Living in the Christian Family

MEMORY SELECTION: “Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” —I Peter 3:8

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 5:21 through 6:4

THE marriage relationship has been used by God in his Holy Word as a beautiful picture of the relationship that must exist between Christ and his church. The point of our lesson today is to emphasize the symbology of the marriage relationship.

The sanctity of the marriage relationship in God’s eyes was first indicated when he created Eve and presented her to Adam in the Garden of Eden. “And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”—Gen. 2:23,24

The Apostle Peter alludes to this first marriage relationship in Ephesians 5:30,31 (Diaglott), “Because we are members of his body. On this account shall a man leave father and mother, and shall be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” The apostle then continues in the subsequent verse, “This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”—Eph. 5:32

The close relationship between Christ and his church, and the work that they jointly will accomplish in the next age, was shown allegorically in the lives of Abraham and Isaac. We know from the interpretation given us by the Apostle Paul (Rom. 9:7; Gal. 3:16; 4:22-31) that Isaac represented Christ and that the footstep followers of Jesus during the Gospel Age are counted as part of his body.—I Cor. 12:12

This relationship is wonderfully pictured in the account recorded in Genesis, 24th chapter, of Eliezer (who pictured the Holy Spirit) being sent by Abraham (who pictured God) into the world to select a bride for Isaac (who pictured Christ). Eliezer selected Rebekah at the well because of the very definite indication of God’s approval shown by an answer to prayer. When arrangements had been made for Eliezer to take Rebekah to Isaac, her family blessed her with the very beautiful and prophetic statement, “Be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess the gate of those which hate them.”

We realize that it is through Jesus that the world will receive life in the next age. It was his sacrifice that was the great offering for sin, that provided the means of lifting adamic condemnation from the human race. The bride of Christ (the church) is privileged to share in this offering for sin—not that the blood of the church is efficacious, but the experiences resulting from a life of sacrifice have the beneficial effect of developing in the church the character that is necessary for it to be exalted to the divine nature.

When the last member of the bride class has made herself ready (Rev. 19:7,8), then the Christ—Christ the Head and the church his body—will constitute the antitypical Messiah, the Mediator of the New Covenant, through which all the families of the earth will be blessed. It will be the church that will nurture the “thousands of millions” back to perfection of life.

The Revelator speaks of this wonderful time as follows, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” (Rev. 22:17) And again in Revelation 21:2-5 we read, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.”

Dawn Bible Students Association
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