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VALIANT FOR THE TRUTH

 

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MUTUAL DUTIES OF HUSBANDS AND WIVES TOWARDS EACH OTHER

By Richard Baxter, 1615-1691

Bible Study to accompany Baxter's Treatise

SELFISHNESS PREDOMINANT:

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

ALSO Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

My Summary of what follows by Matthew Henry on this verse:

1) Jesus is teaching not simply what we must know but what we must do. Not only in obedience to God but also to all men.

2) There are but two ways right and wrong.

3) After once entering through Jesus Christ we now have a life to live and a walk to walk. We must walk in the Way which is Christ. Self must be denied, we are to be crucified with Christ, mortifying the deeds of the body through the Spirit. Jesus Christ is the door and Jesus Christ is the Way and holiness is his way.

4) the real disciple of Christ will be distinguishable from mere men. There will be distinguishing traits. Devotion and separation to God will be his hearts desire and way of life. Though there are many who do and who always have tried to explain this great truth away.

Matthew Henry on Matthew 7:12:

Mat 7:12-14 Christ came to teach us, not only what we are to know and believe, but what we are to do; not only toward God, but toward men; not only toward those of our party and persuasion, but toward men in general, all with whom we have to do. We must do that to our neighbour which we ourselves acknowledge to be fit and reasonable. We must, in our dealings with men, suppose ourselves in the same case and circumstances with those we have to do with, and act accordingly. There are but two ways right and wrong, good and evil; the way to heaven and the way to hell; in the one or other of these all are walking: there is no middle place hereafter, no middle way now. All the children of men are saints or sinners, godly or ungodly. See concerning the way of sin and sinners, that the gate is wide, and stands open. You may go in at this gate with all your lusts about you; it gives no check to appetites or passions. It is a broad way; there are many paths in it; there is choice of sinful ways. There is a large company in this way. But what profit is there in being willing to go to hell with others, because they will not go to heaven with us? The way to eternal life is narrow. We are not in heaven as soon as we are got through the strait gate. Self must be denied, the body kept under, and corruptions mortified. Daily temptations must be resisted; duties must be done. We must watch in all things, and walk with care; and we must go through much tribulation. And yet this way should invite us all; it leads to life: to present comfort in the favour of God, which is the life of the soul; to eternal bliss, the hope of which at the end of our way, should make all the difficulties of the road easy to us. This plain declaration of Christ has been disregarded by many who have taken pains to explain it away; but in all ages the real disciple of Christ has been looked on as a singular, unfashionable character; and all that have sided with the greater number, have gone on in the broad road to destruction. If we would serve God, we must be firm in our religion. Can we often hear of the strait gate and the narrow way, and how few there are that find it, without being in pain for ourselves, or considering whether we are entered on the narrow way, and what progress we are making in it?

Read Luke 6:27-36

Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend [to them] of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

Matthew Henry:

My Summary 1) We must be grounded in the faith of Christ's love. This is the only way. Hard lessons that are against our own self (flesh) are made easy and gentle when we have been washed in his blood and know the grace that abounds to us individually. We have become new creations in Christ Jesus.

Luke 6:27-36 These are hard lessons to flesh and blood. But if we are thoroughly grounded in the faith of Christ's love, this will make his commands easy to us. Every one that comes to him for washing in his blood, and knows the greatness of the mercy and the love there is in him, can say, in truth and sincerity, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Let us then aim to be merciful, even according to the mercy of our heavenly Father to us.

 

I Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's [wealth].

Wealth - being generally speaking his welfare, well being, external happiness. Also note it is not actually part of the original Greek but supplied by the translators that the meaning of the verse would come out in our English.

Hodge: Self in other words is not to be the object of our actions.

Henry: In eating and drinking we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouring him. This is the great end of religion...A holy peaceable and benevolent spirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.

Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Matthew Henry:

Phil 2:1-4 Here are further exhortations to Christian duties; to like-mindedness and lowly-mindedness, according to the example of the Lord Jesus. Kindness is the law of Christ's kingdom, the lesson of his school, the livery of his family. Several motives to brotherly love are mentioned. If you expect or experience the benefit of God's compassions to yourselves, be compassionate one to another. It is the joy of ministers to see people like-minded. Christ came to humble us, let there not be among us a spirit of pride. We must be severe upon our own faults, and quick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favourable allowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but not be busy-bodies in other men's matters. Neither inward nor outward peace can be enjoyed, without lowliness of mind.

