This Mystery is Profound - Part 3

Ephesians 5:22-33
September 29, 2019
Abraham Hong

 

Sermon Script

Praise the Lord for our time here in this lovely text about the marriage relationship between husband and wife! I have enjoyed my time studying and preparing for these sermons. And I hope that all of you - married or single, male or female, young or old - have grown in the grace and knowledge of Christ and the profound mystery of the perfect gospel marriage between Christ and his church.

We looked at how the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. We looked at how the wife is to respect her husband as the church respects Christ. We learned that the purpose of the husband’s headship and authority is for the spiritual well-being of his wife. And we were reminded that all of this is a profound mystery.

As we close our time here in verses 22-33, I would like to present some words of wisdom and application and encouragement for our awesome husbands and wives here at Highland. And if the next several minutes end up sounding like a marriage counseling session, it’s because it kind of is!

First, dear married couples, remember that both of you are being sanctified by the Lord. God is growing and changing you. God is patient and forgiving toward you. You are God’s workmanship. If these truths warm your heart, then how can you be cold in your view of your spouse? God is growing and changing your spouse. God is patient and forgiving toward your spouse. Your spouse is God’s workmanship. How then can you ever have negative thoughts or feelings about your spouse? It does not make any sense for you to have hope in the gift of God’s gracious sanctification for yourself but then deny that same hope for your spouse. The two of you are one flesh. Dear brother, dear sister, remember that both of you are being sanctified by the Lord.

Second, dear married couples, have compassion for your spouse as he or she cries out to God with fear and trembling for help and strength in your marriage. Imagine the weight upon your spouse’s heart as he or she realizes how high God’s law is. To all the wives in the room, you need to know that men hate to disappoint and let someone down and that men want to be good at things that they want to be good at. Dear sisters, your husband may very well be wrestling with the idea that he is not the spiritual leader that he knows he is supposed to be for you. Dear sisters, know that your husband’s heart cries out to God. To all the husbands in the room, you need to know that women also hate to disappoint and let someone down and that women want to be truly loving and truly thankful and truly caring and truly giving and truly beautiful toward the people that matter in their lives. Dear brothers, your wife may very well be struggling with the idea that she is not the spiritual follower that she knows she is supposed to be for you. Dear brothers, know that your wife’s heart cries out to God. Dear married couples, do you have any idea how your spouse really feels about God’s commands in Ephesians 5:22-33? I hope so. Do you have any idea how much God’s perfect and holy law weighs upon your spouse’s heart? I hope so. If not, then ask your spouse. Have compassion. And cry out the Lord with him, with her, together.

Third, dear married couples, confess your sins with sorrowful repentance. You can confess your sins right now during this sermon. Brothers, say it to God and say it to your wife. “I am wrong. I need to love you better. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. May Jesus be exalted.” Sisters, say it to God and say it to your wife. “I am wrong. I need to respect you better. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. May Jesus be exalted.” Dear married couples, humble yourselves before God and before your spouse. And do it now, before it becomes too late.

Fourth, dear married couples, when it comes to obedience to God’s commands here in Ephesians 5:22-33, worry about yourself. Don’t worry about your spouse. It is tempting to say to yourself, “Sigh, if only she would give respect to me, then our marriage would be better.” It is tempting to say to yourself, “Sigh, if only he would love me, then our marriage would be better.” Don’t worry about your spouse. Worry about yourself. Don’t use this sermon against your spouse. Use this sermon against yourself. Don’t pray, “God, please change my husband. God, please change my wife.” Instead, pray, “God, please change me.” There is a story I heard about two pastors who were talking together about their marriages. One pastor was younger and a bit of a joker. He asked the other pastor, “So how is your wife doing submitting to you? What does that feel like?” The other pastor was older and a bit less of a joker. And so he replied, “What are you talking about? I have enough on my plate to love my wife as Christ loved the church. I don’t have time to ask myself how my wife is doing submitting to me.” This is a really great way to apply Ephesians 5:22-33. “I don’t have time to ask myself how my wife is doing submitting to me. I have enough on my plate to love my wife as Christ loved the church.” “I don’t have time to ask myself how my husband is doing loving me. I have enough on my plate to respect my husband as the church respects Christ.” Dear married couples, when it comes to obedience to God’s commands, don’t worry about your spouse, lest your marriage feels like a police-state or a cult. Don’t worry about your spouse. Worry about yourself.

