A Systematic Expository Study on the book of Hebrews
STUDY 45: HONOURED MARRIAGE AND FREEDOM FROM IMMORALITY
Hebrews 13: 4
Immediately after teaching on practical love among the brethren the Apostle speaks on marriage being honourable and exhorts on the necessity of being free from all forms of immorality. The connection between verses 1-3 and verse 4 is obvious; unless there is purity and faithfulness to the marriage vow, there can be no real love towards the brethren.
Marriage is honourable in all (Hebrews 13: 4). A nation is made up of families. The church too has husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters in it. Marriage is not to be despised. Family life is not to be belittled. Any attitude or doctrine that makes the institution of marriage seem undesirable is not scriptural. It is necessary to appreciate and respect marriage as honourable in all (Hebrews 13: 4).
And the bed undefiled. Purity must be maintained in the believers relationships. Defilement will be punished by God even if our fellowmen do not know about it. Godís punishment for immorality is not limited to workers in the Church. All adulterers and fornicators will be judged severely by God. And those who live and die in immorality will suffer eternal punishment. Godís grace can keep us pure whether we are married or not yet married. Faithfulness to God and the fear of God in our hearts will keep us free from all forms of immorality.
GODíS HONOUR FOR MARRIAGE WITHOUT IMMORALITY
Hebrews 13: 4; Genesis 2: 18, 22; John 2: 1, 2, 11; Matthew 22: 1, 2, 11-14; Ephesians 5: 25, 28, 32; Malachi 2: 14-16; Mark 10: 2-9; Romans 7: 2, 3.
God Himself has placed special honour upon marriage. It was the first institution made by God after the creation of Adam and Eve. The time and the place where their marriage occurred show how honourable marriage is. It took place before the fall; it was solemnized in Eden. The first marriage enjoyed pure and holy love before the fall of man.
And Jesus, the Son of God, also honoured marriage. His first miracle (supernatural sign proving Him to be the Christ) was wrought at the marriage in Cana of Galilee (John 2: 11). Also in His parables, He compared the kingdom of God unto a marriage. He likened holiness without which no man shall see the Lord to the wedding garment (Matthew 22: 11-14).
The Holy Spirit, through the inspired writers, used marriage as a figure of the union between Christ and the Church (Ephesians 5: 31, 32). If our heavenly Father with Jesus Christ the Son of God, our Saviour and Lord, and the Holy Spirit honour marriage, then we should hold marriage honourable. We should not do anything to bring shame or dishonour on marriage. Unbelievers who do not know God, drag marriage into the mud in various ways. If we are to honour God, we must honour marriage also. If we dishonour what God honours, then we are enemies of God.
GODíS GREAT JUDGMENT AGAINST IMMORALITY
Hebrews 13: 4; Malachi 3: 5; Ephesians 5: 5, 6; 1 Corinthians 10: 8; 5: 1-5, 13; 6: 9, 10; Proverbs 6: 26-29, 32, 33; Judges 16: 20, 21; Revelation 21: 8.
He who dishonours marriage through immorality dishonours God and he will be dishonoured by God through judgment. Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding (Proverbs 6: 32). Such an adulterer or fornicator (1) makes unbelievers blaspheme the name of God, (2) drags Christís and the Churchís reputation into the mud, (3) forfeits his relationship and fellowship with God, (4) loses the power and privilege of ministry, (5) hurts his loyal wife or faithful husband, (6) loses the honour, respect and trust of his children, (7) loses credibility with the leadership of the church, (8) brings shame on Christianity as a whole, (9) hinders sinners from repenting and being converted, (10) has the possibility of contracting gonorrhoea, syphilis, AIDS and other diseases, (11) weakens other believers who are facing temptations (12) makes Satan, Godís enemy, happy, (13) will be excluded from heaven if he dies in immorality. He that doeth it destroyeth his own soul! What a great price to pay for a passing pleasure of the flesh! A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away (Proverbs 6: 33). If we truly and fully consider the great consequence and loss of committing immorality, we will keep ourselves pure and clean by Godís power and grace.
GODLINESS AND FREEDOM FROM IMMORALITY
Ephesians 5: 3, 4; Colossians 3: 5; Matthew 5: 27-30; Job 31: 1; Psalm 119: 37; 1 Thessalonians 5: 22; Proverbs 7: 24-27; 1 Corinthians 10: 31-33; Jude 23; Matthew 6: 13.
We have something precious to guard and reserve - our souls, our salvation, our relationship with God, our rewards in glory, the deposit of Godís Spirit and power in us, our privilege in ministry, our testimony, our family, our health, our wealth and resources, our reputation, our future, our destiny in eternity. We dare not throw ourselves into Satanís hand through an act of immorality.
How can we live godly and enjoy complete freedom from sin? A daily quiet time of Bible reading and praying will strengthen our fellowship with God. The nearer we are to God, the farther away we are from Satan and temptation. We must deliberately keep our hearts, minds and eyes from magazines, images, places and people that bring temptation to lust. What we hear or see generates thoughts in us, thoughts produce action, actions lead to habits, habits form our character, which determines our destiny. There are times we have to do like Joseph - run away from lures, baits and hooks of impurity.
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