ALL SEEK THEIR OWN:

Philippians 2:20 For I have no man like-minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

II Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit?

I John 3:17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

Selfishness is exemplified in:

CAIN - Gen 4.9

NABAL - 1sam 25:3-11

HAMAN - Est 6:6

PRIESTS - Isa 56:11

MULTITUDE - Joh 6:26

THE FIRST DUTY:

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Geneva Bible Notes on Eph 5:26-------

5:26 {13} That he might {m} sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the {n} word,

(13) Because many men pretend the infirmities of their wives to excuse their own hardness and cruelty, the apostle wishes us to mark what manner of Church Christ received, when he joined it to himself, and how he does not reject her for all her filth, and uncleanness, but ceases not to wipe it away with his cleanness, until he wholly purifies it.

(m) Make it holy.

(n) Through the promise of free justification and sanctification in Christ, received by faith.

Ephesians 5:28-29 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: Matthew 19:4-6 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Hodge On V. 31: That is, because the relation between husband and wife is more intimate that any other, even than that between parents and children, therefore a man shall consider all other relations subordinate to that which he sustains to his wife, with whom he is connected in the bonds of a common life.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

Matthew Henry Eph 5:22-33:

The duty of wives is, submission to their husbands in the

Lord, which includes honouring and obeying them, from a principle of love to them. The duty of husbands is to love their wives. The love of Christ to the church is an example, which is sincere, pure, and constant, notwithstanding her failures. Christ gave himself for the church, that he might sanctify it in this world, and glorify it in the next, that he might bestow on all his members a principle of holiness, and deliver them from the guilt, the pollution, and the dominion of sin, by those influences of the Holy Spirit, of which baptismal water was the outward sign. The church and believers will not be without spot or wrinkle till they come to glory. But those only who are sanctified now, shall be glorified hereafter. The words of Adam, mentioned by the apostle, are spoken literally of marriage; but they have also a hidden sense in them, relating to the union between Christ and his church. It was a kind of type, as having resemblance. There will be failures and defects on both sides, in the present state of human nature, yet this does not alter the relation. All the duties of marriage are included in unity and love. And while we adore and rejoice in the condescending love of Christ, let husbands and wives learn hence their duties to each other. Thus the worst evils would be prevented, and many painful effects would be avoided.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew Henry:

God caused deep sleep to fall on Adam; while he knows no sin, God will take care that he shall feel no pain. God, as her Father, brought the woman to the man, as his second self, and a help

meet for him. That wife, who is of God's making by special

grace, and of God's bringing by special providence, is likely to prove a help meet for a man. See what need there is, both of prudence and prayer in the choice of this relation, which is so near and so lasting. That had need to be well done, which is to be done for life.

 

DIRECTIONS FOR MAINTAING LOVE IN YOUR MARRIAGE AND TO MEET YOUR FIRST DUTY:

1. Choose a good spouse

Proverbs 18:22 [Whoso] findeth a wife findeth a good [thing], and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

Proverbs 19:13-14 A foolish son [is] the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife [are] a continual dropping. House and riches [are] the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife [is] from the LORD.

2. Don't marry until you are ready to love entirely.

3. Find out before marriage the imperfections of your future spouse.

Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.

4. Justice demands that you love your spouse, who has left all for you.

Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.

I Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

5. Women expect much love.

6. You are under God's command to love your wives. Eph 5.25, Col 3.19.

Obedience should command your love. This is a special duty of the husband to love his wife. as the head of his house and spiritually responsible before God how much greater his duty. But does this free the wife? By no means--she also must love her husband--this is her duty before God as well. We can certainly and firstly pleas God in our marriages. This is really the first place we can examine ourselves and attend to our duty.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

EVEN AS: We must BEGIN with our Lord Jesus Christ, we must CONTINUE with our Lord Jesus Christ and we must END with our Lord Jesus Christ.

