CHRIST; THE BELIEVER’S HUSBAND

Isaiah 54:5

 

I.Intro.

A.though the believer was by nature, far from God, and children of wrath; it is amazing to see how close we have been brought to Him, by the blood of Jesus Christ

1.no man can fully to understand, the nearness and dearness of that relationship, in which we stand

a)He is not ashamed to call us brethren - Matthew 28:10

b)He is also pleased to call the believer His friends - John 15:15

c)these relationships point to a very near and intimate union between Christ and the believer

2.the words of our text point out a relationship which exceeds all other relations

B.our text was spoken to the Jewish people, when religion was on the decline among them - Isa 54:4, 6-8

1.they had lost the life and power, which they once experienced; and their enemies began to insult them with a "where is your God”

2.God’s heart yearned for them; and He assures them, that though their enemy had shamed them, yet their woeful condition would be His opportunity to lift up them up

C.though the words were originally spoken to the Jews, yet they are applicable to all believers in all ages

D.our text is suitable for both sinners and for saints

1.for those who know God, as well as those who know him not

2.for those who once walked in the light of His blessed countenance, but are now backslidden

II.what must pass between Christ and our souls before we can say that our Maker is our husband

A.to understand this, we must consider what is necessary before a marriage between two parties can be said to be valid in the sight of God and men

B.in all lawful marriages, it is absolutely necessary that both parties are actually and legally free from all pre-engagements - Romans 7:2

1.if either party is engaged, though not actually married to another, the marriage is not lawful, until that pre-engagement is fairly and mutually dissolved

2.this is how it must be between us and the Lord Jesus

a)by nature we are all born under and wedded to the law, as a covenant of works

(1)we are fond of the Law, and artfully go about to establish a righteousness of our own

(2)it is as natural for us to do this, as it is to breathe

(3)sinful man naturally run to the Law; to be saved partly at least, if not wholly by their works

b)even saved souls, find a strong inclination this way; which cause doubts and fears

c)"do and live," is the native language of a proud, and self-righteous heart

3.before we can say, "our Maker is our husband," we must be delivered from our old husband, the Law - Romans 7:4

a)we must renounce our own righteousness, our own doings and performances, as dung and dross

b)this was the case with Paul - Philippians 3:4-9

(1)Paul had many reason to trust in his flesh, and the things that he had done

(2)once he depended on his being a Hebrew of the Hebrews, and thought himself secure

(3)as for the outward observation of the law, he was blameless

(4)for all this, he was an entire stranger to the divine life

(5)here we find him renouncing all his external privileges, and all his Pharisaical righteousness

c)this is the way it must be with us, if we are to say, "our Maker is our husband"

d)we must be dead to the law, and count all external privileges, and all our splendid performances as dung and dross

C.before a marriage can stand good in law, there must be a mutual consent on both sides

1.we do not marry people against their wills

2.the Jews had a time of betrothing or espousing, which came before the act of marriage - Matthew 1:18

3.both parties were previously agreed, and were espoused to each other, before the announcement of marriage was made

4.so it will be in the spiritual marriage, between Jesus Christ and our souls

a)before we are actually married or united to Him by faith; we must be a willing people

b)we must be persuaded that the glorious Christ is willing to accept of us, just as we are; and that we are willing to accept Him upon His terms

c)when it comes to this, the spiritual marriage can go on, and there is only one thing lacking to make it complete:  an actual union

D.there must be a joining of hands before witnesses, before a couple can be deemed lawfully joined together

1.some men of corrupt minds, are apt to look upon this as a needless ceremony

2.where men get such notions, we know not; for it certainly does not come from the Bible - Gen 2:22

a)at the first marriage in paradise, there was a dignified seriousness; God Himself was the minister

b)after God made the woman, He " brought her unto the man"

c)for the spiritual marriage to take place there should be an outward ceremony, which is our public professing of faith in Christ - Romans 10:9-10

d)in both cases, there will be a time and a place and witnesses to look back to, and know that it really happened

3.the joining of hands is symbolic of becoming one flesh

a)when a couple is married, though they were twain, they now become one flesh - Gen 2:24

b)those who are joined to the Lord by faith, can truly say, "our Maker is our husband," because we become one with Him

