Marriage – A Picture of Jesus and His Church PT 1

Our church family recently celebrated the marriage of a young couple. There is another couple in our church family who will celebrate 60 years of marriage this week. Marriage has been in the spotlight for a few weeks in our church family, so we took time to study the purpose of marriage as defined by God in the Bible.

There will be a series of posts from that study. The focus of this series will be Ephesians 5:22-33. The letter to the Ephesians gives us a very detailed look into God’s purpose for marriage, especially as it relates to God’s redeemed people.

The message of Ephesians is that true believers in Jesus are God’s holy people. Believers are God’s people set apart from sin, Satan, and the world by God for Himself. He has done this through Jesus’ death on the cross in the place of His people for our sins. The church is a redeemed (purchased) people.

This redemption affects everything about us including our relationships. Everything about us, including our marriages, has been purchased by God for God’s purposes. As redeemed people our marriages have been redeemed to fulfill God’s original purpose for marriage.

This study of Ephesians 5:22-33 can be divided into the following headings:

I. God’s original purpose for marriage – It is a picture of Christ and His Church

II. God’s current purpose for marriage – It is a picture of Christ and His Church

III. Marriage is a picture of Jesus’ union to the Church

IV. Marriage is a picture of the Church’s submission to Jesus

V. Marriage is a picture of Jesus’ love for the Church

The main point of Ephesians 5:22-33 could be stated as, “Marriage is picture of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:32).”

While there are many ways to apply this passage to our individual marriages, there is an application that carries across all marriages. The main application can be stated as, “All we do in our marriages should clearly represent Jesus’ relation to the church and the church’s relation to Jesus.” Anything short of this is sin and must be turned from and forsaken in the hope of the Gospel. This application is true for our marriages as a whole and for each interaction in the marriage relationship.

The litmus test of every marriage is whether the husband is showing a clear picture of Jesus’ relationship to His church and whether the wife is showing a clear picture of the church’s relationship to Jesus. If the answer is “no,” whatever does not clearly picture Jesus and the Church is sin and must be repented of and forsaken by the Holy Spirit in hope of the Gospel.

If you feel a pit in your stomach, because you know you are failing, look to Jesus Christ! We are all sinners and failures in marriage. Repent, turn away from the sin in your marriage, and look to Jesus. He has died to pay the penalty for all His people’s sins. He has come back to life again to give us new life. Depend upon Him, trusting Him to cleanse you and the Holy Spirit to strengthen you to obey His commands for marriage.

In this series of posts, we will discuss the headings given above and work through the challenges we face in rightly representing Jesus and His Church. We will meet these challenges in the hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ. For every sin issue you and I face, the Good News of Jesus Christ is the only solution and hope. (For more about the Good News, please visit the Good News page on this blog).

Soli Deo Gloria (For The Glory of God Alone),

Bill Whittington

(Please Note: When the word “marriage” is used in any post on this blog, it refers to the lifelong covenant union of one man and one woman before God. The gender references of male and female refer to the biological gender of individuals as determined by God at conception. This is the only way that the Bible refers to marriage and gender. Anything outside of these definitions rebels against the God of the Bible, therefore it is sin.)

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