And The Two Shall Be One
Not I But Christ
The ultimate plan of God for all eternity can be found tucked away in two verses from Paul's letter to the Ephesians, 5:31 and 32. "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND HIS MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church."
God instituted marriage, and within it is a union like no other. Paul spoke to the church at Ephesus about the marriage between a man and a woman. He quotes Genesis 2:23 and says, "This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church." MYSTERY is the secret counsel of God in His dealings with the righteous, which are hidden from ungodly and wicked men but are made plain to the godly at the proper time. God spoke clearly in the Old Testament, but men's minds were not yet opened to understand them fully. The Old Testament contains prophecies of the coming Messiah as a shadow of things yet to come. The New Testament reveals Christ as the very substance of those prophecies.
Paul further refers to marriage as a Great mystery. The word GREAT refers to things esteemed highly for their importance. Therefore, marriage is a highly important mystery. Why? Because of the statement, "...and the two shall become one flesh." It is a major theme in his letter. This one flesh relationship is stated all through the letter to the Ephesians. In 1:23, he tells us the church is the fulness of Christ. "…the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." In 2:14, Jew and Gentile are one, "who is our peace has made both groups that is Jew and Gentile into one." For what reason? Verse 22, "in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit." In 3:19, we are to "know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." In 4:15, he instructs us, "…practicing the truth in love; we will in all things grow up into Christ…." So throughout the entire letter, Paul reveals the union of God with His people.
Think of it! The creature becomes united with the creator; the mortal becomes one with the immortal. The finite gets to share eternity with the infinite one, that is, the one that is infinite in every way and shares all things with those that are finite in every way, and the sinner gets to share the glory with the holy one.
Beloved, and anyone outside of Christ, let us consider how great this love of God is when this union is for enemies and rebels to God. The substitutionary death of Christ accomplished first the forgiveness of sins and second the identification of the sinner with the Savior in a holy union between men and Almighty God in a one-flesh relationship. Three days after Christ's death, He rose from the dead by the power of His holy life, which life He imparts to everyone who repents and believes the gospel.
Marriage visualizes the union between Christ and the church.
Colossians 1:25 "Of this church I was made a minister … to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
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