Summary of Feast Sermon 2020, by Brother Benedict Hart,
publicity secretary, GKS
The Sanctity of Christian marriage
Bro. Samuel C. Nwaeke, Spiritual Adviser, GKS
Being an institution set up by God Almighty, marriage is highly respectable. It has sanctity. (Genesis 2:7, 18, 20-24) Once married, the man and woman become “one” in the sense that they thenceforth are united in purpose and walk in the closest intimacy. Marriage was established by God to give the man an helpmeet and for the purpose of procreation. The man is the head of the union. – Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Corinthians 11:3.
To be able to exercise his authority as the head, the man should, before he decides to engage a woman, have the means of providing for the woman. Since there are no jobs now, young men should not depend only on their degrees but should learn skills such as carpentry, masonry, furniture-making and so on so that they could get the money to marry and cater for their wives and kids. The Bible says a man who does not provide for the woman is worse than an infidel. (1 Timothy 5:8) Wives, on their part should be respectful of their husbands, even if they become breadwinners if the husband happens to fall on hard times. The godly conduct of wives could even make unbelievers to join the faith. (1 Peter 3:1, 2, 6, 7) Husbands and wives should live in peace and not be fighting and abusing one another, thereby giving a bad name to the institution and to the work of God.
Brothers and sisters who are married to non-members should endeavor to continue in the marriage, as long as their spouses do not oppose the faith. Any of the spouses who is an unbeliever could be won over through the believing partner. – 1 Corinthians 7:12-16.
The Holy Bible is firmly and unequivocally against divorce. (1 Corinthians 7:10; Malachi 2:14-16) The Lord asked the leaders of the Jews in those days: “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. (Matthew 19:4-6) Jesus Christ affirmed: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” – Matthew 19:6.
Couples should therefore strive to settle their differences and live peacefully so that the blessings of God will continue to be with them.
THE USE OF THE TONGUE
By Benedict Hart, publicity secretary, GKS
The tongue could be used to says things that edify, encourage, enlighten and strengthen; It could also be used to deceive, create confusion, destroy by way of lying, gossiping, backbiting, slander and so on.
Solomon the prophet says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21) And our Saviour says “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” (Matthew 12:37) He goes on to say that words are deliberately and persistently to oppose righteousness they make one not to get forgiveness from God. (Matthew 15:18; 12:31, 32)
Apostle James warned that that the tongue it is so powerful that when misused, it could set on fire the course of nature and lead one to everlasting destruction. (James 3:2, 6; Matthew 15:18; Revelation 21:27) Hence the need to learn to bridle one’s tongue. – Psalm 39:1; James 1:26
There are instances in the Holy Bible where the use of harsh and unkind words, slander, misrepresentation, led to crisis and war. Rehoboam spoke roughly to the elders of Israel and the ten tribes cut off their allegiance to the house of David. (2 Chronicles 10; 1 Kings 12:1-24) The Bible says the lips of the righteous knows what is acceptable, and that a wholesome tongue is a tree of life. – Proverbs 10:32; 15:4.
Hanun, the king of the Ammonites treated the ambassadors of King David shabbily because his counselors told him David had ulterior motives for sending his servants to pay condolences to him over the death of his father, Nahash. This was a slanderous statement. This led to a war in which the Israelites defeated the Ammonites. – 2 Samuel 10.
A slander is a false and malicious statement made against another with the aim of bringing him into disrepute. The Holy Bible pronounces woe on those who “spoil” (lie, misrepresent, slander) other people, using craftiness, deceit, hypocrisy. (Isaiah 33:1) Our Saviour warns that those who use malicious and belittling words against their neighbours are in danger of God’s punishment. – Matthew 5:22.
In this time of distress and perplexity it is important to say kind words, that build, enlighten and strengthen rather than things what discourage and lead to disunity and confusion. We should be exhorting one another daily, as we see the day God will destroy the earth approaching. “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.” (Isaiah 35:3, 4) And St. Peter states: “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.” – 1 Peter 3:10, 11.