Marriage ( 3 )God’s Showcase of Grace Slides by: Timothy Chan, based on John Piper’s “This Momentary Marriage”& Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage”
Discussion❖ (Q) What is one habit you have, or one thing you do, that is most annoying to your husband or wife?
Is Love Enough?❖ We talked about covenantal love. Is that all we need?❖ Where do we ﬁnd the strength to love in that way?
Marriage = Spiritual Friendship❖ Marriage has “the power to set the course of your whole life. ... And because it has that unequalled power, it must have an unequalled, supreme priority. ... The key to giving marriage that kind of priority is spiritual friendship.” (Tim Keller) ❖ (Songs 5:16b) This is my beloved and this is my friend. ❖ Prov 2:17 describes one’s spouse as your אַּלּוף (‘allup), a unique word which means “special conﬁdant” or “intimate friend” or “best friend.” ❖ (Q) Do you see your spouse as your best friend?
Marriage = Spiritual Friendship❖ Tim Keller says that Eph 4:15 holds the key to any journey of spiritual friendship, including marriage. ❖ (Eph 4:15) Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ. ❖ In other words, Eph 4:15 = speaking the truth in love with the power of God’s grace. ❖ “As a divine institution, marriage has several inherent powers that we must accept and use — the power of truth, the power of love, and the power of grace.” (Tim Keller)
The Three Powers of Marriage❖ Power of truth: Your spouse has the power to show you the truth about Power of Power of Truth Love yourself – the good, bad and ugly.❖ Power of love: Your spouse’s approval Power of Grace and aﬃrmation has the power to heal you of the deepest wounds in your life. ❖ It’s hard to have truth and love at the same time. ❖ When we’re ignorant, we love without truth ❖ When we’re hurt, we use truth without love❖ Power of grace: Enables truth and love to work together as you live as a sinner saved by grace.
The “Bend”❖ (Q) Who in your life has inﬂuenced you the most (positively, negatively, or both), even to this day? Your Inﬂuences Others You
The “Bend”❖ “Since Christ’s new covenant with his church is created by and sustained by blood-bought grace, therefore, human marriages are meant to showcase that new-covenant grace. And the way husbands and wives showcase it is by resting in the experience of God’s grace and bending it out from a vertical experience with God into a horizontal experience with their spouse.” (John Piper)
The “Bend”❖ (Col 2:13-14) And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your ﬂesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
The “Bend”❖ (Col 3:13b) As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also Christ must forgive.❖ “In marriage you live hour by hour in glad dependence on God’s forgiveness and Your Spouse justiﬁcation and promised future grace, and you bend it out toward your spouse hour You by hour — as an extension of God’s forgiveness and justiﬁcation and promised help.” (John Piper)
Marriage and the Gospel❖ “Marriage only “works” to the degree that approximates the pattern of God’s self-giving love in Christ.” (Tim Keller)❖ “The reason that marriage is so painful and yet wonderful is because it is a reﬂection of the gospel, which is painful and wonderful at once. The gospel is this: We are more sinful and ﬂawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.” (Tim Keller)❖ (Q) To what degree do you see Jesus dying on the cross for you, forgiving you, putting away your sins?
Forgiveness and Forbearance❖ (Col 3:12-13a) Put on then ...1 compassionate hearts, 2 3 kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and ... forgiving each other❖ Three “pairs” here: “Inward conditions” “Outward demeanors” 1 compassionate hearts kindness 2 humility meekness 3 patience forgiveness & forbearance
Forgiveness and Forbearance❖ It takes compassion to forgive and forbear ❖ When you’re wronged, it takes compassion to empathize with his/her brokenness and past hurts.❖ It takes humility to forgive and forbear ❖ If you feel superior to someone, like you’re a much better person, you’ll ﬁnd it hard if not impossible to forgive. You’ll tend to criticize and be harsh.❖ It takes patience to forgive and forbear ❖ (James 1:19b) Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger ❖ Patience = “long-suﬀering”; it takes a “long” view
Forgiveness and Forbearance❖ (Col 3:13) ... bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.❖ In marriage, “there is going to be conﬂict based on sin; we need to forgive sin and forbear strangeness, and sometimes you won’t even agree on which is which.” (John Piper)
Forgiveness and Forbearance❖ Forbearance of strangeness ❖ The word used in Col 3:13 means “endure.” ❖ (1 Cor 13:7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ❖ Forbearance acknowledges: those sins against me and those annoying habits rea!y bother me! ❖ But we will love each other by forbearance and endurance, because that’s how God loves us.
