Dear Church Family,
When people join the church, it is our hope and prayer that new members will be served by the church body and that they will also find ways in which they may serve others in the body. We pray toward that end: that the relationship between new members and the rest of the church body will be mutually edifying. In the church, fellow pilgrims are to “strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather healed. Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:12-14)
Regarding this idea of mutual edification, the institution of the visible church (the house and family of God) is similar to the institution of marriage (between husband and wife). The Westminster Confession of Faith highlights three purposes for the institution of marriage (mutual help of husband and wife, the begetting and raising of children, and sexual fulfillment):
Marriage was ordained for the mutual help of husband and wife (Genesis 2:18), for the increase of mankind with legitimate issue, and of the Church with an holy seed (Malachi 2:15); and for preventing of uncleanness (1 Corinthians 7:2, 9). (WCF 24:2)
Honored by All
But this mutual edification does not simply apply between members of the church and between husbands and wives. There is a mutual edification that is also intended between the institution of marriage and the institution of the church. What I mean is this: for the Christian, marriage is an institution that exists within the larger institution of the church. Marriage is not ordained by God merely for the benefit of husband and wife, but also for the benefit of the larger institution of the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). Likewise, the members of the church are intended to sustain and nurture the marriages of her members (Titus 2:1-8).
Indeed, the writer of Hebrews tells us that “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). In reading this verse, we may have a tendency to focus on the latter part which deals with God’s judgment of sinners; however, we would do well to also take note of the universal statement concerning the institution of marriage at the beginning of this verse. Speaking to Christians in the church, the writer of Hebrews states: “Marriage is to be held in honor among all.” This applies to young and old, male and female, marrieds and singles.
Wedding Ceremony & Wedding Reception Fellowship Meal
On Saturday, September 13th at 6:00 pm, Jessi Terrell and Freddy Young (two of the newest members of the church) will be wed at Providence Presbyterian Church (PPC). All members and regular visitors of PPC are invited to attend the ceremony, and also encouraged to bring heavy hors d’oeuvres for the wedding reception in the fellowship hall, immediately following the ceremony.
This is a wonderful opportunity for our church family to do several things – the several things mentioned above. First, it is an opportunity to serve and encourage a young couple in our church as they enter into their new marital life (the blessing and responsibility of the communion of saints). Second, it is an opportunity to encourage them as they step into a life of mutually helping one another (the blessing and responsibility of marriage). Third, it is an opportunity for us, as a church, to honor the institution of marriage – to celebrate God’s gift of marriage.
Please pray for the upcoming wedding of Jessi and Freddy, for all the marriages of our church, and that the institution of marriage would be held in honor among us all.
The Lord be with you!
- Pastor Peter M. Dietsch