The Wedding of Laz and Donna Perez - 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Laz and Donna, for those of us that know something about your past, we can testify today that God has done a miracle in your lives. It is a profound miracle, it is a powerful testimony to God’s reconciling abilities, it is a moment to acknowledge the grace of God that has brought you together today. It is a moment to testify that the same grace that has kept you while you were apart has now brought you back together. It is also a moment to acknowledge that the grace that has brought you here today will continue to be with you for the rest of your lives.
Because of this, it is an honor, it is a privilege, it is a moment of profound praise to God that we are standing here today to celebrate your re-marriage to each other in the sight of God before these witnesses.
What you are doing today is a testimony that God can reconcile two people back together and place them into a healthy marriage. What you are doing today is a testimony to the fact that God can restore, redeem, reconcile, and enrich what once seemed to be a relationship that was fruitless and hopeless.
Your relationship reflects the words of Paul in Titus 3:3-7, “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
God has done a very profound work in the both of you. His grace has saved you, His presence has led you, His Spirit is transforming you both. The salvation that you have in Christ is bearing so much fruit.
A few years ago, when Laz and Donna began to interact more due to health issues and doctor appointments, it did not take long for Laz to realize that Donna was a different person than he had previously known. Laz summarized this change in Donna by simply saying, “Everything about her had changed.” She had become more patient and forgiving. She had relinquished to Christ her need to be in control and she seemed to have a real faith in Christ and not just a knowledge of Him. This led Laz to ask her about her faith and what had brought about such a drastic change in her.
Soon, Donna began to realize that Laz was not the same person that she once knew. He had a genuine remorse and sorrow for his sin. Because of this, he wanted to find those he had harmed and ask them for their forgiveness. This man who was once prideful; was now very humble. This man who once tried to be the smartest man in the room was now quiet and listened to others. This man who never showed emotion, could cry and weep over things. Laz never used to smile, because there was nothing worth smiling about; but now he smiles even in the midst of hardship.
A short time ago, I heard Donna say that she was beginning to love Laz again. But then she said that she could never get married to him and live with him again. She was comfortable with her life and the way that it was. And in some ways, it still seemed like an impossible thing that they could be reconciled.
In that moment, as a pastor, I wondered if I should talk to her about God’s desire to reconcile their relationship. I stayed quiet and often wondered over the next few months if I had made a mistake. In fact, sometimes I wondered if I should be a pastor because I did not say anything.
But then one day, not too long ago, they came into my office and told me that they were going to get remarried. They told me about how the LORD had orchestrated this and how He had changed their hearts. I began to cry because I was so grateful for the Holy Spirit who is always at work.
As I thought of this day, and all that the gospel has done in their lives I kept inking of 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. It says,
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Let me make six brief observations that you can apply to your gospel centered marriage.
Apply your heart to growing in the gospel... (14-15, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who