Small steps in faith

Sunday, March 29, 2009


These are my notes from Rob's sermon this morning.
Worship was great.."How Great Is Our God".."O Praise Him" "How He Loves Us"

Matthew 19:1-12

In the church and in culture we see divorce. The biggest impact is on the kids involved.
Rob talked about his wedding...and how 4/6 of the men who stood up for him and 3/4 of his ushers are divorced. Heartbreaking. He also is the child of divorce...his parents divorced after 30 yrs of marriage.
He gave a quote from Julian Lennon talking about his father. He felt he was a hypocrite because although he talked of peace and love...there was no closeness in his own family.
Rob started out the sermon knowing that it would be sensitive for alot of people listening. He wanted everyone to know he was doing the message with a heart of love and not an ego of ministry. Many times churches avoid this topic.

To put things in context:
There were 2 views of divorce from 2 groups of Pharisees
1 Needed to be a commandment of divorce in cases of adultery
2. There was divorce for all kinds of reasons

They want to pit Jesus against Moses.
The issue of divorce is being discussed and used by the pharisees as an attack on his authority....not to strengthen the sanctity of marriage.

Four ways people typically minimize divorce:

1 We treat scripture flippantly.
When the pharisees bring up their point, Jesus answers "Have you not read...."
there is a difference between a command and permission. Jesus talks about Moses permitting divorce which is different from God's commands. Moses offers concession because of the culture of the time. Deuteronomy 24 ..if women were "put away by their husband" there would be abuse from the community. Moses offers concession to restrain evil and cruelty toward women. Also to regulate remarriage.

2 Take focus off of God's standard.
Jesus describes the standard "two shall become one flesh...What therefore God has joined together..let not man separate"
Marriage is meant to be permanent

3 We ignore the real problem...hardness of the heart.
Matthew is the only chapter that has the "exception clause" of sexual immorality.
Divorce is an issue of the heart. Most affairs start with a lack of can't be the source of that joy..only Christ.

"We've made adultery grounds for divorce
In actuality it's grounds for forgiveness"

Harold Ivan Smith

The power and grace of Jesus is deeper and more powerful than any type of pain....he does truly bring beauty out of ashes.

4 We would rather not do or experience hard things for the kingdom of God
God views marriage differently....he uses it as his basis for relationship with the church He has a high standard of marriage

You can't pick and choose scripture that you like or fits what you want.

If there is anyone who could get out of marriage by exception it's Jesus. We are unfaithful. He shows forgiveness and does not forsake us.

What about nonbelievers? What about abuse?
This will be discussed next week with the topic "Remarriage"


  • At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My friend that I work with goes to Apex and she was divorced and remarried and this sermon really upset her. She was crying when I came in the door this morning. This is never an easy subject to preach or discuss. Im glad I read your notes so I could see what he was saying. I may have to listen to it too to get perspective so I can talk with her about also. AS

  • At 1:28 PM, Blogger Rochelle said…

    I had a feeling some people would feel bad. I like Rob but I don't always 100% agree with all of his interpretations. I also think that God knows everyone's heart and story and He's the only one that can judge if it's sin or was a mistake or whatever. He is doing a sermon on remarriage this week so I would encourage her to listen to that as well because he did not address some questions,issues such as abuse. If she has concerns then she may need to go to him directly or a house church leader. Divorce is such an emotional thing.

  • At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh I know. Today she is better. And for those who are going thru or have went thru a divorce still feel the pain and humiliation. It's never an easy subject to tackle. AS


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