Friday, February 03, 2006

The Perfect Marriage

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Yesterday, we looked at the perfect wife. So I figured, why not follow that up with a look at the perfect marriage? Following is one of my favorite quotations from Martin Luther, taken from his Freedom of the Christian published in 1520:

Faith unites the soul with Christ as a bride is united with her bridegroom. By this mystery, as the apostle teaches, Christ and the soul become one flesh (Ephesians 5.31-2) and if they are one flesh and there is between them a true marriage – indeed the most perfect of all marriages, since human marriages are but poor examples of this one true marriage – it follows that they have everything in common, good as well as the evil. Accordingly the believing soul can boast of, and glory in, whatever Christ has as though it were his own. Let us compare these and we shall see inestimable benefits. Christ is full of grace, life, and salvation. The soul is full of sins, death and damnation. Now let faith come between them, and sins, death and damnation will be Christ’s, while grace, life and salvation will be the soul’s; for if Christ is the bridegroom, he must take upon himself the things which are his bride’s and bestow upon her the things that are his.

Some call such an exchange "marrying up." I can't help but think that if we really believe this today, we will experience a kind of peace rarely found in our busy world.


Stephanie Koehler said...

Wow. What a beautiful way to express the true foundation and meaning behind marriage. To think that Christ willingly engages in this exchange of good and evil! It makes my heart sing! said...


What are your thoughts on a "Second Blessing" as taught by Andrew Murray in his book, The Two Covenants?

Ken Shomo said...


I haven't read this book by Andrew Murray. However, I was able to read the portion on "The Second Blessing" online.

Briefly: I would not agree with some of his overarching theology and some of the way he interprets specific passages. However...

I do believe that God empowers Christians for service, and that there is a need to be "filled with the Spirit" in a manner distinct from our general possession of the Spirit. To be thus empowered by the Holy Spirit is to have a greater assurance of salvation and eternal realities, and thus to die more to sin and live more to God. It seems God grants such a gift as a response to earnest prayer, but also according to his free will as he wishes to empower men for service in the kingdom.