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We All With Unveiled Face (Part 2)

4 January, 2010

Read II Corinthians 3.  Now, read Ephesians 5:25-33.  I am about to tread onto soil that I admittedly know very little about, but bear with me; those that know more than I do about this topic, feel very much free to comment/correct me.  The overarching goal in this is not to define marriage, but to draw out the gospel in something to which we all relate.  Defining marriage is secondary, and it is solely for my personal thought process, not to be taken as what I think everyone should agree upon.

Part 1 of the Series can be found here.

ministry of death : ministry of the Spirit :: engagement : marriage

The Glory of That Which is Coming to an End

The ministry of death and the concept of marriage engagement both come with a promise.  Both of them are promised to end.  The promised end of the ministry of death is God’s promise to send a Messiah who would fulfill the law.  The promised end of an engagement is the marriage day, where the two people are lawfully, physically, and spiritually bound to each other.

The fact that Moses was forced to veil his face when coming down from the mountain to deliver the old covenant proves that the old covenant had a glory of its own.  The law is from God, and the law reflects the glory of God because it shows man the requirements he must meet to be like God.

Similarly, a man and a woman experience a type of glory upon engagement to each other.  Before spiritual marriage there is a type of affection that can be acquired by man and woman; that affection, when taken by itself, has a certain glory of its own.  The purest form of this affection though, is not physical at all.  The glory abides in the promise that which is to come, spiritually and physically.

The affection that comes before marriage is founded on the terms of engagement:  that both people will commit to be pure from anyone else, and even each other, until the marriage comes.  Of course, considering the sinful state of mankind, everyone has failed to keep himself or herself pure until marriage (considering Jesus’ words in Matthew 5, I think everyone can agree that no one is completely pure).  We will see the need for gracious redemption in marriage in a later installment.  That is the reason God set up the marriage laws: so that people that are acting apart from the perfect plan of God may see what they are doing wrong.  Since the affection that is felt before marriage seems so great, many people get stuck on it, and never even get to experience the essence of true spiritual marriage.  The same is true for the ministry of death.  Some have gotten so stuck on the fact that the ministry of the law came with the glory of God that they refuse to accept that glory which surpasses it.  Their eyes have been blinded by the glory of that-which-was-coming-to-an-end so much that they cannot see that-which-is-everlasting.  That issue will be addressed more when we get to the part about the veil.

The main point I want to make in this section is that the ministry of death and the concept of engagement both have a promised end, and both come with their own type of glory.  The glory of an engagement is the type of affection a man and woman have for each other, with the promise to keep themselves pure for each other until marriage.  The glory of the ministry of death is that fact that the law is a type of the image of God, in that God is perfectly righteous; fulfilling the law would make a man completely righteous as God is righteous.  There is bad news in both of these types of glory though, as we will see.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    8 January, 2010 17:03

    “That is the reason God set up the marriage laws: so that people that are acting apart from the perfect plan of God may see what they are doing wrong.” This reminds me of the person who does something wrong, then claims “but I didn’t know!!!”. I think God wants us to be successful as a Christ-follower, otherwise he could have kept His law to Himself and we would live in a total state of depravity, shame, corruption, etc. Sometimes we think of laws as “restrictive and exclusive”, but God graciously gifted us with the law before he gifted us with His Son. This whole doctrine [law (ministry of death) before Christ(ministry of Spirit)]has always been a little difficult for me. You wrote “law is a type of the image of God”. I would not have understood this if I hadn’t been to the last class I attended that defined “type” as used in Scripture. Maybe you could put a link there to define it so that others who read will understand it’s meaning.
    I am looking forward to your next post.

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