Our Marriage To Christ
Ro 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (NKJV)
Ro 7:1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?
As long as you are alive, you will be held accountable to law. I mean, when’s the last time you saw a dead man getting a speeding ticket? Or a policeman coming upon the scene of a murder and ticketing the victim for loitering. Dead men cannot break the law.
The point that Paul is making here, is that when we are buried with Christ in our baptism, we are dead to the power of the law. The law doesn’t change. It’s still against the law to speed and to loiter. But dead men don’t go to jail, they go to cemeteries.
It’s still against God’s moral Law to steal and murder and commit adultery, but if we die to the flesh and live in Christ, we can no longer be charged. The devil wants to accuse us, he wants to charge us but he can’t. all he can do is ticket a dead body.
Now does that mean that we should go out and sin boldly? Of course not, that kind of indifference to the law merely proves that our old man has not truly died. He is still controlling us rather than the Spirit if Christ who lives in us and will never lead us to disobey God.
The old man is like Bruce Willis....or a Sears battery, he dies hard, and far too often, we allow him to rise up in rebellion to the Spirit that is living inside of us. God knew that about us, and He has made provision for us to deal with these uprisings. It is called daily repentance and confession.
We are to daily come before the Lord, remembering what took place at our baptism and daily drown the old man that lives in us. Confessing those times when we allowed him to rise up and cause us to sin.
In 1 Jn 1:9 we read,
1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (NKJV)
God says, I know your problem with the old man, but because of your faith in Jesus I give you this method of dealing with him when he rises up. Confess! Admit your sin and the Law has no more power over you for you are dead to sin and alive in Christ.
A little boy visiting his grandparents was given his first slingshot. He practiced in the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma's back yard, he spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch that day, Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally said, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn't you, Johnny?" And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So Johnny did the dishes.
Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing. Grandma said, "I'm sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally smiled and said, "That's all taken care of. Johnny wants to do it." Again she whispered, "Remember the duck." Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing.
After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's, finally he couldn't stand it. He confessed to Grandma that he'd killed the duck.
"I know, Johnny," she said, giving him a hug. "I was standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."
Johhny was a slave to that devil sister of his, who was using Johnny’s knowledge of the law to enslave him. But God is up to the tricks of the devil and He has given us the gift of repentance and confession to set us free.
To further prove his point about diffusing the power of the law to enslave, Paul uses the illustration of the law of marriage.
2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; “but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another--to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
Understand this, when you were baptized, your body (your flesh, the old nature) was made just as dead as the body of Christ was in that tomb. From that moment on, by faith, you can reckon your old self to be dead.
In fact, you had better reckon him dead on a daily basis, or he will resurrect in your life and lead you into slavery, and unless corrected, he will lead you away from the faith and cause you to lose your salvation. This is a huge dilemma that so many of our young people have faced through the years.
Our children faithfully attend church and obey their parents and are somewhat aware of the Law of God, but they get confirmed and their faith goes south. The reason it goes south is that they have not been taught that their old nature needs to be crucified on a daily basis. They need to reckon on a daily basis the reality of what took place at their baptism.
But you must not stop at merely drowning the old man. You need to get married to Christ, you need to have a personal relationship with Jesus, you need to learn to walk in the Spirit. Young people, learn to walk in the Spirit.
You’ve been surviving by walking according to the law of your parents, who are seeking to guide you by the law of God, but you will not be able to survive the temptations of high school and college by their law or by the Law of God alone. You must learn to walk in the Spirit, and you cannot walk in the Spirit until you personally say “I do” to Jesus.
Young people aren’t the only ones struggling in this area. Many of the adults here today are still struggling with this. They are still trying to be governed by the exterior law, but they need to get married to Christ, they need to say “I do” to Jesus. I surrender to you Jesus, and then and allow Him to control their lives.
When a woman gets married, the father typically gives her away to her husband. The bride moves from being obedient and under the authority of her father to surrender and obedience to the authority of her husband. So it must be when we are given to Christ.
We cease to obey the lust of our flesh, the flesh has no more authority over us and we are transferred or given to the authority of Christ in our lives.
The only reason your old man was crucified and buried with Christ, was to free you up for another marriage. Marriage to the glorified and risen Christ. And please note the reason for this marriage. That we should bear fruit to God. Don’t let this forgotten truth concerning marriage be lost on you.
What did God tell the newly married couple called Adam and Eve. “Be fruitful and multiply.” Have babies. He didn’t give them a prescription for birth control pills and say, “wait until you can afford them.” He said, “be fruitful and multiply!.”
Ps 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Mal 2:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. (NKJV)
The primary purpose of marriage is to be fruitful and multiply. The primary purpose of marriage to Christ is the same. Be fruitful and multiply. In our marriage to Christ we are to allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our life.
Ga 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV)
The law has no power in a life controlled by the Spirit! Learn to reckon the old man dead and to walk in the newness of the Spirit. Be fruitful to God. And don’t forget to multiply! Our marriage to Jesus ought to produce spiritual babies, converts, new believers!
Mt 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (NKJV)
Disciples are made by baptizing and then they are to be taught the Word of God. They are to be taught about walking in the Spirit. When we bring a baby to be baptized or when Christ uses our witness to bring someone to faith. God becomes the proud grandfather! This is the purpose of our marriage to Christ.
