In his letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul called marriage a mystery:
31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united (proskollaó) to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
The Greek word for united in Ephesians 5:31 is proskollaó (προσκολλάω) which literally means "to glue one thing to another". Paul, quoting Genesis 2:24, says husband and wife have been “glued to each other” and become one flesh and he calls this union a mystery that is about Jesus and the church. What does he mean?? Paul is saying that when husband and wife become one flesh in their sexual union it is a representation of what happens between Jesus and us when we believe in and receive Him. So what exactly happens?
Jesus gives us a new identity- i) we become one flesh with Him!
In Ephesians 5:31 Paul referred to God’s creation of Eve from part of Adam’s flesh and how together they were glued to each other to become “one flesh” in marriage (Genesis 2:24). In the same way we become one flesh with Jesus - we become members of Christ’s own body. Just as husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies because they are one flesh, so Jesus loves us, feeds us and cares for us because we are one flesh with Him! Paul calls this a profound mystery and God has revealed it to us today in His word!
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Jesus washes us, cleanses and perfects us because we are joined to Him, part of His body and He cannot hate Himself! When you feel unworthy or even just ordinary you need to just let it sink into your heart that Jesus loves you so much that He chose to join Himself to you! That’s how special you are to Him! Today whether you are married, divorced or single, if you have chosen to follow Jesus, your union with Christ has made you holy and blameless. The word “blameless” in Ephesians 5:27 is amomos (ἄμωμος), which means blameless, unblemished and faultless - that is, just like Jesus! It is the same word Paul uses in Ephesians 1:4 in which he is states that it was God’s plan even before creation to make us holy and blameless:
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
What an incredible plan that God chose you to be holy and blameless even before you were born! And this transformation occurs when you become one flesh with Christ Himself.
Jesus gives us a new identity- ii) we become one spirit with Him!
But not only do you become one flesh with Jesus, our relationship with Him is so intimate that we become one in spirit:
1 Corinthians 6:15-17
15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17But whoever is united (kollaó) with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
The Greek word for “united” in 1 Corinthians 6:17 is kollaó (κολλάω) literally meaning "to glue". It is also the same word used in Matthew 19:5:
4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united (kollaó) to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’
And it is also the root word of the other Greek word also translated “united”, proskollaó in Mark 10:7 and Ephesians 5:31 (meaning "to glue one thing to another") which we looked at previously.
7‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united (proskollaó) to his wife,
Not only have we become one flesh with Jesus - members of His body - but our spirit and Jesus’ Spirit have also become glued together as one. And this union with Jesus has perfected us! The apostle John recorded the prayer Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven before His arrest. Praying for all believers (and that includes you!), Jesus prayed about our union with Himself and the Father, which perfects us and which is a sign to the world that the Father loves us in the same way He loves Jesus! Wow what an incredible truth!
20“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one--23I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Jesus has given us the glory that the Father gave Him enabling us to become one with the Father and the Son and this oneness has perfected us! The Greek word which is translated “perfected” in John 17:23 is teleioó (τελειόω) which means to bring to an end, to complete, to perfect. Our union with Jesus has perfected and completed us! It is often said that there is a “God-shaped” hole in every human being. Union with Jesus, fills this void; it completes and perfects us!
So if we are one flesh with Jesus and one in spirit with Him, then it means we have been transformed into a brand new creation!
Jesus gives us a new status: we are a new creation
When we believe in Jesus we become a brand new creation in Christ:
2 Corinthians 5:17
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
In the rest of that passage, Paul goes on to explain that God no longer counts our sins against us because He made Jesus to be a sin offering for us in order to make us righteous:
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Just as when a commoner marries royalty they become royalty, so when we receive Jesus, our status is upgraded! We receive His righteousness as our own, we become part of His body (1 Corinthians 6:15, Ephesians 5:30) and one in spirit and that in turn gives us the right to become a child of God, a child newly created in the likeness of His Son Jesus!
12Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God-- 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
Just as natural born children are the product of their parents’ union so as spiritually born children we are a product of our spiritual union with Jesus and the Father.
Jesus gives us eternal security
God created marriage before sin entered the world and it was intended to be forever. That is why God hates divorce! (Malachi 2:16). Our union with Jesus restores to us a perfect sinless spirit. Approximately 600 years before He sent Jesus, the Lord described what He was going to do:
26I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you...
Earthly marriages can fail and Jesus said that Moses allowed divorce because our hearts were hard (Mark 10:5, Matthew 19:8). But through our union with Jesus, God has given us a new heart and a new spirit and nothing can separate us from Him because He has said He will never leave us or forsake us:
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
The word “leave” is the Greek word aniémi (ἀνίημι) meaning to let go, loosen, release, give up, neglect, fail to uphold. There are five negatives in this sentence so the literal Greek translation is “never not will I release you nor never not will I forsake you”
And remember that as we are children of God we have a permanent place in the family of God!
35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.
In our relationships with one another and even in our marriages we sometimes struggle to love and forgive each other as we should but God has said “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us...” (Psalms 103:12). God’s love and forgiveness never fails and there is nothing that can separate us from His love:
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We are co-heirs with Christ!
Because Jesus’ Spirit has become one with ours, we are God’s children and we too can call God our Abba Father. “Abba” means “daddy” or “papa” and is an intimate way to address our Father in Heaven. By becoming one spirit with us, Jesus has made us God’s sons and daughters so that like Him, we could also have an intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father. This wonderful truth means that we now share in the same inheritance rights as Jesus as His co-heirs!
6Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Now as children of God, in union with the Son of God, we have become just like Jesus:
1 John 14:17
17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.
Beloved, if you are feeling unworthy or unloved, know that the Father loves you in the same way that He loves Jesus and to demonstrate His love He has perfected you in unity with His Son! Let His love feed your soul and allow it to penetrate deep into your heart. You can confidently believe that in this world, you are like Jesus. Your sins have been forgiven and you have become a new creation. Though our earthly marriages can fail, Jesus’ union with us will never fail - we are members of His body and He has glued His Spirit to ours - an intimacy unlike any other - and His promise is to never ever to leave us or forsake us. So rest secure in Him today, knowing that nothing will ever separate you from His love. As you meditate on the mystery of union with Christ you will be forever transformed! Amen!
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