesus as a template for us the way he handled this issue is not just about divorce, but it is how he would handle other issues and what we see. First of all, is where Jesus went to get an answer to the difficult question put before him. When you are asked a question that is a a difficult issue in which were living in a day where do you go for answers you go to the Internet you go to your friends is a consensus do you go to to do you do you type in in Google and you seek all the answers. Where do you go for the answers to life's most important question and notice what Jesus said verse four and he answered and said of them have you not read the answer that Jesus gave to life's issues was sourced in the Scripture, have you not read what is he do he quotes the Old Testament Genesis, specifically so did Jesus need to appeal to the Scripture. Did he need to think about it is Jesus, not the son of God are his words, not authoritative, is he not the truth. Could he not have easily said truly, truly, I say and do you because he did that in other places. Could he have not of claimed his own authority. Of course he could've but in this case, he didn't. Instead he makes an appeal to the Scripture as being divinely authoritative on the issue of divorce have you not read does this diminish the authority of Jesus, absolutely not, because there's no difference between the authority of the sun, and the authority of the Scripture. But when Jesus turned to the Scriptures for his answer. Jesus was establishing the fact as to where we should go for our answer.
That is that we have a clear objective authoritative divinely revealed word from God that speaks to the crucial moral issues of life such as divorce, let me say it again when Jesus came that answer. He was establishing for us that we all everybody here has a clear objective authoritative divinely revealed word from God that the Bible gives us the answers to the crucial life issues that we face. Have you not read so why is this study on divine design so important for all of us here at Bob Jones University because as Christians we need to have confidence we need to have a sense that we have clear answers that are objective that are authoritative that they answer the important and the current issues of life that we are facing today in our contemporary world.
I think this series is crucial.
Why, because many of you right now are establishing and you are settling your own viewpoints.
What are your viewpoints towards these issues and and you're establishing this now, more than any other time in your life. So therefore, as a university we do not because because one of the core elements of the University is a biblical worldview.
We do not want to make any assumptions that you know the answers and you believe the answers we also know that the pressure to conform to the world's values and morals and viewpoint, especially own identity and sexuality. Though the pressure is real and is palpable. In other words, you can feel it in the air. It's constantly communicated through multiple media sources and avenues.
Every day you go online on your cell phone you are confronted with is, it is a part of of certain governmental agencies and initiatives. We know that it is constantly communicated through an aggressive agenda within both the private and public educational world. It is important that we have this series because there is a line between the world and truth. There is a line and because there is a line then there's tension those on either side will view the opposite side is wrong. Maybe there was a day when people would have respected you as a Christian for your viewpoints, but they would just simply disagree with you.
I think in many ways, those days of long gone now.
If you hold certain positions as posited in the Scripture, you will be viewed as morally evil, the positions of the Scripture are today in many cases viewed as morally evil, but in spite of that, we need to unashamedly stand on what we confess in the opening line of our creed this morning. I believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Both the old and the New Testament.
In many cases the study is crucial because you grown up in a home where maybe these things were never taught or they were never modeled but I want you to know that you're not alone. Think about it in the first century virtually no believer came from a Christian home, their values, their viewed virtues. They had to be taught. They had to be learned. They came out of the world they came into the church and for many of us today.
We are all in the same place, so therefore it is our Christian duty to be sure that you've clearly heard in a compelling way. What God is said concerning these crucial issues. This is vital.
It's vital for your own long-term future spiritual health. It's vital for your future marriage and family is vital for the long-term health and strength of the church of Jesus Christ and other Christian institution these issues I face personally during my college years when I became a Christian. My freshman year in a secular college. I was immediately faced with the pressure between a secular worldview and a biblical worldview, especially regarding these issues as they are rooted in divine design and folks that was 40 years ago. No doubt these issues are far more pronounced today than when I was in college. So what is Jesus do for us. He exemplifies for us as to where we should go to address these issues by appealing to the authority of the Scripture.
Let me make one other point about the authority of Scripture, and that is when Jesus made an appeal to the Scripture. I believe he was implying that what the Scripture has to say is sufficient for living a life that honors and pleases God. Say what you mean by sufficient, I mean what he says is enough that limiting what it doesn't mean the Bible doesn't say everything that needs to be said about a particular subject, so you could you could bring up other issues or you could say there's other things we can learn that we don't know, but the sufficiency of Scripture means that what the Bible does say is everything that we need to become mature believers and to be useful in God's service.
