Singleness And the Sovereignty of God

kaje_yomama Compfight CC
kaje_yomama Compfight CC

By Pastor Scott Brown, of Hope Baptist Church

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. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence. (Mat 19:10-15)

When these words were given, our Lord was teaching his disciples about what the kingdom of heaven is all about and as we have been walking our Lord’s explanation we can see what a wonderful kingdom it is and how good it is to live in the kingdom that is governed by God the father, by the Son the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of God. The Lord has just finished correcting the disciples view of marriage and then their view of divorce because they’ve become so saturated with a bunch of wrong ideas about marriage and divorce that the Lord sets the record straight, takes them back to the scriptures to establish the foundational principles of marriage and divorce.

He turns from the foundational principles of marriage and divorce and the issues of singleness, and we’ll spend most of our time there, and of children.

What has happened to the disciples has happened to all of us and that is, deep within their hearts, thoughts and philosophies of life that were raised up against Christ and His kingdom. And while they believed that man could divorce his wife for any reason, while they believed that marriage was as temporary as a man wanted it to be, [Jesus] came and corrected them for that wrong view. In their culture the pagans and the people of God were in agreement basically about marriage and divorce. The disciples had the same view that Harrod had, that you could do anything you wanted with your wife. So, here the Lord comes, as such a good shepherd of the sheep, He’s always leading his sheep to the cleanest water and to the most succulent pastures that there are.

Here before us is this issue of singleness, so the question is, “What do you think about singleness?” What are the principles that flow through in your thinking? How do you think about single people? The Lord here now is going to make commentary on this whole matter of singleness. What are your thoughts about your single children? In their 20’s or maybe in their 30’s what are your thoughts and attitudes toward the single people in your church? What is your self talk? What are you thinking about this whole matter if you are single yourself? Maybe you’re in your late teens, or your twenties, or your thirties. How do you think about your singleness? You need to understand about how Jesus thinks about your singleness and it will be really wise if you were single, to think the same way about your singleness as He does. Wouldn’t you think that would be reasonable? So, this morning we have the opportunity to try to set before all our eyes, whether married or single, what Jesus Christ has to say about it.

The time frame in which these things are being spoken of are really near the end of His ministry, he’s only a few months away from the cross. He’s probably somewhere between the end of December and April 30th A.D. After the Lord has just instructed about marriage and divorce saying “what God has Joined let no man separate, and whoever divorces his wife except for sexual immorality and marries another commits adultery,” after he says that he begins to take on this other subject that the disciples were actually very confused about. In verse 10 we see this culture bound response. It was an honest response from the disciples. They are speaking from their hearts. They are speaking out of the meditations of their hearts about this particular matter that is before them. The response of the disciples here when they say, “If such is the case of the man with his wife it’s better not to marry.” They had been so deeply affected by the culture that they had just drunk the cultural Kool-aid just like everyone else had and they would rather alienate their wives, they would rather think of singleness wrongly and they had adopted elements and philosophies of the hyper patriarchal pigs of their society, the pharisees who thought that they could do anything they wanted with their lives. Here, he’s contradicting that in every possible way including this area of singleness.

[The disciples] weren’t thinking about it rightly at all. Remember, these are the disciples. They walked with Jesus for two and a half years. Don’t you think after you’ve walked with Jesus for two and a half years all your thinking would be straight? No, that is not the truth. I don’t know how long you’ve been walking with Jesus but these men had an opportunity to walk with Jesus in a very special way. However you have the holy spirit in order to illuminate, reveal the truth of the word of God to you. In their corrupt nature they are thinking wrongly about this whole matter of singleness.

The Lord says something that must have stunned them. He said that “all cannot accept this saying but only those to whom it has been given” all cannot accept the idea that it is not good to marry but some can. It’s not been given to some. Here the Lord is saying that singleness is really a matter of the sovereignty of God. He’s saying, “you don’t volunteer for this, it is given.” It is something that God imposes upon you. You don’t impose it upon yourself. This is really contrary to the Roman Catholic idea that you volunteer as an act of service to go be celibate. And you consider in your heart heavily whether you should do it whether you should become celibate and take the vow and you have authority over your own life to make yourself celibate. And the Lord says, “No, it’s given.” It’s not something that you figure out that you ought to do. It’s not a matter of man’s choice. It’s a matter of the sovereignty of God.

