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← Tim Conway Preaching on the Love of Christ at a Wedding

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Showing Revision 3 created 09/19/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. Before we get these two married,
  2. they asked me to say a word to you first.
  3. So what I would like to do is
  4. first, read to you from the Word of God.
  5. Now I have to caution you,
  6. I have done some weddings just recently
  7. where just simply reading this verse that
  8. I'm going to read to you,
  9. from God's Word,
  10. caused people to be angry.
  11. You say, oh, what does it have to do with
  12. that it makes people angry?
  13. It has to do with a woman's reponsibility to her husband
  14. and the husband's responsibility to his wife.
  15. That's all it is.
  16. It's a text from the Bible that is very suitable for
  17. just such an occasion as this.
  18. What could it possibly say
  19. that would cause people to get so riled up
  20. and so offended and so bent out of shape at weddings.
  21. What could we read from the Word of God?
  22. I'm going to read from Ephesians 5:22 and following.
  23. And I caution you already,
  24. this is God's Word.
  25. What I tell you is on the authority of God Almighty Himself.
  26. I'm not making this up.
  27. I want you to know that.
  28. "Wives, submit to your own husbands,
  29. as to the Lord.
  30. For the husband is the head of the wife,
  31. even as Christ is the head of the church,
  32. His body, and is Himself its Savior.
  33. Now, as the church submits to Christ,
  34. so also wives should submit in everything
  35. to their husbands.
  36. Husbands, love your wives
  37. as Christ loved the church
  38. and gave Himself up for her
  39. that He might sanctify her,
  40. having cleansed her by the washing of water
  41. with the Word.
  42. So that He might present the church to Himself
  43. in splendor, without spot or wrinkle
  44. or any such thing that she might be holy
  45. and without blemish."
  46. Now yes, women, if you're married,
  47. by the authority of God, you are called
  48. to submit to your husband.
  49. You are called to submit to your husband even
  50. as the church has been called to submit to Christ Himself.
  51. Now let's look on the other side of this thing.
  52. Husbands are to love as Christ loved the church.
  53. In other words, if we're looking for a pattern
  54. on how to treat our wives,
  55. how to live with our wives,
  56. how to dwell with our wives,
  57. how to love our wives,
  58. what God wants us to know is
  59. Christ Himself is the pattern.
  60. He is the standard.
  61. His love for a spouse is the mark.
  62. There's no greater expression of love
  63. than the way Christ loves His bride, the church.
  64. Now men, we should stand in awe of that.
  65. Here's the standard.
  66. Now let me tell you this,
  67. the apostle tells us in one place
  68. that the love of Christ surpasses knowledge.
  69. Ok, I have some knowledge. You have some knowledge.
  70. But the apostle says that the love that Christ has
  71. for His church, it surpasses knowledge.
  72. So, if I were going to try to explain that love to you
  73. in perfection today, the apostle is telling me I can't do it.
  74. Because it goes beyond my knowledge.
  75. So what I'm about to try to do
  76. is literally impossible.
  77. In the fullness of it, it's impossible.
  78. For me to try to describe to you what that love is
  79. that Christ has for His church,
  80. that love that is now a pattern
  81. for this man as he marries this woman
  82. and for every other man here that's married.
  83. To try to describe that is simply,
  84. by the testimony of the Word of God itself,
  85. is an impossibility.
  86. But I just want to try to give you a glimpse.
  87. By way of trying to help you realize something
  88. about the love that Christ has for His church.
  89. Now church isn't a building.
  90. Some people look at this and they say,
  91. "Well, this is the church."
  92. That's not the church.
  93. The church is God's people.
  94. The church are those that He purchased with his blood,
  95. that He gave Himself up for.
  96. And here, I want to try to describe this love to you
  97. just a little bit.
  98. Let me give you an example.
  99. Let's suppose all of a sudden,
  100. all of us see at this wedding...
  101. We look over here, and the wedding's over,
  102. we all come over to where the reception's
  103. going to be held.
  104. And suddenly we see a man standing over there.
  105. He is the most handsome man that you have
  106. ever laid eyes on in your life.
  107. Now, here, I'm trying to describe to you Christ's love.
  108. The first thing I want to tell you about it is it's unselfish.
  109. Let me tell you something about this.
  110. Let's suppose we see a man over here in the reception,
  111. I mean this guy is handsome.
  112. To you ladies, he's this drop dead gorgeous guy.
  113. We see him over there.
  114. I mean, you have never seen a guy
  115. that looks this handsome. Ever.
  116. He may the most handsome guy on the
  117. face of the earth.
  118. And you see him and you begin to talk to him,
  119. and he tells you that he's here with his fiance.
  120. But he's not with her right now.
  121. Where is she? Maybe she's inside, she's doing something.
  122. The ladies' room? You don't see her.
  123. And what are you imagining?
  124. You're imagining, no doubt, a beautiful woman
  125. is going to walk out of this place,
  126. a woman whose beauty is going to be
  127. comparable to his.
  128. But all of a sudden, what happens?
  129. This bent, broken, diseased, ugly woman
  130. with sores all over her, I mean just hideous.
  131. She comes out and his face lights up
  132. and he looks at her and you can see it in his eyes.
