Functional unity in a marriage is good; organic unity is better and will go the distance. The manner in which I’m connected to Christ is the manner in which I am to be connected to my spouse.
This organic relationship was wonderfully foreshadowed in the garden. Adam was sent into a “deep sleep” and from his side a portion of his own body was taken by God and formed into his wife. Adam’s reply: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” (Genesis 2:23) Adam had a functional relationship with the lower order of creatures he had been in community with (animals). Though our many friends and acquaintances today are fellow humans, our spouse is still of a higher order, in that he or she alone is our one flesh partner.
Jesus is called the second man, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-47). He too went into a “deep sleep” of death and resurrection. From His wounded side the church is born and betrothed to one Man – the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul felt the divine yearning when he said to the church, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.” (2 Corinthians 11:2) We are Christ’s body and will be His bride at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
Husbands and wives, this is your eternal purpose. We are “seated with Christ in heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6), fully vested as “kings and priests” (Revelation 1:6), bone of Christ’s bones, flesh of His flesh. Our personal and marital lives in this age are an apprenticeship for the day when we will be fully functioning as co-rulers with the King of the universe for all eternity. Eternal purpose is the backbone of earthly purpose. The zeal to be a full partner with Jesus, to rule and reign with Him, makes me a better spouse today. It keeps a good “edge” to my personal development that instantly transfers positively into my marriage. (Singles: this will keenly manifest in your circle of friends as well.)
The key is found in 1 Corinthians 6:17 – “He who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.” That which is spirit is essential reality, while that which is material is relative reality. Example: when the spirit leaves the body, the body disintegrates. It’s very structure is lost because it depends on the spirit for its reality. We could say that the spirit has independent reality and the body only has relative reality.
Your spirit then, gives life to and sustains, your body. Your spirit is the real “you.” I marvel at the reality that I am joined to the Lord and am “one spirit” with Him. Where He is, I am. Where I am, He is. By virtue of this organic union, I am empowered to both live transcendent above the spiritual decay of this world, and, to carry the life of Christ to be released during my earthly pilgrimage. Where He is, in the heavenly places, I am. Where I am, sojourned and exiled, He is – indwelling me to be a vital contributor to the holy priesthood assigned to planet Earth.
To be continued…