Marriage: Pursuing Conformity to Christ in the Covenant

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By John Piper February 25, 2007


Ephesians 5:21-33

[Submit] to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Based on Grace

You cannot say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church. That’s what Noël said. One of the reasons she is right is that this makes clear that marriage is based on grace. Christ pursues his bride, the church, by grace, obtains her for his own by grace, sustains her by grace, and will perfect her for himself by grace. We deserve none of this. We deserve judgment. It is all by grace.

Grace: Treating People Better Than They Deserve

For two weeks, we have emphasized that this grace empowers husbands and wives to keep their covenant by means of forgiveness and forbearance. That emphasis is at the heart of what grace is: treating people better than they deserve. This is one of the central pieces of Christian ethics:

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. . . . Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:27-29, 35-36)

Those commands do not cease to be demands of Jesus when we get married. If we are to return good for evil in general, how much more in marriage.

Grace: Power to Stop Sinning

That’s what we have emphasized so far in saying that marriage is based on God’s grace toward us. But now I want to emphasize another truth about grace. It not only gives power to endure being sinned against, it also gives power to stop sinning.

In all our emphasis on forgiving and forbearing, you might get the impression that none of our sinful traits or our annoying idiosyncrasies ever changes—or ever should change. So all we can do is forgive and forbear. But what I want to try to show from Scripture today is that God gives grace not only to forgive and to forbear, but also to change, so that less forgiving and forbearing is needed. That too is a gift of grace. Grace is not just power to return good for evil; it is also the power to do less evil. Even power to be less bothersome. Grace makes you want to change for the glory of Christ and for the joy of your spouse. And grace is the power to do it.

The Gospel Way to Confrontation

But we have come at this, you might say, in a roundabout way. The emphasis on forgiveness and forbearance came first, because it’s the essential rock-solid foundation for change. In other words, rugged covenant commitment based on grace gives the security and hope where the call for change can be heard without it feeling like a threat. Only when a wife or husband feels that the other is totally committed—even if he or she doesn’t change—only then can the call for change feel like grace, rather than an ultimatum.

So today I am emphasizing that marriage should not be and, God willing, need not be static—no change, just endurance. Even that is better than divorce in God’s eyes, and has a glory of its own. But it is not the best picture of Christ and the church. Yes, the endurance tells the truth about Christ and the church. But the unwillingness to change does not.

Ephesians 5:25-27: Beyond Forgiveness and Forbearance

That brings us to our text: just three verses from Ephesians 5. Consider the implications of Ephesians 5:25-27 for marriage as “The Pursuit of Conformity to Christ in the Covenant.” Listen to how these verses take us beyond forgiveness and forbearance. Listen to the way husbands are to love their wives:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

Husbands Changing Wives

In Christ’s relationship to the church, he is clearly seeking the transformation of his bride into something morally and spiritually beautiful. And he is seeking it at the cost of his life. Let’s think for a moment about the implications of this passage on how a husband thinks and acts with a view to changing his wife. We will come to the wife’s desire to change her husband in a few minutes.

The first implication is that the husband, who loves like Christ, bears a unique responsibility for the moral and spiritual growth of his wife—which means that over time, God willing, there will be change.

Treading on Dangerous Ground

I realize that at this point—no matter how I come at this—I am treading on dangerous ground. I could be playing right into the hands of a selfish, small-minded, controlling husband who has no sense of the difference between enriching differences between him and his wife and moral and spiritual weaknesses or defects that should be changed. Such a man will likely distort what I am saying into a mandate to control every facet of his wife’s behavior, and the criterion of what he seeks to change will be his own selfish desires cloaked in spiritual language.

But an honest look at this text does not lead us there. It leads us to a very different attitude. Consider three observations:

1) The Husband Is Like Christ, Not Christ

The husband is like Christ, which means he is not Christ. Verse 23: “For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church.” The word as does not mean that the husband is like Christ in every way. The husband is finite in strength, not omnipotent like Christ. The husband is finite and fallible in wisdom, not all-wise like Christ. The husband is sinful, not perfect like Christ. Therefore, we husbands dare not assume we are infallible. We may err in what we would like to see changed in our wives. That’s the first observation.

2) Conformity to Christ, Not to the Husband

The aim of the godly husband’s desire for change in his wife is conformity to Christ, not conformity to himself. Notice the key words in verses 26 and 27. Verse 26: that he might “sanctify her.” Verse 27: that he might present the church to himself “in splendor.” Verse 27 again: that she might be “holy.” These words imply that our desires for our wives are measured by God’s standard of holiness, not our standard of mere personal preferences.

