Scott Sauls Sermon Notes — Series: The Gospel, Hope, and the World — Sermon #4: Hope for the Family

Sermon preached on October 18, 2009.

The teaching is based on Ephesians 5:21-33.

Scott Sauls preached this message. Rev. Sauls is a Lead Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City; his preaching style is very similar to that of his Senior Pastor, Tim Keller.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.


  • Why are there so many singles in NYC? Lack of time, abundance of cynicism, and fear.
  • Ephesians 5 suggests a different purpose for marriage than the ones commonly thought of: two broken sinners enter into an other-centered covenant
  • Paul is suggesting that marriage is about personal transformation


I. Exposure

II. Embrace

I. Exposure

  • Paul quotes Genesis, when man and woman were naked; it’s much more than physical to be naked; scripturally, it means to become vulnerable, to be seen beneath who you are, beneath your Facebook or resume.
    • The nature of the human heart is to hide our blemishes behind a persona; Adam and Eve do everything they can to control their persona after the fall–they dress up, they blame shift
  • We don’t want people to know that we probably wouldn’t want to be friends with ourselves
  • [Rev Sauls shares a funny story involving him and his wife studying the Bible together early in their marriage; she had married him partly because of how impressive he was as a speaker and small group leader, how deep his insight was; when the young couple studied the Bible together, however, Rev Sauls’ wife quickly discovered that “I married a pompous know-it-all.”]
  • Sartre: Hell is to be looked at, to be unable to stop or control what someone else sees when they look at us
  • two people deserve access to our private parts: our spouse and our doctor
  • With doctors, why do we allow probing, the invading of our bodies?
    • Because we want to live! to flourish, to survive
    • Why do we allow this probing into our bodies, but not into our character?
  • “Restore” in Galatians 6:1-2 is a Greek word that elsewhere is only used as a medical term for resetting a bone
  • We do whatever we can to turn a limp into a dance
  • At the end of New York Magazine, there are 3 pages of ads for rich men to find hot women; we walk into a gym and immediately eliminate 95% of the people there as potential spouses before we even meet them; we want perfection now–is this what Jesus did for us?
  • Jesus: “My vision is to heal, so I’m looking for a bride with spots, wrinkles, blemishes.”
  • In the film As Good as It Gets, Jack Nicholson’s  response to Helen Hunt: “You make me want to be a better man
    • That’s what you look for in a mate; that’s your selection criteria

II. Embrace

  • Both parties need to know that the marriage is sinner-safe
  • The goal is to be fully known (naked) and without shame (loved, respected, honored), just like in Genesis before the fall
  • The film Beautiful Mind is a great marriage movie
  • C. S. Lewis married a woman knowing she had terminal cancer
  • you know you love someone when you continue to serve them even though you’ve fallen out of love with them
  • “Workmanship” is the Greek word poema; you are the poem of God
  • If you throw random words in a hat and mix them up, you’ve got chaos, but those same words can become a Shakespearean sonnet
  • On one side of extremes is co-dependent enabling; on the other is bullying
    • Gospel love is in the middle of these two things, and far away from each
  • Trying to build a resume or a career or be cool as a reason for coming to New York City can’t be your main reason, because what happens when you walk outside and see your windshield bashed in? What happens when the City treats you like an enemy?
    • Will you love her?
    • When she’s acting pschizo, will you divorce her in your heart, or continue to serve her?
    • When she only takes, will you still give?


Jesus never considers divorce. He sees us in bed with  our mistresses of money, love, power, and he determines to continue loving us.


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: