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September 9, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit continues a chapel series entitled, “Divine Design” and the scripture is Matthew 19:3-6.
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 were continuing a study series entitled divine design which is a study of Biblical manhood and biblical womanhood. Today's message will be preached by BJ you president Steve Pettit like to ask you to take your Bibles this morning a turn with me please to the book of Matthew Matthew chapter 19 we are continuing our series own divine design Biblical manhood and womanhood.
Most of you are familiar, at least to some degree with the well-known story Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll the story. Towards the end of it contains an interchange between between two of the primary characters.
The white rabbit and the king of hearts they entered the league conversation is over a letter and what is stated is worth our attention for the raw white rabbit puts on his spectacles and asks the king where shall I begin, please your Majesty and is reading through this letter and the king gravely said began at the beginning and go alone till you come to the end and then stop.
I think that is good advice for us this morning as we're working our way through this study of Biblical manhood and womanhood divine design and that is we go back to the beginning with last week we saw this is what Jesus did when Jesus was faced with a complex and difficult question of divorce. What did he do he set for us a pattern and the first thing he established was the authority of Scripture. That's the issue, have you not read, I'd like to say to all of us as we go along. This semester the issue is going to come back over and over and over, and that is has God spoken, and do we believe it. You are going to face in the world. A pressure to conformity. It's either the world or the word, and that's the issue, have you not read and then once Jesus established the authority of the Bible. He framed his answers from the divine design that is revealed in the beginning back in the book of Genesis and so as we face questions that will confront us about human identity. Human sexuality and human relationships. We must do what Jesus did and began at the beginning and so this morning, I'd like to take the foundational idea of Christ and show you three core essential truths to divine design and we find them here in Matthew chapter 19 beginning in verse three.
Let me read it to you this morning. The Pharisees also came under him, tempting him, and saying unto him, is it lawful for man to put away his wife for every call so that's the issue about divorce and he answered and said under 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 and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, no more tubal one flesh. What therefore God joined together, let not man put asunder. Jesus spoke from Genesis on God's design and intention for marriage and it is here this morning that we see three core essentials, foundational truths, the things that we bill down of divine design pierced the first core essential and it is this that sexual distinctions are divinely designed have you not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female very early on in life. We know what we know this that we all start recognizing sexual distinctions we see in our families, we have a mom and a dad.
We have brothers and sisters Boys and Girls Club different names like Jessica and James Megan and Michael. We learn this distinction exists in society around us. For example, we go into a public building and there we have to go to the bathroom and we discover their separate bathrooms, there's men and women and we quickly come to realize the difference matters which one you go in, or least, it should matter, we are asked questions on the public record, or official documents were asked are you male or are you female so very early in life we recognize there are clearly sexual distinctions just like Jesus said he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. This distinction in section sexuality is heightened through the birth of children when you're young you see your own mother or you see another lady in the church and she's expecting a baby, we realize only mommies have babies and we wonder how does this all happen.
How do children come into the world. Perhaps you ask your parents one day.
That question in your parents look at you and said will tell you when you get older.
Or maybe they had the talk and you sat there and when they explained it to you and how it all happens you you were dumbfounded.
Maybe you're grossed out and you suddenly realize that that this is what's going on. These distinctions are more pronounced. We go through puberty. We become sexually mature capable of reproduction. This time, our desires increased sexually. We are attracted to the opposite sex. The girls to another elementary school had the cooties now in high school. Have the cuties. The reality of sexual distinction is heightened in our upper teen years. They start talking about it. Parental expect expectations of what kind of relationship you can have with the opposite sex Windows dating begin or courtship or or date ship or whatever you call it, we become aware as we get older popular songs written about love. We recognize TV shows and movies are rated based on sexual content. We become very aware of the reality of what Jesus said he which made them from the beginning made them male and female. So what are we to make of these distinctions and the Scripture.
Jesus quoted teaches us three important conclusions about sexual distinctions in God's design number one sexual distinctions are good.
He made them male and female sexual identity was a part of God's original creation before they fall in these distinctions are design art are declared to be good. Fact is, God said they were very good and calls God saw everything that he made and behold it was very good since sexual distinctions are confirmed by God to be a blessing and a benefit by life is what good means that we should seek to be everything God made us to be within the framework of our own sexual identity and so whatever it means to be a man from God's perspective than I should want to be God's man whatever means to be a woman from God's perspective.
I want to be God's woman.
Next week I will speak on be a man what it what is it what is masculinity the following week, to speak on femininity.
What is mean to be God's woman. We should all strive to live within our divinely designed framework of our sexuality and if there are limitations and restrictions that we accept them as good because God made that, and secondly sexual distinctions reflect both the quality and plurality distinctions between males and females are never to be understood as one sex being qualitatively better than the other. There is no superiority or inferiority in either male or female men and women are both equal as divine image bearers through creation and we are equal is justified sons and daughters of God through salvation but not only is there inequality but there's actually plurality. Think about it this way. God said in Genesis 1.
Let's make man in our image immediately.
