Christ and the Church, Part 3

Marriage – Christ and the Church, Part 3

Husbands and Wives in Christ

As we have seen in the passages in Ephesians 5 these last two weeks there is a strong spiritual, emotional, and physical tie between the relationship that we have as the church, (the bride of Christ) and our own relationship at home in our marriages. Who we are in Christ is reflected in our marriage and how we live out our lives.

As we think about our marriages, and our relationship with Jesus, we have a biblical revelation of each (husband and wife) in what God intended them to be.

Eph 5:24 -28 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word,

that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

As we think about our marriages, we have a tendency to focus on the physical, dimensions, and the emotional experiences rather than the spiritual. Oh, we may go to church together, and may even read the bible together at times, but.. this verse reveals a truth about the spiritual dynamic of a Christian marriage that should dramatically and effectively transform our marriages.

The difficulties in marriage come when the husband and wife are not totally committed and submitted to Jesus, when they are not actively seeking to emulate Him and submit to Him. We slip out from His Lordship and become absorbed in making our own way in the flesh, trying to resolve our issues, without His guidance and counsel. It is only as true disciples (learners) following and growing in Jesus, that we can truly have the kind of marriage that Ephesians 5 calls us to.

Finally we must realize that it is the pursuit of the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit, that produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and marriages (Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self – control).This is the foundation and strength of all of our relationships. Galatians 5: 22 – 26

May God grant that we can live in faithful submission to His word

and experience the joy of godly marriages and families.

Love to All in Jesus,

Vince

Christ And The Church, Part 2

Well here it is as promised (-:}

Marriage – Christ and the Church, Part 2

Ephesians Chapter 5: 17-33

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

There is such a close bond between our life (in the Spirit) and relationship with Christ Jesus we can use one to define (reveal) the other. If our relationship with Jesus is right and what it should be (notice I did not say perfect) then our marriages and all other relationships will be what they should be. It is interesting that Paul here has to warn the Christians not to get drunk, but to filled with the Spirit, and in so doing manifest the life of the Spirit with joyful singing to the Lord, being thankful for all things to God, submitting to one another.

This is wisely understanding God’s will! Choosing the Spirit over the flesh.

In marriage this spiritual life and the bond we have with Christ continues to be revealed in the bond we have between husband and wife. If the husband and wife are submitted to and obedient to Jesus, as His bride, and they are manifesting the fruits of the Spirit in their lives, then it is easy to see how their relationship as husband and wife will reflect the love of Christ and His church.

Measure your relationship with Christ by your marriage and home today, what have you been experiencing? Is there a dominance of fleshly indulgence, dissension, turbulence, impatience, harshness, criticism, and selfishness, or.. is your life mostly filled with the Spiritual fruits of Christ; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self control.

If we submit to (serve) Jesus, then we will submit to (serve) one another!

Note: (If you would appreciate prayer or confidential biblical counseling regarding your family situation please feel free email me, or call 707 738 1435 to set up a meeting.)

May our gracious Lord bless your homes and fill you with His Spirit

Love, Vince

Christ And The Church, Part 1

Over the years I have learned, along with most of you, that the beginning of a new year is a very natural time for reflection and for evaluation of the past year and what was accomplished and what was not. For re-thinking our priorities and determining if and how we should change direction and re-set our goals and objectives for the coming year. It seems prudent for those of us who are disciples of Jesus Christ, to reflect on what we have learned and to hold “the Light of Christ” upon our efforts to walk after Him and ask Him to help us to be more faithful to Him and to His word, to empower us to love Him with a deeper love and to be conformed to Him in our daily walk for 2008.

As I have endeavored to be faithful in sending out this weekly email to the married couples that I know and have come to care deeply about, it seems appropriate and fitting that we look together at one of the most challenging and convicting passages on marriage in the Bible.

I encourage you to think deeply about these words from the Lord and ask Him to help you understand His purpose for your marriage.

Ephesians Chapter 5: 17-33

Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

What powerful words to shine on our lives. How well does our home reflect this passage? Do we understand the Lord’s will, do we seek the Lord’s will? What is the atmosphere and spirit of our home, is it a place of singing, joy, and thankfulness for all things? Is it a place where we are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and submitted to Him and to one another ?

Marriage–Christ and the Church

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Please read this awesome description of the Christian Marriage covenant, and contemplate how this should impact your lives as you consider (the church’s) relationship to Christ. How do we reflect Him in our homes and in our responses to one another. How do we show God’s unconditional love and respect for Him and for one another.

Love in Jesus

Vince

Can The Blind Lead The Blind?

