|"You're Still The One" 2015|
As the Scriptures say,
“A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife,
and the two are united into one.”
This is a great mystery,
but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
Paul paints a tangled web in Eph 5. Back and forth in the instructions Paul gives to husbands and wives, he describes the husband and wife relationship as a metaphor for the church and Jesus, the Bridegroom, calling marriage a great - or profound - mystery.
In the New Testament, the word “mystery” denotes, not the mysterious, but that which can be made known only by Divine revelation... In the ordinary sense, a mystery implies knowledge withheld; it’s Spiritual significance is truth revealed. (Vines)
The word "mystery" means something which is concealed, hidden, before unknown; something into which one must be instructed before he can understand it. It does not mean that it is "incomprehensible" when it is disclosed, but that previously it has been kept secret.
The idea of this being a mystery, is only a mystery to those who haven't understood that this chapter is about Christ's relationship to His Church.
“Jesus declares you are His bride. He chose the highest expression of commitment between two people to express His commitment to you. Your identity is wrapped up in the reality of your relationship with Christ.” Eric Geiger
Becoming a Christian is like being carried over the threshold into a sunny room. We leave behind darkness and fear and cross into the light. We enter in to a new relationship, a new lifestyle. We begin a new covenant relationship, sealed with blood.
Entering into covenant relationships with our earthly husband and with Jesus Christ are just the beginning of the profound mystery. Each day presents new challenges. Satan attacks marriages because they represent the Divine union. That's why this past weekend, and once a year, my husband and I attend a marriage conference called "You're Still The One." We are now coaches helping other couples learn the skills and tools that have helped us so much.
Just like these tools help my husband and I to communicate better resulting in a greater sense of oneness, we also need to maintain effective two-way communication with our spiritual Bridegroom to have a greater sense of oneness. Tools like prayer, fellowship, and reading the Bible are essential to maintain that oneness and allow God to reveal Himself to us in greater measure.
We begin to understand that which was previously "incomprehensible" to us, and the profound mystery unfolds. But unlike an Agatha Christie novel, we will have full understanding only when we see Jesus face to face. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Cor. 13:12
Until then, we heed Paul’s words in the tangled web of Eph. 5 that provides instructions for earthly and spiritual oneness:
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.