Category Archives: Colossians

Shout Outs: John Mark

In Colossians 4:7-18, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Colossae, with ten “Shout Outs” to friends who were with him on a mission across Asia Minor. A Shout Out is simply a public acknowledgment of good. Paul closed most of his letters with a list of shoutouts. These were one or two-sentence acknowledgments of their contribution to his ministry and life.

These shout-outs from Paul remind us that he was not alone. And neither should we try to be as we live life and participate in God’s mission. Christianity is about relationships. The church is simply a group of friends that are pursuing God’s mission together. Jesus had the twelve. Paul had around 35 that he mentions across all of his letters. The model is Friendship + Mission. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.

Paul’s fourth Shout-Out goes to Mark. Evan McGinty gave a great message on John Mark’s life at my church recently. Here’s what we know about Mark:

  • Mark is on the 1st missionary journey with Paul, but for some reason, he abandons the team.
  • On the second missionary journey, Barnabas and Paul disagree about Mark’s usefulness. Paul did not want him to go. Barnabas (possibly his cousin, and the encourager in chief) did. Their disagreement leads to a split. Two teams form. One with Mark and one without Mark.
  • Years later, Paul, who we last see rejecting Mark, is writing his epistles and he shares some words of redemption. He calls Mark a “fellow worker” in Philemon. And he comes right out and says that he is “useful” in 2 Timothy.

So what can we say about Mark? He got back up. Though he abandoned the team once, he proved his usefulness once again. He didn’t let the regret, the awkwardness, or the fear of others’ opinions keep him from getting back on track with God and the mission. He grew through his own failure and regained the trust of his companions. He didn’t stay down.

Also, Paul didn’t keep him down unnecessarily. Though Paul expressed doubt about his character. His doubts weren’t permanent. He allowed Mark to return to the team.

You may have experienced both sides of this story.

  1. We’ve let our church or group of friends down and worried about what might happen if we try to go back.
  2. Or, we’ve had a friend or partner let us down and wanted to banish them from our circle of trust forever.

Neither is the wise path. Redemption is at the heart of the gospel and believing in redemption means we can get back up when we fall and we can trust and partner again with someone who has fallen.

God has a long history of using people who fell down. If we actually believe in the gospel and in the power of God to restore, we must be committed to helping others get back up and allowing others to get back up and be used in ministry again.

No one can say – I’ve never fallen down. No one can say – I can never get up. We will all need grace and mercy and redemption at some point in the journey. Let’s be grateful to God for its abundance. And let’s abundantly share it with others as needed.

Shout Outs: Aristarchus

In Colossians 4:7-18, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Colossae, with ten “Shout Outs” to friends who were with him on a mission across Asia Minor. A Shout Out is simply a public acknowledgment of good. Paul closed most of his letters with a list of shoutouts. These were one or two-sentence acknowledgments of their contribution to his ministry and life.

These shout-outs from Paul remind us that he was not alone. And neither should we try to be as we live life and participate in God’s mission. Christianity is about relationships. The church is simply a group of friends that are pursuing God’s mission together. Jesus had the twelve. Paul had around 35 that he mentions across all of his letters. The model is Friendship + Mission. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.

Paul’s third Shout-Out goes to Aristarchus. Here’s what we know about Aristarchus:

  • He was from Thessalonica (Acts 27:2). A busy seaport city along the Roman Road.  
  • He was with Paul during the Ephesus riot (Acts 19:21-29). The silversmith Demetrius, out of fear of losing his business making statutes of Artemis, riled up the city against Paul and his companions. Aristarchus was drug through the city and threatened.
  • He traveled with Paul all the way to Rome as a prisoner or just a companion (Acts 20:1-3; 27:1-2). Which meant he went through a harrowing experience with the sea, that ended in a shipwreck on an island called Malta.  
  • He was a fellow prisoner and fellow servant of Paul’s. It’s unclear if he was also arrested and sent with Paul to be tried or if he was just traveling with Paul as a friend and an aid on the harrowing journey. The latter seems more plausible, making Aristarchus an even greater friend. He chose imprisonment with his friend over himself.
  • A loyal friend to Paul through thick and thin. How loyal? Dragged through the streets of Ephesus by a mob loyal. On a harrowing boat trip to Rome loyal. Shipwrecked on a foreign island loyal. Under house arrest facing execution at the hand of a Romans Emperor loyal.
  • Through trials and hardships. Through thick and thin. Aristarchus SUFFERED with Paul.

