Biblical Authority Structures are from God!

We have covered two underpinnings of Biblical freedom as Jesus taught it.

I. Freedom Is Not Total Autonomy. “…hold to my teaching…” John 8:31

II. Freedom Requires Virtue as Its Guiding Principle. “You shall know the truth…” John 8:32

Marriage_at_Cana_Giotto_Scrovegni

Giotto de Bondoni, “Marriage at Cana,” ca. 1267-1337

Now we shift to a third underpinning—

III. Freedom Requires Obedience to Divine Authority Structures.

“You are…my disciples…” John 8:32

The meaning of a disciple literally translates into “a learner” … it denotes “one who follows someone’s teaching” …. In biblical terms, a “disciple” is a believer who follows Christ’s teachings and pursues His example. (see Disciple below)

Jesus’s word touches on all of life. He affirms marriage and the family as a creation ordinance. He also enjoins our obedience to government as God’s agent of order. Disciples follow Jesus’s teachings. 

Before human government and before children, God established marriage. 

He laid the foundation for all other structures of society in the family. In post-modern philosophy, the aggregate individual is the basic building block of society. However, this flies in the face of what God teaches in the Old Testament.

Adam-and-Eve-in-the-Garden-of-Eden

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden by Wenzel Peter, Vatican Museum

Genesis 2:24—

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

The “one flesh” principle lies at the crux of the family. Old ties are broken as a man and a woman begin their lives together in holy matrimony.

“Shall leave his/her father and mother” is the first step. No longer is a man primarily a son. No longer is a woman primarily a daughter. The primary relationship is that of husband and wife. We are not free to make marriage a personal arrangement! It is a creation ordinance given by God in Eden.

Dr. R. C. Sproul observes on one occasion—

Some years ago, I attended an interesting wedding. I was especially struck by the creativity of the ceremony. The bride and the groom had brainstormed with the pastor in order to insert new and exciting elements into the service, and I enjoyed those elements. However, in the middle of the ceremony, they included portions of the traditional, classic wedding ceremony. When I began to hear the words from the traditional ceremony, my attention perked up and I was moved. I remember thinking, “There is no way to improve on this because the words are so beautiful and meaningful.” A great deal of thought and care had been put into those old, familiar words. (https://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/basis-christian-marriage/)

Priest-Blessing-Wedding-Couple-352658

Clergyman, pictured above, placing his stole around the clasped hands of a married couple to stress the bond is permanent.

Jesus reiterates the seriousness of marriage as God has created it in Matthew 19:4-6

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Shall…be joined to his wife” is the second step. There is no set marriage ceremony outlined in the Holy Scriptures. Yet, Jesus honored marriage with his first miracle at Cana of Galilee. 

The last principle related to marriage is “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” 

I have served in ministry for 40 plus years. I preached regularly long before that. I have often seen marriage partners separated from one another by parents, friends, and competing “potential partners.” Under any guise, the one who violates the “one-flesh” principle strives against God himself.

I always emphasize in a marriage ceremony that marriage is a covenant, not between a man and a woman and the state, but between a man and a woman and God. Anything that attacks the family as God has constituted it, destroys society along with it.We can’t change others, but we can still live by the Word of God in our own lives.

Notes

Disciple. Accessed November 2, 2018 from https://missionventureministries.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/what-does-it-mean-to-be-jesus-disciple-john-831/

© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved

 

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