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Gerard de VosCreated by Gerard de Vos
on 12-03-2010
Category: Christ related
The Miracle of Marriage

Even for the casual observer, it is obvious that marriage doesn't count for much in our modern world. In Britain fewer couples trouble themselves to get married, and in the Western world, homosexuality, infidelity, immorality and pornography are not viewed with the same concern as a few years ago. Marriage as an institution is under fire. Why is that? The answer is logical. Marriage was instituted by God as a covenant between one man and one woman (a solemn promise to remain loyal to each other until death). As countries become less Christian, the basis for marriage becomes increasingly blurred.

God instituted marriage as a picture of His eternal plan on the renewed earth (1). There will be a love relationship between His Son, Jesus (the Bridegroom) and the people who accepted God's plan for their lives (the Bride) (2). God gave people this very special, visible love relationship, called marriage, as an object lesson to teach them how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. There are a number of Biblical principles that apply to human marriages and therefore explain the relationship with Jesus.

  • People get married when they decide that they care so much about each other that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. Similarly people who will be with Jesus eternally are those who love Him so much that they have dedicated their lives on earth to Him as their Savior and Lord.
  • God's first command was to the man to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife (3). It points us to the fact that Jesus left His Father in heaven and came to earth as a human being to give people an opportunity to accept Him and be prepared for the eternal marriage (4).
  • Marriage is the relationship that God instituted between a man and a woman. Only a living relationship can keep a marriage going. It is precisely the same in a person's relationship with God (it has to be cultivated). Through the Holy Spirit and the Scriptures a daily relationship with God is built. It comprises spending time with Him through reading the Bible (listening to what He says) and praying (talking to Him).
  • In the marriage relationship a man and his wife become 'one flesh.' Similarly children of God are one spirit with Him (5). That means that each individual whose sins have been forgiven by Jesus' death on the Cross, can be filled with the Holy Spirit (6).
  • We associate marriage with love and putting the other's interests above our own. Similarly Jesus says that those who love him will obey His commands (7).
  • Love wants to be in the company of the other. So the person who loves God will want to enjoy His presence. The Bible contains God's revelation of Himself to man. To spend time with God to get to know Him and love Him is done by being 'in the Word.' There is no substitute. (The Bible has massive amounts of information and historical facts about God. This is not only to teach us about our great King, but it also helps us in our daily lives. The principle works as follows: Jesus met the devil after fasting forty days [Luke 4:1-13], and the devil was intent on misleading Him {just as he is always on the prowl to devour us, [1 Peter 5:8]}, but Jesus countered him every time by quoting Scripture. Scripture is our sword, our shield of faith, our sole weapon against the wiles of the devil. Each of us has the Holy Spirit to guide us and help us apply a Bible verse or passage to our own situation, as Jesus used it. Life is not always easy, but Jesus wants to help, and He has the very precise, specific words for us individually, if we just spend time reading the Bible and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and show us which Scriptures to use in our individual situations. What are we saying? You may be the most loyal church member, the hardest worker, but if your Bible remains unused, (opened only on Sundays in church), ask yourself: is this the type of relationship that will keep a marriage going? God knows what we think in our hearts. He knows whether we love and obey Him or not. He cannot allow someone who doesn't love Him in heaven, as He is then morally obliged to allow all the countless millions who hated Him. Besides, what will we do in heaven with the marriage feast, if we do not care one hoot about the Bridegroom? No, God gave us the institution of marriage to teach us about a relationship with Jesus.)
  • Furthermore, He expects a man and a woman to have a covenant with each other, to be loyal, and to serve each other to the end. He expects us to stand in a similar covenant relationship with Him, one of loyalty, devotion and service. (Treachery has become big business in marriages; there is always another gorgeous woman, or handsome hunk who promises pleasures galore. The pornography industry thrives. What happens when infidelity enters a marriage? A complete breakdown of trust takes place. Anybody who has seen that happening in marriages, knows how devastating it is. What does God think of it? Both He and Jesus had firsthand experience of treachery (by Lucifer and Judas). They are very sensitive to it. That is why Jesus taught that a man should not even look at another woman. He knows the pain of betrayal. It is such a serious issue, that no immoral person will ever enter heaven [8]).
  • Only by understanding this, can we interpret Jesus' words in Matthew 7:21-23: Many did miracles in His name, yet He doesn't know them. Can one imagine the shock for someone who thought he was a Christian, and when he arrives at heaven's gates, he finds them closed? There can be only one reason: there was no relationship. How can a person be part of the Bride-to-be who will get married to Jesus, and he does not love his Lord?
  • God gave us a book, which has never changed, so that all people have exactly the same chance to establish a relationship with Jesus through reading it.

References

  1. Genesis 2:22. 'Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.'
  2. Revelation 19:7. '[T]he wedding of the Lamb (Jesus) has come, and his bride (those who accepted Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross) has made herself ready.'
  3. Genesis 2:24. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.'
  4. Adam's bride was taken out of his side (a rib) by God and formed into Eve, when he was in a deep sleep. Jesus' Bride was taken out of His side when he had died His substitutionary death in her place (John 19:34. '[O]ne of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water'). Romans 5:14b, 'Adam was a pattern of the one to come.' 1 Corinthians 15:45 'The first Adam became a living being, the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.'
  5. 1 Corinthians 6:17. '[H]e who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.'
  6. John 14:17b. 'The world cannot accept him (the Holy Spirit), because it neither sees Him not knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.'
  7. John 14:23. "Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching.'
  8. Revelation 21:8. 'But ... the sexually immoral ..., their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.'


"But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinth 1:27