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We All With Unveiled Face (Part 7)

19 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 3 4 5 and 6 of the series can be found by clicking the link.

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

The Lifting of The Veil

“Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  -IICorinthians_3.16-18

What a promise!  When we turn to the Lord, the veil of mystery that hid the glory of the LORD for so long is taken away.  Now we can behold the glory of the Lord, through the Spirit, who dwells both inside of us and shines through us.  The Spirit also gives us liberty from the law, which was fulfilled in us through Christ.  Paul mentioned earlier in this passage about our new “boldness of speech” that comes with the knowledge of eternal glory.  When the veil is lifted the joy of our knowledge of the good news, and our faith in that good news, compels us to speak boldly to those who are still living under the veil.  They must know that the veil is lifted (or torn) only in Christ.
Another important thing we learn from this passage in IICor, is that now, with our unveiled face we are beholding the image of the unveiled Lord and being continually transformed into His infinite glory.  When we turn to the Lord, we begin to be transformed.  We no longer have to try to transform ourselves by our own striving as we did under the Law.  Note that in Romans 12:2 the same passive language is used.  This concept of being transformed has a meaning that is often lost: if you are not being transformed, if you are not becoming more like Christ, then you can be assured that your faith is in something other than him.  Is it in your own striving?  Is it in what you think he promises you in this life (money, health, safety, etc.)?  If your faith is in any of those things, then your faith is not in Christ alone, and you will not be being transformed into His image, from glory to glory.  He is a jealous Bridegroom and will not tolerate unrepentant adultery, but He does offer forgiveness, to those who turn from their adulterous ways.  He will lift the veil of those who turn to Him.

The concept of the veil in a marriage is very much the similar.  When the veil is lifted, the bridegroom beholds the bride in all of her beauty.  She is his, and he is hers.  All of the wonder and the mystery of what true affection and oneness of flesh and spirit becomes mystery no longer.  He no longer has to worry about breaking the marriage law with her, because the marriage law has been fulfilled in her, and vice versa for her.  They know that even with all of their falls and struggles and failures to fulfill the commitment they made to each other, that redemption was found at the moment that veil was lifted.  I don’t know it yet, but it seems to me that I will be very bold of speech in letting other people know that my wife is my wife.  I have hope that she will have the same boldness of speech.
As for the being transformed from glory to glory part of the passage, I believe this is very applicable to marriage also.  When the marriage law is fulfilled at the ceremony, the man and woman only have known the type of affection for each other that was passing away, and it is now gone.  Now, with unveiled face, they see each other fully and completely, in a totally different light.  They see each other as in a mirror.  When they look into the face of their spouse, they see their own self, for they are one flesh, and are bound to each other in spirit.  They begin at that very moment to become more and more like one another, becoming more like one flesh and one spirit every day, until death do they part.  That can only happen if they are willing to continue offering redemption for the failures of their spouse.  They know that their spouse is jealous for them, and that they have no reason to adulterate themselves to someone else, for the marriage law has been fulfilled in their spouse, and no one else.

The lifting of the veil of the ministry of death reveals the Spirit, which gives liberty from the chains of the Law.   The ministry of the Spirit begins to transform the faithful from glory to glory, for eternity.  The lifting of the veil of engagement reveals the beauty of the bride, giving liberty from the pains of the law of engagement.  The marriage begins to transform the faithful couple into one flesh, from one level of affection to another, until death do they part.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. mom permalink
    23 January, 2010 05:14

    “That can only happen if they are willing to continue offering redemption for the failures of their spouse”.
    If you can know and live this from the first day to the 18 thousandth (50yr= 18250 days!) your marraige will be well guarded, because the biggest challenge is the “marraige” of 2 sinful people who eventually allow the flesh to at least temporarily take hold. When that happens, continued, consistent repentance and forgiveness is required. This is the “adultery” of many , many marraiges….looking outside the marraige for fulfillment; in activities, shopping, traveling…whatever.

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