  133. He loves her.
  134. And you look and you can barely hold down your food
  135. she is so grotesque and disgusting to even lay your eyes on.
  136. Folks, I am trying to come somewhat close
  137. to the love that Christ has for His church.
  138. Listen, His love is unselfish.
  139. In other words, He does not take a bride
  140. for anything that He sees in her.
  141. Folks, I am describing to you what a sinner looks like.
  142. The fact is that those Christ sets His love on
  143. are diseased inside.
  144. There is filth, and there is sin,
  145. and there is decay, and there is death.
  146. Christ, when He sets His love on His church,
  147. He doesn't set His love there for what He can get.
  148. And let me tell you, that is a love that is not like our love.
  149. Because even the most righteous man
  150. sets his love on a woman and marries a woman
  151. for something that he sees in her.
  152. But with Christ,
  153. He has an unselfish love.
  154. Christ has chosen to come to this earth
  155. and to save sinners.
  156. That is His church.
  157. Saved sinners.
  158. What love is this?
  159. It is a love that doesn't have an equal.
  160. It is love that surpasses knowledge.
  161. Look, He does not set His love on people
  162. because of beauty He sees in them.
  163. In setting His love upon people,
  164. He has determined by that love
  165. to make them beautiful.
  166. To make what is ugly beautiful.
  167. Is that not what we read?
  168. He takes an ugly bride.
  169. I'm not saying that about Priscilla.
  170. What I am saying, is that's what's true of the love of Christ.
  171. What I'm saying is, it's easier - far, far, far easier,
  172. for Andre to love Priscilla,
  173. than for Christ to love me.
  174. And what He saw in me, when He saved me.
  175. And when Christ takes an ugly bride, like me,
  176. it's in order to beautify that bride.
  177. Because He says it's in order to cleanse her
  178. by the washing of water with the Word
  179. so that He might present the church to Himself
  180. in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
  181. that she might be holy and without blemish.
  182. Christ loves to impart His loveliness to the object of His love.
  183. Look, to be loved by anybody is a joy, right?
  184. I mean in this world, in this life,
  185. one of the most precious things we have
  186. is to be loved by somebody.
  187. When you find people who are loved by nobody,
  188. they're miserable people.
  189. To be loved by anybody is a precious thing.
  190. But the fact that infinite God would love sinners,
  191. that God the Son would choose to lay His affections -
  192. and look, if I told you that Christ came along and
  193. pitied wretched sinners, we could say,
  194. "Well, we understand that."
  195. But if I told you that He showed mercy to sinners,
  196. well, that's another thing.
  197. But when I tell you that Christ Himself came
  198. to delight in, to actually set His most, His deepest,
  199. His profoundest affection and love on those who are wretched...
  200. Folks, if you're here today,
  201. and you don't know this love
  202. I feel sorry that you don't know this love.
  203. Truly sorry.
  204. If you could but imagine the sweetness of that love.
  205. And I just want to say one thing in ending here,
  206. how much did He love her?
  207. Yes, it was unselfish love, but let me show you
  208. to what extents he went to love her.
  209. I don't doubt that Andre hasn't made sacrifices for Priscilla already.
  210. And God will call him to make many others,
  211. but what is it that Christ sacrificed?
  212. If we can say another thing about His love for His church,
  213. it's sacrificial.
  214. What did He do?
  215. He gave Himself up.
  216. Folks, if you've ever thought of the love
  217. Christ has for His church as cheap
  218. or if it's a light thing, you need to consider this:
  219. When it says He gave Himself...
  220. it means that in order to purchase His bride,
  221. He had to walk through
  222. the most unimaginable horrors.
  223. The night before Jesus Christ went to the cross,
  224. He recoiled in horror so much so
  225. that He sweat great drops of blood.
  226. He said, "Father, if it's possible, take this cup away from Me.
  227. If there's any way else to purchase this bride."
  228. And His Father said there is no other way.
  229. There is no other way to purchase that bride.
  230. There is no other way to show the extent
  231. of the love that I have for My people
  232. but to endure what You must endure.
  233. And what did He endure?
  234. He gave Himself up.
  235. He gave Himself to the very wrath of God.
  236. He gave Himself to suffer what sin demanded.
  237. And He paid it to the fullest.
  238. He drank that cup of wrath empty.
  239. Folks, that is love.
  240. Sacrifice, unselfish.
  241. Why?
  242. To purchase that bride and to purify her.
  243. To make her like Him.
  244. And to take her where He is.
  245. He came from glory to get His bride.
  246. Whom did He come to seek?
  247. He came to seek and save sinners.
  248. And to take them to Himself.
  249. And take them back to glory with Him.
  250. That is love.
  251. And there is no other love like it in this world.
  252. What a standard!
  253. What a standard!
  254. We just stand in awe of it.
  255. We just stand in awe.
  256. And God gave us human marriage as a little picture
  257. of that great relationship that He, the King,
  258. the Great Husband, has for His bride, the church.
  259. Folks, that is Gospel. That is good news.
  260. That is glorious!
  261. That is the best message for sinners
  262. on the face of this earth.
  263. And in it we see the picture of marriage.
  264. Which is where we want these two to be very quickly.