The text reveals that there is a plurality in the Godhead. And as we study the Bible.
What we discover there's one God in three persons, father, son and Spirit. The plurality we see in the Godhead is also reflected in the design of humanity when he said, let us make man in our image and man being made in God's image is both male and female so just as there is an equality in the Godhead, and a plurality is also true that in humanity there is an equality and a plurality two distinct but equal kinds of people that make up mankind created in God's image and then there's 1/3 truth and that is sexual distinctions reflect differences in roles while men and women are equal in value in the side of God. They also have unique route roles in Scripture applied in three important ways. Number one, we are different in our roles in procreation, primarily our physical bodies are created. Men and women differently for the ability to procreate, to have children and God has created us distinctly different. Secondly, there are definitely differences in the roles of the family as God created God assigned roles to his image bearers, and specifically the husband is to serve as the leader and the woman was created to come alongside to be his partner, the husband is designated to be the head and the wife to help her in marriage. The difference reflects a complementary role, not a lower status. For example, for the woman. The word for helper that it says in the book of Genesis chapter 2 that she was created to be his suitable helper is the same word that is used to speak of the characteristics of the father, God is our helper of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who is come to help us. The first woman, Eve was created from man, and for man.
She was taken from his side and was made to complete the incomplete aspects of his life for the two would become one Paul speaks of complementary roles in marriage in one of the most beautiful metaphors in the Bible when he says the husband is to be like is to be that it is to be like Christ, who is the head of the body and and and he is to love his wife sacrificially and the wife is to be like the church and she is to be in submission to her husband like the church is to Christ. And so the pattern in Scripture is clear that we are equal in value different enrollment complementing one another and design in the number three weird guards. There's a difference in their roles in the church just as different roles among the members of the Trinity. So you have a father-son spirit. They are all equal. There all God we look at the plan of salvation. They had different roles in that in that plan. So it is also true in the leadership of the local church where it is very clear in Scripture that leadership roles will not speak of leadership on primarily speaking of the pastor, the elder in the bush Bishop there are three words reflecting the same person.
I'm not speaking about anything else other than the spiritual leadership of the of the church and it is assigned this roles assigned to men that meet the specific spiritual qualifications that are spelled out in the Bible.
For example, the pastor is the be the husband of one wife.
Now we could to hold message on the roles of women within the church. That's not what were going to do today and there are many roles but clearly there are distinctions, so we have divinely designed distinctions, but today we live in a fallen world, a sinful world.
There are constant pressures within secular society actually against God's design.
This is seen in the way that men and women are different that those differences create the tensions.
For example, one of the most obvious tensions today regarding our sexual identity as being good is transgender is what is transgender actually mean I like to read to you just what I cut and pasted right off the Internet from Web MD as they themselves were explaining what it means to be a transgender. Let me read it it says quote when a child is born a doctor says it's a boy it's a girl assigning someone sex is based on biology chromosomes anatomy and hormones, but a person's gender identity.
The inner sense of being male-female or both doesn't always match their biology. Transgender people say they were assigned the sex that isn't true to who they are. Many people have assumptions about what it means to be transgender but it isn't about surgery or sexual orientation, or even how someone dresses.
It's how they feel inside the wheel.
The Williams Institute says there nearly 700,000 people living publicly as transgender in the US. Each one is unique and the journeys are personal. Some say they are the opposite sex of what they were assigned at birth. Some say they're both male and female. Still others don't identify as either gender. It takes a lot of courage to block the cultures norm that gender is binary, says Helen R. Friedman, PhD, a clinical psychologist in St. Louis who specializes in gender identity, and transgender issues. Listen carefully what she says. The truth is gender does exist on a continuum, meaning there's lot of in between what it means is that there is always a changing process going. But when you and I go back to the beginning and we look for answers. What do we discover that sexual distinctions are assigned by God. Just as Jesus reminded his hearers he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, then there's a second core essential we see here of divine design found in the words of Christ, and that is this that sexual relationships are divinely designed to notice what the text says in Matthew when Jesus said, for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more to but one flesh. Now this text that we just read reveals a very important foundational truth that sexual relationships are divinely designed God's Word gives us the basis defines the meaning and sets the boundary for all human sexual experiences.
So, what are those number one sexual relationships are based on God's image.
They are based on the image of God.
You see, we are created in God's image.
So what is that mean will basically there to ideas about being created in God's image. The first one is called the substantive view that simply means is that humans are a lot like God and that we share the same aspects of God's nature like mind and will and emotions so we are made in the image of God. We can think we can feel we can make choices. We talk about our inner man. Our soul we are what we are talking about that which reflects the image of God and then we know when Adam was created he was created originally righteous, so that he had the same qualities of God like kindness and mercy and grace and righteousness and patience and faithfulness. So we talk about the substantive view. It stresses the idea that substantively we are like God in that way. So where all his image bearers. Then there's a second view and that's called the functional view in this. You humans are made in the image of God because we act like God and are divinely given role to rule the earth. We see this in God's mandate to Adam and Eve what he say he says your to exercise dominion over the earth and specifically listen to what it says and God bless them male and female, and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion five commands in this text. And because humanity was created as a plurality there ruling the earth was a joint function, you can almost say in a very real sense, this is a royal edict that establishes the first royal couple king Adam and Queenie. They are rulers over God's creation under God's authority and one of the essential elements to Adam and Eve's ruling over the earth was through procreation, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.