3) Dying for the Wife

The third observation is the most important: What Paul draws attention to most amazingly is that the way Christ pursues his bride’s transformation is by dying for her. Verse 25-26: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.” This is the most radical thing that has been or could ever be said to a husband about the way he leads his wife into conformity to Christ in the covenant of marriage. Husbands, are we pursuing her conformity to Christ by lording it over her, or by dying for her? When we lead her, or even, if necessary, confront her, are we self-exalting or self-denying? Is there contempt or compassion?

If a husband is loving and wise like Christ in all these ways, his desire for his wife’s change will feel, to a humble wife, like she is being served, not humiliated. Christ clearly desires for his bride to grow in holiness. But he died to bring it about. So, brothers, govern your desire for your wife’s change by the self-denying death of Christ. May God give us the humility and the courage to measure our methods by the sufferings of Christ. (See Titus 2:14; Revelation 19:7.)

Wives Changing Husbands

Now let’s turn to the wife’s desire for her husband’s change. This is not a message about what headship and submission are. But to make the points I am making I have to touch on what headship and submission are not. I have already said that a husband’s headship is not identical to Christ’s headship. It is like it. Similarly, therefore, the wife’s submission to the husband is not identical to her submission to Christ. It is like it. When verse 22 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord,” the word as does not mean that Christ and the husband are the same. Christ is supreme, the husband is not. Her allegiance is to Christ first, not first to her husband. The analogy only works if the woman submits to Christ absolutely, not to the husband absolutely. Then she will be in a position to submit to the husband without committing treason or idolatry.

One of the things this implies is that a wife will see the need for change in her husband. And she may and should seek the transformation of her husband, even while respecting him as her head—her leader, protector, and provider. There are several other reasons I say this.

1) Prayer: A Request for Change

One is the function of prayer in the relationship between Christ and his church. A wife relates to Christ the way the church should relate to Christ. The church prays to Christ—or to God the Father through Christ. When the church prays to her husband, she asks him to do things a certain way. If we are sick, we ask him for healing. If we are hungry, we ask for our daily bread. If we are lost, we ask for direction. And so on. Since we believe in the absolute sovereignty of Christ to govern all things, this means that we look at the present situation that he has ordained, and we ask him to change it.

I am only drawing out an analogy here, not an exact comparison. The church never “confronts” Jesus with his imperfection. He has no imperfections. But we do seek from him changes in the situation he has brought about. That is what petitionary prayer is. So wives, on this analogy, will ask their husbands that some things be changed in the way he is doing things.

2) All Husbands Need Change

But the main reason we can say that wives may and should seek their husbands’ transformation is that husbands are only similar to Christ in the relationship with their wives. We are not Christ. And one of the main differences is that we husbands need to change, and Christ doesn’t. We are like Christ in the relationship, but we are not Christ. Unlike Christ, we are sinful and finite and fallible. We need to change. That is clear and universal New Testament teaching. All men and women need to change.

3) Wives Are Loving Sisters in Christ

Another factor to take into account is that wives are not only wives, but in Christ, they are also loving sisters. There is a unique way for a submissive wife to be a caring sister toward her imperfect brother-husband. She will, for example, from time to time, follow Galatians 6:1 in his case: “If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” She will do that for him.

And not only Galatians 6:1, but other passages as well. For example, both of them—spiritual husband and spiritual wife—will obey Matthew 18:15 as necessary, and will do so with the unique demeanor called for by headship and submission: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”

The Danger of Nagging

All of this has to be balanced by the danger of nagging. It is a sad thing when a woman longs for her man to step up and take responsibility in leading the family spiritually and he won’t do it. We will talk more about that in the weeks to come. But the word nag exists in English to warn us that there is such a thing as excessive exhortation. The apostle Peter warns against this with strong words in 1 Peter 3:1. He says, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives.” This is talking mainly about an unbelieving husband, but the principle applies more widely.

I don’t think that means a wife cannot talk to her husband. But surely it does mean that there is a kind of speaking that is counterproductive. “Without a word” means don’t badger him. Don’t nag him. Be as wise as a serpent and as innocent as a dove: Discern whether any word would be heard. Mainly, Peter says to win him by your respectful and pure conduct (1 Peter 3:2).

