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Session 4: You Guessed It: More Hot Button Issues ()

Dennis R. Wiles, August 13, 2014
Part of the Summer Bible Study 2014 series, preached at a Evening Service service

Dennis R. Wiles
FBC Arlington

So, What Are We Supposed to Do?
Christian Living in a Post-Christian Context
August 10-13, 2014



Christian Ethics – the study of what is right or wrong for Christians


Marriage, Divorce, Homosexuality, Single Adulthood, Human Sexuality, Parenting, Abuse, Caring for Elderly...

The family is God’s idea. God officiated at the very first wedding (Genesis 1-2). God gave the original family the responsibility of procreation. The family unit became the foundation of any broader society.

“The most important social institution in society and in the Bible is the family. It is a microcosm of society and the matrix of personality. It is not only the birthplace of humans but also their growth place. The kind of human one becomes is largely determined by the atmosphere of one’s home life. Marriage is that sacred union ordained by God by which a home is born and sustained. No home is any stronger than the quality of the parents’ marriage. Parents are the models by which children develop.”
-Guy Greenfield, former Professor of Christian Ethics in Basis Christian Ethics, 1983, Section 22 – p. 1

Genesis 1-2
1. Marriage is God’s idea and God’s ideal – therefore it is a sacred institution.
2. Marriage is to be characterized by mutuality and a complementary relationship between a husband and wife.
3. Marriage is an exclusive relationship.
4. Marriage is characterized by a deep unity that includes sexual activity and fulfillment – but is a unity that extends far beyond the physical realm.
5. Marriage is home to the most intimate human relationship.
6. Marriage involves consistent companionship and growth.
7. Marriage may result in procreation.

Ephesians 5:18-33
1. Both partners in a Christian marriage are to be Spirit-filled people.
2. Marriage is a covenant bond between one man and one woman.
3. Marriage is a picture of the covenantal relationship between Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church.
4. Both partners are to be submissive to each other in a marriage.
5. There are roles to be played by both individuals in a marriage.
6. Love (agape) and respect are essential components of a Christian marriage.
Matthew 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12
1. Jesus addressed the lax attitudes in His day concerning marriage.
2. Jesus upheld the ideal of Genesis 1-2.
3. Marriage is between one man and one woman.
4. Marriage is a lifetime commitment.
5. Divorce is allowable – but only under certain considerations.

Christian Marriage
1. Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s idea and ideal.
2. Marriage is a covenantal agreement – initiated by vows of faithfulness and fidelity.
3. Marriage is the context for sexual fulfillment and expression.
4. Marriage is an intimate journey of unique companionship.
5. Marriage partners are to be filled with God’s Spirit.
6. Marriage partners are to be committed to each other for life.
7. Marriage partners are to be mutually submissive as they respectfully honor each other’s roles in their relationship.

Deuteronomy 24:1-4
1. Divorce is permissible – but there must be adequate grounds.
2. Divorce must follow a certain process.
3. Divorce ends the covenant relationship and it may not be re-engaged.

Matthew 5:31-32; 19:1-12; Mark 10:1-12
1. Jesus upholds the ideal view of marriage between a man and a woman.
2. Jesus upholds the ideal view of marriage as monogamous.
3. Jesus upholds the ideal view that marriage is a lifetime commitment.
4. Divorce is a reminder of the fallen nature of humanity.
5. Re-marriage is permissible in certain circumstances.

Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:1-16
1. Paul upholds the ideal of marriage as monogamous and permanent.
2. Paul acknowledges that divorce is a possibility.
3. Christian marriages are to reflect the realities of the Christian faith.

1. Divorce is never ideal.
2. Divorce is to be avoided if at all possible.
3. Divorce is only allowable in certain circumstances.
4. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin.

Leviticus 18
1. Homosexuality is listed among the spectrum of forbidden sexual expressions.
2. Homosexuality is listed as an “abomination.”
3. God condemned the pagan nations in Canaan for engaging in homosexual activity – as well as other sexually deviant behaviors – prior to Israel’s occupation of the Promised Land.

Romans 1:18-32
1. Homosexuality is cast in the negative light of being the result of sinful desires.
2. Homosexuality is cast as an example of shameful lusts.
3. Homosexual activity can result in a depraved mind.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11
1. Homosexuality is portrayed as sexually immoral.
2. Homosexuality is identified as a lifestyle that is inconsistent with the Kingdom of God.
3. Forgiveness, healing and restoration are all available through the Gospel.

1. Obviously, there are social, psychological, physical and spiritual factors involved in a conversation about gender, gender attraction, sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular.
2. The topic of homosexuality is discussed in both the Old Testament and New Testament.
3. Homosexuality is never treated positively in either Testament.
4. Homosexual behavior is inconsistent with God’s intended plan for humanity.
5. God’s grace is transformative and available for all humans through Jesus Christ.


1. LEARN – We all need to be learners. Take time to study the issues at hand. It is worth the effort. We need to be informed followers of Jesus.

2. LOOK – If you are going to have a conversation about a sensitive topic with someone, take the time to look them in the eyes. So often we look past real people just to make our points in a debate. Each person you meet is a human being, designed by God, made in His image and has the potential to reflect His glory in creation. See them as such – not just as an adversary in a debate.

3. LISTEN - Try listening to people. Much can be learned by listening! Take the time to listen to those with whom you disagree. Truly listen. Don’t use the time they are talking to simply formulate your response. Just listen. It is a humbling practice that is good for all of us!

4. LATITUDE – Always grant latitude to others. Grace is one of the means by which we can do this. It is not condescending or patronizing at all. You and I simply need to learn that we are not going to “argue” people to our side of a debate. Share your opinion – your informed opinion, with grace. Then – let the other person have time to think about it, to reflect upon it and consider it. They may not ever come to agree with you. That is okay. Our role is not to win every argument on any subject!

5. LOVE – Always, always, always love. Jesus taught us to love everyone. Love is the most powerful force on earth. Let the love of God flow through you.