Who Are You? (Part 5)

Who Are You? (Part 5)

What does the word “married” bring to mind? For most folks, it means “a man plus a woman, committed for life” (this agrees with Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:5, quoting Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”). The most significant part is what He then said in verse 6; “…what God has joined together, let not man separate.” This has been the basic concept of “married” since the dawn of time. Because marriage was designed by God, He gets to “regulate” it (that’s why Jesus pointed out that GOD “joins” in marriage).

The essence of a marriage is relationship: God said, “It is not good that man should be alone;” (Genesis 2:18). Marriage produces a “whole” (a man without a wife is incomplete, and vice versa)! Solomon wrote that a man should seek contentment and satisfaction with his own wife (and NOT look “elsewhere,” Proverbs 5:15-20). What God designed is based on commitment and dedication, where each seeks the OTHER person’s well-being even above their own (Ephesians 5:28). It is also an exclusive relationship, so there should be no “additions or substitutions” in a marriage!

In Ephesians 5 Paul offers several comparisons between the Savior’s relationship with His church and the marriage of a man with a woman. The connection he makes is that, as members of the “bride of Christ” (Revelation 21:9), there is a sense in which Christians are “married”
to Him! The comparisons include:

  • JESUS is the head – “ruler” – of the body/church/bride, who willingly submits to Him, vs. 23;
    His rulership is benevolent and self-sacrificing (vv. 25-27), and our “submission” is voluntary (vv.
  • Jesus loves the church and “measured” that love by what He did for us, vs. 25. As His
    “bride,” we should be grateful for that cleansing!
  • Just as He nourishes/cherishes His bride (vs. 29), so the bride accepts His blessings.
    Every time we see a faithful, devoted, successfully-married couple, we should think
    “there is a copy of the relationship between Jesus and His bride!”

These qualities parallel the image of Jesus Christ as our ONLY spiritual “bridegroom!” Ephesians 5 shows that Jesus’ relationship with the church is a “model” for marriage! Paul told the Corinthians, “…I have betrothed you…as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). “Chaste” means pure, free from fault. In His relationship with the church, we KNOW that Jesus has been perfectly pure (see 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15): He likewise has a right to expect His bride to do everything possible to keep herself pure for Him!

Who ARE you? An essential part of “Christian identity” is being part of the Savior’s “bride!” Are you being faithful and committed to your spiritual “Groom?”


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