Christ Died to Make Change Happen

Which brings us back to our text and what Paul said to husbands. Verses 25-26: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.” It isn’t only wives who seek to win their spouses by their behavior. This is the primary means by which Christ won the church. He died for her. So wives win their husbands mainly by their lives of sacrificial love, and husbands win their wives mainly by lives of sacrificial love.

Forgiving and Forbearing Do Bring About Change

Which means, when you stop and think about it, that everything I said about forgiving and forbearing in the previous two weeks turns out to be not merely a means of enduring what will not change, but a means of changing by means of sacrificial, loving endurance. Few things have a greater transforming impact on a husband or a wife than the longsuffering, forgiving sacrifices of love in the spouse. There is a place for confrontation. There is a place for pursuing conformity to Christ in the covenant of marriage. Life is not all forgiveness and forbearance. Real change can happen. Real change ought to happen. Christ died to make it happen. And he calls us, husbands and wives, to love like that.

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4 Responses to Marriage: Pursuing Conformity to Christ in the Covenant

  1. ....... says:

    Click the URL below to read this article in its original place
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    Marriage As It Was Meant to Be

    Ephesians 5:22-33, Luke 1:38, Genesis 2:24, Deut. 22:6

    John MacArthur

    Our entertainment-saturated society helps feed all sorts of illusions about reality. The fantasy of the perfect romantic and sexual relationship, the perfect lifestyle, and the perfect body all prove unattainable because the reality never lives up to the expectation.

    The worst fallout comes in the marriage relationship. When two people can’t live up to each other’s expectations, they’ll look for their fantasized satisfaction in the next relationship, the next experience, the next excitement. But that path leads only to self-destruction and emptiness.

    Marriage is the capstone of the family, the building block of human civilization. A society that does not honor and protect marriage undermines its very existence. Why? Because one of God’s designs for marriage is to show the next generation how a husband and wife demonstrate reciprocal, sacrificial love toward each other.

    But when husbands and wives forsake that love, their marriage fails to be what God intended. When marriage fails, the whole family falls apart; when the family fails, the whole society suffers. And stories of societal suffering fill the headlines every day.

    Now, more than ever before, is the time for Christians to declare and put on display what the Bible declares: God’s standard for marriage and the family is the only standard that can produce meaning, happiness, and fulfillment.

    Divine Directives for Wives

    One of the most explicit passages of Scripture that outlines God’s standard for marriage is Ephesians 5:22-33. Wives often bear the brunt of that section, but the majority of the passage deals with the husband’s attitude toward and responsibilities for his wife. Nonetheless, here’s the wife’s responsibility before the Lord:

    Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything (vv. 22-24).

    Submission in no way implies a difference in essence or worth; it does refer, however, to a willing submission of oneself. Wives, submission is to be your voluntary response to God’s will–it’s a willingness to give up your rights to other believers in general and ordained authority in particular, in this case your own husband.

    Husbands aren’t to treat their wives like slaves, barking commands at them; they are to treat their wives as equals, assuming their God-given responsibility of caring, protecting, and providing for them.

    Likewise wives fulfill their God-given responsibility when they submit willingly to their own husbands. That reflects not only the depth of intimacy and vitality in their relationship, but also the sense of ownership a wife has for her husband.

    Keep in mind that the wife’s submission requires intelligent participation: “Mere listless, thoughtless subjection is not desirable if ever possible. The quick wit, the clear moral discernment, the fine instincts of a wife make of her a counselor whose influence is invaluable and almost unbounded” (Charles R. Erdman, The Epistles of Paul to the Colossians and to Philemon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1966], 103).

    Elisabeth Elliot, writing on “The Essence of Femininity,” offers a fitting summary of God’s ideal for wives:

    Unlike Eve, whose response to God was calculating and self-serving, the virgin Mary’s answer holds no hesitation about risks or losses or the interruption of her own plans. It is an utter and unconditional self-giving: “I am the Lord’s servant … May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). This is what I understand to be the essence of femininity. It means surrender.

    Think of a bride. She surrenders her independence, her name, her destiny, her will, herself to the bridegroom in marriage … The gentle and quiet spirit of which Peter speaks, calling it “of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4), is the true femininity, which found its epitome in Mary (John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood [Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 1991], 398, 532, emphasis added).

    Divine Directives for Husbands

    After giving the divine guidelines for the wife’s submission, Paul devotes the next nine verses of Ephesians 5 to explain the husband’s duty to submit to his wife through his love for her: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church” (v. 25). The Lord’s pattern of love for His church is the husband’s pattern of love for his wife, and it is manifest in four ways.

