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We All With Unveiled Face (Part 4)

8 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.

Parts 1 2 and 3 of the series can be found by clicking the link.

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

The Glory of That Which is Everlasting
The ministry of the Spirit and marriage are both everlasting in their own time frame, and it is important that we distinguish between the two time frames.  The ministry of the Spirit is everlasting in the most real of senses, because it is everlasting on earthly time and everlasting in heaven where there is no time.  Marriage is everlasting only in the earthly time-line sense.
When we say, “till death do us part,” we literally mean we will be one flesh, until death.  At that point we are God’s alone.  As hard as it may be to accept, Jesus Himself said that upon resurrection we, as saints, will not marry or be given in marriage.  I am convinced that marriage and earthly family will not be important then, as we will all be children of God, and your family will be just as dear to me as my family.  We will all be children of God together in unity.

Having thus established the respective eternalness of both the ministry of the Spirit and of marriage, let us examine the glory inherent in each.  Good sentence eh?

The ministry of the Spirit is glorious because of two reasons mentioned by Paul in this passage.  First, because it is the ministry of righteousness.  Through Christ Jesus, all who have faith in His redemption will be made righteous on the day of Judgment.  It is this righteousness of God, who is the Spirit, that fills each one of His people with His glory.  The ministry of the Spirit is also glorious because it is everlasting.  There is now nothing left to be fulfilled in the Law, seeing as Jesus has completed all of it.  Therefore we know that the redemption that is found in the Spirit is once and for all time. I love the statement Paul makes is verses 10 and 11, mostly because it is so true, and somewhat because it reminds me of limits problems in Pre-Calculus class: “For what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.  For if what is passing away is glorious, what remains is much more glorious.”  It is a well known mathematical fact that in limits problems, anything finite is considered to be zero when compared to anything that is infinite.  That is exactly the point Paul is making here.  Even though that which was (ministry of death) had glory, that which remains and is everlasting (ministry of the Spirit) has so much more glory that the ministry of death seems to have no glory at all.  This is only reality for those who abide in the Spirit and not in the Law.

For the marriage analogy, I am only expressing my faith in what marriage will be like, since I obviously don’t know right now.  We have talked about the glory of engagement and affection before marriage, but marriage must be a totally different type of affection.  Everyone I’ve talked to that is in a godly marriage tells me that everything changes when you get married. “You don’t really know what love is until after you get married,” some of them say.  I think it is just a totally different level of love, one that is not focused on some finite goal (marriage day), but a life-long journey.  So once a couple makes it past the thrills of engagement and the marriage day, a whole new kind of love is opened to them.  Physical affection is obviously a new concept in a godly marriage, but spiritual affection must be a totally new thing also.  A man and woman becoming one flesh, having children, and loving each other unto death is a type of glory no one can know until they are actually experiencing it.   The “law” or promise, of engagement is fulfilled, and now a totally different level of glory is available.  This level of affection so far outweighs the one that was present before that it seems like there was no true love before.

So next installment we will take a look at the gracious redemption necessary with both the ministry of the Spirit, and marriage.  Stay tuned!

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