We must start here with Jesus. If ever we are to improve our marriages we must come to Jesus Christ. If we are to fulfill our mutual duties as husbands and wives before our Loving and HOLY God we must first begin with a right relationship with Jesus Christ our God and our saviour. If we are not right with Jesus we will be wrong with all else. All is amiss when we are amiss with the Lord. Come unto Jesus the creator of all things --- without whom nothing was made that was made, by whom all things consist. Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the word, was with God, and was GOD? That he became flesh and dwelt among us, born of the virgin Mary? That he grew in favour and stature with God and men? Doing many wonderful miracles, raising the dead, giving sight to the blind, the dumb speaking, and the deaf hearing, and many that were bound by demons freed, preaching glad tidings. That Jesus is the Christ? That in him is life and that he came to give life? Do you believe that Jesus died on the cross at calvary pouring out his own blood there? And that through faith in him we may have forgiveness and cleansing of sin as he washes us in his own blood? That Jesus after dying on the cross was three days in the tomb but on the third day he arose bodily even before the rock was rolled away so that all could see that he was not there that HE WAS RISEN? And that after he was here 40 days he then ascended to the Father and asked of Him to send another comforter like unto himself, the HOLY GHOST? That we are not left as orphans in this world but now as his little children having the promise of the Spirit might live in righteousness and true holiness? Being made to sit in the heavenlies with Christ Jesus, having all spiritual blessings, having all things pertaining to life and godliness and a bible of great and precious promises given to us by God that we might be partakers of the divine nature? Do you believe that God who spared not his own son, will he not with him also give us all things? YES, you say "I believe this". Then know that your are then dead with Jesus Christ and raised to walk in newness of life. And that you being dead are freed from sin. So therefore, Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God. Yield yourselves as servants of righteousness unto the Lord our God. And look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our Faith. And now look unto Jesus our Great God and Saviour and see the example we are to live and the mutual duty we owe to our spouses in obedience to God. EVEN AS Christ loved the church ---- Husbands love your wives:

1) The Christian must settle for nothing less than Jesus Christ as his great standard. Be followers of him. Under no circumstance should you be content until you reflect the grace which was in him.

2) How greatly did Christ love the church. As Spurgeon wrote, "The elect church is the favorite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of his head, the bracelet of his arm, the breastplate of his heart, the very centre and core of his love. A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves his church.

3) A husband should love his wife always for nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus Our Lord."

4) Admire the Love of Christ, Wonder at it and then believer in the most high God, Jehovah, King of Glory, Lord strong and mighty whose banner of us is love, IMITITATE HIS LOVE AND ESPECIALLY IN YOUR MARRIAGE YOUR RELATIONSHIP FOR THE COMMAND IS STRONG: HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES EVEN AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH.

From Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon:

March 20 Evening

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church."

--Ephesians 5:25

What a golden example Christ gives to his disciples! Few masters could venture to say, "If you would practice my teaching, imitate my life;" but as the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, he can point to himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it. The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace which was in him. As a husband, the Christian is to look upon the portrait of Christ Jesus, and he is to paint according to that copy. The true Christian is to be such a husband as Christ was to his church. The love of a husband is special. The Lord Jesus cherishes for the church a peculiar affection, which is set upon her above the rest of mankind: "I pray for them, I pray not for the world." The elect church is the favorite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of his head, the bracelet of his arm, the breastplate of his heart, the very centre and core of his love. A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves his church.

He does not vary in his affection. He may change in his display of affection, but the affection itself is still the same. A husband should love his wife with an enduring love, for

nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." A true husband loves his wife with a hearty love, fervent and intense. It is not mere lip-service. Ah! beloved, what more could Christ have done in proof of his love than he has done? Jesus has a delighted

love towards his spouse: He prizes her affection, and

delights in her with sweet complacence. Believer, you wonder at Jesus' love; you admire it--are you imitating it? In your domestic relationships is the rule and measure of your love--"even as Christ loved the church?"

7. Remember You are one flesh. RB: Such nearness should command affection: they that are as yourselves, should be most easily loved as yourselves.

Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

Matthew Henry: May a child desert his parent or a parent abandon the child, no by no means. Much less may a husband put away his wife, betwixt whom, though not by nature yet by divine appointment, the relation is nearest and the bond of union stronger than betwixt parents and children, for that is in a great measure superseded by marriages, when a man must leave his parents, to cleave to his wife. See here the power of a divine institution, that the result of it is a union that is stronger than that which results from the highest obligations of nature.

The nature of the marriage contract is the union of persons, (v6) A man's children are pieces of himself, but his wife his himself.

Mark 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

Matthew Henry: God himself has joined man and wife together. It is a general rule that man must not go about to put asunder what God hath joined together.

