Program Air Date - 7-10-05



The inspired James wrote, "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." Oh, how important it is that we humble ourselves before God and this world - that we may be pleasing in His sight.

Thanks for joining us this morning for God's Living Word. Let me remind us again this day of the privilege we will have together to Praise our God in song, through prayer, as well as in the study of His Word. What a privilege it is to be a Child of the King!

So, as we begin our offering to God on this first day of the week, will you bow with me before His throne in prayer!


Think for a moment, "who is your best friend in the world? We all have great friends who stand out above all the rest. However, this morning we want to begin by singing a song that reminds us of our greatest friend of all - Jesus. So at this time let's join together in our first hymn of the day, it's name, "There's Not A Friend."

(SONG # 1)


As we have already introduced the idea of humility this morning, I would like to consider some further passages which demonstrate the true characteristic of humility.

The first passage we will read is found in Matthew 19:30, there Jesus said, "But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Consider this thought for a moment. How many of us like to be seen of others? How many of us like to be on top or to sit in the best place? The fact is, a true child of God is not interested in being first or in being on top, he/she is simply interested in putting God and others first.

To understand this idea even better, we will consider our third passage of the morning. In Philippians 2:8 we read, "And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross." Here we read that Jesus humbled Himself! But how far was He willing to go to show His humility? Even to death. We all know that Jesus left His home in heaven to come to the earth as a mere man. Furthermore, He lived, suffered and even endured temptation as He was on this earth. Then finally, He was willing to even go to the cross and bear the ultimate pain and anguish - so that you and I could have forgiveness of sins and be saved. Now that's true humility!

So I might ask you to consider at this time, just what type of humility you demonstrate in your daily life? Are you willing to humble yourself to the extent that Christ did? Are you willing to give of yourself fully, to God and others. So how about it, will you be first and thus last, or will you choose to be last and thus first?

As far as our topic of the day, this morning we will continue our series entitled, "Great Lessons From The Sermon On The Mount." Our specific lesson of the day will focus on the, "Sanctity Of Marriage!" So please stay with us and we will be lead in this study after our next song together.

To lead us in this study of the day, we are happy to once again have brother Ivie Powell with us. Brother Powell is the minister for the Curry Street Church of Christ in West Plains, MIssouri. We thank this good brother for being with us this day to lead us in the study of God's Precious Word. Now it's time to return to our songs of praise. So won't you join in our second song of the morning, the name of the hymn, "Savior From Old Galilee."

(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Ivie Powell

Thank you very much, brother Sullins. I appreciate very much the opportunity of being with you today. We would encourage all of you in the viewing audience to be with us this Lord's day in the West Plains area. The Bible study is at 9:30. The morning assembly at 10:30, and then we meet back again at 6:00 p.m. We also have mid-week Bible study at 7:00 p.m.

The lesson today is going to be a rather quick lesson because of the time element, so we would ask you to listen very carefully. Our subject has to do with the sanctity of the home. The home is very sacred. The home is being attacked as never before. All religious groups see this as a major, major problem. We would have you to know, ladies and gentlemen, that God saw from the beginning that it was not good for man to be alone, so He made for man a helpmeet. He. And when you go to Genesis 2:18 and look at verse 21-23, we find that God made man and woman to leave and to cleave, that is to leave their parents and to cleave to one another. Now, we would have you to understand that marriage is a life-long commitment. It involves one man, one woman, for life.

We turn to Matthew the 19th chapter. Observe carefully verse 4. "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning made them male and female."

Verse 6, "Therefor what God hath put together let not man put asunder."

Verse 9, "The Lord said, I say to you, who therefore shall put away his wife except it be for fornication and shall marry another, commits adultery and whosoever marries her which is put away doth commit adultery."

Now from these few verses, we are able to conclude: 1.) Marriage is sacred. It is from God. 2.) Man expects a man and a woman to cleave to one another. 3.) Marriage involves a man and a woman.

Now we are living in a day and time when people are trying to sanction same-sex marriages. Ladies and gentlemen, God does not accept same-sex marriages. God accepts only a marriage between a man and a woman.

In 1 Corinthians 7, verse 2, "Let every man have his own wife. Let every woman have her own husband." Now, we have far too many people that want someone else's husband or someone else's wife. Marriage involves a commitment until death do us part. There is the exception of Matthew 19:9. That is if one's mate is sexually unfaithful. They do not have to put away their mate. It would be far better if they could resolve their differences, but the innocent party can put away the mate. So there are only two scriptural ways to sever a marriage. Again, death. Number 2, sexual unfaithfulness.

Those who enter into a marriage that is not according to the teaching of the Bible, enter into a relationship that God does not accept at all. It would be an adulterous relationship.

I want you to notice also ladies and gentlemen that marriage involves deep, deep commitment. Selfishness is probably the number 1 problem with so many marriages today. Now, your marriage can really be great. Don't believe all of this hype that you read in magazines and hear on various programs that marriage is just down the tubes, that marriage is going to go out of existence. Marriage is always going to be here. There has to be something to marriage. Even folks who have been married and divorced in some cases three and four times continue to look for that perfect person. Now listen to me. There are no perfect husbands. There are no perfect wives. But God would have every husband and wife to be a faithful husband and a faithful wife. Your marriage can be great. Number 1, if you're willing to put your trust and commitment to Almighty God. If one is not willing to put God first in their life, then their marriage can not really be successful. We're to "seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and all of these things will be added unto you," Matthew 6 and verse 33.

When people come to me for counseling, I find so often is the case, they are not wanting typical advice. They are wanting agreement. Now friends, we need to understand that a husband and wife must be committed to God and they must be committed to one another. The marriage vows that people take are serious vows and they need to have a great determination, that is, that they are going to be faithful to God and to one another. Don't look outside your marriage for happiness. You look within your marriage. You have a strong, bulldog determination that you're not going to allow anyone or anything to come between you and your mate, that you're going to do whatever is necessary to preserve your marriage.

