Saturday, January 19, 2013

"For This Reason a Man Shall Leave His Father..." (Eph 5:28-32)

Who are we in Christ?  (The common thread that is tying our lessons together.)  We are MEMBERS OF HIS BODY.  God reveals this through Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (Eph 5:29-30).  Instead of thinking about being Christ’s arm or ear or pancreas (Chad); when we stepped back to see the context of Eph 5:29-30, we saw that it is set in the midst of a teaching about marriage relationships (vs. 28-32 … or even further Eph 5:21-6:4).  Paul is actually using our experience with human marriage relationships to help us understand the spiritual marriage relationship between Christ and the church.

In studying this, I found it so interesting that Paul (in vs. 31) quoted Adam (from Gen 2:24):
Eph 5:31, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
Gen 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Both Therefore and For this reason are phrases that naturally call us back to see what prompted their inclusion.  In Gen 2:23 the joining came from the fact that God had formed Woman (not recorded as Eve until Gen 3:20) by taking a rib out of Adam’s side while he slept.  She was “bone of [his] bones and flesh of [his] flesh” (Gen 2:21-23).  Naturally speaking, neither one would be complete unless the rib was joined back to Adam’s body and Adam’s body joined back to the rib.

The same is true for Christ and the church.  Again, Paul uses our knowledge of the natural (husband and wife) in order to help us understand the spiritual (Christ and the church).  Just like Adam said that a man would leave his father and mother to join his wife, Christ left His Father in heaven for His bride the church.  We will not be complete until we are joined back to Him as part of His body.

… As for Paul (as we continue to follow his missionary journeys in Tentmakers), we are witnessing through Scripture his statement in 2 Corinthians 11:2:  “For I am zealous for you with a godly eagerness and divine jealousy, for I have betrothed you to one Husband, to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

As we studied Acts 15:35-40 last week (alongside Eph 5:29-30), we will continue this week into Acts 16 as well as looking at another aspect of our identity in Christ.  But until then ... Now What?

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