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Mar 31, 2019

Intimately Acquainted, part 2

Intimately Acquainted, part 2

Passage: Matthew 5:31-32

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: The Highest Good

He who was not married, nor had any children, still had much to say about marriage as worthy of highest esteem and care. Why? How does that speak to married, divorced, and single alike?

Order of Worship

Pre-Service Text: Genesis 2:24
Call To Worship: from Psalm 33
Affirmation of Faith: from the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9
Old Testament Reading: Hosea 2:14-23
Sermon Title: Intimately Acquainted, part 2
Central Text: Matthew 5:31-32
Benediction: Ephesians 3:20-21
Post-Service Text: Isaiah 62:5

03.31.19 Sermon Notes

Song Selection

Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Obediah Chisholm and William Marion Runyan
Rock Of Ages (When The Day Seems Long), Sandra McCracken and Kevin Twit
Only A Holy God, Dustin Smith, Jonny Robinson, Michael Farren, and Rich Thompson
In Christ Alone, Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go,  George Matheson and Albert Lister Peace


"Swiss Mishap" - see youtube for original source

Up, Married Life

The BreakUp - Left Alone

Readings & Scripture

Pre-Service Text: Genesis 2:24
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall
become one flesh.

Call To Worship: from Psalm 33
LEADER: Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!

ALL: Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

LEADER: For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

ALL: Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Affirmation of Faith: from the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 9

ALL: We believe that the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who out of nothing created heaven and earth
and all that is in them,
and who still upholds and governs them
by his eternal counsel and providence,
is, for the sake of Christ his Son,
my God and my Father.

In him I trust so completely
as to have no doubt
that he will provide me
with all things necessary for body and soul,
and will also turn to my good
whatever adversity he sends me
in this life of sorrow.

He is able to do so as almighty God,
and willing also as a faithful Father.

Old Testament Reading: Hosea 2:14-23

14 “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness,
and speak tenderly to her.
15 And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16 “And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.

21 “And in that day I will answer, declares the Lord,
I will answer the heavens,
and they shall answer the earth,
22 and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
and they shall answer Jezreel,
23 and I will sow her for myself in the land.
And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”


Central Text: Matthew 5:31-32
It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Benediction: Ephesians 3:20-21
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Post-Service Text: Isaiah 62:5
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Related Scriptures

  • Genesis 2:24-25
  • Exodus 20:14, 17
  • Proverbs 5:1-23
  • Prov. 6:32; 28:13
  • Isaiah 61:10; 62:5
  • Hosea 1:2; *2:14-23
  • Matthew 19:3-12
  • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
  • 1 Corinthians 7:1-16ff
  • Ephesians 5:25
  • 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8
  • Hebrews 13:4

Discussion Questions & Applications:


  1. Increasingly, the church at large is viewed as having lost the right to speak to matters of marriage and faithfulness. What are some of those reasons and why might there be legitimacy to the claim(s)? Even so, why might the call to a clear, sober, and humble view of marriage still be in order?
  2. Why does an enduring marriage seem so difficult? Where, if at all, is divorce part of your family’s story? What led to its demise? What might’ve helped?
  3. How would you define marriage in simplest terms? Why would a shared view of what marriage is be essential to keeping that marriage intact? How does the view of marriage espoused by Jesus distinguish itself from other understandings of its nature?
  4. Most of the prominent figures in the Old Testament had multiple wives. Yet Genesis 2, to which Jesus regularly refers in his teaching on marriage, conceives of an exclusive relationship between a husband and wife. How shall we reconcile what that apparent discrepancy? (Hint: Which of the storylines of those who had multiple wives prove positive and exemplary?)
  5. How does Jesus, a man never married or one who fathered children, still help us think and act in marriage? How does what He did on our behalf serve the cultivation and protection of marriage?
  6. Even though Jesus focuses His words in this passage on marriage, how does His life assure us that singleness is no second-rate way to live? (cf. also Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7)


  • Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God. - from the introduction to the wedding liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer
  • A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not ‘die to itself’ that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage. The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of ‘adjustment’ or ‘mental cruelty.’ It is the idolization of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. - Alexander Schmemann
  • I believe we're going to find that respect and affection are essential to all relationships working and contempt destroys them. - John Gottman
  • What is crucial is not the question of when a marriage may be dissolved, but given the new dispensation the question should be how Christians should understand marriage. In similar fashion the question is not whether a divorced woman should be allowed to marry, but what kind of community the church should be that does not make it a matter of necessity for such a woman to remarry. If Christians do not have to marry, if women who have been abandoned do not have to remarry, then surely the church must be a community of friendship that is an alternative to the loneliness of the world. - Stanley Hauerwas
  • . . .whenever somebody asks to speak with me about divorce, I have now for some years steadfastly refused to do so. I have the rule never to speak with anybody about divorce, until I have first spoken with him (or her) about two other subjects, namely marriage and reconciliation. - John Stott
  • Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove.
    O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wand'ring bark,
    Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle's compass come;
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me prov'd,
    I never writ, nor no man ever lov'd. - Shakespeare, Sonnet 116 



  • The Intimate Mystery & Intimate Allies by Tremper Longman and Dan Allender
  • False Intimacy by Dr. Harry Schaumburg
  • The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason
  • The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller

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