By Stephen Wang
27 May 2012 Sunday
|Sermon: The God of All Love||video||audio||doc
|Worship song: I Just Want You 你是唯一||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Psalm 18 The Lord Is My Deliverer||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: What Faith Can Do||video||audio||lyric|
|Worship song: Zai Hu Ni 在乎你||video||audio||lyric|
Worship song: I Just Want You 你是唯一
|Verse 1||More than a nice melody
More than the sweetest of words
This is the love I have found
And in this love I am found
|Chorus||I just want You Jesus
I just want You my Lord
I just want You Jesus
I just want You
|Verse 1 CN||胜过最美好旋律 shèngguò zuìMěihǎo xuánlǜ
胜过甜美的言語 shèngguò tiánměi de yányǔ
我找到生命至宝 Wǒ zhǎodào shēngmìng zhì bǎo
因你愛已找到我 yīn Ní aìyǐ zhǎodào Wǒ
|Chorus CN||你是唯一 耶穌 Ní shì wéiyī Yēsū
你是唯一 我主 Ní shì wéiyī Wǒ zhǔ
你是唯一 耶穌 Ní shì wéiyī Yēsū
我需要你 Wǒ xūyào Ní
|Verse 2||Never could I comprehend
The love You so freely give
Never could I be worthy
But Your love covers all of my sin
|Verse 2 CN||我永远无法明白 Wǒ yǒng yuǎn wúfǎ míngbai
你赐下下无比大爱 Ní Cìxià búbǐ Dà ài
无条件舍下生命 Wú tiáojiàn she xià shēngmìng
你爱洗净我一切的罪 Ní Aìxǐ jìng Wǒ yīqiè de zuì
|Bridge||There is no greater love than Yours
Nothing else could ever compare
And even if I search all the world
I will never find a love like Yours
|Bridge CN||你的爱超越世上所有 Ní de ài chāoyuè shìshàng suǒyǒu
沒有人能够与你相比 Méiyǒurén néng gòu yǔ Ní Xiāngbǐ
我愿付出一生来寻求 Wǒ yuàn fùchū yīshēng lái xúnqiú
只愿永远沉浸你爱里 Zhǐyuàn yǒngyuǎn chénjìn Ní àili
Worship song: Psalm 18, The Lord is My Deliverer
|Verse 1||I will give thanks to the Lord,
and shout the praises of His Name!
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress
and Deliverer, the Shield
and Horn of my Salvation!
|Chorus||The Lord He Lives!
And blessed be my Rock!
Exalted be the God of my Salvation!
|Verse 2||The Lord He delivers me,
from my enemies,
Oh, Lord, who is God but Thee?
The Lord has rewarded me,
and kept me from iniquity,
Oh, Lord, there is no God but Thee!
|Verse 1 CN||我 要 称 谢 我 救 主!
wo yao cheng xie wo jiu zhu
我 要 赞 美 祂 的 圣 名!
wo yao zan mei ta di sheng ming
主 是 我 磐 石,
zhu shi wo pan shi,
是 我 山 寨 和 盾 牌,
shi wo shan zhai he dun pai
是 我 大 能 的 救 主!
shi wo da neng di jiu zhu
|Chorus CN||永 活 的 主! 荣 耀 的 磐 石!
yong huo di zhu rong yao di pan shi
我 高 举 祢 名
wo gao ju ni ming
奇 妙 救 主 我 的 神!
qi miao jiu zhu wo di shen
|Verse 2 CN||哦, 主 祢 拯 救 我,
o zhu ni zheng jiu wo
脱 离 我 仇 敌, 哦, 主
tuo li wo chou di, o zhu
有 谁 能 像 祢?
you shui neng xiang ni
哦 主 祢 已 祝 福 我,
o zhu ni yi zhu fu wo
保 守 我 脱 离 罪 恶, 哦, 主
bao shou wo tuo li zui e, o zhu
有 谁 能 像 祢!