    Sacrificial Love

    Christ loved the church by giving “Himself up for her.” The husband who loves his wife as Christ loves His church will give up everything he has for his wife, including his life if necessary.

    Most of you husbands would give verbal assent to that–literally dying for your wife is such a remote possibility for most of you. But I would speculate that it is much more difficult to make lesser, but actual sacrifices for her.

    Husbands, when you put aside your own likes, desires, opinions, preferences, and welfare to please your wife and meet her needs, then you are truly dying to self to live for your wife. And that is what Christ’s love demands.

    Purifying Love

    Christ loved the church sacrificially with this goal in mind:

    That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless (vv. 26-27).

    Love wants only the best for the one it loves, and it cannot bear for a loved one to be corrupted or misled by anything evil or harmful. If you really love your wife, you’ll do everything in your power to maintain her holiness, virtue, and purity every day you live.

    That obviously means doing nothing to defile her. Don’t expose her to or let her indulge in anything that would bring impurity into her life. Don’t tempt her to sin by, say, inducing an argument out of her on a subject you know is sensitive to her. Love always seeks to purify.

    Caring Love

    Another aspect of divine love is this:

    Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church (vv. 28-29).

    The word translated “cherishes” literally means “to warm with body heat”–it is used to describe a bird sitting on her nest (e.g., Deut. 22:6). Husbands, you are to provide a secure, warm, safe haven for your wife.

    When your wife needs strength, give her strength. When she needs encouragement, give it to her. Whatever she needs, you are obligated to supply as best you can. God chose you to provide for and protect her, to nourish and cherish her, and to do so “as Christ also does the church.”

    Unbreakable Love

    For a husband to love his wife as Christ loves His church he must love her with an unbreakable love. In this direct quotation from Genesis 2:24, Paul emphasizes the permanence as well as the unity of marriage: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh” (v. 31). And God’s standard for marriage still hasn’t changed.

    Husbands, your union with your wife is permanent. When you got married, you had to leave, cleave, and become one with your wife–never go back on that. Let your wife rest in the security of knowing that you belong to her, for life.

    Just as the body of Christ is indivisible, God’s ideal for marriage is that it be indivisible. As Christ is one with His church, you husbands are one with your wives.

    Paul goes on to say, “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church” (v. 32). Why is submission as well as sacrificial, purifying, and caring love so strongly emphasized in Scripture? Because the sacredness of the church is wed to the sacredness of marriage.

    Christian, your marriage is a testimony to the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church. Your marriage will either tell the truth about that relationship, or it will tell a lie.

    What is your marriage saying to the watching world? If you’ll walk in the power of the Spirit, yield to His Word, and be mutually submissive, you can know that God will bless you abundantly and glorify His Son through your marriage.

    Adapted from Different By Design by John MacArthur

  2. Dear ……,

    Thank you for this beautiful article that you shared with us. Indeed, as you see, all faithful preachers who submit to the sole authority of the Bible agree with each other on the biblical facts about marriage and about the husband and the wife. A wife should submit to her husband AS TO THE LORD, which means she won’t submit to him as a slave, but according to Grace, and she won’t follow his ungodly ways, because she submits to him IN THE LORD, and not against the Lord. And the husband also is commanded to love his wife in the SAME way the Lord loved His Church, i.e. with a sacrificial covenantal love that sacrifices himself rather than making his wife sacrifice for him against her will. We have seen all these details in the articles of John Piper and John MacArthur. As you can see, both faithful biblical preachers agree on the biblical facts.

    But the interesting thing here is that a person who opposes the biblical truth quoted for us a sermon from John MacArthur… Yes, I know that you are the same “unknown” who commented against the biblical truth on the article Heretical Marian worship… I know this, because I can see your ip address…

    Dear unknown, why are you afraid of the truth? Why do you oppose the biblical truth in a hypocrite way, working in darkness? Why are you even afraid to give yourself a nickname, and thus you come to us without face and without name?… Do you know who works in darkness? Let me show you:

    “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
    “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
    “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
    (John 3:19-21)

    Do you realize what you are doing?? You are doing like those wolves who enter among the sheep and make them think they are sheep, and their purpose is to teach wrong things about what God says and to deceive people from the inside!! Did you really think that the gift of discernment has disappeared from the Church and that the Lord would not show it to us how much you are being deceitful?