E.from these things the poorest and most illiterate person can easily know whether or not he is really married to Jesus Christ

1.some feel that there is no such thing as knowing, or being fully assured, that we are in Christ

2.at best, they feel if there is such a thing, it is very rare, or was only the privilege of the early believers

3.part of this is true, and part of this absolutely false

a)this glorious privilege of a full assurance is very rare, because it is equally true, that real Christians are very rare also

b)it is absolutely untrue that we cannot have any assurance of salvation - 1 John 3:2, Galatians 4:5-6

4.a full assurance of salvation is not absolutely necessary for being true Christian, but it is absolutely necessary for the well being of a Christian

a)doubts, indwelling sin, spiritual sloth, or a lack of being properly informed, may cause a Christian to walk in darkness, and see no light

b)how can any persons, who claims to be a Christian, rest satisfied or contented without it

5.does a married person not know that they are married; if there was doubt they could produce a certificate with time, place and witnesses

III.what does the Lord justly demand of those who are united to Him by faith, and can happily say, "our Maker is our husband"

A.to know our duties as the bride of Christ, we must turn to the testimony of Scripture

1.being now married to Christ, we work not for life, but from life

2.the love of God constrains us

B.the scripture says, let " the wife see that she REVERENCE her husband" - Ephesians 5:33

1.it is the duty of married women to think highly of their husbands

2.Paul’s words are clear and forceful; implying that some women have a tendency to disrespect their husbands

3.this is a source and fountain, from whence many domestic evils frequently flow

a)women should remember the person who thier husbands represent in scripture; they are to them, what Christ is to the church

b)it is mentioned to the honor of Sarah, that she called Abraham "Lord" - Genesis 18:12

(1)it is remarkable, there are only two good words in the whole sentence, "my Lord;" all the others are the language of unbelief

(2)the Holy Spirit mentions those two words to her eternal honor, and buries the rest in oblivion - 1 Peter 3:6

(3)this is evidence of how pleasing it is in the sight of God, for women in the married state, to reverence and respect their husbands

(a)husbands should not lord it over their wives, or require too much respect at their hands

(b)husbands need to be doubly careful, that they live a holy and unblameable life, so that they do not put their wives under any temptation to despise them

4.those who are married to Jesus Christ, must see to it that they reverence and respect their Husband

a)see to it, for the devil will be often suggesting hard and mean thoughts against your Husband

b)this is how he attacked our mother Eve, in her state of innocence - Genesis 3:1

(1)the devil tried to persuade her to entertain hard thoughts about her glorious Maker

(2)the devil implied that God was so cruel to have put her in a beautiful garden, only to vex and tease her

(3)the devil is still pursuing this trade, and will be pursuing it to the very end of time

c)unless we "watch and pray," we will be led into temptation, and will not keep high thoughts of our blessed Maker/Husband, as He justly deserves

d)it is impossible for us to think too highly of our heavenly husband, the Lord Jesus Christ

C.subjection is another duty, that is required of married women, in the word of God - Ephesians 5:24

1.wives are to be subject to their own husbands in every thing; every lawful thing

2.God takes care to enforce this duty of subjection by many convincing arguments

a)for Adam was first formed, and not Eve - 1 Timothy 2:13

b)”Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man" - 1 Corinthians 11:9

c)"Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" - 1 Tim 2:14

d)for these reasons, subjection was imposed on her as part of her punishment - Genesis 3:16

e)those who attempt to usurp authority over their husbands, not only contradict a divine command, but also thwart a divine curse

3.if women are to be subject to their own husbands in everything, how much more should believers be subject to Christ

a)He has bought us with His blood

b)believers are not their own, but are under the highest obligations to glorify and obey Jesus Christ, in their bodies and their souls, which are His

c)since His commandments are holy, just, and good, it is our highest privilege to obey them

d)earthly husbands may show their meanness by imposing some things upon their wives, merely to show their authority; but it is not so with Jesus Christ

e)He can and does impose nothing, but what will immediately lead to our present and future good

f)all the disorders which are now in the world, whether in the church or state, are the result of mankind not being universally conformed to the laws of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

