Mat 5:31-32; You Are What You Promise.

Class Outline:

Wednesday June 26, 2024

MAT 5:31-32


Marriage is a gift from God so that man could experience covenant love.


GEN 2:24-25

“Joined” is a Hebrew word that literally means to be glued to something. Elsewhere it means to unite to someone in a covenant, a binding promise, or an oath (DEU 10:20).


Marriage is the strongest covenant between people because it is made both horizontally (to one another) and vertically (to God). To break this covenant is to break it with your spouse and with God.


As usual, Christ is digging deeper. He is taking us on another journey to the heart and spirit of God that lay at the root of marriage. Love cannot exist without a covenant - a promise. You are what you promise.


Having new, cleansed hearts, we can live the fulfilled law.


MAR 10:1-12


By cleansing our hearts from sin (circumcision of the heart, COL 2:11) the Lord has enabled us in a supernatural manner (must not neglect the work of the indwelling Spirit) to fulfill such commitments.


In marriage, the commitment is covenantal, but it is more than a business contract. It is a covenant of love, but romantic or not, this love is of the divine that seeks to give to the other.


HEB 9:14

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?


HEB 10:22-24

let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds


A covenant relationship is a stunning blend of law and love.


A covenant relationship is a contract, but not like a business arrangement. And as a contract, it is far more durable, binding, and unconditional than a relationship based on feeling and affection.


Biblically, love can only exist in the framework of binding obligation. A claim to love, which leaves when the next best thing comes along, is not love by God’s standard.


SOS 8:6-7

 "Put me like a seal over your heart,

Like a seal on your arm.

For love is as strong as death,

Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;

Its flashes are flashes of fire,

The very flame of the Lord.

7 "Many waters cannot quench love,

Nor will rivers overflow it;


Covenant vows are not a declaration of present love as much as they are a mutually binding promise of future love.


MAT 19:3-9


If they leave you, however, then you are not instructed to force them to stay.


1CO 7:15 

Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.


One of the bases for our identity is our promises.


Lewis Smedes writes in an article he named “Controlling the Unpredictable - The Power of Promising.” He makes an excellent case for the basis of our identity in the power of our promising:


“Some people ask who they are and expect their feelings to tell them. But feelings are flickering flames that fade after every fitful stimulus. Some people ask who they are and expect their achievements to tell them. But the things we accomplish always leave a core of character unrevealed. Some people ask who they are and expect visions of their ideal self to tell them. But our visions can only tell us what we want to be, not who we are.”


Promises give us a stable identity.


Without promises, without covenant love, we are condemned to wander aimlessly in a consumer world, using up the current thing and then searching for the next. We condemn ourselves to the darkness of a lonely heart.


EXO 3:13-14

 'What is His name?' What shall I say to them?" 14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"


Eheyeh asher eheyeh = I am what I am. I will be who I will be.

Or: I will be there howsoever I will be there” a closeness of God in proximity of time and space.


A God of history, present, with Moses in the desert and in Egypt and everywhere, and everywhere with you. The pagan gods of Egypt, nor anywhere else, are never like this.


And like all 6 of the Lord’s references from the Law that He is teaching in this section, the covenant of marriage gets to the spirit of the law of love. What God does for us in Christ Jesus, He expects that, with clean hearts and the Holy Spirit, that we will do so for others.