8. Take more note of the good in your spouse than the odious.

I Corinthians 13:7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Stego, beareth = (Stege is a roof or covering that bears up something such as the elements, rain etc,) To bear patiently the faults and annoyances of others even those aimed at ones ownself. I Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. (Suffer=Stego, Suffer all things as in I Corinthians 9:12 If others be partakers of [this] power over you, [are] not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.)

Believeth all things - Not suspicious, trust the fidelity of another.

Elpidzo,Hopeth- Sees the bright side, does not despair and especially in this case looks for and expects the best in another. Hodge: Here to hope for the best with regard to all men.

Hupomeno, endureth = abiding under, bearing up under, enduring assaults of the enemy, To endure and bear bravely and patiently the ill treatments of others. A.T. Robertson: Carries on like a stout soldier. This endureth because of its meaning could be referring to persecutions where the word beareth refers to annoyances. To take patiently or be patient. Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. I Peter 2:20 For what glory [is it], if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer [for it], ye take it patiently, this [is] acceptable with God.

Matthew Henry: Does this divine love dwell in our hearts?

Here is a theme that must be settled before we can ever be the husband or wife we must be. And in fact before we will ever be right with any thing we have been designed for this issue must be settled. (Unless we are to be those wicked ones beneficial in our destruction for the glory of God.) We must truly be Christians, we must truly believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. And if we do believe we can be confident that God will give us grace and His Spirit to not only believe what Christians believe but to LIVE a Christian life. If we are truly Christians the presence of love in us will be a great evidence that we have been born again. If we cannot find this in us we must not rest till we have it as Matthew Henry relates below.

Matthew Henry:

1Co 13:4-7 Some of the effects of charity are stated, that we may know whether we have this grace; and that if we have not, we may not rest till we have it. This love is a clear proof of regeneration, and is a touchstone of our professed faith in Christ. In this beautiful description of the nature and effects of love, it is meant to show the Corinthians that their conduct had, in many respects, been a contrast to it. Charity is an utter enemy to selfishness; it does not desire or seek its own praise, or honour, or profit, or pleasure. Not that charity destroys all regard to ourselves, or that the charitable man should neglect himself and all his interests. But charity never seeks its own to the hurt of others, or to neglect others. It ever prefers the welfare of others to its private advantage. How good-natured and amiable is Christian charity! How excellent would Christianity appear to the world, if those who profess it were more under this Divine principle, and paid due regard to the command on which its blessed Author laid the chief stress! Let us ask whether this Divine love dwells in our hearts. Has this principle guided us into becoming behavior to all men? Are we willing to lay aside selfish objects and aims? Here is a call to watchfulness, diligence, and prayer.

Philippians 2:3 [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Matthew Henry:

Phil 2:1-4 Here are further exhortations to Christian duties; to like-mindedness and lowly-mindedness, according to the example of the Lord Jesus. Kindness is the law of Christ's kingdom, the lesson of his school, the livery of his family. Several motives to brotherly love are mentioned. If you expect or experience the benefit of God's compassions to yourselves, be compassionate one to another. It is the joy of ministers to see people like-minded. Christ came to humble us, let there not be among us a spirit of pride. We must be severe upon our own faults, and quick in observing our own defects, but ready to make favourable allowances for others. We must kindly care for others, but not be busy-bodies in other men's matters. Neither inward nor outward peace can be enjoyed, without lowliness of mind.

9. Don't exaggerate in your mind your spouses faults. Remember...

Psalms 103:14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we [are] dust. ALSO 1 Corinthians 13:7

10. Don't aggravate your spouse so as to bring out the worst in them.

RB: There is some uncleanness in the best on earth; yet if you will be daily stirring in the filth, no wonder if you had the annoyance; and for that you may thank yourselves: draw out the fragrancy of that which is good and delectable in them, and do not by your own imprudence or peevishness stir up the worst, and then you will find that even your faulty wives will appear more amiable to you.

AGGRAVATING and STIRRING up strife:

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 15:18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but [he that is] slow to anger appeaseth strife.

Proverbs 16:27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips [there is] as a burning fire.

Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

Proverbs 29:22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

James 4:1 From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members?

BRINGING OUT THE BEST BY OUR GODLY CONVERSATIONS (LIVES):

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so [doth] the sweetness of a man's friend by hearty counsel.

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

11. Overcome them with Love. RB: A good husband is the best thing to make a good and loving wife. Make them not froward by your froward carriage, and then say we cannot love them.