Fifth and finally, dear married couples, know the gospel of Christ and really believe it. There is a profound connection between how you personally understand the relationship between Christ and his church and how you personally view your relationship with your spouse. If there is any theological error in your understanding of the gospel of Christ, then that could lead to serious issues in your marriage. Here’s what I mean. For example, husbands, if you view the church in a negative light, if you think that the church is a mess, that there is no hope for her, and that she is not worth dying for, then that theological error might bleed into your marriage relationship and you might see yourself viewing your wife in a negative light and think that she is a mess and that there is no hope for her and that she is not worth dying for. For example, wives, if you do not understand that our obedience to Christ comes from the joy of salvation, if the law is a burden to you and not a delight, then that theological error might bleed into your marriage relationship and you might see yourself viewing your respect for your husband as a joy-kill and a burden to you instead of a delight. Brothers and sisters, this is a very real thing. As a pastor, I thought I knew the gospel well. But when I observed how I really viewed the church and other brothers and sisters in Christ, I realized that I didn’t really know the gospel of Christ or believe it. Your theology matters. Therefore, dear married couples, I urge you to be life-long learners of the glorious gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Know his gospel well and really believe in it… for the sake of Jesus’ glory… and for the sake of your marriage.

What a profound mystery! Praise the Lord for our married couples here at Highland. I wish the best for your marriage relationships and we will always pray for you all. May you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and in the profound mystery of the perfect gospel marriage between Christ and his church.

Soli Deo Gloria


Summary of Sermon

Praise the Lord for our time here in this text! We looked at how the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church and how the wife is to respect her husband as the church respects Christ. We learned that the purpose of the husband’s headship and authority is for the spiritual well-being of his wife. And we were reminded that all of this is a profound mystery.

Here are some words of wisdom, application and encouragement for our married couples.

First, remember that both of you are being sanctified by the Lord. God is growing and changing both of you. God is patient and forgiving toward both of you. Both of you are God’s workmanship. You are in this together. May this change the way that you view your marriage and your spouse.

Second, have compassion for your spouse as he or she cries out to God with fear and trembling. And imagine the weight upon your spouse’s heart as he or she realizes how high God’s law is.

Third, confess sin. Go to your spouse and ask him or her for forgiveness. Be humble and seek reconciliation. Exalt the name of Christ.

Fourth, when it comes to obedience to God’s commands, worry about yourself and not your spouse. Don’t use this sermon against your spouse. Use this sermon against yourself. Don’t pray, “God, please change my husband/wife.” Instead, pray, “God, please change me.”

Fifth, know the gospel of Christ and really believe it. There is a connection between how you understand the relationship between Christ and his church and how you view your relationship with your spouse. Theological errors in your understanding of the gospel of Christ can lead to serious issues in your marriage.

What a profound mystery! Praise the Lord for our married couples here at Highland. May you continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ and in the profound mystery of the marriage between Christ and his church.

Questions for Discussion & Sharing

Both the husband and the wife is being sanctified by the Lord. In what ways might this gospel truth change the way that you view your marriage and your spouse?

The law of God can feel so very high and weighty for you… and for your spouse. Imagine yourself in your spouse’s shoes. In what ways might your spouse’s understanding of his or her lack of obedience to God change the way that you view your spouse and your marriage?

Confession of sin is a part of married life. What sins have come to your attention - sins that you would like to ask for forgiveness from your spouse?

How might the gospel of the relationship between Christ and his church help you to have a better understanding of your marriage with your spouse?

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