If you are single and you’ve been praying whether you should be single for the rest of your life, I would just encourage you to stop doing that. You may pray and say, “God have you given me the gift of singleness” that is a different question, “Have you set me aside for that” Are there various factors that make that obvious, that you have been set aside to be single. What we learn from the Lord Jesus is that there is a range of acceptability of lifestyle when it comes to marriage. That it is actually given to some by the sovereignty of God not to be married and that is a good thing. It’s a matter of his own will. At the same time he also has established marriage. Marriage is the normative, majority lifestyle that will be on the face of the earth. But there is this range of acceptability and we should see both of them as a blessing from God. He speaks here of the gift of singleness. It is given but it is not given to all.

Now, there are many things that are given about salvation in Matthew chapter 13:11 he answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to understand the mysteries of heaven, but to them it has not been given. It’s a very same kind of language here. The kingdom of heaven is given. It is a matter of the sovereignty of God. Noone can come to the father unless the father draws him. The entrance into the kingdom of God is a matter of the sovereignty of God. So is the same matter, it is given to some and it is not given to others. We should dispense from our minds this whole idea that at least in the kingdom of heaven singles is something that people should just figure out that they ought to choose or not. It’s greater than that. It’s a matter of the sovereignty of God.

Of course our Lord Jesus Christ was single. The apostle Paul was most probably single, there is debate about that. He says here that the gift is rare. He says, “All can not accept this saying.” And so you can not choose this it’s chosen for you and so it does little good to plan your life out for this but you ought to look at what Jesus Christ has said about it and ask yourself whether it applies to you or not.

What is the disciples disposition about this? Do they believe that there is a God glorifying way to be single? Do you believe that? Do you believe that a person can be single all life long and glorify God? Do you believe that? Jesus believes that. He here in this passage establishes three different kinds of eunuchs or three different kinds of singleness.

We know that it is wrong to forbid marriage as 1 Timothy 3 says it is. It’s one of the doctrines of demons to forbid marriage. Jesus goes on to explain that there are different kinds of people that are single for the glory of God. Beginning in verse 12, he speaks of the idea of being a eunuch. The term in scripture has a flexible meaning it can mean a castrated male, someone who abstains from marriage for different reasons. It can also mean be used interchangeably for officials and court officers. So the term can include a physical act but it also can include something different than just the physical act. A life set aside without marriage for particular purposes and he says, “for there are eunuchs who are born thus from their mother’s womb,” these are they who were born that way that’s the first category.

In the same way that people can be born without hands and without feet or various other organs these are people who are born either without organs or perhaps they are disfigured or not useful or maybe, there are actually people who are born with ambiguous organs in this whole realm. One of the requirements of marriage is that these characteristics are there so that marriage can be fulfilled. So that the basic commands and principles of marriage can be carried out. If you are not born with those things than you are by the sovereignty of God, you have been ordained not to be married. Here Jesus is saying that He is sovereign. He’s saying that he has done this. This is given from heaven. So when a child is born and the child has this kind of condition or various classifications of this condition they need to go back to this verse and realize that God in His sovereignty has done this. That there are eunuchs that are born thus from their mother’s womb.

Now, when this happens generally in the world people regard it as a gigantic tragedy that is one thing that they do and they act as something horrible and evil has been done in the world. That God is now a monster. That he has created such a being. But Jesus is saying that he did that. The Lord Jesus is saying that he is sovereign, that some are born eunuchs, that he has made them that way. How differently we think about these things than Jesus does. Something like this happens and we fall apart. That’s one thing that happens. One the other hand the wicked take it and they so disfigure it and it becomes the territory of the transgender community. They so defile that child because it was born for the glory of God to display this very principle that Jesus is speaking about. They make it into a wicked thing and they make them wicked, and they co-opt this very enterprise. It doesn’t happen very often but it does happen. It happens enough. I have met some of them. And unfortunately, the ones that I have known about have been defiled by the LGBT community. Some of us have been witnessing as some of these events and we’ve met some of these people who have been harmed by some of these people and they do not understand what is sovereignty. This child was born with a purpose for a divine calling, for a way to glorify God and in his singleness.