Now you might say, “I’m not sure I like this idea of surrendering to Christ.” It seems like too much is going to have to change in my life.” Okay, what was it like when your flesh had control of your life?
5 For when we were in the flesh, (if you were doing your Discovery devotions this week you read what the Greek Word for flesh is, remember it? It means dead meat.) When we were dead meat, when we were controlled by dead meat.
“ the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work (active) in our members to bear fruit to death.(Get the picture here, it’s gross but it’s a true picture. Though the meat be dead the bacteria of sinful passions is at work in it.
Beelzebub (the Lord of the flies) the devil will soon be upon the scene and the fruit of the dead meat of the flesh will be very evident in the minions of maggots that are produced. This is the fruit that is ultimately produced by the works of our flesh. It’s the fruit of dead meat and dead meat stinks.
So if you stand before God one day and He asks you why He should allow you into heaven, and you reply, “well I’ve been pretty good. I’ve been good at keeping your rules. Apart from marriage to Christ, you are nothing but a package of ground beef that’s been laying out in the sun for a week......you stink!
Obeying the Law will never get you to heaven, unless you keep it perfectly. God doesn’t grasde on a curve. Be ye perfect as your father in heaven is perfect and the only way you can obtain perfection in God’s eyes is to marry His Son.
Now, how is it that the law arouses the sinful passions of the flesh? I thought the law was good? It is, but there is something about our human nature that gets aroused when confronted with the law. The devil knows this and where do we find him hanging out in the garden?
Was he was hanging in the cherry tree? The apple tree? The plum tree? Nope, he was hanging out in the tree involved with the only Law given to man. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He knew he couldn’t stir up the passion for disobedience anywhere else!
Ge 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?" (Tell me about this law Eve)
2 And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
3 "but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'"
Good answer Eve, although did you notice? She has already added something to the law. God never said they couldn’t touch it, he just said they couldn’t eat it. And so the devil sees that there is passion for this law.
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. 5 "For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
C’mon Eve, you will actually gain from breaking this law. This law was only put here to keep you from being complete. Why shouldn’t you be able to taste of this forbidden fruit? Why shouldn’t you be able to have premarital sex? Why shouldn’t you be able to get drunk. Why shouldn’t you be able to do what you please?
It looks to me like all those people who do these things are getting along just fine. Look at the fun they are having! And what you are missing.”
6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (NKJV)
She soon found out that what appeared to be good on the outside was really rotten on the inside. And please notice something else. The breaking of God’s law also stirs up a passion within us to get others to join in our sin. “Hey Adam, try this, c’mon it won’t hurt you. Look at me I had some and I’m just fine.”
Just see what happens when you are not the one drinking at the party. They’ll be all over you like a fly on dead meat, and were you listening before when I told you what a fly produces on dead meat.....maggots. They can’t do that to flesh that is alive.....learn to walk n the Spirit, learn to be alive in Christ. Put the old man down and nobody get’s hurt.
6 But now (there’s another way) we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, (again, please note that the Law hasn’t died, we have! Crucified with Christ! It is our death to self that releases us from our fruitless marriage with the Law! The Law cannot exercise authority over a dead person)
And why did we die to the law?
““so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. (Even in our death to the Law, the Christian life is not one of independence and rebellion. We died in order to serve our new spouse...Christ.
So what does this new marriage look like?
It looks like our marriages are supposed to look like in this life.
Eph 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. (NKJV)
Christ is to be our head, and He is our Savior, our protector if you will.
Eph 5:33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (NKJV)
Christ loves us as no other, and we in turn are to respect Him.
Eph 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (NKJV)
We are to submit to Christ.
Eph 5:24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
We are to be Christ’s subject. This speaks of obedience.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
Christ was willing to die for us.
19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. (NKJV)
Christ is aromatic not pungent.
1Pe 3:7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (NKJV)
The idea here is that Christ treats us tenderly like handling a ming vase.
Mt 12:20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; (NKJV)
And He understands us.
I was sharing a devotional this week from “The Champions 31 Day Devotional on the Holy Spirit by J. Konrad Hole and this is what he had to say about the Holy Spirit, Jesus living in us.
“What makes Him so wonderful as a person, (we’ll change that to groom. a spouse) Is He understands how you think, why you react, and what you feel.” Imagine being married to someone like that. You can be.
He doesn’t care where you have been or what you have been doing in your rotting stinking dead flesh. He welcomes you back with open arms. Our groom died for us while we were yet sinners.
The Holy Spirit is proposing to you right now, will you receive His proposal of marriage, and then submit your life to Christ. Honoring, respecting, and obeying Him from this day forth till death do you part.
Is there anyone here who objects to you being joined with Christ in holy matrimony? Only one....the devil. He will do all he can to prevent you from saying I do. He will assail you with doubt and accusations. He’ll try to get you to delay the wedding date, but the Lord says “today is the day of your salvation! Today is the day of your marriage.
And the devil won’t stop even after you say I do. He will do everything he can to separate you from the love of Christ. But Christ has defeated him, He is more powerful, He is your Savior...allow Him to save! Allow Him to give you the strength to persevere.
Don’t delay! Don’t doubt! Don’t think you’re too big of a sinner. Receive Christ as your groom today, anything less is dead meat.