Now, as you look at your marriage right now, what do we see in the future? One year? Five years? Ten years down the road? Actually, what you're doing right now is going to determine the future. How committed are you to your mate? How committed are you to resolving all differences?

An area that many people find a lot of difficulty in is communication. Everyone communicates. It may not be the best way of communication, but they communicate. I suppose you could say that breaking dishes is communicating. But there is a proper communication. And then learning how to resolve differences. I would suggest to you that you write all of your complaints that you have regarding your mate. After you have listed all of these complaints, divide them into. After you divide them into, pick the top three or pick three categories that everything will fall into. You will find that that generally is the case that everything revolves around one, two or three areas. And then, have a strong determination of resolving it according to the teaching of the Lord. My friend, your marriage can be great if you love God, and if you love one another. After all, marriage should be people helping one another to go to Heaven.

I want you to think about the sacredness of marriage and your children, your children's concept of a happy marriage: Mama and Daddy. When they look at how you treat one another, you are teaching them this is the way you need to treat your mate when you get married. When they look at Mother and Dad and they view how they are treated, they are being taught this is the way you need to treat your children. My friends, the Bible is the "Divine, Inspired, All Authoritative Word of God," 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

The sacred book resolves or solves every problem. We can go and look at the problem of the home. There have always been problems in the home. Thus when we turn to the Word of God, note carefully Ephesians the 5th chapter. Look at verse 21-22. "Submit yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as unto the Lord." Then he says, "For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church and He is the Savior of the body." "Husbands," continuing in verse 25, "love your wife even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it." Now my friends, if every husband and every wife would love one another according to the teaching of our Lord, then all marital problems could quickly be resolved.

When you turn to the 4th chapter of the book of Ephesians, do not read these verses thinking it applies just to members of the church only. It also applies to the family relationship between you and your wife who are members of the body of Christ. Or if one is and one isn't, the principles certainly apply. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit whereby you have sealed into the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamor and evil teaching be put away from you with all malice." Now listen. "And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ's sake have forgiven you." Now surely every husband and wife realizes that those verses apply to them in the home. So your marriage can truly be great. Will there be differences? Yes, there will be differences. But learn as Paul said, "Do not let the sun go down upon your wrath." Learn to forgive one another and then put it aside. Do not put it back in a satchel, so to speak, when you get in a confrontation and then pull out those missiles and start launching them at one another. But be willing to say, "I'm sorry. I'm wrong. Forgive me. Let's work together."

Two questions I often ask people in counseling situations are the following: 1.) Do you study the Bible together? 2.) Do you pray together? I have found in so many, many cases people are not studying the Bible. They're not praying together. My friends, a home cannot be the home that God would have it when you remove God out of the home, when prayer is not part of their daily life, when the reading of the Word of God is only heard on Sunday morning.

And so marriage is sacred. Marriage is from God. Marriage involves a man and a woman who are committed to one another for an entire lifetime, that they're willing to work through the hard times and the good times. Marriage is for a man and a woman who want to help one another go to Heaven. Marriage is for a man and woman that want to bring up their children as Paul said in Ephesians 6 and verse 4, "in the nurturing and admonition of the Lord."

At the Curry Street congregation where I have the privilege to preach in West Plains, we have over 37 couples who have been married for 50 years or more. Isn't that wonderful? Now needless to say, they are not all perfect husbands and perfect wives, but they certainly are faithful husbands and faithful wives. They are a tremendous example for our young people and for all to see that people can truly love one another and work through their differences.

We find that far too many people today have the idea that if marriage doesn't work then I can just put this person aside and I can just marry someone else. Not so according to the teaching of our Lord. And we want to emphasize that marriage must be according to the teaching of the Word of God. We must not leave the impression with people that they can just marry and divorce at will. Now often times, people will ask me, "Well, what would you do if it were your son or your daughter?" Well I will tell you right now what I do. It makes no difference if they are my children, another relative, or a dear friend, I open up the sacred text and I either read Matthew 19:9 or I let them read it and then I will say to them, "This is what the Bible teaches." So when people come to me and they say, "Well, brother Powell, we believe that we have a scriptural divorce and a scriptural remarriage based upon Matthew 19:9," then I leave that between them and God. I don't try to snoop into their business. I'm not a policeman. But I do want to emphasize the sacredness of the marital institution and for people to love God and love one another and work through all of these great difficulties.

So my friends, I ask you again, where are you now in your marriage? What are you going to do this Lord's day? Are you going to bring your entire family to Bible study and worship where the Lord's people meet? Those of you that are in the West Plains area today, if you're members of the body of Christ or if you aren't, we invite you to be with us. Why not determine right now to get ready and to come to Bible study and start bringing your family up according to the teaching of the Word of God? You can not solved your problem my friend away from God and His Divine Word. Yes, marriage is sacred. May we love God and do His Will. Thank you very much.

(SONG # 3 - "A Wonderful Savior!")


What a blessing it has been to join together in the things of God this morning. Thank you for doing your part in making all these things to be according to His Will. As always, we invite you back every Lord's Day morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God!

But for now, let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson? Maybe, you would like a free transcript or a cassette tape of this program? Possibly, we could assist you with free Bible materials or correspondence courses? No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

The Living Word 2540 N. Kansas Expressway Springfield, Mo. 65803

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Or if you prefer, you may call us at: (417)869-2284

Praise be to God for instituting marriage according to His divine will. And may we all strive more to respect the sanctity of marriage and realize the seriousness of such a commitment before God!

(Program closing)