This is now my 3rd letter for married couples and while I know that some of you do not have children I believe that we all have some influence and some impact on the lives of those younger than ourselves, especially on the lives of the children and grandchildren God has given us. So I am praying that the scriptures that I am sending you will minister to you and to your families, and give you new insights on how God’s word can impact our lives.

Jesus posed this question to His disciples and gave them the obvious answer.

Luke 6:39 – 40

“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch?

A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher”

Jhn 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

While teaching children (or anyone else) I must be aware that I can teach others only to the degree and extent that I myself have learned from Jesus. To be a godly teacher one must first be a transformed disciple of Jesus Christ.

The foundation for raising godly children is a godly life example and a strong personal spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus. Anyone who would teach Christian children must not only speak the truth, but must live the truth because God’s word is taught when the disciples (teachers and students) are transformed. ( Without transformation (walking in the light) learning has not taken place).

Obviously for all of us this is a huge responsibility, and overwhelming in it’s scope and responsibility. But God is so gracious and good and has given us the means and the power (His Holy Spirit) to accomplish the ministry that He has called each of us to perform.

(Please also meditate on the following scripture)

2Peter 1: 2 – 9 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

If we are faithful to live as He has called us to live, diligently learning, growing and following after our Lord Jesus we will not be blind and short sighted teachers!

God bless your family

Love in Jesus to All

Vince

Loving God At Home

I want to thank those of you who shared your positive responses with me in reply to my first letter. Please always feel free to share constructive criticism. It is my prayer that these meditations to be helpful and challenging. Vince

As the people of God in today’s world we can learn important lessons and receive instruction from the word of God in the Old Testament, as well as from the New Testament scriptures. We know the Lord never changes and always has the perfect plan and purpose for His people. In His earliest communications with His people through Moses, He gave direction and instruction on how they were to live abundant and peaceful lives, enjoying His blessings. This passage from Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9 is a wonderful example of God’s purpose for His people and should have great application for the Christian family today.

Deuteronomy 6: 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Think about this passage which the Lord Jesus quoted as the greatest commandment. (Mat. 22:36 – 40)

How important to our lives is the greatest commandment given to God’s people?

The bible tells us that we can love Him because He first loved us, showing us His gracious self sacrificial love on the cross of Calvary.

But …how much do we love Him, to what degree, how passionate, and motivated are we in our commitment to follow Him, to serve Him, to know His word, and have it dwelling in our hearts richly. How diligent are we in teaching our children God’s word and His promises? (Col. 3:16)

What healing, what miracles, what a testimony our lives could have, and how God could use us, if we would do as God has commanded and love Him because of who He is and for what He has done in our lives. What in this world deserves our heart, soul, and strength and mind more than our God? Certainly not the short lived activities, of this world or our own personal ambitions. What eternal value is there for us to waste our passions energies and time on the worldly indulgences and the temporal things of this world?

May God grant that we may learn to love Him as we should, that our lives would be spent in passionately serving Him and loving Him with our all our hearts, souls, strength and minds. Ministering His love to our families, friends, and the unsaved world.

In the love of Jesus,

Vince

The Bible And Marriage

The purpose of these series of Bible verses and the proposed applications will be to challenge Husbands and Wives, Dads and Moms to think about the verses of scripture that apply directly to our lives and our families. That we might become all that God has called us to be.

My hope is that those of you who have not heard of, or thought through some of these verses will be challenged and instructed by the Holy Spirit as you seek to submit your marriage, home, and individual lives, more and more to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

There are many “how to” books and instructional guides on the family in every bookstore in the country, but there is only one book that has the authority and power to transform our lives, our marriages and our homes into that which God intends for us in the holiness and righteousness of our Lord Jesus.

It will be my blessing to hear back from you if you are touched by a particular verse or biblical instruction that makes a difference in your life. The purpose of this weekly letter will be to provoke us (in a good way) to love and good works, by encouraging us in understanding, submitting to, and applying God’s word.

It is my sincere hope that those who earnestly want to have the Godly marriage and family that Jesus intends for us, will meditate on these passages and the applications they should have for our lives.

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Have you ever completely thought out God’s word in passages such as this deeply challenging instruction from the Apostle Paul?

Think about how you have conducted yourself this week even this day. How did you address your spouse, or your children, your friends? What image did you leave, what emotion, what representation of your character in Jesus?

Can you see that this speaks to the very heart of who we are in Jesus?. What we do and say really is the measure of His Lordship in our lives and our faith and submission to His word. How do true disciples of Jesus conduct their lives. How does a Christian man or woman or child live? What do they “say and do”?

The only way to answer that question for yourself is to know Jesus and to be His disciple (a follower, and learner)!


Blessings and Love in Jesus, Pastor Vince