Biblical Marriage Homework Session Nine

Over the last eight sessions we have discussed the high valve of marriage. Marriage is magnificent, not because of a husband or wife or the earthly benefits received in a loving marriage, but because of where marriage comes from and what marriage points to. Marriage comes from God. Created on the sixth day, marriage is God’s design and holds God’s purpose…marriage points to Christ loving the church; the Gospel. That is the reason marriage is magnificent.

As a grandfather, I know how easy it is to focus on the earthly aspects of marriage and family. I know how easy it is to be thrilled with wife, children, and grandchildren. I absolutely love my family. I love the family my wife and I have built together. So much so that it is easy to lose focus on the eternal aspects of family by valuing my relationships with wife and children and grandchildren only on the here and now.

Marriage and family, though precious, are temporary for this age; the church is forever. Being in a human family is no guarantee of eternal blessing; being in God’s family means being eternally blessed. Relationships based solely on family are temporary. Relationships based on faith in Christ are eternal. Therefore the most important aspect of our family and marriage is how well they reflect the Gospel.

Read Matthew 22:23-33

On what relationships were the Sadducees focusing? (hint: temporary or eternal?) How was their thinking affected by their value system?



Why did Jesus say they were wrong in the way they thought? (verse 29)




When Jesus said “God is the God of the living” (verse 32), what did he mean to convey to the Sadducees?




How do these words of Jesus teach us to think about our marriage and family relationships?




Biblical Marriage Homework Session Seven

Biblical Marriage Homework Session Seven 

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12:

Last week we learned that Grace is what marriage is about. This week we examine how Grace is an agent of change. Every Christian is called to a life of sanctification. Simply stated, sanctification is changing from our old selves and becoming conformed to the likeness of Christ.

This idea has everything to do with marriage. A marriage should never be static. So often we read Scripture like 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 and never think about our marriage. However, this passage has everything to do with how you are growing in Spirit and faith in relationship to your spouse. (And everyone else)

Read commentary:

Popular discussions of the “will of God” often center on the major decisions of life. The choice of a vocation, the choice of a spouse, and other pivotal moments in life certainly are times when divine guidance is needed. But seeking the will of God ought not be relegated only to such momentous and occasional events. I sometimes wonder why people would seek the will of God at a pivotal moment in life if they have been ignoring God’s will in their daily lives. Should God speak, would such a person listen? I rather doubt it. One who is not faithful in the small moments is unlikely to be faithful in the great.[1]


In verse 1 Paul is urging you to toward something. What kind of lifestyle would you live in your marriage if you were obedient to Paul’s instruction?



(Verses 2-3) Three questions:

Do you ever consider that God has a “will” for your ordinary every day life?




What is God’s will for every Christian? Are there any exceptions?




Is this “will” of God in daily life more or less important than “major” (one time) life choices?



(Verses 4-6) Two questions:


How would you be treating your spouse if you were living in “passion of lust” like the Gentiles? Who would be the “center” of this relationship?




How would you be treating your spouse if you were living in holiness and honor? Who would be the “center” of this relationship?



(Verses 7-8)


If we are withholding grace from our spouse, who are we fighting with, our spouse or God?



(Verse 9-12)


Let’s say today your marriage is doing very well; you are loving your spouse and extending grace and your spouse is happy. Have you made it? Can marriage now ride life out in status quo? Should tomorrow be filled with more grace?




[1] D. Michael Martin, 1, 2 Thessalonians, vol. 33, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995), 121.

Biblical Marriage Homework Session Six

Biblical Marriage – Session Six Homework


Read Matthew 5:43-48


Can this passage relate to your relationship with your spouse?



Specifically, can you relate verse 46 to your relationship with your spouse?



In verse 48, how is Jesus instructing us to love our spouse (and others)?



Paul states in Philippians 2:3 – Do nothing out of vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.


Question: Do you love your spouse expecting (deserving) something in return?


It has been said that the foundational definition of manipulation is “giving to get”.

It has been said that the foundational definition of honor is “giving, demanding nothing”.


Loving your spouse because they are making you happy is a sure sign of manipulation. Loving your spouse in spite of their attitude toward you is a sure sign of honor.


Check your love for your spouse by the following list. Place a check mark by the attitude you have right now regarding your love for your spouse.


Attitudes of Honor                                                    Attitudes of Manipulation

You belong to God                                                     You exist to serve me

You’re made in God’s image                                      You’re an object

I give without expecting a return                                I give to get what I want from you

I want you to be successful                                        I need you to make me happy

God is using you to make me like Him                       You’re the problem

I’ll love you even if you don’t respond with love      I’ll love you as long as it “works”


Pray that God would help you in any area where you placed a check mark in the manipulation column.

