Marriage – A Picture of Jesus and His Church PT 2 – God’s Original Purpose for Marriage

In this post we will discuss God’s original purpose for marriage. God’s original purpose for marriage is to picture Christ and His Church

As one reads Ephesians 5:22-33, he realizes that Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 in Ephesians 5:31. Ephesians 5:32 tells us that the words of Ephesians 5:31 are a mystery referring to Jesus and His Church. Therefore, Genesis 2:24 is a mystery referring to Christ and the Church.

In order to understand this, we must understand what a mystery is. Ephesians 3:5 gives the explanation of “mystery.” A mystery is something “which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:5). A mystery is something that has always been in God’s plan, was not revealed to men in the past, but has now been made known to us by the apostles and prophets. In the context of Ephesians 3:5, the mystery was the inclusion of Gentiles in the Church. In the context of Ephesians 5:22-33, the mystery is that marriage has always pictured Jesus and His church.

As Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 he says it is a mystery that refers to Jesus and the Church. So, when God recorded the following words in the beginning, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh,” He was referring to a picture of Jesus and the Church. Marriage, since it’s institution, has been a picture of Jesus and His Church. God planned the Church before time began (Eph. 1:4). When God planned and instituted marriage, He had an eternal purpose for marriage. That purpose is that marriage would be a picture of Jesus and His Church.

This is something that wasn’t revealed to mankind before, but the purpose of marriage has always been to show Jesus’ relationship to the church and the church’s relationship to Jesus. It is a mystery now revealed by God through His apostles and prophets.

This gives a greater weight to all failures in marriage. Whether they are classified by us as “big” or “little” failures, they are all heinous sins. All failure in marriage is serious, because it misses the mark of God’s command and purpose. Failure is also serious, because it wrongly portrays the relationship of Christ and His Church. All deviations from God’s design and purpose for marriage are sin, because they misrepresent Jesus and disregard God’s command and design.

It also defines true success for marriage. True success in marriage is rightly representing the relationship of Jesus and His Church. Marriages that fit God’s original purpose for marriage are a picture of the Gospel.

Jesus Christ loves His church and gave Himself up for her to set her apart and cleanse her through the Gospel. Husbands, we are to love our wives in the same way to point the world and the Church to the Gospel.

The Church submits to Jesus our Lord, Head, and Savior. Jesus is the Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23), which means He is the Church’s source of life and leadership. Wives, you are to submit to your husbands as the Church does to Jesus to point the world and the Church to the Gospel.

In the next post we will discuss the current purpose of marriage…

In Christ’s service,

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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