If you read the New Testament, you’ll find suffering is a foundational element of the 1st century understanding of Christian belief and practice. And suffering TOGETHER can also be said to be a foundational Christian belief and practice. Among the 40+ “one another” verses in the New Testament, we find challenges to suffer together. I see three levels of Suffering Together. Each requires a depth of character and unselfishness as we do life together.

1. Concern for One Another – 1 Corinthians 12:25 – Suffering together starts with a basic concern or interest in the needs of others. This means we devote time and attention to what another is experiencing, putting ourselves in their place, imagining how we might be of service to them in their time of need. And this concern should be as great as your concern for yourself (Matthew 22:37-39, 1 Corinthians 10:24). Is there room in my heart to consider and devote time and attention to the needs and suffering of others?

2. Suffer with One Another – 1 Corinthians 12:26 – The next level of suffering together is entering into that suffering with another person. Paul challenged the believers in Rome to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). Concern can be applied from a distance, but suffering together means we make an effort to be present with the person during their time of need. Do I have the strength of character and unselfish willingness to sit and stand with another person in their suffering?

3. Carry one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2 – A final level of suffering together is making an effort to lighten the burden of suffering another is experiencing. Whether it’s physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual, there are things we can do to lift another person who is experiencing difficulty. Am I willing to sacrifice and give time, resources, and energy to help a fellow believer who is suffering?

Aristarchus definitely did all three of these for his friend Paul. His concern led him to suffer with and help carry Paul through the struggles of early apostolic ministry. Tradition tells us that Aristarchus became a Pastor in Syria and eventually suffered execution himself during Nero’s reign.

I’m glad I can say that I’ve experienced Christian friendship at each of these levels. Fellow believers regularly communicate their concern for my well-being. Fellow believers have walked with me, listened to me, and prayed for me through difficult seasons of life. And fellow believers have sacrificed themselves to lift my burdens. I want to be faithful to do the same for others. Let’s keep the Aristarchus spirit alive in the church today.  

Shout Outs: Onesimus

In Colossians 4:7-18, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Colossae, with ten “Shout Outs” to friends who were with him on a mission across Asia Minor. A Shout Out is simply a public acknowledgment of good. Paul closed most of his letters with a list of shoutouts. These were one or two-sentence acknowledgments of their contribution to his ministry and life.

These shout-outs from Paul remind us that he was not alone. And neither should we try to be as we live life and participate in God’s mission. Christianity is about relationships. The church is simply a group of friends that are pursuing God’s mission together. Jesus had the twelve. Paul had around 35 that he mentions across all of his letters. The model is Friendship + Mission. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.

Paul’s second Shout Out went to a young man named Onesimus. Onesimus’ name means useful. However, indications are that the trajectory of his life was headed the opposite way when he met Paul. In the book of Philemon, we learn that Onesimus is actually a runaway slave. We’re not sure of all the details of his enslavement or the reasons for his attempted escape, but somewhere along the way he meets Paul and becomes a believer in Christ, brother in Christ, including a brother in Christ to his Christian enslaver, Onesimus. Paul sends Onesimus back to Philemon with a letter urging him to forgive and restore him. We don’t know Philemon’s response to the letter, but we can infer that he received it positively, because Paul is counting Onesimus as a useful friend on the mission in Colossians 4. Also, legend tells us that Onesimus later becomes a pastor in Ephesus.

Larry Johnson preached a great message at our church on Onesimus in June 2022. Here are three points he made about Onesimus’ story:

1. Christ Changes Relationships and People.

When Onesimus found Christ, he was forever changed (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). And his relationships were forever changed. Philemon and Onesimus were now brothers in Christ. Paul used the nature of their now new relationship to urge Philemon’s forgiveness. And Onesimus’ relationships were changed. He would have to reconcile his past to move on with God. This leads us to the next point.

