Matthew 19:1-9 (The Spiritual Significance of Marriage)

Consider Jesus’ teaching on the sanctity of marriage and the seriousness of divorce: what is the spiritual significance of marriage that makes it so important in the eyes of God?  Recall the nature of God and the creative relationship of the Father through the Son (Gen 1:26-27, Joh 13:3, 16:28[1], Joh 1:1-3, 1Co 8:6, Col 1:15-16, Pro 8:12-31), and Christ through man (1Co 11:3, Joh 15:4-5,8-16, Rom 7:4) that results from the spiritual oneness of their covenant relationships, of which the nature of man and marriage is a type (Gen 2:21-24, 1:28, 1Co 11:8-9,11-12, Eph 5:22-33, 1Ti 5:14, Joh 16:21, and compare Pro 9:1-6 with Pro 31:10-31, esp. verses Pro 31:15-16,21-22,26).  In light of the deep spiritual truths that marriage is meant to teach us about the nature of God and His creative purposes, should we be surprised at the ferocity with which it is attacked by those who are in rebellion to those purposes?  Are we ourselves among those in rebellion, because we reject God’s creative purposes for our marriage relationships or our roles in God’s creation order?  Instead of engaging ourselves in the Lord’s purposes and creating eternal things as He intended to expand His eternal kingdom, are we guilty of engaging ourselves in our own purposes and creating only temporal things of this world that appeal to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes, and the boastful pride of our lives?  What does Scripture call those man-made, temporal things that people look to and serve instead of looking to and serving God?  See Deut 32:21, Psa 106:35-39, 135:15-18, Isa 2:7-8, Eze 14:2-5, Hos 4:12.  What does Scripture call the practice of looking to anything for fulfillment, meaning, and deliverance instead of looking to God?  See Col 3:5, 1Pe 4:3, Eph 5:5.

Consider now our covenant relationship with Christ typified by the marriage covenant: should we understand that the ultimate goal of our Christian walk is to be “saved” by entering into that covenant as it is typified by the Jewish betrothal, or is it to be sanctified in holiness and come to the wedding feast where Christ comes to know us as a man knows his wife?   See 2Co 11:2-3, Eph 5:25-27, Rev 19:7-9; contrast Num 14:33 and the NAS text note as well as Mat 22:2-14.  What does the two part nature of the marriage covenant as an analogy to salvation and the exception clause for divorce help us to understand about how one can be “saved” through betrothal to Christ and yet lose that salvation by committing spiritual fornication or failing to come to the wedding feast?  See Jer 3:6-8, Mat 7:22-23, 25:1-12?  Is it the one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back who is fit for the kingdom of God, or the one who endures to the end?  See Luk 9:62, Mat 10:22.  By what means do we conceive of Christ’s life so as to be truly born again and have Christ formed in us?  See 1Pe 1:23.  If a woman desires to bear the fruit of her husband’s seed, what must she first do?  In the same way, if we as the bride of Christ are to bear the fruit of His seed, must we not first come to the wedding feast in order to be intimate with Him?  In what manner must we be “intimate” with the Lord so as to receive that imperishable seed of His word?  See Jos 1:8, Psa 1:2-3, 77:12, 119:11, 15, 97, 99, Pro 2:1-5, Col 3:16.  Are we too busy to come to the feast because our hearts are adulterous and love the world and the things of the world more than we love God?  Do we “muse” on the things of God, or a-muse ourselves with the vanities of this life?  Continuing this analogy, as the fruit of the union of a man and his wife is the miracle of a new life from theirs, what is the fruit of our union with Christ?  See Gal 4:19, Mat 28:18-20. What does this teach us about the way that even those who are unmarried or barren can be involved in the eternal creative purposes of God?  Cf. Gal 4: 27.

What does literal adultery in a marriage covenant teach us about spiritual adultery in our covenant relationship with God?  See Jer 3:1-10, 5:7, 23:10-11,14, Eze 16:30-32, 23:43-45, etc…, Mat 12:39, 16:4, Rom 2:22, 2Pe 2:14, Rev 17:1,5, 18:1-4, etc….  What do all the pains associated with the covenant relationship of marriage teach us about the pains God Himself experiences in His covenant relationship to us?  Cf. Eze 6:9, as well as the entire book of Hosea; see esp. Hos 1:1-3, 3:1-3, 6:4-7, 11:8.  What does Rom 7:1-6 teach us is necessary before we can lawfully be joined to Christ in covenant?  Has our old man of sin died so we can lawfully be joined to Christ, or are we adulteresses because we have joined ourselves to Him without having first died to sin and our love for the world?  Are the dangers of spiritual adultery less, or even more serious than the dangers of physical adultery?  See Jam 4:4.  Whereas people may seek to justify their literal adultery against an unloving or unfaithful spouse, can they ever justify their spiritual adultery in the same way?

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