Marriage has always been one of the most complicated mysteries that we have been given as humans, but it is evident that the sexual union, or the marriage covenant, is the most powerful of all bonds, and there is a difference between the natural life and what we have now as born again children, which is the spiritual life. Some of the most strange writings of the Apostle Paul were concerning marriage, especially in 1 Corinthians chapter 7. He stated in the word of God, “let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband” (1 Corinthians 7:2), but he also taught the importance of living life in a similar fashion as though we are an unmarried person, even for every man, because the new marriage in Christ is not according to the oldness of the law, but according to the newness of the Spirit and grace of the new covenant (1 Corinthians 7:8). In essence, to “marry in the Lord” is a love covenant in the Spirit, and not merely an earthly legal contract which you will find with those who are children of this world. Paul is saying, God will show every person their own mate, just as Adam and Eve were particularly suited for each other, but He expects them to live a life that keeps them spiritual and physically vital and free, a life that will always be the reality in heaven, in particular, doing God’s will and pleasure in sexual matters and not walking after the flesh. That is why I believe sons and daughters of God cannot be satisfied or have their true romantic and sexual desires fulfilled apart from God, and being “counted worthy” of this new covenant and new world, just as Jesus said (Luke 20:34-36). Being counted worthy, means growing up in Christ, and meanwhile crucifying the lusts and passions of the carnal flesh and self-life, and allowing the Holy Spirit to bring us growth in the new divine life in our hearts and minds. As the Body of Christ grows in spiritual stature, the writings given by the Holy Spirit on marriage become more and more clear as to what Paul had been shown concerning marriage in the New Covenant. Jesus was blatantly clear, that the children of this world marry and give into marriage, but once they are born of God they are now part of the new creation, and they who are accounted worthy, which are the sons and daughters of God, do not marry or are given into marriage, nor can they die anymore, but are as angels of God in heaven (see Luke 20:34-36). And why do they not marry? Because we are not subject to death anymore after being born of the Spirit and risen with Christ. We reckon that we’ve died with Christ unto sin, been buried, and are risen with Jesus Christ (as it says in Romans 6), which is why I believe Paul emphasized being unmarried (loosed from the law of the husband by means of death, and freed in the Spirit) if they love the Lord first, and as the Bible says, even if men do have wives, they ought to live as though they did not possess wives (1 Corinthians 7:29), because the Lord will make all things new. Earthly marriage covenants are temporal, and as Paul taught, they are nullified at the time of death, either of the husband or the wife, even according to the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is often pertaining to the flesh, whereas the New Covenant is pertaining to the new life in the Spirit, and our new life in Jesus Christ, who is risen from death forever. Notice the below Scripture, Paul is speaking not to women, but to Brethren of the Lord:
“Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” - Romans 7:4
So here Paul is stating that men ought to recognize Christ as their personal Head and Savior, and be a subject unto His Lordship and Husbandry. Paul did in fact teach, that just as a man is the head of the woman, so is Christ the Head of every man (1 Corinthians 11:3). Not so much Jesus of Nazareth who also was a man and Son of God, but the Spirit of Christ which is given for all as a personal Savior, must be recognized as man’s Head. So therefore the New Covenant of Marriage is about humans, male and female, being joined together in the Spirit by the Lord, according to holy love, not for time only but also for eternity in the heavenly places, the heavenly city, and the mansions that the Lord has prepared for us. Paul describes this as a “great mystery” to the Ephesian Saints (Ephesians 5:32). He did so, I believe, because man in his carnal state and sinful condition, has a tendency for sin and lust, jealousy and carnal passions, whereas in the redeemed souls and bodies, there is no such thing as sin and death, but spiritual virtues and holiness wrought by the Spirit of God. Jesus abolished death, on the cross, the tomb, and the resurrection, and has brought immortality to light by the gospel (2 Timothy 1:10). We are free from death and the tomb, but as Frances J. Roberts prophesied, not everyone is free from the grave clothes of religion at this time (“On the Highroad of Surrender” - Remove the Grave Clothes). Paul is warning (in 1 Corinthians 7:28) of the trouble married couples of this world get into when they try to make marriage into a legal contract (and also the divorce doctrine), when now in the new creation, it ought to be a holy and spiritual union in the Lord, free from the bondages that were in the old life according to the law. It is also interesting to note, that there are few biblical characters who actually had a literal wedding, because many unions were made in the meekness and simplicity of the Lord’s working. One of the Scriptures that shows the death of the old, and a new marriage in the Lord, is posted below:
“The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord. But she is happier if she so abide, after my judgment: and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.” - 1 Corinthians 7:39-40
Religious people have a strong desire to be justified by the law, and not by faith or grace (see Galatians 5:1-4). They will exact their own righteousness from either their alleged faithfulness to their spouse, or the length of their marriage, or lack of divorce - all of these are expressions of self-righteousness. If anyone actually reads the Law of Moses, it permitted divorce under certain circumstances (see Deuteronomy 24:1). The reason I believe Jesus stated that they were adulterers if they divorce and remarry is because they often abused the heart of the Law of Moses and looked for ways to bypass the law and yet have desires for another wife or husband. In the eyes of the law, they broke their vow, and according to Jesus, were also guilty of adultery. Jesus was not trying to make people follow a strict code of marriage, but rather, teach them that they were ALL guilty of sexual immorality in their hearts, even if they lusted after a woman, because the law of sin was in their flesh. He did not want self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes actually believing they were righteous by the law, especially when Jesus was there to die for their sins, the sins of every person standing there and whoever was born on this earth with a mortal body.
Another thing Paul talked about was, between a husband and wife, there can be a time of separation to give focus to prayer and fasting. He did not want a husband and wife to defraud each other of marital affection, but to know our bodies, souls, and spirits are ONE unit, and must be kept in balance. So it’s true, sexual affection is healthy to your spirit and soul, just as much to your body, but if the desires of your body ever take precedence, then there must be times of regeneration by prayer and fasting; it’s about keeping spiritual vitality and holiness. It’s the same principal as eating thanksgiving dinner, and feeling the need to exercise afterward. Here is the Scripture:
“Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” - 1 Corinthians 7:5
So here you can see, in this beautiful Scripture about marriage and love, Paul mentions Satan of all people. Satan being the tempter, is more-so talking about our conscience and the response we have to lacking any temperance or holiness. There must be holiness, seeing that sexuality can very much-so be a holy thing when God is Present and there is true love at work in our hearts. Many have been tempted by Satan, and in this particular case, it is due to losing control of our vessel (our body and soul). That is one of the devices Satan uses, is the goodness of something like sex, to cause a human to lose control, and it basically becomes a thing called “lust”, and not love. That is why Jesus came, to give man a perfect control of himself, by accepting the cross, and receiving holy love, and spiritual vitality, even through fasting and prayer in the Spirit. If people desire this “blessing of Abraham” (which is his wealth and old-age sexual vitality), they must learn to walk in the same steps as Abraham, and OBEY the Voice of the Lord every day. Obedience and meekness is a requirement for God’s blessings in marriage, and to learn the ways of Jesus, and to keep His commandments in our hearts, which always ends with love, forgiveness, peace, confession of sins and faults, repentance - these things will all enhance a marriage, and make love more pure and enjoyable. I always see Jesus as a loving Husband, who pleads with His wife, and always desires to make peace and happiness. We need to be the same way, but a man or woman of God must be joined to a God-ordained mate, especially if we desire joy and agreement in our marriage. This is all I will cover at this time concerning marriage in Jesus Christ, and it leads me to my next chapter