Developing a Biblical Worldview
“God’s Design for Man and Marriage” Genesis 1:1-2:25
Old Testament Reading: Genesis 29:18-30
New Testament Reading: 1 Peter 3:1-12
Developing a Biblical Worldview
“God’s Design for Man and Marriage”
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
“Love” is one of the most common yet misunderstood and misused words in the English language.
- Humanly, “love” is synonymous with “romance,” which usually includes a sexual connotation.
- Socially, “love” is an expression we show to others or a feeling we experience when such expressions are shown to us.
- Tragically, we express the same word over inanimate items, such as houses, cars, clothing, foods, and special places we visit.
“Love” is also one of the most misunderstood and misused words in the Christian language.
- Theologically – the fact that the fundamental nature of God is perfect love is not balanced with the undeniable truth that His righteousness requires Him also to be filled with perfect hate.
- Practically – God’s ultimate expression of love for us required the sacrifice of His Son. Therefore, our expression of love for Him must begin with our submission to Him.
In 1960, Author C.S. Lewis defined the four different expressions of love used in the Bible.
- “Storge” is the love between families.
- “Phileo” is the love between friends.
- “Eros” describes the romantic, sensual, and sexual love God gave mankind to be expressed between husbands and wives within the bonds of marriage.
- “Agape” is the highest and deepest form of love; it is a strong, selfless, and sacrificial love. Jesus said this is the love we must show to our enemies, as well as our friends.
While believers and unbelievers can express and receive the love of family, the love of friends, and the love between a man and a woman, only those who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord can express and receive Agape love.
- In Matthew 22:40, Jesus said, the relationship of marriage should be built on that level of love.
- While man’s violation of that standard is evident throughout history, for the last 200 years, at least in the Western culture, that view of marriage was respected by those who accepted the Bible as God’s final authority on morality.
- However, in the late 1800’s, the cancer of Higher Criticism was introduced into the seminaries, universities and colleges, and then into the pulpits, as the professors and pastors, and finally, the people rejected the first eleven chapters of Genesis as true to history.
- Once the Bible was rejected as God’s absolute authority on the Christian Faith and the practice of that Faith, the Church ceded any notion of a basic standard of morality.
- Once “marriage” was separated from its original purpose, as outlined by God in Genesis 1-2, “marriage” became defined as anything anyone wanted it to mean.
- Rather than the biblical concept of the marriage as a permanent, covenant relationship between a man and a woman who will live with and love each other until death, marriage is a legal contract that can be nullified by either party for whatever reason, or an agreement to live with each other without any commitment.
- Therefore, unless the Church renews its commitment to the historical accuracy of the first eleven chapters of Genesis, including God’s design for marriage, Christians cannot honestly participate in the debate over the redefining of marriage.
Those with a biblical worldview consider anything less than a biblical marriage is a violation of God’s plan and purpose for the institution of marriage. Those with a secular worldview believe they can do what is right in their own eyes for there is no moral standard. Therefore, the reason the level of our morality is so low:
- Only 4% of all Americans hold a biblical worldview.
- Only 6% of those who claim to be Christians have a biblical worldview.
- Only 13% of those who say they have been born-again have a biblical worldview.
- Only 37% of today’s pastors have a biblical worldview.
The predominate worldview among Christians today is syncretism;
“Syncretism is the intentional blending of the historic Christian beliefs and practices with the secular culture to make the Christian life and message more appealing to unbelievers.”
If the Church cannot declare, without hesitation, qualification, or equivocation, that God created the heavens and the earth just as the Bible says He did, on what basis can we convince them of God’s love in sending His Son to be their Savior?
- If the church does not believe in the biblical origin of the earth and man, the biblical origin of sin, and the fall of man, how can we convince lost mankind for their need of redemption?
- If the church doesn’t believe what Moses wrote about God’s divine plan regarding creation, why should unbelievers believe what the gospels writers wrote about God’s divine plan of salvation?
The reason why we are where we are in our culture, and why so many Christians have such a shallow view of their Christian Faith is because they do not have a high view of the Holy God.