    Dear unknown, please understand that this only hurts you. When you can’t love, you hurt yourself. And if you really want to know what love is, you need to admit that you’re a lost sinner and to come to the feet of the cross, accepting the real Love that was revealed on that cross and denying the false worldly love that you have been taught.

    If indeed you think people like John MacArthur are dishonoring Mary, as you said in the other article, then why do you now quote him? Don’t you know that John MacArthur also says the following:

    Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: An Overview

    Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma, Pt. 1

    Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma, Pt. 2

    Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: What the Bible Says

    Dear unknown, as I love you with the love of Christ, so I advise you as a brother: be honest with yourself and with God, as God knows your heart and you can’t hide anything from Him. Submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t do the error of Saul by fighting against Him and against His Church. I assure you that you will only lose if you fight against the truth.

    We are the disciples of Jesus Christ and not of a mere human…

    Grace be with you!
    Disciple of Jesus Christ

  3. Thomas says:

    My Dear Brother,

    I must be honest and be truthful with you, I am little shocked with your above notes, I am certain you are asking why am I shocked, I will share my feelings with you as you shared yours with me, mine are little bit different.

    I posted John MacArthur’s sermon to second what you have said, to confirm and to show that not only John Piper sees the marriage the way he does but also J. MacArthur sees it the same way although was writing differently.

    I have read your notes 3 times as I am still trying to understand why you addressed it this way,why you came on me in a hursh way, I am your brother in Christ so I am not sure why you called me all these names,(deceitful, etc) and also you assumed that I am fighting the word of my savior Jesus Christ and I oppose the biblical truth in a hypocrite way, working in darkness!!!!!

    I will not say anything but I will stay calm, and be humble and not treat you the same way…but this was very hurtfull, again I must be honest with you and tell you this.

    My reply to you is (Luke 6:27-29, 35-36)- the same verses you quotes almost at the Beginning of the John Piper article…
    “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. . . .”

    You said;
    You are doing like those wolves who enter among the sheep and make them think they are sheep, and their purpose is to teach wrong things about what God says and to deceive people from the inside!!
    You also assumed that I am like those wolves etc…why do you say that ? do you know my heart?
    John 3:20-21
    20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

    21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God

    To go back to the previous article…I kindly kindly kindly ask you to read it again …I dont have it in the front of me now but If God helps me remember I said ….if you think that this way you are educating them in my opinion is not the right way…this is my opinion…I never said that they are correct and you are not…again I said this way will not show them the way, God’s Way. Maybe I said this will dishonor Mary yes but I never said that they should pray to Mary …dishonoring Mary was my opinion, it seems you dont like people when they dont disagree with you on an approach or opinion.
    Working in Darkness? I never do, I pray you trust me…and belive me that I dont…I never did the past and never will with God;s help ….what is the difference between an “unknown” or my name above “Thomas” etc…they are not real names anyway…so I could call myself unknow, I could call my self Thomas as well, I dont see an issue here…do you release your real name in here? maybe you do but I dont..again different opinion.

    Let us calm down, be humble and love the Lord Jesus.
    (Matthew 22:37) Jesus said: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

    Lastely, not only to this reply but also to be on this site…not because I dont agree with you just to avoid any conflict and just not to spend our enery (you and me) disagreeing on things….let us collect our energy and make it fruitful as the Lord Jesus Christ asked.
    My advise to you is to spread the word of God by encourage people to read the word of God…and I will assure you they will reliaze that praying (Mary) to other than our beloved God Jesus Christ is wrong.

    P.S.: Just so you dont say that you forced me to reply by uncovering me, IP Address does not mean anything…I log in through the satellite so I could log in from any country in this globe….as of now I am logged in from Japan if you must know.

    Brother…Peace and love of Jesus our savior (all of us) be with you now and forever

  4. Dear Thomas this time…

    Could you not choose a nickname from the beginning and thus be consistent in all your replies? Was it necessary that I find out through the ip address your inconsistency between your reply to the article Heretical Marian worship and this article?… What is the reason of your fear?…

    You say:

    My Dear Brother,

    How am I your brother??

    I must be honest and be truthful with you, I am little shocked with your above notes, I am certain you are asking why am I shocked, I will share my feelings with you as you shared yours with me, mine are little bit different.

    No, don’t be so certain, as I am not asking why you SAY you are shocked… I must note that it’s too late to make us believe that you are honest and truthful with us… And I know why you are shocked: because you don’t get how I could embarrass you by discovering your dirty agenda.