you shui neng xiang ni
Worship song: Zai Hu Ni 在 乎 你
|Verse 1||祢的慈爱比天高 比海深
Ni de ci ai bi tian gao bi hai shen
Bi wo de sheng ming geng hao ni lian min shou shang tong ku de ren
|Verse 2||祢的能力比风强 比山高
Ni de neng li bi feng qiang bi shan gao
Mei you nan cheng de shi qing fu pi ruan ruo wu zhu de sheng ming
Ni de yan jing kan zhe wo cong lai mei you li kai wo
Wo shi ni bao bei zhong jia shu hui de ren
Ni shen chu shi en de shou Ba wo jin jin yong bao
我平安 我生命 在乎祢
Wo ping an Wo sheng ming Zai hu ni
|Verse 1||The height of your love is higher than the heaven,
The depth of your love is deeper than the ocean,
Your love is better than my life,
You are merciful to those who are suffering.
|Verse 2||Your power is stronger than wind
and higher than a mountain,
nothing is impossible in you,
You are the shelter of those
who are weak and helpless.
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26 to make her holy, cleansing a her by the washing with water through the word,
27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church—
30 for we are members of his body.
31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Good morning! Let us pray.
Father, we have come into your holy presence to worship you as the God of all blessing, who chose us before the foundation of the world. We come into your holy presence to worship you as the God of life, who makes the dead alive. And we come to you, Father as the God of light, you made us one, one body, you and us, and we in you. Father, if there is any sin or wickedness or every evil within me, I pray that you would purify us all so that we can be clean, pure and holy, and that we can worship the Lamb, the precious Lamb, the holy Lamb, the Lamb of God, who takes away all the sins of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ. Father, speak to us today, teach us your way, change us, transform us that we may be more like Jesus Christ in ever increasing glory by the power of your Holy Spirit. Fill this place with your presence, fill this place with your glory. We besiege and ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
As you can tell from this passage, marriage is our topic. For some of you, you may remember the altar. The husband – to be on one side, and the wife – to be on the other side, eyes looking at each other. Their gazes and their hearts fix upon one another. And they say these beautiful words, “I DO!” and she says, “I DO!” It is one of the most beautiful and memorable gifts, blessings and events that we can ever experience, either as the bride and gloom, or as their friends of the bride and gloom.
It is a big deal, isn’t it? It is actually very big. And my first slide, I want to show you a few statistics. I do not have the statistics for this country. But I got this statistics from another country. But we are all human beings, and we all face the same struggles. In this particular country, there are approximately 2.3 million weddings every year. YEAH! People are getting married, they love one another. They spend approximately 72 billion US dollars on their weddings. WOW! In fact, their honeymoons are about 8 billion US dollars. This is really big! And you know what I sense from that? Partly, people are saying, “I love my wife so much; I value my wife so much!” In 1981, a long time before many of you were born, there was a prince, and a princess, and they, too, looked at one another and said, “I DO!” “I DO!” He spent about 30 million pounds, which is, in today’s money, approximately 110 million! He said, “I think you are worth 110 million to be married to!” So wives, look at your husbands, look at them and ask, “How much do you value me?” OK…
That is one side of things. The sad side of things is that almost half, 920,000 person divorce (every year). The approximate costs are about 112 billion US dollars. Right? And then, deaths and suicides resulting from divorces are approximately 14,000.
It is so sad! It is so sad! Marriage is not just staying together. Marriage is not just living together. Marriage is not just bearing with one another. Marriage is one life living in Christ to the upmost, to the fullness, filled to the full measure of God’s Holy Spirit. Marriage is designed by the Master, and He created the master piece. And that is what we are going to learn today: How to let the Master make a master piece of your relationship?
Last week, Rachel spoke to us on a new life in Christ. And she said, with this new life comes new words, new thoughts and new actions. How can I be new? How can I change the words that I say, these thoughts that I think and these actions that I do? How? Paul, the writer, tells us, that it is by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can do all things by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Nothing is impossible with God!
A first principle I’d like us to look at with regard to marriage. When you get into thinking about marriage, I’d like you to think about this,
Marriage is more about Salvation and Sanctification than Sensation and Satisfaction.