- In Romans 1:19-20, the Apostle Paul said one’s view of God begins with his questions about the origin and operation of the heavens and the earth.
- Therefore, by questioning the Genesis account of creation, the church lowered the concept of the power of Almighty God and questioned the accuracy of a biblical worldview.
Marriage is NOT a human institution. Marriage was instituted of God and by God for His purposes.
1. As an Illustration of God’s Personhood – Genesis 1:26 – “Then God said, “Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness.”
God’s ultimate purpose in creation, was to reveal Himself to mankind as the all-powerful Creator God who desires a personal relationship with those He created – i.e., to call out a people for His own possession – 2 Peter 2:9-10.
- Practically – God spent the first five days of creation preparing an “earthly house” where His forever family could live.
- Theologically –God gave mankind the “gift” of marriage so they could experience the “oneness” of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – the three in One!
Therefore, God’s goal for every married couple is to achieve oneness:
- Spiritually – having the same concept of God.
- Mentally – have the same concept of life.
- Emotionally – having the same unconditional love.
- Physically – willing to sacrifice themselves personally, if necessary, to meet the needs of the other.
2. A Demonstration of God’s Plan – Genesis 2:18-25 – Vs. 18 – “And the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Helpmeet)
- God created man in the image of God – Genesis 1:27
- God made the woman from Adam’s rib – Genesis 2:22
- Adam – the first man – was a “type” of Christ:
- Adam was made in God’s image, according to God’s likeness, just as Jesus was God’s image and likeness.
- Adam was given charge of all creation, just as Jesus was given all authority in heaven and earth.
- Adam’s need for a wife is a parallel to Jesus calling out a people for Himself.
- Adam’s failure to find a suitable mate from creation was to show that Jesus Christ could not find His counterpart from the people of the world.
- God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and He opened his side, just as Jesus Christ slept in the grave after having been pierced in His side.
- In Romans 5:14, the Apostle Paul referred to Adam as a “type” of Him who was to come – meaning Jesus.
- Eve – a picture of the Church – the “Bride” of Christ:
- Eve was built by God with a rib taken out of Adam, just as the Church is built by God from those who are taken out of the world.
- Eve had the same nature and characteristics as Christ, just as the Church should represent and reveal the character of Christ.
- Eve was part of Adam’s body, just as the Church is the Body of Christ.
- Eve came out of Adam and was joined with Adam to become “one flesh,” just as the Church came out of Christ, to be joined with Christ, to become “one body” with Him.
- Eve was Adam’s potential for reproduction, just as the Church is Christ’s method of reproducing Himself to the world.
- Eve was the perfect counterpart to Adam, just as the Church is the perfect counterpart to Jesus Christ.
- Jesus, the Bridegroom, paid the dowry for His Bride – the Church – and now He has gone to prepare a place for those who are betrothed to Him through salvation.
- Soon, He will call His Bride to “come forth,” to celebrate the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, and to be united with Him forever.
3. The Revelation of God’s Promise – Revelation 21:1-4 – Vs. 2 – “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband!”
The Bible describes the union of marriage as a sacred, permanent, covenant relationship; a living example of God’s covenant relationship with His People, and Christ with His Church.
- In Exodus 6:7, God made a covenant with the Hebrew people: “I will take you for My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burden of the Egyptians.”
- The Old Testament prophets used the marriage covenant to illustrate God’s covenant relationship with Israel, and the Apostle Paul used the marriage covenant to represent the union between Christ and His Church.
- God gave us the gift of marriage to serve as a living illustration of how He will keep His covenant with His people.
- Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for His Bride and that He would come again and receive her unto Himself.
- In Revelation 19:8-9, the Apostle John wrote: “And to her, it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”
- In Revelation 21:2-3, the Apostle John wrote: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.”
“The people of God are not merely to mark time, waiting for God to step in and set right all that is wrong. Rather, they are to model the new heaven and new earth, and by so doing awaken longings for what God will someday bring to pass.”