    I posted John MacArthur’s sermon to second what you have said, to confirm and to show that not only John Piper sees the marriage the way he does but also J. MacArthur sees it the same way although was writing differently.

    So? What’s wrong in this? Did I say that I didn’t like this back up from John MacArthur? You really don’t get it, do you? Let me quote again what I said:

    “Thank you for this beautiful article that you shared with us. Indeed, as you see, all faithful preachers who submit to the sole authority of the Bible agree with each other on the biblical facts about marriage and about the husband and the wife. A wife should submit to her husband AS TO THE LORD, which means she won’t submit to him as a slave, but according to Grace, and she won’t follow his ungodly ways, because she submits to him IN THE LORD, and not against the Lord. And the husband also is commanded to love his wife in the SAME way the Lord loved His Church, i.e. with a sacrificial covenantal love that sacrifices himself rather than making his wife sacrifice for him against her will. We have seen all these details in the articles of John Piper and John MacArthur. As you can see, both faithful biblical preachers agree on the biblical facts.”

    The problem was not in the quote from John MacArthur itself. As I said, all biblical preachers agree and accept the biblical truth about marriage, unlike the heretics whom you defended in the article about the heretical Marian worship and who teach very wrong things about marriage, even daring to forbid marriage!! The problem is not in the quote, but in the one who quoted it! You behave in a very hypocrite way when you quote a biblical preacher after you considered him and those who are like him as people who insult the blessed mother of our Lord. By doing this, you want us to count you as one of us, although you oppose the biblical teachings, and you want to use even the sermons of biblical teachers against the Bible. Beware, this is very bad! God warns you in His Word!

    So get it right: the problem is not in the quote, but in you who defend the heretical teachings and you do not want to submit to the biblical teachings that you quote in a hypocrite way.

    I have read your notes 3 times as I am still trying to understand why you addressed it this way,why you came on me in a hursh way,

    Because you’re hypocrite. That’s the way God’s Word addresses hypocrites:

    “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye shut up the kingdom of the heavens before men; for ye do not enter, nor do ye suffer those that are entering to go in.
    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye compass the sea and the dry [land] to make one proselyte, and when he is become [such], ye make him twofold more [the] son of hell than yourselves.
    Woe to you, blind guides, who say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor.
    Fools and blind, for which is greater, the gold, or the temple which sanctifies the gold?
    And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gift that is upon it is a debtor.
    [Fools and] blind ones, for which is greater, the gift, or the altar which sanctifies the gift?
    He therefore that swears by the altar swears by it and by all things that are upon it.
    And he that swears by the temple swears by it and by him that dwells in it.
    And he that swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him that sits upon it.
    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye pay tithes of mint and anise and cummin, and ye have left aside the weightier matters of the law, judgment and mercy and faith: these ye ought to have done and not have left those aside.
    Blind guides, who strain out the gnat, but drink down the camel.
    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within they are full of rapine and intemperance.
    Blind Pharisee, make clean first the inside of the cup and of the dish, that their outside also may become clean.
    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like whited sepulchres, which appear beautiful outwardly, but within are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.
    Thus also ye, outwardly ye appear righteous to men, but within are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
    Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets and adorn the tombs of the just,
    and ye say, If we had been in the days of our fathers we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
    So that ye bear witness of yourselves that ye are sons of those who slew the prophets:
    and ye, fill ye up the measure of your fathers.
    Serpents, offspring of vipers, how should ye escape the judgment of hell?”
    (Matthew 23:13-33)

    I am sorry for you that the judgment of God against sin hurts you… It seems that you like very much the sins that God hates…

    I am your brother in Christ

    Prove it! Leave your dead works and walk in righteousness! Stop defending the heretical teachings and the wrong ways of worship!

    Dear Judas (the nicknames are not important as you said…), stop assuming that the gift of discernment does not exist in the Church anymore! I can discern your heretical ways and your wrong teachings very easily. Don’t embarrass yourself by coming to us like a sheep! We know your ways! Don’t try to deceive us by trying to convince us that you’re our brother in Christ. You only deceive yourself.

    so I am not sure why you called me all these names,(deceitful, etc)

    You’re not sure, because you don’t have that blessed heart of holiness that can see any deceitfulness very easily. When a person lives in dirt, a little dirty spot will pass unnoticed for him! I am not surprised that you couldn’t notice how hypocrite it was to post something against those who consider the Marian worship as heretical and then to quote those same people as authoritative! You also couldn’t see how bad it was to try to deceive us that you’re a brother in Christ after you posted that attack against us in the article about the heretical Marian worship. Besides this, you didn’t want to use a nickname so that we could not follow you and find out your inconsistency. But thank the Lord that we found out that it’s the same person through your ip, and we made you admit this fact.

    and also you assumed that I am fighting the word of my savior Jesus Christ and I oppose the biblical truth in a hypocrite way, working in darkness!!!!!