Many times, when we talk to people, they say, “It feels good, so it must be right!” “I am satisfied, so it must be right!” We know that what God has purposed for each one of us is that He has designed us to be holy and to glorify Him, to bring glory and pleasure, and to bring joy to Him. It is not about us, it is about Jesus Christ. This life is all about Jesus Christ, sharing the gospel of salvation, and participating in the work of purifying this dark and sick world. This is our purpose to glorify Christ to the end of the Earth.
Our divisions for the passage today are three. The first is Leading, the second is Loving, and then the third is Leaving. The first thing about leadership and leading you must know from the Master’s mouth is that He says in Luke 9:48,
“For he who is least among you all – he is the greatest.”
If you want to be a leader in God’s world, you must be the least. What? The least? People would step on me, people would elbow-pass me! The least? I want to be the number one! Number one! God says, there is only space for Him to be number one. And after that, you are the least. God is the number one. Jesus said,
“I did not come to be served. But I came to serve, and to give my life as a ransom (for many).” (Matthew 20:28)
Our first verse tells us,
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.”
When wives hear these verses, they say, “No no no! I will never submit to that man! I am not a slave! I have more degrees than he has; I make more money than he does. I am superior.” The husband says, “Don’t you read your Bible, it says, I am god; I am your lord. Polish my shoes, cook my meals, clean my clothes…”
It is all wrong! It is all wrong! The word “submit” has nothing to do with slavery. Submit does not have anything to do with oppression. Husbands, if you are oppressing your wives, you are a coward! You are not a man. A man will never oppress his wife.
Wives, if you are not submitting, then you are disobedient, because this is not an option, this is an order. Our Commander, our high Commander, our Master says submits. “But I can’t see myself submitting to that type of man,” you may say to me, “He shows no respect for me, he doesn’t care for me. How can I submit to him? He is not worthy every respect or submission.”
God says, “This is a question of rank, this is a question of roles.” The Master designed it this way. If you follow the Master, you’ll get in the master piece. The Master says that he has designed it, so that the husband will be the head of the wife, just as Jesus is the head of the church. It’s the rank. It has nothing to do with the husband being superior, or the wife being inferior. Nothing. Husband and wife, brothers and sisters, we are called co-heirs with Christ for all that He has for us. The inheritance that will never fail, that will never perish, and will never be spoiled (I Peter 1:4). So it’s not about inferiority, it’s just His design of rank, it’s His design for our role. Husband will lead, and the wife will submit.
Does it mean that I must do everything that he says? Must I do everything he says? Well, the next verse tells us, in verse 24, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” “Everything! No way! I’m going to lose my identity. I’m going to lose who I am. I have nothing. I can’t submit in everything. That’s ridiculous.”
There is an exception. “Oh, an exception, tell me the exception.” There is an exception? Sin. Do you remember Peter? When he was being interviewed and questioned by the high priests, the chief priests, the leader, he said, “Judge for yourselves, whether we should obey God or whether we should obey man?” (Acts 4:19)
God automatically is your Master and Lord, and to Him, you will submit in everything. God’s design is that He is the head of the husband, and husband is the head of the wife. The husband is to obey the Lord Jesus Christ, and as he obeys the Lord Jesus Christ, it will be a pleasure for you wives to submit to him. If he tells you that you are worth of 1,000,000,000, just for the wedding, don’t you think you will feel a little bit “yea, I would like to submit to that kind of guy.” But you know, Jesus Christ, He submitted to the Father right to the end. Do you remember the passage in Philippians? It says that “Jesus Christ, although He was God, did not grasp equality of God, something to be held on to grasp. But He made himself nothing. He emptied himself, made himself nothing, and became a servant. As a man, He became a servant, and He became so obedient that He died on the cross. He died on the cross for you and me.” (Philippians 2: 6-8)
Our principle here is that submission involves putting oneself completely and unconditionally at the service of the other’s well being and happiness. When you are going to marriage, it’s serving one another, and the chief servant is the husband. He must out-serve his wife, and not the way around.