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Matthew Henry:

Rom 12:17-21 Since men became enemies to God, they have been very ready to be enemies one to another. And those that embrace religion, must expect to meet with enemies in a world whose smiles seldom agree with Christ's. Recompense to no man evil for evil. That is a brutish recompense, befitting only animals, which are not conscious of any being above them, or of any existence hereafter. And not only do, but study and take care to do, that which is amiable and creditable, and recommends religion to all with whom you converse. Study the things that make for peace; if it be possible, without offending God and wounding conscience. Avenge not yourselves. This is a hard lesson to corrupt nature, therefore a remedy against it is added. Give place unto wrath. When a man's passion is up, and the stream is strong, let it pass off; lest it be made to rage the more against us. The line of our duty is clearly marked out, and if our enemies are not melted by persevering kindness, we are not to seek vengeance; they will be consumed by the fiery wrath of that God to whom vengeance belongeth. The last verse suggests what is not easily understood by the world; that in all strife and contention, those that revenge are conquered, and those that forgive are conquerors. Be not overcome of evil. Learn to defeat ill designs against you, either to change them, or to preserve your own peace. He that has this rule over his spirit, is better than the mighty. God's children may be asked whether it is not more sweet unto them than all earthly good, that God so enables them by his Spirit, thus to feel and act.

I Peter 3:9 Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

GENEVA BIBLE NOTES:

3:9 {11} Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; {12} knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

(11) We must not only not recompense injury for injury, but we must also recompense them with benefits.

(SDA: When our wives become our enemies then we must practice this very counsel.)

(12) An argument taken by comparison: Seeing that we ourselves are unworthy of so great bountifulness, than forgive one another's faults? And from this verse to the end of the chapter, # 1Pe 3:9-22, there is a digression, to exhort us valiantly to bear afflictions.

12. Live Before them a holy life. Set the pattern, be the example: Loving, Lowly, meek, patient, harmless, holy -- heavenly. Try this and see whether it will not shame your spouse and if not still know this is your calling as a child of God.

Indeed to live a holy life is an injunction found throughout the scripture.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

I Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

Proverbs 11:30 The fruit of the righteous [is] a tree of life; and he that winneth souls [is] wise.

I Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

James 5:19-20 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

I Peter 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, [be] in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation [coupled] with fear.

I Peter 3:3-7 Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

Matthew Henry:

Summary:

1) A true Christian's will be concerned that his temperament is right before God.

2) A godly woman with her own spirit properly ordered will do more to draw the affections, and excite the esteem of a husband, than studied ornaments or fashionable apparel, attended by a froward and quarrelsome temper.

3) Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God.

4) The husband's duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her.

5) PRAYING TOGETHER Prayer sweetens their converse. And it is not enough that they pray with the family, but husband and wife together by themselves, and with their children. Those who are acquainted with prayer, find such unspeakable sweetness in it, that they will not be hindered therein. That you may pray much, live holily; and that you may live holily, be much in prayer.

1pe 3:1-7 The wife must discharge her duty to her own husband, though he obey not the word. We daily see how narrowly evil men watch the ways and lives of professors of religion. Putting on of apparel is not forbidden, but vanity and costliness in ornament. Religious people should take care that all their behaviour answers to their profession. But how few know the right measure and bounds of those two necessaries of life, food and raiment! Unless poverty is our carver, and cuts us short, there is scarcely any one who does not desire something beyond what is good for us. Far more are beholden to the lowliness of their state, than the lowliness of their mind; and many will not be so bounded, but lavish their time and money upon trifles. The apostle directs Christian females to put on something not corruptible, that beautifies the soul, even the graces of God's Holy Spirit. A true Christian's chief care lies in right ordering his own spirit. This will do more to fix the affections, and excite the esteem of a husband, than studied ornaments or fashionable apparel, attended by a froward and quarrelsome temper. Christians ought to do their duty to one another, from a willing mind, and in obedience to the command of God. Wives should be subject to their husbands, not from dread and amazement, but from desire to do well, and please God. The husband's duty to the wife implies giving due respect unto her, and maintaining her authority, protecting her, and placing trust in her. They are heirs together of all the blessings of this life and that which is to come, and should live peaceably one with another. Prayer sweetens their converse. And it is not enough that they pray with the family, but husband and wife together by themselves, and with their children. Those who are acquainted with prayer, find such unspeakable sweetness in it, that they will not be hindered therein. That you may pray much, live holily; and that you may live holily, be much in prayer.

