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Archive for March, 2008

When you think of the biblically teaching on husbands and wives, what immediately comes to mind?  To some, it may be the arguments behind the egalitarian/complementarian debate.  For others, maybe a specific passage comes to mind.  “Live with your wife in an understanding manner” is a popular one.  Or perhaps the standard, “Husbands, love your wives.”

What most people forget is that not only is there a command, not only an illustration but also a purpose.  Seriously, I hear it being tossed around often that men are to love their wives “as Christ loves the church.”  But what I don’t hear being discussed is how this is.  Oh, I hear talk about self-sacrifice, about being caring, about being patient – but the text itself is clear about what Paul has in mind.

The text reads:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Eph 5:25-27)

Clearly the love husbands are to have for their wives is a sanctifying love.  For those considering dating, perhaps one of the first questions to be asked by a woman is how the man is being sanctified himself.  One of the questions that a man should ask himself is whether he is willing to bear the responsibility, and often difficulty, of involving himself in the sanctification of another.  In a relationship, we must ask ourselves whether the relationship is aiding us in the process of sanctification, and if the activities help us to grow in holiness and love for the Lord.  And when married, this is an expectation.

All to often people choose mates based on emotion.  Let’s be honest; people seek the good-looking, the easy-going, the fun-loving, the humorous, the skilled, the popular, the fashionable, the accomplished – you name it.  Do people look for the godly?  Often that isn’t the most exciting, and in fact it at first seems to dull the fun in the lives of others.  But marriage is not a game, not entertainment, and not a whim.  It is a covenant, a commitment, a vow.  It is not to pass the time and make it most exciting on earth, but to prepare us to enjoy heaven all the more.

Oh, I believe that godly relations are filled with the most love, joy, and peace.  But I believe they are also filled with much hardship, difficulty, and pain as well.  As iron sharpens iron, as silver is purified, as our bodies must be exhausted in order to be built up, so too must godly relationships.  I can only hope that many young adults today catch this vision and distinguish themselves by godliness than by anything of the world.  After all, our love for another will never exceed our love for the Lord.

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Questions of application given by C.J. in his message “Do Not Love the World.”

Do I love the world?  Is there something in the world I am presently attracted to or pursuing?  And if so, have I informed the appropriate people so that I might receive the accountability and avoid the deceitfulness of sin and the consequences of sin?

Am I being influenced by someone who loves the world?  Are ya?  If you’re being influenced by someone who loves the world, then you need to repent, you need to loving correct that individual, and you need to relate wisely and cautiously to that individual.  You are not serving that individual by participating with them in their sin.  You are actually calling into question the genuineness of your own conversion.

What are you passionate about?  Often you can discern the presence of worldliness by the absence of affection for the Saviour.

Finally, are you a present-day Demas?  “Demas”, Paul writes, “in love with this present world has deserted me.”  My God, I pray there not be a single dimus numbered among this congregation. 

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A Seinfeld Life

It occurs to me that life as a young adult can have many things in common with the show Seinfeld.  Now, most young adults may be familiar with this show, but if you are a bit younger or perhaps never cared to watch the reruns, then I’ll spare you from having to watch it and give you the punchline: it’s a show about nothing.

The show makes this very clear, as they even parody themselves by pitching a show based on their lives to NBC.  In other words, in Seinfeld, they write the script for a show based on their lives in which ultimately nothing happens.  I didn’t realize until that episode that such is truly the nature of entertainment, and perhaps potentially of some of our lives.  Let me reach a bit here: No matter how many NBA seasons pass, nothing ultimately of significance has changed.   No matter how many video games you conquer, ultimately nothing of significance is accomplished.  Oh, it sure seems like something, but really, it is about nothing.  Now, you may argue that your level 70 WOW character, your recollection of Kobe stats, or your vast and intimate knowledge of the redemptive themes of movies may in fact improve your life, but i would not.  Instead, I believe that such things obscure the purpose for which we are upon this earth, and that our progress, or growth, or whatever you want to call it, must be related in some way to our purpose for being here.

Now, back to the show.  (more…)

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If you missed out on the Shepherd’s Conference this year with John MacArthur, you can listen in for free after simply registering at the Shepherd’s Conference website. When you register, you can also view the session schedule and members listening to the conference in your area.

Share this event with a friend! The Shepherd’s Conference is March 5-9, 2008 – going on right now!

https://www.shepherdsfellowship.org/SC/LiveStream.aspx

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Use the coupon code MAR2008 to redeem this month’s free audiobook download from christianaudio.com

Confessions of the Reformed Church (Unabridged) by The Augsburg, Westminister & Heidelberg Confessions

Quite simply, these are three of the most important and well-known confessions of the Reformed faith. Concise, yet with excellent detail, there is no better way to get an introduction and background of historic Reformed faith.

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Why Still Single?

In the course of a wonderful conversation tonight, I began to wonder why it is that some people are single, at any age.  There are reasons that they may give: still a student, establishing career, etc.  Then there are the reasons that most others offer for them: too picky, haven’t met the right one, etc.  But I’m starting to wonder if the reasons (at least for men) fall under a more personal sort: character, spiritual maturity, pride, etc.

Now, of course when dealing with the topic of relationships the standard rebuttal is to point to the exceptions, or the poor examples, and simply conclude that there are no generalities that are useful to be made.  But of course I disagree, and while it definitely will not be spot-on for everyone, I’m going to consider this for a future post.  Namely, I want to collect the commonly given explanations for singleness.  They may come from books or conversations or any other source.  And I want to view them in some way biblically.  It would be interesting to do a thematic study of Proverbs which relate, or perhaps build off of one of the common passages on marriage.

Stay tuned.  And let me know if you have any suggestions or comments.

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