Jesus is saying something so radical here to his disciples about singleness. It’s not a tragedy when someone is born a eunuch. We have to get over this man-centered view of life. We have to quit saying that God does thing wrong. He does all things for his glory and He even glorifies himself in the birth of someone who is a eunuch. Is it a tragedy when a baby is born with downs syndrome? Is it a tragedy when a child is born blind? Is it? Do you think that way? When you have a child coming do you find yourself saying or when people ask you about it and you find your self saying, “Well, as long as the baby is healthy.” That is what we say. Why do we say that? What do you mean by ‘healthy’? When all you think about is healthiness you have lost a sense of the sovereignty of God and the wisdom of God in the world. He does all things well. He sums up all things in Christ.

Does it mean that I hope they are not born with Downs Syndrome? God glorifies himself in these kinds of births. Some of you gave blood to a downs syndrome baby here recently and it glorified God. I think we should stop saying, “As long as the baby’s healthy.” I think we should start saying, “As long as God is glorified in his body.” People have, what we call ‘defects’ from birth. A conversation about this very thing happened, the Lord Jesus was in this conversation in John 9:1 Jesus passed by he sees a man blind from his birth and the disciples ask him, “Who sinned this man or his parents so that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day.”

So even a blind person has the ability to glorify God and his body. A person who is born a eunuch also has been born for that very purpose, born for the glory of God. So, there are eunuchs who are made eunuchs from their mother’s womb.

What has amazed me as I have been working through this text is just how wicked the devil is. He takes everything that God does and he desires to defile it. And destroy the people who have been carrying these things that were under the sovereignty of God. And how he takes matters of sexuality and attacks them so viciously and even gets Christians to think like the disciples do.

Secondly, the second kind is that there are eunuchs who are made eunuchs by men. Something has happened either by the providence of God or by the wickedness of men. Daniel and the Hebrew children were most likely made eunuchs as they made their way into Babylon after being captured by Nebuchadnezzar. They were made eunuchs by men. They were castrated So you have this kind of thing going on here. And there are many other ways that there are eunuchs made by men. I think it’s fair to mention the whole modern eugenics movement is under this category. In fact, there is a judgment now being considered in the North Carolina house for 10 million dollar compensation for 7500 people who were forcibly sterilized by the state of North Carolina by the eugenics board from the 30’s to the early 70’s. There are 1500 of them left alive. They are going to give then $50,000 each one of them. That’s what is before our civil government. These people were made eunuchs by men.

There have been times when sex offenders have been castrated. There is this whole matter of cultural eunuchs. There’s this whole matter of the whole culture of birth control in a sense. There are people who are trying to save the planet by sterilizing themselves. I read a story about a 27 year old woman who was just sterilized in order to ‘protect’ the planet. She says, “Having children is selfish, it’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet.” So she became a eunuch by man.

This whole philosophy of life, this whole any philosophy of life has so many different expressions in the world today. Last week Fox News was reporting what was happening in Japan. Japanese statisticians were predicting the extinction of the Japanese people in about 1000 years because their birthrates were about 1.35 babies per woman. There are only 16 million under the age of 14 in Japan right now and these researchers at Tokyo’s university website, they have a clock, an extinction clock. They are calibrating it according to the current birthrate. They are paying people money to drive the birthrate up. It’s probably too late to do it because there is sort of a point of no return in this whole statistical model that you have to build.

What the article said is a number of things. One of the reasons that people aren’t getting married in Japan is prefer, “virtual friends with a robot or on the internet.” And so young people are shunning idea’s of babies what was really astonishing to me was what the article said the whole younger generation really despises the whole idea of intimacy. They reported amazingly that the big diaper manufacturer in the country announced last week for the first time ever it’s sales of adult diapers exceeded those for babies.

There’s this whole culture of eugenics. There’s this whole culture of making yourself a eunuch, man made eunuchs but it is being driven by philosophies of various kinds. It may be that you desire to be rich and you think that having babies is going to slow you down. Maybe you just like your quiet lifestyle so you don’t have children. There is some reasons that this happens. Maybe you’re trying to save the planet. This is what happens in a culture of eunuchs who are made eunuchs by men.