So Paul says all Scripture is given by inspiration of God is profitable. It is beneficial for what for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect through newly furnished and all good works that is we have enough in the Scripture for what we are to believe for what what will bring salvation. What will bring sanctification will help us to mature and grow as a believer. So why is this study on divine design so important because it gives to us a clear objective, authoritative sufficient word from God on the contemporary issues of life things that we can stand alone and things that we can believe, but there's something else I'd like to say this morning before we finish, and that is not only do we see where Jesus went when he was asked the question, but we see how Jesus specifically use the Scripture to formulate his answer to the difficult question that was put before it.
Notice what Jesus did. Once he established the authority of the word.
Have you not read what is he do what Jesus did. He goes back and he lays out God's original intent in creation or what we call divine design. So go back and look at what it says and he answered and said of them have you not read. He which made them at the beginning made them male and female. In other words, it's interesting.
Jesus didn't really talk about divorce.
He talked about design. He really didn't focus so much of the problem, but he actually focused on the purpose God goes back to creation. Jesus goes back to creation any appeals to what God intended in the beginning. Now why is this so important and I believe it actually has to do with the gospel. Think about it this way.
Jesus is called the second Adam, why because he came to fix what the first Adam broke.
Jesus came to undo what Adam did. Adam made the mess. Jesus came to clean it up. He came to reverse the curse. You could say this where love is good English, but you can say Adam was the rule in her and she says is the Redeemer. What was rule in the in the garden was redeemed at the cross, Jesus came to restore our brokenness. Now think about it when you and I are saved. What is Paul say happens to us in Ephesians 4 he says the old man in Adam is put off okay and he says the new man in Christ is put on okay so that's talking about salvation put off put out now. Paul describes the new man specifically as created in righteousness and true holiness.
Having put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. So what is that mean created in righteousness and true holiness. He's talking about the new birth. He's talking about being born again. He's talking about what God does in your heart that conversion.
You can say it this way simply the image of God that was lost in the fall is restored and renewed in the new birth.
In other words, when you and I became believers, God brought us back to a pre-false state in our heart. Now let me just be clear.
Our salvation is complete in Christ. But there's a process okay so we justified were saved were being sanctified.
The saving us when days go to glorify us and give us a new body. It will be all completed. So right now in a process, but the very fact that God saved you means he restored your heart back to a place like Adam who had a love for God and a desire to please and obey God, to the very fact that you love God and you desire to please God means that you been restored in your heart. Now Jesus brings us back in his statement. Here in Matthew to life lived as Adam did before the fall.
So what we read today in Matthew 19 is not after the fall is before the fall.
It's what Adam and he were like in their original state. So when addressing divorce. He goes back to original intent intent in our identity. He made us male and female in our sexuality.
The two shall become one flesh in our marriage what God has brought together join together. Don't let man put asunder. In other words, the only thing that he actually said about marriage to a man who simply don't mess it up because divorce was never a part of God's original design. Therefore, as a believer.
How are we to live. We are to go back to God's original intent. We are to live according to divine design is that not what Jesus said when they asked him about Moses's permission of divorce would you go and look at verse seven. Notice what it says they say unto him, why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement in the put her away and he said unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so, when you and I face complex and compelling questions of our day.
Things like sexual identity, manhood, womanhood, gender, sexuality, marriage, what must we do as redeemed people, we have to turn to the Scriptures and go back to God's original design as was recorded in the word of God.
So as we begin this series this morning. Let me ask you some questions. How serious.
How serious are you going to take Jesus's question, have you not read my master?
Do you accept the Scripture as authoritative and sufficient as Jesus did.
Have you read in other words, have you sought to know and understand understand the Scriptures, like Jesus did every one of you should be confirmed in your faith and you should know the word are you committed to living in obedience to God's word, as Jesus was for Jesus sets the pace. The example and he calls us to follow. Here's what I would do next week we're going to go to that back to this passage and and were going to look at greater detail. What are the three core elements that Jesus laid out in divine design because in essence what we find in these core elements though they are simple.
They are extremely profound for our own personal life and how we are to live out God's design in our own life.
May we pray together. Father, thank you for your word and thank you that you have given us clear and objective answers in how we are to live out our lives in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Bob Jones University president Steve Pettit. The sermon was part of the study series about Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood entitled divine design. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the series here on The Daily Platform