D.the Scriptures strictly require faithfulness within the marriage state - Hebrews 13:4

1.adultery is an iniquity that weakens and destroys the marriage relation, and has been judged by some to be worthy of death

2.if married people ought to be careful to keep the marriage-bed undefiled, how careful ought the believer be to keep their soul chaste, pure, and undefiled; now that they are espoused to Christ

3.there is such a thing as spiritual adultery; God frequently complained of His people playing the harlot

4."the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” are always ready to steal our hearts away from Christ

5.every time we place our affections upon something more than Christ, we commit spiritual adultery

E.fruitfulness was a blessing promised by God to the first happy couple - Genesis 1:28

1.children are a reward and a heritage, which comes from the Lord - Psalms 127:3

2.if we are married to Christ, we must be fruitful - Romans 7:4

a)fruitful in every good work - Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8

b)the fruit of the Spirit is the results of the Spirit's workings in the lives of believers - Gal 5:22-23

c)fruit is also used as a picture for Christian converts - Rom 1:13; 1 Cor 16:15

F.people who are married, take one another for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health

1.if we are married to Jesus Christ, we should be willing to bear His cross, as well as to wear His crown - Luke 9:23

2.the believer will never leave or forsake Him, but will follow the Captain of their salvation, though it be through a sea of blood

IV.the believers response to those poor souls, who know nothing of the blessed Bridegroom, and who cannot say, "My Maker is my husband"

A.we pity them from our inmost soul

1.we should weep over them, and for them

2.if we know the miserable condition those who are not married to Christ are in, surely we would weep

3.if someone is not married to Christ, they are married to the law, the world, the flesh, and the devil; none of these can make them happy, but can only make them miserable

B.those married to the law, and who seek to be justified in the sight of God by their own works; what does the law say to them - Galatians 3:10

1.every word breathes threatening and slaughter to poor fallen creatures

2.cursed, both here and hereafter

3.cursed if they do not continue in them until the very end of life, in all things; not only in some, or many, but in all things that are written in the book of the law

a)cursed if they do not do them with utmost perfection - James 2:10

b)according to the covenant of works, whosoever is guilty of one wicked thought, word, or action, is under the curse of an angry sin-avenging God

4.they do not know what it is to be under the curse of God; for if they did, they would not be so unwilling to be divorced from the law, and be espoused to Christ

C.why would anyone want to be wedded to the world; has it ever proved faithful or satisfying

1.Solomon reckoned the sum total of worldly happiness as vanity - Ecclesiastes 1:2-3

2.a greater than Solomon has informed us that “a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” - Luke 12:15

3.does not the unbelievers lusts for the things of the world fetter their souls and have dominion over them

a)do not they say to the unbeliever, come, and he comes; go, and he goes; do this, and he does it

b)what better reason can we have for wanting to divorce the world and our lusts

D.how can the unbeliever bear the thoughts of being wedded to the devil, as every natural man is - Eph 2:2

1.how can anyone bear to be ruled by one, who is a professed and open enemy to the most high and holy God

2.he will only make a slave of us, while we live; and then will be our companion in endless and extreme torment, after we are dead

V.sinner, there is a better match for your soul then the law, the world and the devil

A.it is my heart's desire, and earnest prayer, that every soul be saved

1.I invite every Christless sinner to be wedded to Him; with Him you will find everything that your hearts can desire, or hunger and thirst after

2.as a husband, He is everything one could hope for

a)He has a name above every name; "the King of kings, and Lord of lords" - 1 Timothy 6:15

b)He has power equivalent to His name, for all power is given unto Him - Matthew 28:18

c)the riches of Jesus are infinite, His riches are unsearchable - Ephesians 3:8

B.will you be wed to this man, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ

1.what objection do you make against such a gracious offer

2.it is to be feared, through the prevalence of unbelief, and the corruption of your desperately wicked and deceitful hearts, some are ready to put forth several

3.the only thing that can hinder your espousal with the dear and blessed Lamb of God, is that dreadful sin of unbelief

4.Jesus died for that sin of unbelief, if you will only repent of it and put your faith, hope and trust in Him