Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Divine Institution of Marriage as Set Forth in Ephesians 5:22-33 (Part II)

Monday, August 1, 2016, 22:01
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By David C. Brand

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The “marriage supper of the Lamb” puts times like these in perspective.

`Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war,

she waits the consummation of peace forevermore;

till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest,

and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest. [1]

History is His story! We await the consummation. The apostle Peter has admonished us,

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you,

as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you

share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is

revealed.” [2]

Appropriately, Peter addressed us as “Beloved.” The “elect from every nation” are indeed God’s beloved, and are being prepared for the “marriage supper of the Lamb.” [3] The church triumphant celebrates the marriage supper of the Lamb. This marriage supper is introduced to us through the Passover of the Old Testament and the Lord’s Supper of the New Testament.

The Church militant–still contending with the world, the flesh, and the devil– celebrates the Lord’s supper as she awaits the Church triumphant’s celebration of the marriage supper of the Lamb. Would you please open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 11:23-29. Beginning with verse 23b,

. . . the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given

thanks, he broke it, and said, “Take eat. This is my body which is broken for you. Do

this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying,

“This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in

remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup you proclaim

the Lord’s death until he comes.

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy

manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine

himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and

drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.” [4]

The Lord Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself for the church, His bride. His bride, the church, subjects herself to her Lord. Earthly marriage, accordingly, is a holy covenant between a man and a woman instituted by God at creation for mutual delight, procreation, and spiritual significance. Marriage between a man and a woman is an earthly model of the covenant between the Lord Jesus Christ and his bride, the church, to be consummated in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Endnotes

1. Samuel J. Stone, 1866, Hymn: “The Church’s One Foundation” Italics mine

2. 1 Peter 3:12-13 ESV

3. Revelation 19:7-9

4. Italics mine

 

About the Writer

David Clark Brand is a retired pastor and educator with missionary experience in Korea and Arizona. He and his wife reside in Ohio. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren. With a B.A. in the Liberal Arts, an M. Div., and a Th.M. in Church History, Dave continues to enjoy study and writing. One of his books, a contextual study of the life and thought of Jonathan Edwards, was published by the American Academy of Religion via Scholars Press in Atlanta.

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