Thirdly, there are eunuchs for the kingdom of God. And there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him. So, there is a godly and acceptable way of being a eunuch and that is to dedicate your life to the glory of God for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.

In other words, you have the ability in your soul to set aside marriage. It’s an acceptable thing to you. It’s something that you can conceive of. It’s something that works for you and it may have to do with some kind of desire or fitness or something, but there’s just something about you where you say, “I just can’t relate to being married. I just don’t get it. And it doesn’t mean that there is a sinful desire in your heart. It means that you are able to accept it and you can accept it for the glory of God.

If you are a parent, this is the attitude you should have toward your children. You should not make them outcasts if they just can’t accept this whole idea of marriage. There are some, and I think most of us would believe it’s a very small number who can accept it and that is why the Lord says it is he who is able, because not very many are really able to do it but if someone is able it would be so wrong of us to make it an outcast out of them, to make them feel like they are some sort of second class citizen in the world. Jesus says that they are not.

It’s important that we don’t over exalt marriage. The mormon church does that. The only way that you can get into the celestial kingdom is to get married. You have to get married in the right place, in the right way, and that’s how you ascend into godhood. You have a celestial marriage. Christianity doesn’t say that at all. Celestial marriage is the gate to exaltation and exaltation consists in the continuation of the family unit in eternity. That’s Mormon speak about marriage.

You can be like the Mormons and think wrongly about marriage, that marriage is the ultimate that marriage is the thing that makes you fit for the kingdom of heaven.

Now, we should be preparing our young people to think this way about singleness. They shouldn’t only be thinking about marriage. They should be thinking about this other condition. It’s acceptable for people to stay single. You know there are so many arguments for marriage, if you open up the Westminster Confession, it lists the undue delay of marriage as a sin. Five times in scripture you come across the terms the “wife for the bride groom of your youth.” You have to hold these things in balance. God does exalt marriage but he doesn’t over exalt marriage. He makes a big deal about it but not too big a deal about it because there are exceptions that he’s just listed in this text.

There are challenges for singles. The puritans really dealt with this as they tried to interpret psalm 68 he sets the solitary in families. The puritans in New England had fines for singles who just lived alone. They wanted to have singles living with families, with quote, “well governed families” that’s how they applied that. There are so many problems that have to be addressed when you deal with this subject of singleness. The whole dysfunctional modern dating culture the challenges that are there.

Singleness is absolutely on the rise here in America. And there are so many statistics I think they are scary because of the denigration of marriage.

Nine points of summary:

  1. Singleness is not an inferior state. It is the will of God for various people. In Mark 12:23 the Lord Jesus says in the resurrection they will not be marry or be given in marriage.
  2. Singleness is a gift for the glory of God. God makes much of singleness so much that Paul would say, “I wish you could be as I am.”
  3. Singleness gives a reminder of heaven. Where there is no marriage or giving in marriage there is a wedding of Christ and his Bride. Singleness is a parable of the future. Singleness opens up the window of what the kingdom of heaven is going to be like, except there is a bride and a bride groom. While there is no marriage like we know on earth, there is a marriage and it is the fullest and most wonderful marriage that has ever existed. So there is that kind of marriage in heaven but it’s between Christ and His church.
  4. Wrongful use of the single years should be avoided. Living for weekends, selfish independence. Wasting time on worldly matters.
  5. A single person can be happy. Our lord was the happiest of all the disciples so says Hebrews 9. You can be happy and be single.
  6. A man can be a real man and be single. A man can take dominion, fulfill the word of God, fulfill the will of God, to do exploits, to be useful in the kingdom of heaven. Examples: The apostle Paul, the Lord Jesus Christ, Jeremiah himself.
  7. Singleness does have it’s advantages. Scripture says that those who are not married do not have the same cares of the things of this world. “The cares of this world” is not a negative statement, I don’t believe in that context. There is a different load, there is engagements, there is labors, there’s different responsibilities that happen in marriage. They’re blessings, they’re from God, they’re helpful, they’re helpful for both husband and wife to have them. They’re not curses but they are extra responsibilities that are good but you are relieved of those. Singleness does have it’s advantages.
  8. God chooses whether we are married or single. He uses many means for this. Jesus has just mentioned three of them
  9. You must give an account for the years of your singleness. Have you deployed your resources to please God? Have you squandered the time that God has given you as a single person? Have you used your single years for the greatest advantage for the kingdom of heaven? While you would have been spending time with your wife young man, you could be spending your time preaching the gospel to someone who could be married to Jesus Christ for all eternity. So every single person has to ask, “How am I using my single years?” “Am I using it for the greatest advantage for the kingdom of heaven?” “Or am I just in this sort of waiting period?” Is singleness just like hell on earth for you? If it is you’re not thinking like Jesus. You’re not thinking thoughts after the beauty of the kingdom of heaven. If you are just waiting for that and life is not happy and you’re debilitated, you’re not useful.