Forgiveness and Forbearance❖ Forgiveness of sins ❖ The word used in Col 3:13 means “freely or graciously give.” ❖ Forgiveness requires us to treat people better than they deserve. You not only don’t demand payment for the suﬀering they caused you, but you “freely give” good for evil.
The Czar and The General’s SonIt is said that one of the old czars ofRussia had a trusted general whowas dying of his wounds. When thesoldier was on his deathbed, the czarpromised to raise the soldier’s youngson and provide for him. After hisdeath, the czar made good on hisword. He gave the young boy thebest of places to live and the besteducation. He was given acommission and entered the army.
The Czar and The General’s SonHowever, the young man had anaddiction to gambling. Because hecouldn’t cover his gambling debts, hebegan to embezzle from his regiment’sfunds. One night he was sitting in thetent looking at the books and he realizedthat his embezzlement was about to bediscovered. He could hide it no longerfrom the accountants. He sat drinkingheavily as he prepared to kill himself. Hehad the revolver by his side and he took afew more drinks to strengthen his resolvefor the suicide. But the drink was toopotent and he passed out on the table.
The Czar and The General’s SonThat night the czar was doingwhat he often did. Disguisedas a simple soldier, he waswalking through the camp andthe ranks, trying to assess themorale of his army, hearingwhat he could hear. He walkedinto his foster son’s tent andsaw him slumped over thebook. He read the book andrealized what he had done andwhat he was about to do.
The Czar and The General’s SonWhen the young man awokehours later, to his surprise therevolver was gone. Then he saw aletter by his hand. To his shock, itwas a promissory note, saying, “I,the czar, will pay the full amountfrom my own personal funds tomake up the diﬀerence found inthis book.” And it was sealed withthe czar’s personal seal. The czarhad seen the young man’s sinclearly, the full dimensions of whathe had done. But he had coveredand paid for the sin personally.
Power of Grace❖ “Here is why you can say to your spouse who has wronged you, “I see your sin, but I can cover it with forgiveness, because Jesus saw my sin and covered it.” It is because the Lord of the universe came into the world in disguise, in the person of Jesus Christ, and he looked into our hearts and saw the worst. And it wasn’t an abstract exercise for Jesus — our sins put him to death. When Jesus was up there, nailed to the cross, he looked down and saw us, some denying him, some betraying him, and all forsaking him. He saw our sin and covered it.” (Tim Keller)
Power of Grace❖ “Ido not know of any more powerful resource for granting forgiveness than that, and I don’t know of anything more necessary in marriage than the ability to forgive fully, freely, unpunishingly, from the heart. A deep experience of the grace of God — a knowledge that you are a sinner saved by grace — will enable the power of truth and love to work together in your marriage.” (Tim Keller)
Summary of Study #3❖ “Speaking the truth in love” is important to any marriage, but it is hard to do so unless the power of grace glues them together.❖ In accordance to the extent of your experience of God’s grace, so would you daily and hourly bend that grace toward your husband or wife, who’s the closest person that you relate to.❖ This is why marriage is built to be a reﬂection of the gospel and a showcase of God’s grace.❖ Outward actions of marital grace, including forgiveness of sins and forbearance strangeness, originate from inward, gospel-shaped convictions.