2. Christ Changes the Past.

The past does not automatically get wiped away. It must be faced honestly to move forward with God. But Onesimus now had the power inside of him to help him live up to his name. No longer useless, fugitive, slave. Now a useful, brother in Christ, empowered by God for servanthood in His kingdom.

3. Christ Changes the Future.

Indications are that Onesimus engages in a life of faithful ministry from this time forward. Paul calls him a faithful, dearly loved brother. These words speak of Onesimus’ shift from disloyal, runaway, undependable to the loyal, steadfast, dependable, faithful servant. The trajectory of Onesimus’ life was changed through the gospel of Jesus Christ, Paul’s investment in his life, and Philemon’s forgiveness and acceptance.

A few questions to ask in thinking about Onesimus’ story:

  • Am I Onesimus – Have I dealt honestly with my past? Are there people that I need to forgive? Are there relationships that I need to reconcile? Have I faced my past, even at a risk? Avoiding forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemptive risk means we may jeopardize or limit the full impact we can have as a servant of Christ.
  • Am I Paul – Can I help two brothers reconcile a relationship? Paul went to bat for Onesimus. Paul believed in Onesimus. Paul took a risk to vouch for Onesimus, probably before he had proven himself. Who can I vouch for, believing in the power of God living inside of them, not in their ability to follow through? Paul’s actions tell us he believed in the power of the gospel.
  • Am I Philemon – Is there someone that I need to forgive and release from guilt or shame? Philemon held Onesimus’ life in his hands and evidently choose forgiveness. Could your effort to reconcile release someone today into a life of ministry?
  • Who am I counting as useless? Who am I judging only by their past and not by their future potential in Christ? The Gospel can move people from useless to useful. Do I believe that? If so, there are no lost causes. Today’s fugitives can become tomorrow’s disciple-makers.

Shout Outs: Tychicus

In Colossians 4:7-18, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Colossae, with ten “Shout Outs” to friends who were with him on mission across Asia Minor. A Shout Out is simply a public acknowledgement of good. Paul closed most of his letters with a list of shout outs. These were one or two sentence acknowledgements of their contribution to his ministry and life.

These shout outs from Paul remind us that he was not alone. And neither should we try to be as we live life and participate in God’s mission. Christianity is about relationships. Church is simply a group of friends that are pursuing God’s mission together. Jesus had the twelve. Paul had around 35 that he mentions across all of his letters. The model is Friendship + Mission. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.

Paul’s first Shout Out went to a young man named Tychicus. Who was Tychicus? Here’s what we know from the four, possibly five, mentions he receives in the New Testament.

  • He was from Asia, possibly Ephesus (see Acts 20:4).
  • He traveled with Paul and served as Paul’s mailman, delivering Paul’s letters to the churches. 
  • He’s mentioned in Acts 20:4; Ephesians 6:21-22; Colossians 4:7-8; 2 Timothy 4:12. Also, possibly 2 Corinthians 8:22, where an unnamed person fits the other descriptions Paul gives of Tychicus.

If we could describe Tychicus in a sentence we could say – Tychicus was a faithful servant of Jesus Christ, who delivered good news to the churches, and encouraged the hearts of believers everywhere he went.

These three statements about Tychicus describe the kinds of people we need in the church today.

1. He Was a Faithful Servant.

This speaks to his character and dependability. In 2 Corinthians 8:22 (if that’s referring to Tychicus), Paul says, we tested him and found him faithful. Paul depended on Tychicus to deliver his letters. He also sent him to take care of churches so that the established leaders could come to Ephesus to be encouraged and trained. Tychicus could be depended on.

Today, many people seem to value autonomy more that dependability. We want the freedom to show up when we can and pick and choose opportunities to serve that fit our schedule. Dependability and faithfulness require a depth of friendship and commitment that requires maximum unselfishness. That’s why its called servanthood.

Are you considered a Faithful Servant to your church and community?

2. He Delivered Good News.

Paul said, “Tychicus will tell you” (Colossians 4:7). Count on Tychicus for the truth, the good news, the good words. Tychicus carried the letters from Paul, and since illiteracy was so high in the first century (potentially 80-90%), he was probably the first to read the letter to the believers as well. So, the first time people heard the word of God from Paul, it was likely from Tychicus’ mouth.