SECONDLY HUSBANDS AND WIVES MUST LIVE TOGETHER. AS MUCH AS IS POSSIBLE THEY MUST NOT LET THEIR WORLDLY AFFAIRS SEPARATE THEM.

I Corinthians 7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: [It is] good for a man not to touch a woman.

The Corinthians had written to Paul, asking him about certain matters. And it appears that they had wrong beliefs concerning marriage. Perhaps with the idea that it is more holy to be single than married and that because of this the married believers should break off their marriages.

Paul is either here concurring with them that it is good for a man not to have wife....or he is simply referring them to the question that they wrote to him about. That is: Concerning your idea that it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

We know that the single person can be devoted to the Lord in a fuller measure than the married for the married will need to be concerned for and care for his wife or her husband. ( I Corinthians 7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife. There is difference [also] between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.)

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, [to avoid] fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

DIA PORNEIAS, on account of fornications, let every man have his own wife. On account of all kinds of sinful lusts. Adultery, fornication, Heart Lust, Sexual temptations from Satan, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality. The word "porneias" can have a wider scope than simply pre-marital intercourse.

This is not the reason for marriage -- but the persons for whom it is intended. Matthew 19:10 His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with [his] wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All [men] cannot receive this saying, save [they] to whom it is given.

NOT GOOD THAT MAN SHOULD BE ALONE:

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

A SPOUSE IS THE COMPLETION OF MAN AND WIFE - We are one flesh, Calvin states that he is but HALF A MAN without his WIFE.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

MARRIAGE IS A PICTURE OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH:

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

1 COR 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

Note: that the duty is mutual, husband must give to wife and wife to husband due benevolence. EUNOIAN - goodwill. This word appears in Ephesians 6:7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: OPHEILOMENAN, DUE - Having a duty, being indebted.

John Calvin: Husband and Wife are, therefore, bound to mutual goodwill, and from this follows the principle in verse four.

1 COR 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

From this verse POLOGAMY is forbidden. For if one had more than one wife how could his first wife our even second wife be said to have power over her husbands body. Note ALSO: that when it comes to preserving marital faithfulness husbands and wife are on equal footing and under equal obligations and duty.

1 COR 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

APOSTEREITE - APO and STEREO - FROM & DEPRIVE, keep back by fraud. This is given as a command using in Greek the imperative form. To withhold our marital duties owing to our spouse would indeed be depriving something from our spouse and making a fraud out of our marriage vows which we have solemnly made before God. Permission is given but only in case of MUTUAL CONSENT (husband authority here may not prevail) and only for the purpose of fasting and prayer. Are not believers exhorted to pray without ceasing? Should not fasting and moderation be our habitual experience before the Lord as we seek him for blessing and grace? Seeking Him for divine enablement to live a holy life pleasing before His eyes? YES. Now if this is true, which it is, then does it not follow that the praying and fasting in verse five would be for more extraordinary purposes. Praying in light of an impending disaster or Praying and Fasting in the midst of great Spiritual Struggles -- this kind cometh not out but by fasting..... Mark 9:29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

They are not abstaining from sexual intercourse because this is a holy or good work to do. No they are abstaining to do something else. They are abstaining that they might have a complete focus on the prayer and fasting that is needed RIGHT NOW. This is only for a time. Temporary!

Do not make a RASH VOW of celibacy before GOD. Do not do what God has not given you grace to do. For 1 Cor 7:5 states that this separation is only for a time only for fasting and prayer and that you must come together again to PREVENT SATAN from TEMPTING YOU for your incontinency. INCONTINENCY - AKRASIAN, from lack of self-restraint, excess. From WEBSTERS 1828 EDITION:

INCONTENCY:

1. Want of restraint of the passions or appetites; free or uncontrolled indulgence of the passions or appetites, as of anger.

2. Want of restraint of the sexual appetite; free or illegal indulgence of lust; lewdness; used of either sex.

CONTINENT: Refraining from unlawful sexual commerce, or moderate in the indulgence of lawful pleasure; chaste.