I remember this husband and his wife; they were just quarrelling and quarrelling, and fighting and fighting, almost choking one another. “Clean the floor!” “No! It’s your turn. I don’t like to clean the floor.” “You have to. After a hard day’s work, I can’t come home and clean the floor. I work so hard, I bring home all the money, and you want me to come and clean the floor?” “I’m with the child all day long; come on, give me a break.” I remember that couple, they shouted and screamed at each other so much. She said, “I’m leaving.” “No, you won’t. You’ve said that before, you will never go.” “Well, this time, I’m leaving.” And she shouted and left. She banged the door. Silence of the room was so heavy. As this man is still in the kitchen area, he began to realize “Hey, she left! She left! What am I going to do? I don’t know how to cook, I don’t know how to clean, I don’t know how to do anything, and I don’t know how to look after the children.” The reality of the absence of his wife kept crashing down. All the things that she meant to him kept flying back. He began to wipe and wipe. He fell on his knees, and then he began to scrape the floor with his chairs. He said “I don’t know what I’ve done; I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know.” His wife had the same feeling too. When she reached the corner, she also was flooded with memories of how they had shared great happiness and joy together. And so she turned the car round, then she reached the window, saw her husband on his knees, scraping the floor. Submission, submission, submission. When he looked up, his wife was right there, scraping the floor with him. Submission.
My questions to you are:
Do you have marriage troubles? If you do, it’s because you have a relationship problem with Jesus.
Do you love Jesus First?
Do you live for Jesus First?
Is your life submitted to Jesus first?
Is Jesus number one in your life?
If you get your relationship right with God, your relationship with your wife will be right. If you love your God more than anyone and anything in this world, you will love your wife; you will love your spouse better than ever before. The best thing you can do for your spouse is to love God with all your heart, mind, body, soul, and strength with everything that you are and have.
Our second division starts of the principle of love. Love is like a funeral. A funeral? Yes. Love is a call to die to oneself, a lifelong practice of giving, not only all you have, your 1,000,000,000 right? Not only are your 1,000,000,000, but to give all that you. Everything. That’s what love is about. It’s giving and giving and giving all the time.
But shall I not give only when I feel like it? Shall I not just love when the feeling is there? Then it’s easier, isn’t it? God didn’t say it’s about a feeling. Love is not a feeling. Because feelings are high, and they are low. But love as a decision and as a will, an act of will, is constant. God calls us to love the unlovely, to love the unlovable, to love the undeserving, to love the evil, the wicked, and the ones who persecuted us.
Many times we only love when we get benefit or blessing. It’s so much easier. “I like that person, I love that person. They make me feel good. They compliment me, they give me gifts. 1,000,000,000, yes! Big gifts.” Love is not about receiving. Love is about radical revolutionary giving. Giving and giving and giving.
Verse 25 says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”
How can I love like this? You're asking me to do the impossible. No one can love like that. That's just maybe fairy stories. That type of love cannot exist. And to some extent, you're right. Humanly, that type of love cannot exist. But the Bible tells us, the Holy Spirit pours and pours and pours the love of God (God's love) into our hearts until it's overflowing and overflowing and overflowing all around us (Romans 5:5). We can only love as the love of God is in us overflowing and pouring out.
So wives you might think submitting was difficult and it is, especially if your husband is not deserving of it. But your husband now has a high duty to love like Christ. He must give up his life, he must give up everything and he must wash you, he must clean you. Because it says here, Ephesians 5:27: “and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”
Husbands are to love their wives till they are so beautiful in God's sight. After all she is God's daughter. She is God's daughter. How are you going to treat God's daughter? Preciously? Right? You are going to treat her with love and tenderness and loving kindness. Because she is King's daughter, you'd better love her like Christ has loved us.
