“I Do”

"I Do"

I Do

Ephesians 5:21-33

 

“Do” is a Latin in etymology. It echoes back to the word “Support.” “I Do” essentially means “I Support You.” I will support your efforts, dreams and hopes. I will support you whether you fail or succeed, are healthy or sick, are rich or poor. I will support you financially, energetically, prayerfully, and encouragingly.

The parallel similarities between wedding vows and church membership are uncanny and should excite those who contribute to their local ministry as active members. For those still on the fence, maybe this will give you some things to consider to help you make the decision to join a local New Testament Baptist Church.

 

Ephesians 5:21-33

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

Read these vows through twice,
once as a marriage and once as a Church Member


I, (Bride Name) (Church Member,) take thee, (Groom Name) (Christ,) to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, til death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and there to do I give thee my pledge.

On earth, these vows physically represent to physically two people being joined in marriage. And on earth, these vows are made symbolically to join Redeemed Born-Again Christians to the Church.

In Heaven, these vows are physically representing the redeemed being joined in Marriage to Christ and in Heaven, these vows are made symbolically to connect us all in a unified church in heaven.

 

Thesis Statement: The church on earth is a picture of marriage in heaven. Marriage on earth is a picture of the church in heaven.

 

Objective:  To discuss Church Membership through the lens of  Marriage in order to recognize the connection between them.

 

I remember reading of an elderly couple whose family had thrown a golden anniversary party for them. The husband was deeply touched by their kindness and stood to thank them. Then he looked at his wife of 50 years and tried to put into words just how he felt about her. Lifting his glass he said: “My dear wife, after 50 years I’ve found you tried and true.” Everyone smiled their approval, but not his wife. She had hearing trouble, so she cupped one hand behind an ear and said, “Eh?” Her husband repeated himself loudly, “AFTER FIFTY YEARS I’VE FOUND YOU TRIED AND TRUE!” His wife shot back,

“Well, let me tell YOU something —
after 50 years I’m tired of you, too!”

 

 

No Physical Marriage (as we know it) in heaven

Matthew 22:25-33

25 Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. 27 And last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. 33 And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.

 

Also in Luke 20:34-36

34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:

35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:

36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.

 

Marriage of the Lamb
Revelation 19:7-9

7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Psalm 107:2
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

 

Now Here’s the Sermon

 

Common patterns between them:

 

(vs 21- 29) A Pattern of Submission  

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

 

 

 

 

(vs 30-32) A Pattern of Unity30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

 

 

Colossians 3:12 – 14 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

 

ROPE ILLUSTRATION:

Multiple pieces of rope, each with a different person holding on, then walking down the aisle and having someone sit on the sidelines in different pews, demonstrating the power of cooperation and the pain of disunity.

 

 

(References to “wives” and “own husband”)
A Pattern of Commitment – We see a pattern of marriage on earth to marriage in heaven, the church on earth and the church in heaven.

 

 

Ephesians 5:21-33 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

Story:

Some time ago, my parents were visiting and I asked them about the secret to their 55-year marriage. Without hesitation, Dad said, “Senility. I wake up each morning and I can’t remember who this old girl is. So each day is a new adventure.” When Mom finally quit pinching him, he got serious.

“In a word?” he said. “Commitment.”

You don’t have to stand in the checkout line long to know that commitment is not a hallmark of our culture. Standing near the chocolate bars the other day, I picked out a tabloid and read of Rex and Teresa LeGalley, a young couple who want to ensure that their recent marriage will stand the test of time. After all, it was Teresa’s second marriage and Rex’s third. So they drew up a 16-page prenuptial agreement that specifies such details as what time they’ll go to bed, how often they’ll have sex, which gasoline they’ll purchase and who will do the laundry. Says Teresa, “This is the plan that we think will keep us married for 50 or 60 years.”

When I told this to Dad, he had another one-word response: “Ha!”

Hollywood Surprises:

Occasionally Hollywood surprises us with some good news, though. Famed singer and actress Bette Midler, who has been married for 13 years to artist Martin von Haselberg, was asked about the key to their marriage. Midler responded, “Separate vacations.” Then, like my dad, she got serious. “We’re committed,” she said. “We’re in it for the long haul. Besides, you really don’t get to know a person until you’ve known them a long time, and we don’t know each other yet, even though it’s been 13 years. Sometimes it’s been a struggle, but amazingly we didn’t give up.”

Conclusion

Membership in the church on earth has the same implication as marriage on earth. It’s a unified commitment of submission to one another in the fear of God, allowing the principles of His Word, which is Christ, to be the authority in all things.

 

Concept Church Membership Marriage
Unification Forgiveness, Confessing Faults, Caring For One Another, Striving in the Great Commission, One body, One Spirit, One Faith and One Lord Expressing Love, Taking Care Of, Standing Up For, Knowing Each Other According To Knowledge, Financially Unified, Common Goals
Submission Serving One Another, Allowing Christ to be Preeminent in all things, Following the Ordinances and Leaders in the Church Serving One Another, Feeding One Another, Taking Care of Own Responsibilities, Showing Respect
Commitment Financially Supporting the Church and Each Other, Forsaking Not The Assembly , Participation, Publicly Identifying With a Specific Church, Abstaining from Fornication with Other Churches, For Richer or for Poorer, In Sickness and in Health, Til Death Do Us Part, Committed Unto One Another Even as Unto Our Own Bodies, Public Declaration, Abstaining from Fornication & Adultery

 

*  1 Peter 3:7

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

 

In heaven, all these elements will be combined with the duties of wife and husband being delineated between Christ in the role as husband and all the redeemed people of God, the Church.

 

The physical and spiritual will come together in a way that glorifies the Lord, which in turn magnifies us as His bride.

 

(Hebrews 1:1-14)

15Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

 

(2 Corinthians 11:16-33)

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: 25Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

“Do” is a Latin word in etymology. It echoes back to the word “Support.” “I Do” essentially means “I Support You.” I will support your efforts, dreams and hopes. I will support you whether you fail or succeed, are healthy or sick, are rich or poor. I will support you financially, energetically, prayerfully, and encouragingly.

 

The parallel similarities between wedding vows and church membership are uncanny and should excite those who contribute to their local ministry as active members.  For those still on the fence, maybe this will give you some things to consider to help you make the decision to join a local New Testament Baptist Church.

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