This is an important way in which we rule over creation, let me put it in simple terms, get married, Children start family that is a part of the image of God.
Now think about the immense implications of the statement that we can functionally do what God does in the sense that we can actually create life. I mean if your mom and dad didn't have a relationship you wouldn't be sitting here thanks mom. Thanks Dan. We can't fulfill this command individually. It takes a man and a woman appropriate humanity came into existence as a plurality and it will only survive and thrive through a plurality men and men can't make babies, women and women cannot create children. God's plan is men and women so sexual relationships are defined by the image of God.
Secondly sexual relationships are defined by God's word knows what the Bible says, for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall plead to his wife and the two shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more to but one flesh of three things very clear from these verses number one, it is clear that one flesh here is referring to sexual union is talking about sexual inner that's what it means.
Number two is clear that Jesus is referring to the sexual union between a man and a woman only, and it's clear. Number three is clear that sexual renewal union is reserved for marriage alone.
God created the sexual relationship for pleasure for procreation and for partnership God intends for married couples to have a healthy and a happy sexual relationship, but God is also set the boundaries for human sexual relationships and that's the third thing I want to say and that is sexual relationships are prescribed by the laws of God. God is very clear in his word concerning with whom we can have a sexual relationship is very clear in Hebrews 13 verse four it says marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled, but war mongers and adulterers shall be judged. It's very clear. One man one woman in marriage. But God is also very clear about who we must not have sexual relationships with God is very specific.
We are prohibited from sexual relationships of any kind with any person in any context outside of marriage, and perhaps there's no other place in all the Bible where it is so clearly express then in Leviticus chapter 18. If you never at your read because God clearly express and states his people should not have sexual relationships with blood relatives, father, mother, stepmother, sister, half-sister, granddaughter, stepsister, aunt, uncle, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, mother and her daughter grandchildren wife and her sister neighbors wife a male with a male a woman with a woman or an animal. That's all.
In Leviticus 18. Many of these things are incestuous relationships or abusive relationships, but they're all condemned by God now important question that we have to ask and that is this, is there a place where couples are permitted to have sex before marriage. What does the Bible say I'd like to read to you.
First Corinthians chapter 7 verses one and two is very clear and I'm going to read from the ESV because I think it's clear now concerning the matters about which you wrote Paul was writing to the Corinthian church is good for a man not to have sexual relationships with a woman, but because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
He was writing the people that were going to live single actually force within seven is written for singles in the church but what he is saying this that sexual relationships are designed for marriage. There's no place in the Scripture that even hints at the idea that couples are permitted to have sex before marriage.
So we see clearly sexual relationships are designed by God and then finally the last thing I like to say this morning and really very quickly and that is this at the permanence of marriage is divinely commanded when Jesus laid the foundation he intended for marriage to be permanent. What therefore God is joined together, let not man put asunder. When Christ came he came to restore his back people back to a pre-fall condition that restoration will not be fully realized until the full redemption of our body. However, Christ is renew the image of God within every believer, and we should strive to live in that likeness.
Therefore, for the believer in marriage permanence is the only ideal. This is exactly what Jesus said what therefore God had joined together. Don't mess it up. That's what he say now let me just say this. In conclusion about marriage because everybody in this room is thinking about getting married before you die. Most of you marriage should be approached from the perspective of the will of God.
What God hath joined together, you need to look at marriage as God in his will, his purposes point therefore, we should be very careful, prayerful and submissive. God I want to marry in your purpose and plan secondly, couples must build on the divine design for strong foundation in marriage. It was my privilege for almost 20 years to carry 57 different young people to travel with us on our team when I was an evangelist added that 57 out of that group came 11 marriages.
That means over 1/3 of the group married each other all of those marriages today are strong, healthy, vibrant marriages, do you know why because they built their marriage on the principles that were giving to you on divine design. You know why this is.
This is such an important study because my hope is that out of this group will come very strong, healthy, vibrant, Christian marriage me that's what you won't dungeon but if you want to have a strong marriage you got a build on the strong foundation of commitment to God's word.
A growing relationship with God and acceptance of your role in marriage, a commitment to moral purity, a commitment to God's mission for your marriage a belief in the family and building strong family.
God's plan works and God's plan is permanence in his family and his marriage.
So next week we'll talk about what it means to be a man in the next week were to talk about what it means to be a woman semi is where you can preach on a civil one other woman is going to preach on it. I mean any Semites at retirement.
I wife and two dollars so I I do know a little bit about so back to the Bible. What does the Bible say and that's where he stated, all God's people said Amen. You've 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