We could go to Isaiah chapter 56 briefly. If you start at Isaiah 53 and move sequentially to Isaiah 56, Isaiah 53, of course is this great prophecy of the coming messiah, His coming kingdom and what it is all about. Isaiah 54 opens with these words: “Sing oh barren, you who have not born break forth into singing, cry aloud you who have not labored with child, for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married woman says the Lord.” This has to do with the spread of the gospel under the covenant, that the work of the spirit in the spreading of the gospel, the fulfilling of the great commission happens even through barren women. And then in chapter 55, there is just this great call, “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters. And then chapter 56 verse 4, “…to the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths and choose what pleases me” so there are eunuchs who are pleasing God here in chapter 56. Who are they? He’s speaking of those in the new covenant who have dedicated themselves to God. Who are single for the kingdom of God for the glory of God. That’s who he’s talking about and he says, “They hold fast to my covenant even to them I will give in my house and within my walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters. I will give them an ever lasting name that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the foreigner who joined themselves to the LORD to serve him and to love the name of the LORD, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbaths and holds my covenant even to them I will bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

What the Lord Jesus is saying through the prophet Isaiah is that there are eunuchs who have a better name than sons and daughters because of their usefulness in the kingdom of heaven in the time of the new covenant as a result of the pouring out of the holy spirit.

So the disciples just got themselves a lesson on singleness and so did we. I hope we can think like Jesus when we think about singleness. So now after instructing the disciples on matters of singleness he instructs them on matters of children and so we see here in verses 13-15, the disciples were pretty culture bound in this area too, not only did they not understand the will of the Lord regarding marriage and divorce and the whole matter of singleness, they had wrong ideas about children and the Lord Jesus is going to use these children as an example of something greater than children. So verse 13 reads, “Then little children were brought to him that he might put his hands on them and pray. But the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come unto me and do not forbid them for such is the kingdom of heaven’ and he laid hands on them and departed from there” The Lord has just given a proper exultation of singleness of the qualifications that had to be there. Now he’s blessing the fruitfulness, he’s blessing the fruits of marriage as he brings these children, he desires the godly to be godly to be fruitful and multiply and he desires the blessing to these children.

Of course the culture, Roman society had denigrated children in many many ways, infanticide was common, you can see the ethos inherent slaughter of the babies in Matthew chapter 2. In contrast Hebrew culture was different. Children are a blessing from the Lord. Rachael says “Give me children lest I die” so there’s a whole different view in scripture that the disciples has some grasp of but there were some things that they missed and these were little children probably on to the age of some of them very, very small. And the first thing you see are these hopeful parents. “They were brought to him that he might lay hands on them.” These parents are bringing their children to Jesus, that’s what they’re doing. In the Talmud there is instruction that the parents ought to bring their children to the synagogue and the elders would pray for them so this was kind of a common deal. The father would first pray for the child and then hand that child over to the elders in that synagogue and then the elders would put their hands on the child and pray. This was a common kind of a thing. It seems like parents were kind of lined up expectantly for Jesus to lay his hands on them because the verbs that are used here in Mark are things that are just continuing to happen. Parents are continuing to bring their children. The disciples are continuing to rebuke, the conversation is rolling on, it’s not just this little snap shot. There are a lot of people coming with their children and the disciples are continually not happy about it and they don’t stop talking about how unhappy they are about it.

