What We're For: God, Marriage, and Gospel
In light of the Supreme Court's legalization of same-sex marriage throughout the U.S., I do not assume that everyone knows what the Bible teaches and therefore what I and others believe about marriage. In my sermon at Del Rey Church on June 28, 2015, I explained what we Bible-believing Christians are for.
1. There is only one God, existing eternally without beginning or end as three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, also known as the Trinity.
2. God made everything including humanity. He made humanity male and female, and He created the institution of marriage: "A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24.
3. The first two humans sinned, and every other human since then has inherited a sinful nature. We have all sinned, without exception. Because God is holy and perfect, we who are not deserve damnation.
4. But God loves us and wants to rescue us from damnation, so God the Father sent God the Son to become a man, Jesus of Nazareth, to live a sinless life that we could never accomplish, and pay the penalty of our sin so that we wouldn't have to. So instead of eternal damnation, one who believes in Jesus and is therefore forgiven of their sin is given the free, undeserved, and un-earnable gift of eternal life. This is the gospel or the "Good News."
5. Jesus affirmed the original - and only - concept of marriage in Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-9: "From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
6. The early church affirmed the original - and only - concept of marriage in Ephesians 5:31 (I won't quote it again; it's the same words).
7. Sex is good. We love sex. That's right, I said it in church and in front of my wife, my kids, and my mom :). 1 Corinthians 7 says that God, in His great love, provided marriage to us as a means to satisfy our sexual desires. Within marriage.
8. Marriage is a picture of the Trinity. Whereas the Trinity is 3-in-1, marriage is 2-become-1.
9. Marriage is a picture of the gospel. Jesus Christ is the husband and the church (Christians) are His bride. He is faithful even when she is sometimes not. Yet He extends us grace and forgiveness. Likewise, two Christian spouses (who are sinful) ought to extend grace and forgiveness to each other, because God loves them and they love God. This is taught by the Bible in many places, but specifically 1 John 2 and 4. Christian marriages, therefore, should be a light to others and a witness to God's greatness and love.
10. Last but certainly not least, we believe that the gospel is available to all, regardless of how sinful you are. Contrary to popular belief, the Bible does not teach that there are good people and bad people, and the good people go to heaven and the bad people go to hell. The Bible definitively teaches that there are only bad people. Bad people who have been forgiven by God, and bad people who have not (yet?) been forgiven by God. So if you're a bad person who has not (yet) been forgiven by God, I invite you to join us by believing in Jesus and His gospel. We love you and want you to be part of us.
That's what we're for. Not all of what we're for, and yes, we're against some stuff. But these are some of the basics of what we're for.