On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court essentially invalidated the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman). Many Christians are speaking out against this ruling, but unfortunately, their arguments are based more upon “traditional values” than they are upon scripture.
This study was taught by Pastor McShaffrey during July 2013 to equip the saints as they seek to defend the institution of marriage from scripture and sound reason:
Marriage – What exactly is it?
Despite modern assumptions about the essential nature of marriage, we deny that it is primarily a:
– Romantic Relationship
– Social Convention
– Inalienable Right
The Bible (Genesis 2:18-25 and Matthew 19:4-6) describes marriage more as a:
– Divine Ordinance
– Societal Institution
– Legal Contract
Therefore, as we engage in the modern debates over marriage, let us remember that:
Marriage is not a distinctively “Christian” tradition
It is a creation ordinance intended for all mankind
Our “common ground” in the argument is creation
Marriage – What is its purpose?
1. Enrichment of people’s lives (Proverbs 5:18-19)
2. Avoidance of sexual immorality (1 Cor. 7:1-3)
3. Orderly propagation of the race (Genesis 1:28, 9:1)
4. Generation of a godly seed (Malachi 2:15)
5. Illustrating the gospel (Ephesians 5:22-33)
Marriage – Who may marry?
It is lawful for all sorts of people to marry (Hebrews 13:4) under the following conditions:
1. Between one man and one woman (Gen. 1:27, 2:24)
2. Consent of both parties (Gen. 24:57-58)
3. Agreement in religion (Deut. 7:3-4, 1 Cor. 7:39)
4. Sufficiently unrelated (Lev. 20:19-21, 1 Cor. 5:1)
5. Officiated by lawful authority (1 Peter 2:11-17)
Grace Reformed Church is committed to promoting and defending the biblical and reformed faith by providing Bible study guides online. Please feel free to use these lessons (with appropriate attribution).