JohnSWilson3 Blog

“…the marriage bed kept pure…”
September 3, 2012, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Q - Letter to Hebrews

Because of the length of my previous post thought I would make a separate post from it on this aspect of keeping “the marriage bed pure.”

This thought from the author goes to a matter that probably describes one of the most intimate aspects of relationships between human beings – marriage. But marriage is really the way of life out from God. It is God’s most intimate picture of life in Him. God’s view of everything He created is viewed through His Son and His expression through His Bride. The Old Testament shows this picture even in the beginning with Adam and Eve. Christ keeps His marriage with His Bride undefiled by His life. However, the Bride must stay focused on Her Bridegroom. Everything controlled by the flesh contaminates, is destructive and anti-Christ. The Old Testament shows time and again and in many instances in horrific detail how His people, pictured as a Bride, dishonored Him by not keeping their marriage with Him pure or uncontaminated. They became focused on religion or on someone or thing. Some of these same images are even expressed in the New Testament, none more so than in Revelation. Sadly throughout the life of His people this has played out time and again. It is for this reason it was all taken to the cross. How we need eyes to see the reality of what Christ did on the cross. How we need a larger view of Jesus and His life in us.

Marriage between a husband and a wife, a man and a woman, is a quintessential picture and figure of the Son and His Bride. When marriage is not considered as such it can become one of the most destructive forms of relationships, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Because the Son has only one Bride and His Bride is called to fix her eyes only on Him then likewise “marriage should be honored by all” the brothers and sisters. For this reason “true” marriage is counter cultural. We do not force God’s view of marriage onto the world; instead we live His life before the world. This is demonstrated both in actual loving marriages between husbands and wives and in how the body lives by Her Head.

The world has taken marriage and made it religious and made it a travesty and made it into a financial liability. Whatever culture defines or says about marriage it says through the flesh, it is contaminated. Christ’s life is “free from contamination” (1) and as the author mentioned earlier in the letter the only one who “meets our need – one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” Christ desires only His Bride. Christ desires to live in Her and She desires to live by Him, this is seen as “the marriage bed kept pure” or undefiled. The author actually pictures the Bride as being married to the Son.

To lose our focus on the Son is to have our focus on some other one or thing and is to act like an “adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” This word “adulterer” means someone “who has unlawful intercourse with the spouse of another,” to be in Christ and to follow after the flesh, whatever that may be, is adultery. (2) Christ even pointed out that adultery wasn’t just a physical act of “unlawful intercourse” but emotional as well. The word “sexually immoral” or “fornication” refers to any “illicit sexual intercourse.” (3) This can mean intercourse between those who are unmarried (John 8:41) to incest (1 Cor. 5:1) which is improper for God’s people who represent Him. It breaks Christ’s law of unselfish love.

As Paul wrote to the brothers and sisters in Corinth who were involved in such matters: “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body…Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

To the ekklesia in Colosse Paul wrote that the body must put it to death, see that it was taken to the cross and buried by Christ. We now live in newness of life by His life. Living in Him, our way of life will express purity towards Him, one another, even in marriage, against whatever culture may say. Remember that whatever culture or religion may say about marriage it says through the flesh not by the Spirit. If we follow the flesh to fall back to religion, to lose sight of Christ, is to have “intercourse” with the world and there will always be destructive consequences. To keep on loving the brothers and sisters is to honor “true” marriage not just in this world with one another but as a type of our way of life together in the Spirit.

(1) The Greek word translated “pure” means “undefiled, free from contamination.” W.E. Vine, Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 650.
(2) Ibid. 14.
(3) Ibid. 252.

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