Biblical Marriage Homework Session Five

Homework – Session Five

In session five we focus on the role of wife and mother. When no other creature was found suitable for Adam, Eve was taken from his side and presented to Adam as helper.  (Hebrew – “EZER”) What does this helper look like in Scripture?  Focus on the dynamic description found in Proverbs 31: 11-14;

The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

12    She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.

13    She seeks wool and flax,

and works with willing hands.

14    She is like the ships of the merchant;

she brings her food from afar. [1]

Now read the following commentary on the same passage:

31:11–12 The husband has “full confidence” (v. 11) in her in every area of life; he trusts in her good sense, her fidelity, and her industry. Verse 11b emphasizes the latter: his house is full of the “booty” she brings in. Verse 12 similarly states that she is a continual source of benefits.

31:13 The large number of verses devoted to the industrious spirit of the woman establishes this as a major theme of the poem (vv. 13–19). In an age long before the industrial revolution, women had to work at spinning wool and making clothes in every spare moment; fidelity in this labor was a mark of feminine virtue. Rather than “with eager hands,” v. 13b might be translated somewhat more literally “at the pleasure of her hands.” The hands are semipersonified as taking pleasure in their creation and going about their work with a set purpose.9

31:14 She adds variety to the lives of her family by trading goods produced at home for food and merchandise the household cannot itself produce (v. 14). She has moved her household from a subsistence economy to a mercantile economy, and all enjoy the fruit of her enterprising spirit.[2]


For the women: After reading the commentary, write a brief description by example of what it is to be an ally.


For the men: After reading the commentary, write a brief description by example of what it is to have an ally.


[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Pr 31:11–14.

[2] Duane A. Garrett, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, vol. 14, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1993), 249.

Synopsis and Homework Week 21

This week our author details for us one of the brightest pictures for rejoicing in the entire book. The first portion of the picture shows the old. The Tabernacle frames the picture with its rooms and furnishings. Priests perform daily and once a year offerings and sacrifices. This portion of the picture reflects a never ending need to be cleansed. It portrays the distance between God and His people. Worshippers stand on the outside peering in longing for clean consciences and an end of burdensome work. In “this present time” the picture, mostly black and white with deep shadows, points to a time of a new order, a time of reformation.

For the first time we see a splash of color. Light dawns the canvas and shadows disappear. The picture is now framed by Christ. The rooms and furnishings are obsolete. Daily performance is replaced by once-for-all. External things move inside; the law no longer part of cold stone but written on warm flesh. The blood of goats and bulls no longer flow. The Blood of the perfect Sacrifice touches the conscience of the worshipper and the conscience is made perfect. Now, without burden, the worshipper serves the Living God. God and His people are one.

This is the account of every believer’s history with God. The picture is glorious!


Read 1 Peter 2:9-10


In verse 9 Peter calls all believers a Royal Priesthood. How does this fit with the picture of the worshipper with a conscience made perfect by the Blood of Christ in Hebrews 9:14?


In verse 9 Peter makes the statement that those who are called are to “proclaim the excellencies” of God. How does this fit with Hebrews 9:14 saying with a conscience made perfect we are ready to serve the Living God?



How does verse 10 fit with the picture painted by Hebrews 9:1-14 of the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant?


Synopsis and Homework Week 20

To say that the New Covenant is established on “better” promises is like saying Niagara Falls is better than my garden hose. I know that the author of Hebrews is not making such a comment causally. I know from chapter one that our author realizes the majesty and glory of the Son of God. I know from chapters two through seven our author feels the Superiority of Jesus.

Sometimes I need to remind myself just how much better the promises of the New Covenant really are. Sometimes my idea of better isn’t what the author of Hebrews understands as better.

OK, so this is better…You are standing before God and He makes the promise; I will be your God, and you will be my child…forever. I am going to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. I am going to override your tendency of drifting away. I am going to write on your mind and heart so that you will be found faithful to the very end. And here’s the best part…Even though I am God and I know everything about you, in My courtroom I will not remember anything about you that doesn’t reflect My Son.

If that doesn’t find you singing at the top of your lungs this Easter Sunday, you still don’t understand “better”.


Read your favorite Gospel passage to your family and celebrate!

Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!

Synopsis and Homework Week 19

It’s only when we understand the burden of the law and everything associated with the Tabernacle and the sacrifices of the priesthood that we realize what Scripture is stating when it classifies those things as copies and shadows. To be sure God authored them all. God’s Law is perfect. The Tabernacle and the priesthood clearly pointed to Jesus for anyone who had eyes to see.

But the Law couldn’t save anyone. Working tirelessly sacrificing bulls and lambs and goats, in the end, couldn’t atone for sin. In order for sinful mankind to live in glory with their Holy God they would need a Priest of a higher order. They would need a once-for-all sacrifice that somehow satisfied the Law.