John Calvin on 1 Cor 7:5 : Again, Paul knew how everyone is inclined to self-love, and eager to gratify his own pleasure. That is the reason why a husband, having satisfied his passion, not only neglects his wife but even despises her. And there are few who are not sometimes waylaid by this feeling of distaste for their wives. It is for those reasons that Paul deals so anxiously with the mutual obligations of marriage. It is as though he said: 'If it ever enters the thoughts of those who are married to long for the single life, because it is holier, or because they are urged on by promiscuous desires, let them remember that they are held fast by a mutual obligation. The man is only the half of his body, and it is the same with the woman. They do not have freedom of choice thereafter, but, on the contrary, they must keep themselves in check with these thoughts: since one needed the support of the other, the Lord has joined us together, so that we may help each other. Let each one help the other in his need; and let neither act as if he could do what he likes.'

I Corinthians 7:6 But I speak this by permission, [and] not of commandment.

I Corinthians 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

Virginity is a special gift and is not given to all. This is exactly what Jesus Christ set forth as well in Matthew 19:11 But he said unto them, All [men] cannot receive this saying, save [they] to whom it is given.

I Corinthians 7:8 I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.

It is no sin to marry. This burn is referring to the great temptation and struggle one is under in the unmarried state. Yet know that God give grace and God can meet your every need. For when there is separation as mentioned in verse 10 the wife must remain unmarried. God does not consider the marriage covenant broken but still binding. How can she contain? How can he also contain? God gives the grace. But she or he should seek every method to be reconciled, If this is at all possible. (If she depart let her remain unmarried or be reconciled.)

I Corinthians 7:10 And unto the married I command, [yet] not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from [her] husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to [her] husband: and let not the husband put away [his] wife.

Marriage is a covenant consecrated in the name of God and does not stand or fall according to the whim of man. The husband does not have the power to dissolve the marriage - she is still bound to him.

Matthew 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Matthew Henry on 1 Cor 7:10-16:

I. In general, he tells them that marriage, by Christ's command, is for life; and therefore those who are married must not think of separation. The wife must not depart from the husband, nor the husband put away his wife. This I command, says the apostle; yet not I, but the Lord. Not that he commanded anything of his own head, or upon his own authority. But his meaning is that the Lord himself, with his own mouth, had forbidden such separations Matthew 5:32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 19:9 And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except [it be] for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. Mark 10:11 And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. Luke 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from [her] husband committeth adultery..... Note, Man and wife cannot separate at pleasure, nor dissolve, when they will, their matrimonial bonds and relation. They must not separate for any other cause than what Christ allows. And therefore the apostle advises that if any woman had been separated, either by a voluntary act of her own or by an act of her husband, she should continue unmarried, and seek reconciliation with her husband, that they might cohabit again. Note, Husbands and wives should not quarrel at all, or should be quickly reconciled. They are bound to each other for life. The divine law allows for no separation. They cannot throw off the burden, and therefore should set their shoulders to it, and endeavor to make it as light to each other as they can........

Matthew Henry on Verse 12+:

The Christian calling did not dissolve the marriage covenant, but bind it the faster, by bringing it back to the original institution, limiting it to two persons, and binding them together for life.

THIRDLY YOU MUST VEHEMENTLY HATE ADULTERY AND EVERYTHING THAT LEADS TO ANY TYPE OF VIOLOATION OF YOUR MARRIAGE VOWS. Richard Baxter: When lust is the chiefest cause of marriage and when married persons live not in the fear of God, but pamper the flesh and live licentiously, no wonder if marriage proves an insufficient remedy against such cherished lust.

LOOKING WITH LUST:

Matthew 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

PRAY FOR GRACE TO RESIST HEART LUST. Job 31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

Psalms 25:15+ Mine eyes [are] ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I [am] desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: [O] bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

DIVORCE CAN FORCE ONE INTO ADULTERY IN THE EYES OF GOD:

Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

NOTE: OUTSIDE OF JESUS CHRIST THERE CANNOT BE A HOLY OR PURE MARRIAGE FOR WHEN YOU ARE WITHOUT CHRIST IN THIS WORLD ALL THINGS ARE UNCLEAN.

Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

THE LAW CALLED FOR STONING:

John 8:4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with [another] man's wife, [even he] that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Deuteronomy 22:23 If a damsel [that is] a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, [being] in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.

GOD WILL JUDGE:

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

SHALL BE ABHORRED BY THE LORD: (ISA 1:18, 1JO 1:9)

Proverbs 22:14 The mouth of strange women [is] a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.

IT IS A MOURNFUL CRIME:

Hosea 4:2 By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.

