Volume. XXX, No. 6
Sunday, 09 August 2015


A Christian Marriage II


The Mystery of Marriage - Part B

Ephesians 5: 21 – 33

In the last article we discussed the following:

1. Marriage is a great mystery of Christ and His bride, the church.

To a Bible-believer, a marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Furthermore, a marriage is a mystery. In Ephesians 5:32, the Apostle Paul says this about marriage: “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” God calls marriage a great mystery of Christ and the church!

2. The wife is part of the husband’s flesh.

In Ephesians 5:28 the Apostle Paul says “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself”. That means a man’s wife is part of himself. For the wife to be part of the man means she becomes an integral part of the husband!

3. The husband is to nourish and cherish his wife as Christ Jesus does to the church.

The Lord Jesus does not hate, but loves the church, and He “nourisheth and cherisheth it” (Ephesians 5:29). He “feeds and clothes” (John Gill) His church because (in the next verse) “we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephesians 5:30). So, we are part of our Lord Jesus. As we are part of Him, husbands are to imitate Him to nourisheth and cherisheth his wife as Christ does to His church. Hence, in a marriage the husband “feeds and clothes” his wife. The husband is to love his wife.

Today, we will continue with our study on The Mystery of Marriage.

4. The mystery of marriage is an intimate union between a man and a woman.

Consider these verses:

Ephesians 5:31 “For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.”

Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

In Ephesians 5:31, Paul quotes almost word for word from Genesis 2:24.

When we compare Ephesians 5:31 and Genesis 2:24, we discover that the word “they” in Ephesians 5:31 is followed by “two”. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul added “two” to give it a more straightforward meaning of what this intimate union is all about.

a. The intimacy of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:23).

God spoke these words as recorded in Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” They were spoken after Eve was created and presented to, and after she was named by, Adam. When Eve was received by Adam from God, he said this about his woman: “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23). What Adam meant was that he and Eve were so close as to be one flesh!

b. Our Lord Jesus confirmed this intimacy in the mystery of marriage.

During His earthly ministry, our Lord Jesus confirmed Genesis 2:24.

One day, our Lord was questioned about the issue of marriage: “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matthew 19:3). Our Lord knew that He was being tested, and in response, He gave this answer “4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:4,5).

From our Lord’s own words (“male and female”; “a man leave father and mother”; “cleave to his wife”; “twain shall be one flesh”), it is absolutely clear that God teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman and that there is intimacy in the marriage union.

The Apostle Paul uses this text from God’s Word to teach the intimacy of the marriage bond and emphasizes that a woman is part, and not independent, of a man, just as we are members of Christ’s body.

c. In the mystery of marriage, the marriage union is supreme.

Apart from the intimacy of a marriage union, it is also supreme.

i. The marriage union takes priority over the parent-child relationship.

The intimacy of marriage reveals that the marriage bond takes precedence over the parent-child relationship. Genesis 2:24 declares: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother” for his wife. That means a man must leave his father and mother when he marries, and the same is true for a woman. It is therefore wise for a married couple not to live under the same roof of parents or parents-in-law. This will certainly avoid potential relationship problems in the future.

The verse in Genesis 2:24 implies that marriage between a man and a woman is superior, and takes priority over the parent-child relationship in the areas of closeness and its intimacy. There is no doubt that, genetically, the parent-child relationship is strong and close because the child is flesh and blood of the parents, but for a man and his wife, there is no blood tie. Despite the fact that there is no blood relationship, the intimate relationship between a man and a woman is superior!

This is truly an incredible mystery that the marriage bond between a man and a woman with no blood tie takes precedence over the genetically closer parent-child relationship.

ii. The marriage union is permanent.

Note the words translated as “joined” in Ephesians 5:31 and “cleave” in Genesis 2:24. These words literally mean “to be glued to someone, to stick closely to someone”. That means, in a marriage bond, the man is strongly glued to his wife so that he “sticks” to her, and vice versa.  

The words “they shall be one flesh” affirm the intimacy of marriage. Here, God stresses the extreme closeness of the marriage union. Under the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and guidance Paul made a small change to the text when he quoted Genesis as mentioned. In Genesis we read “they shall be one flesh”, but Paul added after “they,” the word “two” in Ephesians 5:31, and it became “they two shall be one flesh”. Paul is making a strong point that the intimacy of marriage is such a special relationship that two becomes one. In marriage there are no longer two anymore but one flesh. This was confirmed by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 19:6 “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”. This one flesh, God warns, no man is to separate it!

iii) The meaning of “one flesh”.

The “one flesh” actually means that the entire nature of the man and the woman has become one. There is now “a oneness of bodies and souls, of thinking and desiring, of hopes and disappointments, of labors and goals. There is oneness of the whole of earthly life; the husband and wife share one life” (Marriage – The Mystery of Christ & The Church by David J Engelsma, page 18, 1998 edition). That means, the husband and the wife is now one “team,” living and working together in unity.

…..to be continued.

Elder Michael Lee

More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster - Today: Group E. Next Lord’s Day: Group A.

*Next week: Seminars on family issues by Mr Brett Ryan, CEO of “Focus on the Family”. All worshippers are encouraged to attend.

*Please note: Due to seminars, next Lord’s Day fellowship lunch will be catered also. For catered lunch, cost is $3 for adults, free for primary & pre-primary children.

*Baptism, Re-affirmation of Faith or Transfer of Membership will be held on the Lord’s day, 30 Aug. For candidates or parents of infants, please write a short testimony and email it to Ps Ki by next Lord’s Day.

*New Basic Bible Knowledge course to commence 6 Sept. Please let Elder Michael D Lee know if interested.


Praise & thanksgiving
Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki; & others arriving safely at their destinations.

Church activities in the past week.

God’s guidance & blessing on our ACM last night.

Visitors & new worshippers.

God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

Safe labour & delivery: Sis Julie Tan’s daughter (Katrina).

Safe labour & delivery: Sis Josephine Wong.

Prayer Items
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis

Lehia Paauwe; & others in affliction.

iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.

Cambodia Missions -

House of Hope, Cebu - Pastor Roel M Allocod, staff & volunteers; treatment & salvation of drug addicts; Provision of car & sufficient funds
for ministry.

New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for congregation.

Covenant BPC (Perth) - purchasing of church property.

Providence B-P Church, Mawson Lakes - Ps David & Sis Susan Weng, & congregation. First Anniversary Thanksgiving Service next
Lord’s Day.

Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.

Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren (Adl); Elder David & Sis Giok Yeo (S’pore); ; & all those who are travelling.

Final week of pregnancy: Sis Mag Kim (UK)

Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

Jobs: Those seeking for jobs in Adelaide.

Persecuted believers in Islamic countries.

Protection & Preservation of Israel. Salvation of Jews.

God’s guidance: purchase of new church property.

Australia: God’s wisdom for our political leaders. People to repent and turn to God.

“Focus on the Family” Seminar: Speaker - Mr Brett Ryan & attendees.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063