    I didn’t assume; I saw. All readers can go to the article Heretical Marian worship and see how you (as “unknown”…) oppose God’s Word, and they can come back and see how you quoted here (as “……”) John MacArthur, a person with whom you disagreed in the article about the heretical Marian worship! That’s hypocrite. If you really disagree with the authority of John MacArthur (which is the Bible), then why do you quote him? To deceive us into thinking that you are one of us? That you’re a sheep and not a wolf? Don’t you know what the Word says:

    “But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?” (Psalm 50:16)

    What right have you to tell the Word of God, dear Nabal? (Once again, the nicknames are not important, as you said…) What right have you to take the Covenant of God in your mouth? Are you like Joseph (cf. Genesis 41:16)? Then why do you want to make us think you are Joseph?…

    I will not say anything but I will stay calm, and be humble and not treat you the same way…

    Here is one of the examples of hypocrisy, dear! A humble person does not boast of being humble like you do! You are now taking the “holier-than-thou” attitude that is a characteristic of a self-righteous.

    I advise you to really mean what you said and to stay calm, instead of defending false teachings like you did in the other article…

    By the way: if you won’t say anything and you wrote all this long reply full of attacks, then what would you do if you would say something?…

    but this was very hurtfull, again I must be honest with you and tell you this.

    I am sorry that you are hurt when someone tells you the truth. Wake up, please.

    My reply to you is (Luke 6:27-29, 35-36)

    And my reply to you is again what God tells you, dear Judas:

    “But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?” (Psalm 50:16)

    Don’t you know that Luke 6:27-29, 35-36 is against you? Can’t you realize this? Doing good to your enemies doesn’t mean to tell them lies as you do, but to tell them the truth of God’s Word.

    By the way: By quoting those passages from Luke, you admit that you’re an enemy of the Lord and that you oppose His Word… You want us to love you as an enemy… That’s right! We love you as an enemy, but we don’t love your sins and your false teachings.

    Don’t try to deceive me, dear: I know your father… he uses the same tactics:

    “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
    Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”
    (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)

    I know you, as I know your father!

    My reply to you is (Luke 6:27-29, 35-36)- the same verses you quotes almost at the Beginning of the John Piper article…
    “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. . . .”

    You don’t withhold your tunic?? Do you give your wife to your enemy? Answer this question, and I will explain to you what you don’t understand in these verses, dear Nabal…

    I hate hypocrisy! I told you: you don’t have the right to have God’s Word in your mouth! Do you realize what this means? God says you don’t have the right to use His Word, as you want to oppose His Word by using it!

    You also assumed that I am like those wolves etc…why do you say that ? do you know my heart?

    I know what you wrote! Here is what Jesus said, dear:

    “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:45)

    You spoke against the right worship in your reply to the article about the heretical Marian worship. So your heart is with those false worships. And here you spoke in a hypocrite way by using the teachings of a biblical teacher against the Bible. So your heart is deceitful and hypocrite. Don’t you know that the Lord told us to know the false prophets by their fruits?? So I know you very well! I don’t need to see your heart; I see what you teach and what you do.

    John 3:20-21
    20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

    21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God

    Off-topic. Once again you ignorantly quote a biblical passage just to impress people that you respect God’s Word. The passage that you quoted has nothing to do with what we are discussing. It is about the condemnation of the heart of the sinner to himself, and not about others calling sinners to repentance as I am doing with you.

    So before you quote a passage, make sure you remember what God said:

    “But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?” (Psalm 50:16)

    You don’t have the right!

    To go back to the previous article…I kindly kindly kindly ask you to read it again …I dont have it in the front of me now but If God helps me remember I said ….if you think that this way you are educating them in my opinion is not the right way…this is my opinion…I never said that they are correct and you are not…again I said this way will not show them the way, God’s Way.

    Then why did you quote John MacArthur who uses the same way? Why are you being hypocrite? Did Jesus show the Pharisees God’s love in Matthew 23:13-33? I want a clear answer from you. Don’t flee.

