Useful Bible Studies > Ephesians Commentary > chapter 5

The true meaning of marriage

Ephesians 5:32

Powerful things are happening, both in our world and in the spirit world, that we cannot yet understand properly.

The Bible calls these ‘mysteries’, and they may be good or evil (for example, Ephesians 3:4; Revelation 17:5).

In the future, God will make these things plain to everyone. However, God has already started to show these mysteries to his people (1 Corinthians 2:9-10; 1 Peter 1:10-12).

The way that love joins a man and woman together by their marriage, astonishes us (Proverbs 30:18-19). It is as if two people, from different families and circumstances in life, have become one (5:31). However, that is simply a natural mystery, of our natural world. The greater mystery is what the real meaning of marriage is. That real meaning goes beyond our world, and beyond the present age.

Paul understood that the true meaning of marriage is in God’s plans for his people in the future age. In some way that we do not yet fully understand, God will unite his people to Christ. It will be like the way that God joins a man and woman together at their marriage. In fact, Revelation 19:6-9 describes the wedding of Christ, who is called the Lamb in that passage. The bride at that wedding is the church, which means all of God’s people everywhere. This will happen at the beginning of the new age, when Christ will rule all things. When Christ rules, God’s people will also rule with him (Revelation 22:5).

Marriage in this world only lasts while the husband and wife remain alive (Mark 12:25; Romans 7:2). However, the true marriage is a person’s relationship with Christ, because that never ends (John 11:25-26). It is much greater and more wonderful than any relationship that we can know in this world.

Next part: Respect is the proper reaction to love (Ephesians 5:33)


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© 2019, Keith Simons.