May 10, 2017

Unison Reading from Ephesians 5:31-32

The Unison Reading for next Lord’s Day is taken from Ephesians 5, which continues the theme of the Call to Worship we looked at yesterday. Yesterday, we read of the vision of John the Revelator, who saw the Bride of Christ coming to be with her Christ in the remade creation. Today, we read Paul, who interrupts his teaching on marriage to remind us what future reality lies behind earthly marriage.

The Text

Ephesians 5:31-32

[31] “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” [32] This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (ESV)

The Setting

In this section of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians, he has mostly moved on from the soaring heights of theology he proclaimed in the early chapters and has moved on to more applied instruction. But, he shows that even in more “practical” matters, everything comes back to theology. Everything is ultimately about God and what He is doing. As Paul notes elsewhere, “all things were created through Christ and for Christ”. So also marriage is about Christ.

The Law

It is not good for man to be alone. It is painful for a man to be separated, alone, apart from company. It is often painful for a man to be without a wife or a woman to be without a husband. Extended solitary confinement is a method of torture in prisons. Yet worse than all these is our separation from God. It is not good for man to be alone. But since Adam’s sin, man has been alone, no longer walking in the immediate presence of his God. This separation is not only painful, but is spiritual death. As solitary confinement drives a man insane, the man separated from God follows the insane demands of the world, the flesh, and the Devil to rebel against the living God.

The Gospel

Like the Old Testament sacrifices that pointed to Christ, marriage is a type, a shadow pointing us to the future reality. The reality is that Christ is reconciling men to Himself so that we no longer have to be alone. Now in part, and fully at His return, we are with Him and He with us. No longer shall we suffer the pains of loneliness or broken relationships. No longer must we accede to the insanity of sin, but we may be with our true companion who has defeated death on our behalf.

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