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"We are Chris" (Genesis 2:18-24, Ephesians 5:21-33, Hosea 2:1-23)

Haddon Willmer, 6 November 2011
Part of the Being Chris series, preached at a Sunday Morning service

“Being Chris” looks at how we live a Christian life from cradle to grave. Here are two names familiar to us to help us get started: Christopher means to bear or carry Christ and Christine means to follow Christ. This series takes us through different stages and experiences of life.

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Genesis 2:18–24 (Listen)

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

  “This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
  she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

(ESV)

Ephesians 5:21–33 (Listen)

21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

(ESV)

Hosea 2 (Listen)

2:1  Say to your brothers, “You are my people,” and to your sisters, “You have received mercy.”

  “Plead with your mother, plead—
    for she is not my wife,
    and I am not her husband—
  that she put away her whoring from her face,
    and her adultery from between her breasts;
  lest I strip her naked
    and make her as in the day she was born,
  and make her like a wilderness,
    and make her like a parched land,
    and kill her with thirst.
  Upon her children also I will have no mercy,
    because they are children of whoredom.
  For their mother has played the whore;
    she who conceived them has acted shamefully.
  For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
    who give me my bread and my water,
    my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’
  Therefore I will hedge up her way with thorns,
    and I will build a wall against her,
    so that she cannot find her paths.
  She shall pursue her lovers
    but not overtake them,
  and she shall seek them
    but shall not find them.
  Then she shall say,
    ‘I will go and return to my first husband,
    for it was better for me then than now.’
  And she did not know
    that it was I who gave her
    the grain, the wine, and the oil,
  and who lavished on her silver and gold,
    which they used for Baal.
  Therefore I will take back
    my grain in its time,
    and my wine in its season,
  and I will take away my wool and my flax,
    which were to cover her nakedness.
10   Now I will uncover her lewdness
    in the sight of her lovers,
    and no one shall rescue her out of my hand.
11   And I will put an end to all her mirth,
    her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths,
    and all her appointed feasts.
12   And I will lay waste her vines and her fig trees,
    of which she said,
  ‘These are my wages,
    which my lovers have given me.’
  I will make them a forest,
    and the beasts of the field shall devour them.
13   And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals
    when she burned offerings to them
  and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry,
    and went after her lovers
    and forgot me, declares the LORD.

14   “Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
    and bring her into the wilderness,
    and speak tenderly to her.
15   And there I will give her her vineyards
    and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
  And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
    as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.

16 “And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ 17 For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. 18 And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. 19 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the LORD.

21   “And in that day I will answer, declares the LORD,
    I will answer the heavens,
    and they shall answer the earth,
22   and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil,
    and they shall answer Jezreel,
23     and I will sow her for myself in the land.
  And I will have mercy on No Mercy,
    and I will say to Not My People, ‘You are my people’;
    and he shall say, ‘You are my God.’”

(ESV)

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