So that is the scene that we’re in here. Mark uses a masculine term, perhaps indicating that it was really fathers, it wasn’t just a whole line of hopeful mothers. Most likely it was a line of fathers. It would be really unusual in our day because it’s really only the women who care about the children and all that much in our culture. And then you see the presumptuous disciples who rebuked them. They are trying to protect Jesus apparently and continuing to do this they just really don’t think the same way that Jesus does. That is so obvious for 3 chapters we’ve been seeing how the disciples just do not think like Jesus thinks about things. Really, about big ticket items like marriage, divorce and singleness, now children.

And then the Lord Jesus says something in verse 15 he says, “Let the children come to me and do not forbid them for such is the kingdom of heaven,” and he laid his hands on them. Now Mark tells us that Jesus was indignant about the behavior of the disciples. We see that he loves these children. You see many miracles in the gospels that included children; the nobleman’s son, Jairus’s daughter. Remember the demonized boy who is thrown down, foaming at the mouth, and then stiffened at the feat of Jesus and the disciples could not heal him. There was this boy who had been harassed by these demons since he was a very, very little child. Jesus has compassion on children here as he has many, many times. And what Jesus says here is that children can genuinely respond to God. Now he’s not saying that all these children were saved. He’s saying that salvation is like becoming like a child. He says such is the kingdom of heaven it’s like this. He’s not proclaiming the salvation of children because they have some relationship with their parents or because they are children he’s saying they show us something about the kingdom of heaven. He’s not saying these children were saved he’s saying these children are an illustration of being saved.

In Mark 10:15 He reads assuredly I say to you, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter into it. So Mark gives us more. He helps us with more of the detail of what Jesus said so that we can get a grasp of what Jesus was saying. And so, this child is an illustration. When he says, little children in Matthew 18, we’ll get to that passage in a minute because he says some similar things it includes adults who believe in him. But he’s using children as an example here in the same what that John refers to his disciples as little children. You have to become like a child in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. You find children responding to Jesus in many many places. You know, when we get to Matthew 21 the chief priests are observing the wonderful things that Jesus is doing and the children are crying out in the temple and they are saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

And Jesus says, “Out of the mouths of babes and nursing infants you have perfected grace.” He’s saying a child can respond to Jesus Christ. The way that child responds is the same way everyone responds in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven. A child brings nothing. In this context a child brings nothing but he receives everything. He receives the kingdom of heaven.

In the next segment of this passage of scripture you have the rich young ruler here and this man, he brings everything but he has nothing. That is the illustration here. A child just doesn’t bring anything of value to the table. A child is humble, a child is dependent, a child believes. Just a few days before this conversation, Matthew 18, a very similar conversation took place. At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Then Jesus called a little child to him set him in the midst of them and said, “Assuredly I say to you, unless you are converted and becomes as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in my name receives me.”

So he’s talking about the humility of the child and he says unless you are changed. So he says “Unless you are converted and unless you are changed and become like a little child.” Conversion always includes a childlike humility. A childlike humility that says, “Lord I don’t bring any righteousness to the table here to secure my salvation.” It’s like the words from rock of ages:

Nothing from my hands I bring simply to the cross I cling.

It’s the humility, humiliation, the dependence of a child that is part of the act of salvation. There is nothing more refreshing, there is nothing more life giving, there is nothing more soul satisfying than to think like Jesus thinks about everything. And it’s hard isn’t it? It runs cross-grain against so many of the things that we have learned as we’ve grown up. Our lord is a good shepherd. He’s such a good deliverer, to give us thoughts that are different than our own so that He would save us from ourselves, that he would save us from our sins, that he would come and begin to refresh our souls with the cleanest clearest water of life. He delivers us from that brackish thinking that comes upon us because we’ve grown up in this world. He delivers us from so many destructive thoughts about marriage about singleness and about children. It’s like what Colossians 1:13 says about the nature of the kingdom of heaven. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the son of his love in whom we have redemption through his blood. The forgiveness of sins.

And so here we have just observed our Lord Jesus as such a good and faithful shepherd. Such a beneficial guide to his disciples and I pray for us as well to help us think rightly about all these things.

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