Hi, this is Pastor Ken. Thanks for joining me once again for the Monday Marriage Message Podcast. Today is our ninth installment in our discovery of what God wants us to know about the interaction He desires to see in our marriages based on Ephesians 5:21-33.
Today’s edition will focus on verse 30. This is a short verse indeed, but full of potential marriage changing truth…so let’s get started shall we? Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.
Last week I laid some groundwork for our discussion from the book of Genesis. Today I will again reference two of those scriptures because they are so crucial to our understanding of this one. In Genesis 2:23 it is recorded for us that when Adam was presented with Eve, the woman God had made specifically for him, from a rib God had taken from him, he made the following declaration. “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man”. Essentially Adam was saying, “This woman and I are one flesh, we are joined to one another by God…we are married.
In the next verse we read God’s response to Adam’s statement. Genesis 2:24 says Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. Here we find that God is giving us some incredible information. He is saying that because He has created a marriage of two people by literally creating one from the flesh of the other, and has found it to be very good (Genesis 1:31) for the purpose of reflecting Himself, He purposed to continue that arrangement forevermore. In this verse God indicated that going forward from that moment in time, although He would not put every man to sleep, take a rib and fashion for that man a wife, He would continue to join a man and a woman and make them one. He made the plan clear. When a man grew up he would leave his father and mother (the result of their “one flesh” relationship) and be joined by God to his wife, and that new couple would live in a newly formed “one flesh” condition resembling that which Adam and Eve enjoyed. Jesus reiterated this truth to the Pharisees recorded for us in Matthew 19:4-6. There Jesus said, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning, made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two of them shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate”.
Adam declared that he and Eve were “one flesh”. God Endorsed Adam’s understanding and said that the plan going forward would be that He would continue to join a man and a woman and make them “one flesh”. Jesus reminded us that it is God, not man who joins a man and a woman in marriage and that as a result, they “are no longer two, but one flesh”. Now we come to scripture found in Ephesians 5:30 where by the inspiration of the third part of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Paul to write, “For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones”. What is Paul saying? He is saying what he has been saying throughout this entire passage from verses 21through 33. As followers of Christ, we are a part of the church. The church is the bride of Christ. You and I are considered by God to be in a “one flesh” relationship with Jesus!
That information alone is staggering and reason for immense praise and gratefulness to God for giving us this great privilege! The fact that He was willing to send His own Son to earth to pay the penalty for our sin, which had separated us from Him is too much for me to imagine sometimes. When I consider that He did this so that we would be able to spend eternity in heaven, that alone is so much more than we deserve. However, that overwhelming loving action of God was not only chosen so we could stand before Him blameless. It was not simply so we could someday go to, and enjoy heaven. It was accomplished so that we could be married to the one who died to make it possible. Would you be willing to watch your only child be brutally murdered so that you could gain a daughter-in-law? That is what God did for us! If there were no further truth that could be gleaned from this single verse…it would be more than enough. But wait…there is more!
According to Ephesians 5:30, if you are a Christ follower, you are one flesh with Christ. According to verses 25-27 which we looked at a few weeks ago; in the past, Jesus gave Himself for you, so that in the present He could set you aside for Himself and wash you by the water of the word. Finally, we read that in the future He plans to present you to Himself holy and without blemish, a perfect bride! What a wonderful plan! If you are part of a “one flesh” relationship with someone who is also a Christ follower, then the plan is the same for them! You are each one with Christ. That is a beautiful thing…but it also reveals an awesome responsibility.
What would happen if I were away from home and my wife was in our yard doing some gardening and one of our neighbors came up to her and began to be mean to her? What if he started verbally berating her? What if he told her that she was a terrible neighbor? What do you think would be the result when I got home and became aware of what had transpired? Do you think that our neighbor who felt he had a problem with my wife would now have a more serious problem with me? I can assure you he would! If someone treated my bride, the one I am “one flesh” with in that way…I would take it very personally. I would react toward that person as if He had done those things directly to me. God’s word tells us that when we interact negatively with others Christ is “one flesh” with He takes it personally as well!
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus described what the day will be like when He comes again. In the New Living Translation it says He described it as follows. “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’ “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Jesus takes the way we treat those who are “one flesh” with Him very personally. So personally in fact that He said, He counts it as if it had been done to Him. This is important for us to understand because it means that if I am one with Christ, and I am, and my wife is one with Christ, and she is…then how I interact with her, Jesus says is how I am interacting with Him! It is not an indication of how I interact with Him. It is not a shadow or a picture of how I interact with Christ. Jesus is clear. The way that I interact with my wife is how I am interacting with Him. I cannot say that I have a good relationship with Jesus if I do not have a good relationship with my wife. Period. On the other hand, if I have a wonderful “one flesh” relationship with her, Jesus is pleased that I am treating her as He wants to be treated.
Questions to answer:
Have you ever considered the correlation between the way you treat your spouse and the way Jesus feels you are treating Him?
What things do you want to see change in that regard?
What reminders can you offer yourself that will help you remember this great truth when interacting with your spouse?
Actions to take:
Talk together about how you want to move forward in your “one flesh” condition in a way that will also take good care of your “one flesh” relationship with the Lord.
Take some time to seek God’s forgiveness for times you have not treated Christ well when interacting with your spouse.
Take time to seek your spouse’s forgiveness for not treating them as Christ wanted you to.
So now, recognizing that the way you interact with your spouse is the way Jesus says you are interacting with Him…Go be awesome!