SERMON TEXT: Matthew 5:31-32 and Matthew 19:3-9

SCRIPTURES REFERENCED: Genesis 2:22-24, 1 John 1:6-9, Ezekiel 23:37, Hosea.

NEW CITY CATECHISM: Question # 13 | Can anyone keep the law of God perfectly? Since the fall, no mere human has been able to keep the law of God perfectly, but consistently breaks it in thought, word, and deed.


  1. What Jesus Wants to Talk About
  2. The Weight of Separation
  3. God’s Gospel Promise


"As the sociologist Charles Stokes pointed out, practicing conservative Protestants have much lower divorce rates, and practicing believers generally divorce less frequently than the secular and unaffiliated.

But the lukewarmly religious are a different matter. What Stokes calls “nominal” conservative Protestants, who attend church less than twice a month, have higher divorce rates even than the nonreligious. And you can find similar patterns with other indicators — out-of-wedlock births, for instance, are rarer among religious-engaged evangelical Christians, but nominal evangelicals are a very different story." — Ross Douthat, The New York Times

"Indeed, Townshend is describing nothing less than the experience of grace, the moment when we stop asking “Who Am I?” and start asking “Who Are You?” The moment when, to our eternal surprise, the answer comes back: “Love.” And not just airy-fairy love, but love in the midst of deserved judgment. Love that meets the sewer hole with a kiss. Anyone acquainted with their own broken cup of a heart knows just how miraculous, indeed how divine, this kind of love is. We know that it cannot come from us, only to us. Perhaps that’s why we call it one-way love. If it is to be trustworthy, it must be bound to the identity of the Lover, not the beloved." — David Zahl, The Who Behind the Who

Some of us are Hosea but all of us are Gomer.

One way you could look at the story of the Bible is that of a faithful husband to an adulterous wife. God himself living up to his own design out of love for a hardhearted bride to the point of giving his life for her.

When you see Jesus the innocent husband taking your punishment for you on the cross, you see that you’re not as good or justified as you think you are. How can you not repent of the anger that has made your heart hard?

When you see Jesus on the cross giving everything - his life, his dignity, his honor - to be faithful to you at your most faithless, you see the reality of just how selfish your desires are. How can you not repent of the dehumanizing desires that have turned people into objects to consume for your pleasure and that have made your heart hard?

Jesus died to be faithful to the faithless, to bear the judgment owed us, and to reconcile us to the Father. Jesus died the faithful husband to a faithless bride, he understands what it is to suffer betrayal. At the cross, we see most potently who God is and who we are. All of us are Gomer, some of us are Hosea, Jesus loves and is good to both.
— Pastor Nick Bogardus


In Christ Alone


How He Loves

The Solid Rock

Christ Is Risen