Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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October 7 – Pentecost 19 – Mark 10:2-16 – Creation, Marriage, Divorce, Children”

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from Mark 10.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • Obviously the topic of human relationships and the whole issue of homosexuality has become rather mainstream these days – and our children have not been spared, as some have insisted that this topic also be presented to very young school children so that they can become properly “sensitized.”  Unfortunately, what is intended by this “educational” effort is to implant a “context” in children’s minds which is utterly and completely contrary to Holy Scripture, and also to human history and nature itself.  It is a context that blatantly favors the acceptance of homosexuality as morally neutral – when Holy Scripture labels such behavior as gross immorality. 
  • Of course, far more common and prevalent than homosexuality is divorce and heterosexual unfaithfulness and immorality.  We have also become somewhat “sensitized” to a greater acceptance of this behavioral reality that is equally contrary to Holy Scripture, human history, and the greater good and blessedness of a society and culture.  Such “sensitizing” is actually a “desensitizing” to what God’s Word says about the evils of sexuality immorality and also divorce.   
  • God knows about all of this – and as we saw in the Old Testament Lesson, He is not only the Creator of Adam and Eve, but also the Creator of marriage, family, and children.  His Word precedes our current debates by centuries, by millennia, and has long been understood as “wisdom” and “goodness,” and many societies, including our own, have been richly blessed in the past by adhering to His Word on these matters.  He is also well aware of the “disinformation” campaign of the evil one – and the wretchedness and misery that the devil seeks to inflict upon human beings through the perversion of God’s good and gracious will for marriage and true and genuine love.  So His Word is full of instruction that we might fend off the devil’s wiles and remain in the blessedness of God’s will.  In our text Jesus gives us this instruction in regard to “CREATION, MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND CHILDREN.”

 

I.  Of Course Marriage Was Pristine At The Time Of Creation – As Human Beings Were

 

A.  God’s Creative Intent For The Blessedness Of Man And Woman Was The Fellowship Of Marriage

   

OT Lesson:  “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

 

B.  This Blessed Fellowship Of Love Is Between One Man And One Woman, And God Makes Them One Flesh In Marriage

 

OT Lesson:  “Therefore A man [sing.] shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his WIFE [sing.], and they shall become one flesh.”

 

Text:   “So they are no longer two but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together,  let not man separate.”

 

C.  Obviously God’s Intent Was That Nothing Should Break This Union Of One Flesh Which He Creates Between A Man And His Wife In Marriage

 

Text:  “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

 

Statement:  All of this is really very simple – and was well understood until more recent times.  But with the rampant increase in sexual immorality, adultery, and divorce, the argumentation of sinful minds has obscured much of the goodness of God’s will and plan for human blessedness in marriage.  The resulting confusion in many people’s minds is not the fault of God’s Word but rather the mesmerizing cleverness of our sinful nature. 

 

Application:  But let’s be clear about this – God’s gift of creation was very good, including the gift of marriage between one man and one woman, blessed by God so that the two become one flesh.  And surely it is not God’s will that this blessedness be interfered with!  However,

 

II.  From The Time Of Mankind’s Fall Into Sin Both Creation And Marriage Have Been Burdened By Human Sin

 

A.  So Much So, That Even God Has Allowed Concession To Divorce Under Certain Circumstances

 

Text:  “’Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send his wife away.’  Jesus said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. ”

 

B.  And So This Is A Concession to Human Weakness, And Not Necessarily God’s Will

   

Matt. 19:8  “But from the beginning it was not so.”

 

C.  Obviously, God’s Forgiveness And Mercy In Christ Jesus Should Inform And Fashion Our Relationships, Especially Marriage

 

Col. 3:12,13  “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

 

 

Statement:  Obviously God’s will then is that this great blessedness of marriage, the two becoming one flesh, is to last till “death do us part,” being repaired and restored through the mercy and love of Christ in forgiveness and kindness toward one another – even under the burdens of sin. 

 

Application:  Yes this is difficult – and the Lord has granted concession for divorce under two circumstances:  adultery and malicious desertion.  The one who has suffered such distress from spousal sin and abandonment is not commanded to get a divorce, but if “hardness of heart” dictates, divorce is tragically permissible as a concession from God. 

 

But rather than this, God’s will “from the beginning” is that the two remain the “one flesh” that He has made them – living in His gracious mercy and forgiveness and learning to grant the same forgiveness and mercy toward others, especially one’s spouse. 

 

Transition:  And in our text we see one of God’s greatest concerns in His instructions regarding marriage, for:

 

III.  Of Chief Concern To God Is The Good And Welfare Of Chldren

 

 

A.  Our Children, Through Baptism And Faith, Have Possession Of God’s Kingdom

 

 

Text:  “Let the children come to Me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

 

 

B.  But Our Behavior – Especially In Divorce – Can Impact Their Faith Relationship With God

 

 

Matt. 18:4-6  “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Whoever receives one such child in My Name receives Me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

 

 

Statement:  Jesus’ concern for children is expressed immediately following His instructions on marriage and divorce.  It is hard not to see the connection – and in virtually every statistic children whose parents are divorced suffer great harm and damage.  The negative effects can perhaps be lessened, but desertion of one’s marriage through adultery or malice never makes anything better for children.

 

Application:  In all of this – including all manner of sexual sin, divorce, and particularly homosexual sin, we see how God’s good and gracious will for humanity, the great blessedness of marriage and family, and the blessedness and welfare of children, is corrupted and destroyed. 

 

Conclusion:  Surely we can also see that it is God’s will that such blessedness be restored and maintained – through forgiveness, love, and renewed decency and godliness.  And surely we understand – we who know and believe God’s great love for us in Christ Jesus – that we must beware not to allow ourselves to plummet into this darkness, dragging dear children of His kingdom along with us.  What could there possibly be to justify such selfishness and wickedness?

 

Thankfully we have God’s gracious mercy and forgiveness.  Thankfully God has not given up on us and lowered the bar in regard to the blessedness He wills for us to enjoy in marriage and family.  Thankfully He remains deeply concerned for the blessedness and welfare of our dear children!       

 

It is very sad and distressing that we must fight against the current of the culture around us in this matter, and even against the efforts of misinformation and corrupt indoctrination within our school systems.  But our own blessedness as well as that of our children depends upon our willingness to submit to God’s Word and to fight the good fight.  God grant us an abundance of strength in His will, devotion to our spouse and children, and courage to be different and to fight this fight.  Amen.

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.