Marriage In The Cosmic Plan Of God -- By: Tony Reinke
JBMW 17:2 (Fall 2012) p. 17
Marriage In The Cosmic Plan Of God
Desiring God Ministries
God invented marriage to display the power of the gospel. He created marriage to broadcast the love of his Son for his bride and to broadcast the submission of the church to his beloved Son. But like an unhatched chick inside a dark egg, this Christ-revealing meaning behind marriage was hidden inside a shell for thousands of years. The mystery was conceived when Adam took Eve as his bride, and the mystery was revealed when Christ burst from the stone tomb and ascended into heaven.
Because marriage figures prominently into God’s plan, Christian husbands and Christian wives play a unique role in the storyline God has written. This storyline is majestically wrapped into a massive cosmic vision of God’s ultimate purposes in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. To see marriage in this broader scope we must first see the panorama of Paul’s theology in Ephesians.1
To that end, this article has a threefold purpose. First, I sketch out four important theological pillars in Ephesians that highlight the cosmic importance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Second, I illustrate how those four theological themes set up and sustain the marriage passage in 5:22-33. Finally, I conclude by drawing the theology and application together into one cohesive vision statement about how Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reveals to us the role of marriage within the cosmic work of Christ.
Four Theological Pillars
In order to understand the marriage passage in Eph 5:22-33, and ultimately in order to understand our own marriages, we must see four theological themes that Paul has interwoven through the entire letter:
(1) Christ has defeated the cosmic powers of evil to become the focal point of everything.
(2) Christ has inaugurated a new creation.
(3) Christ is now restoring first creation patterns.
(4) Christ is now restoring the relational harmony unraveled by the chaos and discord of sin.
This four-part cluster of Christology will set the stage for understanding our own marriages later in this article. Before we apply these theological points to marriage, I first want to detail each theme as they develop in Ephesians.
(1) Christ Has Defeated The Cosmic Powers Of Evil To Become The Focal Point Of Everything.
In his death and resurrection, Christ has triumphed over the cosmic forces of evil, and has ascended to the place of Lord o...
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