In Ephesians 5:28: “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” If you hurt your wife, you hurt yourself. If you disrespect your wife, you disrespect yourself. You are one now. Love your wife, love your wife, love your wife, and love your wife unconditionally. Accept her completely, every fault, every mood, every weakness, every goodness, everything about her. Accept with love.
You must love her; you must study her and know her intimately. You must take on a PhD in knowing your wife, a lifelong PhD to know your wife. You must know everything about her so that you can meet her needs, her wants, and her desires, and bring her to fullness of maturity in Christ and holiness through the word of God.
Ephesians 5:29: “This type of love is nourishing love and cherishing love, you feed her spiritually, you care her emotionally, you look after every area of her life.” If your wife is not radiant, it's your fault. Husbands, if your wife is not holy, it's your responsibility. You are a responsible man to make your wife spiritually healthy, spiritually vibrant, spiritually radiant. So you can present her beautifully like her father, the King, the king of Lord of Lord. How much is our love?
The next principle tells us: “The measure of our love for God is to love Him without measure.” Love God without measure Love your wife without measure, without condition.
OK, my questions for you then：
“Is your wife more like Christ because she is married to you?”
“Do you sanctify her? Do you have a sanctifying influence on her? Does she hunger for God more and more because of your influence of her life? Or does she feel your obstacle or burden?”
“And then how will you begin to nourish and cherish her to present her holy and blameless in the side of God?”
Next division, leaving. In verse Ephesians 5：31: “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”We leave the old relationships, we leave our parents. And for the man, we leave our girlfriends, or our first loves and become one with our wives. One wife, one man, one wife, one Lord, one faith, one heart, one vision. We become one. As the head, inseparable from the body, you are inseparable from each other. You will defend one another, you will stand for one another, and you will support one another. And husbands, you will be willing to love and die for your wife.
We must be one. We must be one because it says in the Ephesians 5:32: “This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church.” We have to be one for the sake of Christ. We have to be one for the sake of this world. Your relationship and your marriage is the love letter from God to this lost world. People are perishing, people are dying, people are crying out, people are disappearing because they don't know Jesus Christ. You can make a difference by making your marriage an imperfect reflection of Christ love for the church. As your marriage reflects Christ and his church, this lost world will see light and will see hope. A hope that never ends and a hope that is true and real and comes from God. Your marriage is the weakness, is the testimony, is the shout of God reaching out to a lost world: “My children, my sons, my daughters, I love you! Look at this marriage! The love they have for each other is the love I have for you! I love you sacrificially! I love you unconditionally! Come back to me! Come back to me! I love you! Lost world, hear my cry! Come back!”
The principle for the section here is “A couple's hearts must be so hidden in God that they have to seek God to find each other.” We want to be so close to God that it's only in God. We find that great joy and that great fulfillment. Marriage will be never for feeling if it's about us. Marriage is only for feeling as much as it's about growing and Christ likeness, and growing in closeness to God, our master.
Do you want your marriage to be a master piece? All you have to do is to follow the master and he will show you. The questions: “Does your marriage reflect the oneness and love Christ has for his church? What are you willing to change to deepen your oneness with Jesus?” That's real a key - an oneness with Jesus - will change your marriage into a master piece. And your wife will submit, she will say: “It's a joy to submit to this man.”
There is a story about the King. And he discovered that one of his wives of he is generous was betrayal. And the King Saras brought this woman into court to charge her and to persecute her to death. The General came in: “King Saras! King Saras! Let me die in her place! Let me die and let her go!” King Saras was so touched, he said: “Such love, let not death separate.” So, he released her. The General and his wife then left. The General then turned to his wife and said: “didn't you see how kind that the King was?" His wife said: “No! My eyes are only on the man who gave his life for me, his name is Jesus!” I pray that your eyes on the man who gave his life for you, Jesus. And did you know? You are his bride. I hope as we journey through this land, as we approach the wedding banquet in heaven, each one of you take seriously this call, to lead and submit, to love and then to leave everything behind, because Jesus is worth it all. Praise God, the God of blessing; Praise God, the God of life; Praise God, the God of light; Praise God, the God of love! In Jesus’ name!