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Purpose: The Spiritual Analogy of Marriage is part four (D) of the study of Life Principle #3 on Oneness Forever which depicts how marital union provides insight into the spiritual covenant that we have with Christ through Christ.
This oneness principle is written throughout the scriptures including the Old Testament. This is because salvation is built upon the concept of the covenant between God and man. We will concentrate on the New Testament teaching.
In the New Testament we have the basic truth that teaches us that Christians are part of a covenant with God through Christ. They are in Christ. They are one with Christ. They are joined to Christ
This is most clearly seen by the “in Christ” phrase repeated through the Bible. It is used 88 times! The phrase ‘in Christ’ or ‘in Him’ is used eleven times just in the first chapter of Ephesians. Let us look at just three examples.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love” (Ephesians 1:4).
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).
We are special because we are in Christ. It is our position in Christ that joined us to God’s love and promises. We are one in Christ.
This is the teaching of baptism and clearly taught in Romans.
“Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” (Romans 6:3-8).
Baptism is a physical ceremony that displays our oneness with Christ. This is like the bride walking up the center aisle to be wed. She leaves her family to join the bridegroom in making a new family. She loses her old identity (last name) and becomes part of a new identity by adopting his last name.Together they begin a new life.
There will be struggles that test our allegiance to Christ. However, we must obey our Lord and disregard our old identity’s wishes. This might work out practically in a marriage when the husband requests one thing of the wife but her Mom is suggesting a contrary one, perhaps regarding child discipline. She must live out her oneness with her husband and do as he requests. Notice how this thought comes out in Romans 6:11.
“Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
We can see this truth or life principle of oneness worked out in all sorts of passages. Below is Paul’s advice to the Philippians.
“Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents--which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God” (Philippians 1:27-28).
How do they stand firm against the enemy that threatens their faith in Christ? It is through their commitment to Christ. “Stand firm in one spirit, with one mind.” Whenever we stand firm in our covenant commitment, the enemy is exposed for what he is–an adulterer trying to lure us away.
Before we move on, we want to look at one more passage that is different from the others. It purposely links together three teachings: the marriage covenant, Christian covenant and oneness.
Ephesians 5:25 interweaves these concepts. This passages does so in a different way.
“For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bear fruit for God” (Romans 7:2-4).
The only way a marriage is dissolved is through death. Marriages on earth last only as long as both partners live. Divorce is man’s idea to free a couple from their commitment, but it does not free them from the commitment they made before God. God has united them. The same is true regarding our salvation.
We died to our old identity and self through faith in Christ and are united in Christ’s new purpose. And just as in marriage there is fruit from the union, so there is fruit from our union in Christ.
The strength of a marriage or of a Christian will depend on how much they clearly identify with their oneness. In the spiritual realm, Satan wants us to rock our foundation by shaking our faith. He does this by causing us to question whether or not we are really saved.
Satan does this in our marriage too, by tempting us to think we have ‘other’ options other than staying married. Let’s look at how Satan whittles away at the foundations of marriage today.