In a day and time of difficulty and struggle, a good word was and is life to the soul of the church. What good words have you brought to people lately? We like to talk about the latest on our doom scrolls and the gossip around town. What if we focused on good words, truth, and words that build up. That’s what Tychicus was known for. (See also Proverbs 12:25; 15:23; 16:24).

And when was the last time someone heard the word of God from you mouth? We need modern day Tychicus’ who will know the word of God and speak it into everyday conversations, who will open their homes for Bible Study and have Gospel Conversations with people as a way of life.

Can you be counted on to bring the good news to your community?

3. He Encouraged the Hearts of Believers

Tychicus was a trusted encourager. En-courage can simply be defined as adding courage to someone. Through your words, example, attitude you can add or take away courage from others. Paul noted Tychicus’ ability to add courage to the churches.

Hebrews 12:24-25 tells us that one of the main reasons for church is encouragement – “And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but ENCOURAGING EACH OTHER, and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

Does your words, lifestyle, attitude add or take away courage from other believers? Dan Cathy said, “Do you know how you can tell if someone needs encouragement? They’re breathing.” Everyone you meet today and everyday is in need of encouragement. Think about your life and words and consider how you may add courage to others today.

Let’s be like Tychicus this week. Faithful servants, bringing good news, and encouraging hearts for the sake of the Gospel.

Shout Outs

In Colossians 4:7-18, the Apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Colossae, with ten “Shout Outs” to friends who were with him on mission across Asia Minor. A Shout Out is simply a public acknowledgement of good. Paul closed most of his letters with a list of shout outs. These were one or two sentence acknowledgements of their contribution to his ministry and life.

These shout outs from Paul remind us that he was not alone. And neither should we try to be as we live life and participate in God’s mission. Christianity is about relationships. Church is simply a group of friends that are pursuing God’s mission together. Jesus had the twelve. Paul had around 35 that he mentions across all of his letters. The model is Friendship + Mission. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.

Paul’s Shout Outs also beg the questions:

1. Who Deserves a Shout Out from Me?

Who do I need to acknowledge for my growth in godliness, effectiveness on His mission, and partnership in the gospel? To not say thank you and recognize the good others have blessed you with and added to your ministry and life is to live in arrogance. No one is self-made. We all stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. We all benefit from the generosity and encouragement of those around us.

  • Make a list of ten who have helped you in ministry and life. Consider dropping them a line to say thank you today.

2. Who Would Give a Shout Out to Me?

Am I living my life in such a way to be a benefit to the life and ministry of others? What would people at my church, workplace, or neighborhood say about me if my investment in and impact on their lives were boiled down to one or two sentences? Am I an encouragement to those like Paul, who are risking their lives for the gospel?

  • Make a list of ten people who you can encourage and partner with on God’s mission. Invite some friends to join you on a particular mission in the world.

The story of New Testament Christianity, beginning with Jesus, continuing through Paul is Friendship + Mission = Eternal Impact.

Our church recently did a series on these ten friends. Find the audio here.

Christian, What are You’re Neighbors Saying About You?

“Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time” Colossians 4:5

This morning our church hit chapter 4 in our study of Colossians & reflected on how our CONDUCT relates to God’s mission. Our conduct is simply the way we live and this verse reminds us that the way we live can be a witness to the Gospel. So we must be mindful of others spiritual condition, be mindful of our attitude & behavior, & look for opportunities to serve others. People outside of the faith will be very important to true Christians, because our mission involves spreading the Christ-message to others (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8, Colossians 1:28-29).

A few weeks ago Thom Rainer shared some research on common comments non-Christians say about Christians that are instructive when considering our conduct & witness.