    By the way: you didn’t say that I am wrong??? Oh, dear! Why are you being so hypocrite? You clearly said: “you are insulting Mary.” I clearly showed you how telling the truth does not mean to insult Mary! On the contrary, those who wrote those things on their worship places are insulting Mary. You clearly took their side, and you defended their false teachings. Get out from among us, wolf! When you really repent from all those dead works, then you can enter!

    Maybe I said this will dishonor Mary yes but I never said that they should pray to Mary …dishonoring Mary was my opinion, it seems you dont like people when they dont disagree with you on an approach or opinion.

    Thank you for confessing that your personal opinion is against the teaching of the Bible about the blessed mother of our Lord. Go write this confession in a reply to the article Heretical Marian worship to show your regret for attacking us like that in that article. Anyways, I will put a link to this article in a reply to that article so that people may read how you finally admitted that your opinion that we were dishonoring the blessed mother of the Lord was wrong! You admitted that your opinion is against the teaching of the Bible.

    I don’t like it when people disagree with the Bible and they want to make their personal human opinions as authoritative. I hate this. I hate it when people like you oppose the truth of the Bible with their human opinions and then they even quote a biblical teacher like John MacArthur to make it seem like they agree with the biblical teachings! That’s hypocrite! And the thing that Jesus hated the most was the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.

    It is YOU who dishonor Mary when you defend those heretical teachings about Mary.

    Working in Darkness? I never do, I pray you trust me…

    I don’t trust you; I saw your lies!

    and belive me that I dont…I never did the past and never will with God;s help ….

    Reminder: you did it just yesterday! You tried to make us think you agree with God’s Word although you opposed it, as we have seen.

    what is the difference between an “unknown” or my name above “Thomas” etc…they are not real names anyway…

    The difference is as follows: If you used one nickname in the article about the heretical Marian worship and here, we would directly see your inconsistency. But you chose to work in darkness to make us think you’re a true brother in Christ. That’s hypocrite.

    so I could call myself unknow, I could call my self Thomas as well, I dont see an issue here…do you release your real name in here? maybe you do but I dont..again different opinion.

    You don’t get it, do you? Dear, did I need to find out through your ip that you are the same unknown who opposed the biblical teaching about the true worship? Couldn’t you be honest and tell us that you hate the biblical truth so much, without waiting for us to discover you?

    Let us calm down, be humble and love the Lord Jesus.

    Stop being proud, and stop boasting of being humble. This is a characteristic of the self-righteous.

    (Matthew 22:37) Jesus said: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

    Do you do this? Do you love the Lord from ALL your heart and soul and mind? Then why was your opinion in the other article against God’s Will in His Word??

    Please, stop embarrassing yourself…

    Lastely, not only to this reply but also to be on this site…not because I dont agree with you just to avoid any conflict and just not to spend our enery (you and me) disagreeing on things….let us collect our energy and make it fruitful as the Lord Jesus Christ asked.

    Show me where the Lord Jesus asked us to join a hypocrite like you in the work of the Lord? Show me… I am waiting…

    My advise to you is to spread the word of God by encourage people to read the word of God…

    Show me where we encourage people to read your or our human words instead of the Word of God? It is YOU who express your personal human opinions AGAINST the Word of God, so take your advice for yourself.

    and I will assure you they will reliaze that praying (Mary) to other than our beloved God Jesus Christ is wrong.

    Thanks for admitting that praying to any human, including Mary, is wrong. Don’t go now use another nickname to avoid admitting this in other replies…

    By the way, you could very simply post this in the other article… But you needed me to force you to admit this, it seems…

    P.S.: Just so you dont say that you forced me to reply by uncovering me, IP Address does not mean anything…I log in through the satellite so I could log in from any country in this globe….as of now I am logged in from Japan if you must know.

    As you can see, I could discover through your ip that you are the same person with the unknown of the article Heretical Marian worship. So no need to embarrass yourself. Don’t worry: I can know when you used your real ip and when you used another ip. Don’t try to choose this fleeing way.

    Brother…Peace and love of Jesus our savior (all of us) be with you now and forever

    Stop being hypocrite!

    I pray for all the brethren who are around you, so that they may not be deceived by your deceitful ways. It is really dangerous: the disciples couldn’t know who Judas was before he betrayed Jesus. But Jesus knew him from the beginning.

    N.B.: If Jesus didn’t save you yet, then He is not your personal Savior yet, but the wrath of God abides on you (cf. John 3:36). So don’t waste your life: accept the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior before it’s too late.

    All Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Grace be with you!
    Disciple of Jesus Christ

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