What God established with Moses and Israel on Mt. Sinai would need to fade, as shadows do, when a great Light comes on the scene. The heavy burden that the shadows imposed, causing the people to pretend they could keep their rigorous demands, must be replaced with better promises. The Law would need to be fulfilled; the Priesthood and sacrificial system brought to completion.

As the author of Hebrews states it, as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.  For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.” Jesus is the Light that took away the shadows. Jesus, our High Priest, fulfilled the requirements of the Law and became the sacrifice that atoned for sin for all who believe.

For the believer, law keeping is no longer a burden of duty but a life passion of love. Worship is no longer standing in the Temple court watching the High Priest working tirelessly but walking all over this world in a joy flowing from our Great High Priest.


Read Galatians 5:1-6

Paul states that “for freedom Christ has set us free.” (Verse 1) So, Christ Jesus set us free for the sake of freedom. He set us free from slavery to sin. He set us free from the heavy yoke of the Law.

How does Paul warn anyone who is considering going back to the law of circumcision? (Verse 2)


If you are being justified by trying to keep the law what is your relationship to Christ? (Verse 4)


How does faith working through love manifest itself in our lives? (Verse 5-6)


Synopsis and Homework Week 18

I remember growing up and attending church in the “Bible Belt” of America. We sang from a Hymnal while a little church lady banged out the tune on the well warn upright piano. The tunes were very familiar and my heart grew fond of them over the years. The lyrics on the other hand were not understood. I knew the words by heart, but they were not part of my heart. I would stand beside my mom and sing with a loud voice, “What a friend we have in Jesus”. I had no idea.

Jesus has captivated my heart for 37 years and counting. I love the Word of God. It’s now when I read the Words of our author (Hebrews 7:25) that I begin to understand the depth of the lyrics to that old classic. Jesus is able to save completely, because He always makes intercession for me. My right relationship with God the Father is because He knows my name. My right relationship with God was born and will live forever solely because of Jesus. As my Sympathetic High Priest, Jesus works continuously to keep me. What a friend I have in Jesus!


Read Romans 8:31-39

How does Paul’s statement in verse 31 support the idea presented in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus can save forever, or completely, or to the uttermost?


Why does Paul believe that there will never be found anyone who will be able to condemn us before God? (verse 34)


Make a list of all the things that Jesus’ intercessory ministry protects us from. (verses 35-39)


Does this description of the work of Christ on our behalf sound like a one time act or a daily conquering?

Synopsis and Homework Week 17

My Dad took me fishing in Canada when I turned thirteen. It was a great adventure. Me, my Dad, and six of my Dad’s buddies drove by car for sixteen hours (most of which I slept) to arrive at a train station in northern Ontario. We hopped a freight train for a three hour trek to the Canadian wilderness. The train stopped just long enough for us to throw off our gear at a crossing named North Star Lodge. We were met by a Canadian wilderness and fishing guide named Al. He had an ancient Dodge Power Wagon with a trailer attached to haul our gear. A thirty minute ride on some of the roughest roads I have ever seen found us parked in front of the famous North Star Lodge. It was a series of logs and plywood that looked as old as the forest in which it hid. It was surrounded by a series of lakes that boasted the best fishing in Canada.

Everyone was assigned a job for the week of fishing expeditions. My job was to carry the anchor. There were no roads to the lakes, some of which were over a mile from the lodge. Each morning before daybreak our entire crew would carry the gear, boats, motors, and yes the “anchor” to the lake for a long day of fishing.

I’ll never forget the first morning when Al our guide handed me the anchor and said, “listen kid, that’s the most import thing we take to the lake. Without it, we can’t do nothin’.” Once on the lake I quickly understood Al’s statement. The wind blew at a steady brisk pace all day long on the lakes. Without an anchor to hold you out in the best spots to fish, we would find ourselves floundering on the shore opposite the wind in seconds.

It was a great week! We caught hundreds of fish. All because I had an anchor!

This week’s text describes hope in the promises of God as an anchor of the soul. God desires that we are people of secure hope by means of strong encouragement. The image of our soul anchored to the Mercy Seat is profound. Yes we are commanded to hold fast. But we are, at the same time, given assurance that the anchor is secure at both ends.


Read Philippians 3:12 – 4:1

Does Paul feel secure because he is perfect? (Verse 12)

What is the motivation to press on and take hold? (hit …because…) (Verse 12)

Where does Paul place the emphasis for his efforts, his past or his future? (Verses 13-14)

Paul gives both encouragement and warning. What are we encouraged to do? (Verse 17)

What happens to those who don’t take Paul’s encouragement? (Verses 18-19)

Where’s our hometown and what is the best part of being a citizen? (Verses 20-21)