  1. Christians are against more things than they are for. “It just seems to me that Christians are mad at the world and mad at each other. They are so negative that they seem unhappy. I have no desire to be like them and stay upset all the time.”
  2. I would like to develop a friendship with a Christian. “I’m really interested in what they believe and how they carry out their beliefs. I wish I could find a Christian that would be willing to spend some time with me.”
  3. I would like to learn about the Bible from a Christian. “The Bible really fascinates me, but I don’t want to go to a stuffy and legalistic church to learn about it. I would be nice if a Christian invited me to study the Bible in his home or at a place like Starbucks.”
  4. I don’t see much difference in the way Christians live compared to others. “I really can’t tell what a Christian believes because he doesn’t seem much different than other people I know. The only exception would be Mormons. They really seem to take their beliefs seriously.”
  5. I wish I could learn to be a better husband, wife, dad, mom, etc., from a Christian.“My wife is threatening to divorce me, and I think she means it this time. My neighbor is a Christian, and he seems to have it together. I am swallowing my pride and asking him to help me.”
  6. Some Christians try to act like they have no problems. “Harriett works in my department. She is one of those Christians who seem to have a mask on. I would respect her more if she didn’t put on such an act. I know better.”
  7. I wish a Christian would take me to his or her church. “I really would like to visit a church, but I’m not particularly comfortable going by myself. What is weird is that I am 32-years old, and I’ve never had a Christian invite me to church in my entire life.”

Are there people in your community saying this about you? How could you change their perception? How could you engage them? Anything surprising? Are you ready to answer the questions of outsiders? If not, why?

Next time: Why CONDUCT is good, but not a complete witness toward others…

Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

In our study of Colossians, our church hit 3:22 today, which says, “Slaves obey your masters…” Several times over the last few years I’ve heard the argument go against the Bible like this: “The Bible’s just a book written by men. And it even condones slavery.” Does the Bible condone slavery? and if not, how should I answer such claims from skeptics? Check out a great article on this HERE.

A few points we discussed this morning:

Does the Bible Condone Slavery? Yes & No.

Yes. The Bible addresses slaves that were considered the property of another person. But NO! Not the kind of slavery we think of  in our modern era, where someone is taken against there will and sold with little recompense and harsh treatment. Not that this type of slavery didn’t occur in Biblical times extensively, but it was not condoned by the Bible.

Exodus 21:16 (ESV) – “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found #in possession of him, shall be put to death.”

Slavery in the Bible consisted of a social class that was not bound by racial distinction, but was in servitude to another for some reason that may included indebtedness, choice, or empire politics. A few facts:

  1. There may have been as many as 60 million slaves in this time period. Potentially ½ the population at the time
  2. Slave was not the lowest on the societal food chain. The day laborer was.
  3. As a matter of fact, slavery actually provided protection from poverty, from debt, from a bad name. Many even sold themselves into slavery.
  4. Slaves were often educated, owned property, could accumulate wealth & status.

None of this is true of modern slavery where a person owned by another was taken against their will, had no rights, little hope of improvement of status, and subjected to harsh treatment and poor work conditions.

And the Gospel changed everything for both types.

Galatians 3:28 (NIV) “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

And it was the Gospel’s influence that fueled the movement to end the modern American slave trade in the 1700’s-18oo’s, through men like William Wilberforce and John Newton. And it’s the Gospel that’s fueling a new generation to stand up and fight for the million’s still being sold into slavery around the world.

Check out a fuller treatment of this in this article, Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

What Does the Bible Say About MAINTAINING Marriage? part 2

“Help me understand the opposite sex.” The Bible gives us a way to understand the opposite sex through the lens of God’s commands to the sexes. God commands wives to respect their husbands and husbands to love their wives (Ephesians 5:21-23, Colossians 3:18-19, and see yesterday’s post). What does that look like everyday?  Dr. Emerson Eggerichs has a great book on this subject called Love and Respect. Here are two acrostics from the book that literally SPELL out what Love and Respect look like in marriage.

How to Spell Love to Your Wife:

C – Closeness – She wants you to be close.
O – Openness – She wants you to open up to her
U – Understanding – Don’t try to “Fix” Her; just listen
P – Peacemaking – She wants you to say, “I’m sorry”
L – Loyalty – She needs to know you’re committed
E – Esteem – She wants you to Honor and Cherish Her

How to Spell Respect to Your Husband:
C – Conquest – Appreciate His Desire to Work and Achieve
H – Hierarchy – Appreciate His Desire to Protect and Provide
A – Authority – Appreciate His Desire to Serve and to Lead
I – Insight – Appreciate His Desire to Analyze and Counsel
R – Relationship – Appreciate His Desire for Shoulder to Shoulder Friendship
S – Sexuality – Appreciate His Desire for Sexual Intimacy

Also, check out the author’s website, www.loveandrespect.com.

