Will You Take This Man

Speaker: M.Noorhoff

In our last time together we spoke of the worlds obsession with time and sometimes our own, How much the desire it and how they use it. We talked about how we prioritize our lives and how we should prioritize our lives. We talked about what we schedule first. We discussed our relationships with others and our relationship with God We asked the question that was asked of Jesus in the Parable of the Good Samaritan

gWho is my neighbourh?@But most of all we tried to reposition ourselves, our lives so that we may achieve the greatest of all aims gLoveh Jesus reminded us that all the laws are boiled down simply to this point gLoveh Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and body and love your neighbour as yourself.

It was a message we not only needed to hear but need to institute into our live. We must let them know we are Christians by our love. The bible states it quite clearly that love must be our greatest aim and let everything fall into place after that.

Now of course when I talk love I talk of true love. The love that does what needs to be done not an emotional love but a love based in Godfs love and in the bible. So the first step is to learn how Godfs loves us and we do this by writing his word in or hearts.

We remember that Jesus said

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

We treat others as if we were looking at Jesus himself and our love for the least of them is a reflection of our love for Jesus himself

This week I am going to continue talking about love for I have neglected it for far too long.

Now it was shortly after last sermon that I was asked a question a very simple I with a simple but complicated answer. So before answering I gave it some thought. Today I will tell you how I answered and expand on it. At the same time I will pose that very same question to you all as well today g What is Christianityh

In the times of the new testament church the name Christian was not used but rather what we call Christians now were called simple followers of the way, followers of Jesus or disciples of Jesus. Christianity was just known as the way.

I had to think what was behind the question, And I discovered that it was a belief that Christianity was a moral teaching essentially a bunch of dofs and donfts a set of rules for moral or good behavior. And this is how much of the world sees Christianity and even some sitting in the churches would agree either by word or action. Is that the image we are putting across? How did this happen? The news and mass media portray us as opposed to this and that. As hard and unforgiving at times, I have often heard people complain that gChristianityh and gChristiansh try to force their own morality or opinion of morals on others. And sadly enough in many ways I have to totally agree with them. This truly saddens me. Now let me add a point or two here: I believe in Jesus Christ I believe in the sovereignty of God I believe every word in the bible. I take the bible literally and I love all His laws old testament and new.@I believe the world would be a better place if we all lived as the bible instructs us to. I believe that the Ten Commandments are just and needed and that we would have a world of peace if all submitted to them.

But to submit to the commandments we must start from the first one first we cannot pick and choose at random the first is first because of its important and that it is absolutely essential in order to carry out the rest. The first Commandment in the words of Jesus to love the lord God with all you heart mind soul and body. Or as it is in the Old Testament. You shall have no other gods before Me.

If we do not uphold this one then why would we uphold the rest? This was well played out in a wonderful movie called the time changer When one man in the 1800fs theorized that he believed that the moral ideas of Christianity should be taught with or without teaching the gospel. He then was allowed to travel through time to the present day when his proposal essentially has come true and finds out how mistaken he was. It is a wonderful movie and anyone who would like to borrow it please ask me.

So we cannot as Christians expect others to follow the idea of morality we have because they do not know God and therefore feel no need to follow what he says. Lets look back at those commandments again to the precursor on them g"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.h When we look at this and the formation of the Hebrew grammar we see that what is really being said is because I saved you or because you now understand the love I have for you wonft do these things of course. In the same way if we are not saved why would we feel at all compelled to listen to God?

I have told this story several times but it is such a good illustration for more ways that we will see in a bit.

Once upon a time there was a young woman whose parents had arranged for here to marry a man. She felt obligated to obey her parents and so married the man. At first all was okay but the husband became more and more demanding and began to leave a list of chores for her to do everyday. She scrubbed and cleaned and polished and washed because she felt obligated but never managed to finish before her husband got home and he would get angry and hit her. Everyday the chores got harder to do and everyday the husband got angry. Well the man was quite a bit older then she was and after several years she died. The young women who was once very beautiful now looked terrible and was always depressed. One day a young man approach her despite her appearance for he remember what she used to look like and had always loved her. He courted her but she was afraid of commitment after a couple years he finally won her over and she fell madly in love with him for his love and patience with her. They married and every day he gave her a kiss goodbye and went to work and she to her chores. She now happily did all the chores she used to for her first husband and finish with time to spare for now she did all the chores through love and not obligation.

 When we come to Christ after seeing how much He has loved us and how patient He has been and how He courted us we fall head over heals in love with Him and gladly do everything He wishes of us.

 This is where I am going to let you know that this parable has much more truth then one might first suspect.

You see being Christian is essentially just saying gI do my love I do.h

The bible clearly explains that we His people/ the church are the bride for whom the bridegroom has been waiting and is coming to fetch so that he may take her back to the rooms he has prepared in his fathers house.

 1 Corinthians 11:2  I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.

 To understand this better we must take a closer look at the practice of marriage in the Jewish community in the time of Jesus. For It is quite different in many ways from the ideas we now have.

Essentially the Jewish Wedding consists of two parts: The engagement and the actual wedding but after the engagement the wedding has essentially been set and to end an engagement is exactly like divorce. Well it all starts essentially the same boy sees girl sees boy they exchange flirtive looks then the man approaches the women and they talk about many things and get to know each otherB Then he will ask her to come and meet his father. He has chosen her and if she accepts she has chosen him. There is no dating involved. The two will then sit down with the manfs father and talk. If the man likes the women he tells his father that he wants to marry her. They discuss a dowry: this is the bride price that will be paid. He formally writes all this down in what is called a Ketubah (a marriage contract) stating what he will pay so that she will be his wife and what he vows to do for her and what he expects from her. She looks it over and if she agrees the contract because valid immediately. The father will then take a silver chalice of wine and both will drink from the chalice. With this they are engaged. The man will then after paying the price go away to his fatherfs house and prepare everything so that his bride can move in once they officially marry though they are now essentially married by contract now. This is why Joseph talked of divorcing Mary even though they were not married yet. The woman goes home and prepares herself for her wedding, purifying herself and waiting to leave the moment he bridegroom come to pick here up. On the wedding day or the houpa the two will stand under a canopy and the bride will circle around the groom 3 times and with that they are married and go to his fatherfs house

Do you now see how the gospels speak of our engagement to Christ

He choose us

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:16

 He presents the marriage contract the Ketubah. The word of God The Bible

And If we choose him He offers the bride price

Matthew 20: 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

 He loves you so much that his love exceeds all we can imagine

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

We accept his offer

We drink the wine we do this each month in the Lord fs Supper

1 Corinthians 11:25  In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me."

 He has promised out of His love that whatever you lose out of this marriage will be repaid

Matthew 19:29  And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.

Often becoming a Christian requires some lose we may lose friends and we may even lose family because they cannot accept our decision but the Lord promises that he will repay all this pain with joy.

 He goes to his fatherfs house to prepare a room

John 14:2,3

2  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.

3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

 Jesus has left for now but he will be back to pick up his bride and take her to his fatherfs house. He has asked you and is asking you now Will you be my bride? Will you take my name?

 And as Christians that is essentially what we have done is take the name of the one we are engaged to until the time he returns

 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

 Do you Christian promise to live with Christ according to Godfs purposes? Do you commit yourself to meeting his needs: physical, emotional and spiritual? Do you promise that whatever the circumstances, you will love honour and sustain him and that as long as you both shall live, you will be faithful to him? Do you promise?

 If you do promise and you do wish to know Christ more then fill your heart with love and with all that you are say the simple words gI doh

 I now present you man and wife