WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 8, 2013
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LOVE AND MARRIAGE
(GOD created man and woman to be in relationship with each other, and with HIM)
(Genesis 2:1-7, 18-25)
Back in Genesis chapter 1, verses 26-31 Moses tells us that GOD created mankind and “patterned him after HIMSELF, spiritually”. This means that HE gave only humans the capacity for “spiritual fellowship” with HIM, or, in other words, HE shared, only with the human side of HIS creation, “HIS nature”. In verse 27, the Hebrew word used for “image”, “tselem” (tseh-lem), means, “a representative figure”. And so here the word “image” is used “figuratively”, not literally, because JESUS tells us that GOD does not have a “physical” image, but rather, HE is spirit (John 4:24).
And so the phrase “made in GOD’s image” is speaking of a “spiritual image” that consists of the communicable spiritual attributes of GOD, which we know as, “GOD’s Nature”, or, “The Nature of GOD”. GOD’s Nature is what all men and women have in common. And when we are in touch with GOD’s Nature, we don’t get confused about what our roles are under GOD. We know that if we are born male, we are “a representative figure” of “manhood” under GOD, and if we are born a female, we are “a representative figure” of “womanhood” under GOD. When GOD uniquely breathed life into man, HE also imparted to us, the elements of HIS nature, which also allows us to have the capacity for spiritual fellowship with HIM, and to worship HIM as GOD.
These seven basic elements of GOD’s nature are;
· Life – Genesis 2:7a, John 1:4 & 14:6
· Personality – Genesis 2:7b, John 1:1b & 2
· Truth – John 14:6, Hosea 14:9b
· Wisdom – Proverbs 7
· Love – 1 John 4:8 & 16,
· Justice – Jeremiah 50:7b, Psalm 89:14a, Deuteronomy 16:18-20
· Holiness – Leviticus 11:44 & 19:2
With that being said, now let us look at the creation of man in more detail. In Genesis chapter 2, verse 1, the bible tells us that “the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was complete”. This means that GOD “totally finished” HIS work of creation and left nothing undone that HE would have to come back later on and finish, or change. And neither does HE need man to come along and try to change anything for HIM, or, for his own evil, pride-filled purposes.
And so we are to function as GOD originally purposed us to do, if we are to stay within HIS Will and HIS creation roles for us, which cannot, and will not change. HE does not have to change, because HE got it right on the first try. That’s why HE’s GOD, and we’re not.
Man is incapable of improving on GOD’s work, period. He cannot improve upon GOD in any way, not in nature, not in animals, not in insects, not in birds, not in human beings, human functions and creation roles, and certainly not in the way that the institution of marriage was originally set up. As mere humans, we don’t get to change the definitions that GOD has placed on morality, marriage, creation roles, etc.
Here in Genesis chapter 2, verses 8-17, Moses tells how GOD carefully shaped the “Garden of Eden” so that Adam and Eve (not Adam and Steve), whom HE created, would be able to use all of those “communicable attributes”, to make wise decisions based on obedience to HIM. They were not to use human ingenuity, sexual perversion, or any of the other things that evil minds concoct to do, through pride and self-worship, in order to do that which is pleasing in his own sight.
GOD left it to them to take care of their place of residence that HE had so generously provided for them here on earth, and, HE also left them with specific instructions as to how they should live under HIM. Those attributes that HE embodied in them were to also come in handy as they explored and discovered their love for the beauty of GOD’s creation, their delight in meaningful work, their moral responsibility, and even their passion for invention.
When GOD fashioned beautiful Eve from the rib of Adam (the world’s first surgery–v.21), it let man know that “he and woman” would always share a common identity in GOD, and “a distinct identity from each other” (separate and distinct creation roles). They would always be equals, sharing in GOD’s likeness, or, spiritual image, and, as husband and wife, they should always be distinct, and yet inseparable. They would always share an equal responsibility in caring for each other, and, for all of GOD’s creation.
And so we see that GOD made man for HIMSELF so that he would obey, serve and worship HIM, at all times. And then later, HE made woman, from man, for man, to be a companion who will help him at all times (v.18). They were also to come together to “reproduce life” through sexual intercourse (Genesis 1:28a), something that two men together, or two women together can’t possibly do. Homosexuality is against GOD’s nature (life), just like all other sexual sin, and is therefore, anti-CHRIST. It is anti-life and does not fit anyone’s creation role, and we as human beings, don’t get to change the definition of GOD’s intended creation roles for mankind.
The same GOD WHO says, Thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, etc., is the same GOD that says two men, or two women, shalt not commit sexual acts with each other, as they would with their GOD-appointed human counterpart (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13), nor shall a man even wear women’s clothes, nor, a woman wear men’s clothes (Deuteronomy 22:5).
Now, let’s talk about adultery for a moment, and we’ll start with “unequally yoked marriages”, since there seems to be much more of them in today’s society than those that are “biblically correct”. In an “unequally yoked” marriage, where either the male, or the female, may be an unbeliever, the Christian in the marriage, by way of their faith, pledges before GOD to abstain from “adultery”. Also, in marriages where only one spouse is a believer, that marriage is “joined in spiritual union with CHRIST”, because of that believer. In other words, the husband, or wife, and CHRIST become “one in spirit”, and it is still a marriage sanctioned under GOD. And so, in marriage, you are no longer viewed by GOD as being two, but rather, you and your spouse become one, with CHRIST. Now keep in mind that there is also a “spiritual link” involved in sexual intercourse, where the people, who choose to engage in it, become spiritually connected as one, whether they are married or not, because GOD made sexual intercourse, only for marriage (1 Corinthians 6:16).
When a married person has sexual intercourse, outside of marriage, they are not only spiritually joining themselves with that “outside” person, but they are also joining their spouse, who is one with them, to that outside person, and, in effect, pulling that spouse into that adulterous relationship with them.
However, the victimized party in the relationship must not get so angry that he or she forgets about the third member of our marital union, JESUS CHRIST. HE too has been pulled into our sinful act, spiritually, but I assure you that HE will not abandon the Christian side of that marital union for any reason.
CHRIST gave up the comforts of Heaven and came down to sacrifice HIMSELF for all of our sins, including our sexual sins, and we are forgiven for whatever we do, no matter what sin we committed, commit, or will commit, if we earnestly repent of our wrongdoing. HE bought us at a high price. And so, if HE can forgive us, and stay with us, why can’t we try and do the same for our spouse.
Christians are called to a high standard in married life, and, in the single life, and our bodies belong to CHRIST forever. For the human being, especially the Christian, to forgive has always been, “divine”. And if we are, in any sense, to be called “A follower of CHRIST”, then, we must indeed, follow HIS examples, forever incorporating them into our everyday lives, so that we may be a shining example to others, at all times.
We, as men and women, must never lose sight of the fact, that, our commonalities, the divisions and distinctions of our physical forms and human functions, our earthly roles, and, our spiritual responsibilities of fellowship with GOD, are all invaluable gifts and privileges, that should not be abused. These privileges have only been given to “humans”, as GOD’s special creation, so that we may have dominion over the works of HIS hands, here on earth, under GOD.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website