Proverbs 2:17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

IT IS CONTRARY TO OUR BODIES WHICH BELONG TO CHRIST AND ARE TEMPLES OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

I Corinthians 6:15,19 Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make [them] the members of an harlot? God forbid. 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

IT IS TREACHERY:

Malachi 2:15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Matthew Henry:

Mal 2:10-17 Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to his God, will not be true to his fellow mortals. In contempt of the marriage covenant, which God instituted, the Jews put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives. They made their lives bitter to them; yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife; thy own; the nearest relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them, which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their lives' end, in holy love and peace. Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam? Yet God could have made another Eve. Wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins. Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgment? but the day of the Lord will come.

 

 

IT IS A PRODUCT OF, AND EVIDENCES A MANS LACK OF UNDERSTANDING:

Proverbs 6:32,35 [But] whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he [that] doeth it destroyeth his own soul. 35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

BASTARDS ARE OFTEN THE PRODUCT OF ADULTERY:

Deuteronomy 23:2 A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

IT IS A BEASTLY PRACTICE:

Jeremiah 5:7-9 How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by [them that are] no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses.  They were [as] fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour's wife. Shall I not visit for these [things]? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?

FOURTHLY, HUSBANDS AND WIVES MUST DELIGHT IN THE LOVE AND COMPANY OF EACH OTHER

Proverbs 5:18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. [Let her be as] the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

READ ALL OF PROVERBS FIVE:

Matthew Henry:

The primary scope of it is plainly to warn us against seventh- commandment sins, which youth is so prone to, the temptations to which are so violent, the examples of which are so many, and which, where admitted, are so destructive to all the seeds of virtue in the soul that it is not strange that Solomon's cautions against it are so very pressing and so often repeated.....Two things we are here warned to take heed of:

1) That we do not listen to the charms of sin. It is true the lips of a strange woman drop as a honey comb.....

2) That we do not approach the borders of sin. v 7 & 8. come not nigh the door of her house. Such tinder there is in the corrupt nature that it is a madness, upon any pretense whatsoever, to come near the sparks.

Matthew Henry beginning at VERSE 15;

Solomon, having shown the great evil that there is in adultery and fornication, and all such lewd and filthy courses, here prescribes remedies against them.

I. Enjoy with satisfaction the comforts of lawful marriage....the allowed pleasures of marriage...far transcend all the false forbidden pleasures of whoredom.

1) Let young men marry, have a wife of thy youth. 2) Let him that is married take delight in his wife, and let him be very fond of her, not only because she is the wife that he himself has chosen and he ought to be pleased with his own choice, but because she is the wife that God in his providence appointed for him and he ought to be pleased with the divine appointment, pleased with her because she is his own....Mutual delight is the bond of mutual fidelity.

3) Let him be fond of his wife and love here dearly (v19). Desire no better diversion from severe study and business than the innocent and pleasant conversation of thy own wife; let her lie in thy bosom, as the poor man's ewe lam did in his (2 Sam 12.3) and do thou repose thy head in hers, and let that satisfy thee at all times.

4) Let him take delight in his children and look upon them with pleasure (v. 16&17): 1) A numerous offspring 2) A peculiar offspring, which shall be only thy own 3) A creditable offspring, which are an honour to thee, and which thou mayest send abroad, and appear with, in the streets, whereas spurious blood is thy disgrace, and that which thou art ashamed to own.

5) Let him then scorn the offer of forbidden pleasures when he is always ravished with the love of a faithful virtuous wife; let him consider what an absurdity it will be for him to be ravished with a strange woman (v 20), to be in love with a filthy harlot, and embrace the bosom of a stranger, which if he had any sense of honour or virtue, he would loathe the thoughts of.

II. See the eye of God always upon thee....(v 21) There is no secrecy before God. Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

III. See the certain ruin of those that go on still in their trespasses.

(verse 22 & 23) Hebrews 13:4 Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

Those that are so foolish as to choose the way of sin are justly left of God to themselves to go in it till they come to that destruction which it leads to, which is a good reason why we should guard with watchfulness and resolution against the allurements of the sensual appetite.

THE WIFE CAN BE CALLED THE DESIRE OF THINE EYES:

Ezekiel 24:16 Son of man, behold, I take away from thee the desire of thine eyes with a stroke: yet neither shalt thou mourn nor weep, neither shall thy tears run down.

BEWARE: LEST you become past feeling having eyes FULL of adultery.

Ephesians 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

II Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous [are they], self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;