What Does the Bible Say about MAINTAINING Marriage?

“Homosexuals have just as much right to be miserable as heterosexuals!” This is a quip I’ve seen a few places by proponents of gay marriage. It’s usually preceded by statements about how Christians should focus on having better marriages themselves instead of trying to keep others from marrying. Not trying to get into that debate here, but suffice it to say that the high failure rates in modern marriage has opened the door for our society to feel the freedom to redefine and reshape it. Marriage doesn’t have to be redefined to find a happy ending for society and for couples. Just like wisdom about defining and purposing marriage is found in the Bible (see yesterday’s post here), wisdom on MAINTAINING marriage can be found in the Bible as well. And I believe it will work every time it’s tried.

What does the Bible say about MAINTAINING Marriage? It’s actually a fool proof way of maintaing any relationship, but the Bible gives some greater clarity in relation to marriage. Basic principle:

Put the needs of the other ahead of your own.

As a principle for all relationships: Philippians 2:3-4 (NASB), “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do notmerely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

As a principle for close relationships: Ephesians 5:20 (NLT), “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

And as a principle in marriage: Colossians 3:18-19 (ESV), “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”

What does this have to do with putting the needs of the other first? Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in his great book Love & Respect frames this verse like this. God’s commands for wives to submit and husbands to love are a command to them, but it speaks to a God given, primary need for the husband and wife. God created men to need respect, to lead, and to thrive when respect is given. God created women to need love, affection, and to be pursued and to thrive when loved sacrificially. Putting his needs first and her needs first simply means to live out your God-given role and put the others needs as your primary mission in life.

Next we’ll look at what this looks like according to Dr. Eggerich.

What does the Bible actually say about Marriage?

It’s open season on many traditional views today. Our culture and church culture are questioning and reshaping ideas on almost everything. Some of this rethinking and reshaping is healthy and needed and some not so good. I like it when I see new generations looking at tradition and saying, “What does the Bible actually say about…?” But many are just adding our cultures fancies on issues, creating new tradition that overlooks centuries and ignores divine voice.

Case in point: Marriage. We’ve ceased to asked the right questions about marriage (history? divine voice? nature?) and determined to redefine and reshape it to be something completely different.

This weekend, our church asked the healthy question: What does the Bible Actually Say? Here’s a bit of our discussion:

How should we think about marriage?  

Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

  • Marriage should be honored
  • Marriage acts considered sacred
  • Judgement occurs when this doesn’t happen.

How should we define marriage? 

“…a man will leave his father and mother & be united to his wife, & they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (cf. Matthew 19:4-6)

Marriage: A LIFE LONG RELATIONSHIP between ONE MAN & ONE WOMAN.

  • Permanence, not disposability
  • Male/Female, not gender neutral
  • Jesus commended this definition in Matthew 19 in one of his few statements about marriage.

What was God’s Purposes for Marriage?

1) COMPANIONSHIP & SUPPORT – Genesis 2:18-25 – “it is not good that man should be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him.” Man was incomplete without a companion.

2) REPRODUCTION – Genesis 1:28 – God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.” Marriage is the vehicle for the continuation of the human race.

3) SEXUAL PURITY – 1 Corinthians 7:2 (NIV) – “But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.” Marriage is the safe place for sexual expression.

4) A PICTURE OF SALVATION – Ephesians 5:21-33 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Marriage illustrates the union that is our salvation.

Today, marriage is seen as optional and disposable and redefinable. And part of the problem is the high FAILURE rates. Some estimate it over 60%. Some say that’s given us permission to redefine. But again, I think we need to go back to the right question: What does the Bible say about MAINTAINING Marriage? If maintained according to the creator of marriage, it can work to achieve his purpose.

Tomorrow…Image

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