The Bible begins with a marriage, and it ends with a marriage. In fact, the goal of all humanity is a spiritual union between Christ and his bride the Church. In between, we must decide if we will abide by God’s design for marriage or design our own.
To be completely honest, every single one of us has sinned and fallen short of God’s ideal for sex and marriage. Born outside the Garden of Eden, we cannot experience marriage as it was created to be. Sin has tainted every part of life, including the desires that move us towards love, romance, and sexual relationships.
Thankfully, the goal is not to rebuild what we have torn down. As Galatians 2:18 indicates: this only proves we are lawbreakers. Rather, the Bible gives su a vision of coming marriage that is offered to all who look to God for redemption. Hope, therefore, is found in embracing the gospel and seeking the marriage he offers through faith in him. By entrance into this covenant, we find renewed grace to pursue a path of holiness and wisdom with our sexuality.
God’s grace, then, is the singular answer to our sin. And a future marriage is the singular source solution to a host of threats against marriage today. In yesterday’s sermon I outlined six threats to God’s design for marriage. You can listen to the message online or read the notes. Discussion questions and resources for further study below.
Genesis 2:15–25; Revelation 19:6–9; Revelation 21:1–5
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” 18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. 9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” 5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
- In general, what comes to mind when you think about marriage? How have you seen marriage change in the last 2, 10, 25 years?
- What are the main points of Genesis 2 regarding marriage? How do we know that this passage has universal application for marriage? What other Scriptures are important for understanding a biblical theology of marriage?
- What are some of the cultural forces that are at work against marriage? Which are most evident? Which are most hidden? Which are most troubling?
- How has modernity impacted marriage? (Think: mass transit and mass communication, etc.) How have you seen our modern world impact your marriage? What have you done to combat?
- How has the sexual revolution impacted marriage? What impact has no fault divorce impacted marriage? What about the Pill—how has this invention changed culture? (Reminder: we are talking public impact, not personal ethics here).
- How do so-called Same Sex Marriage (SSM), transgenderism, transhumanism impact marriage? What is the connection between the Pill and SSM? Why does it matter?
- In all the confusion listed here, what is your hope? Where do you seek to find help for marriage? How does the vision of Revelation 19:6–9 and 21:1–5 give you hope and help?
For Further Study
- Adam and Eve After the Pill by Mary Eberstadt
- No Place for Truth: Or, What Ever Happened to Evangelical Theology? by David Wells
Transgenderism & Transhumanism
- Good News About Transgender
- What Does It Mean to Be Human?
- Marriage to Robots is ‘Inevitable’ by CBMW
- The Mission of Marriage (sermon audio)
- God’s Design for Marriage: A Story and a Song
- Heaven: The Greatest Story Ever Told
- The Story of Marriage
- Married for God by Christopher Ash
Soli Deo Gloria, ds