JOINED TO CHRIST IN MARRIAGE NOW
1 Cor. 6:15-17
“Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”
I am not one who likes to take part in controversy or cause it. However, I must take a chance in favor of truth to discuss something that has been a growing realization for several years. I came up with good and godly men who believed in a “Baptist Bride.” I tried to preach on that a couple of times and it squatted on me. I decided that I had better let that one rest. So over the years as I read the Scriptures I found the reason that the Lord would not let me have liberty on that subject. I want to share it with you today.
The words “know ye not” (eido) means “to perceive with the eyes.” It is used here in the sense of a certain knowledge. The word “not” (ou) is used “in direct questions expecting an affirmative answer. He is saying “Do you not know of a certainty? I know you do.” The words “That your bodies are the members of Christ?” First, the word “bodies” here is definitely not speaking of “churches.” The church is called a body. But here it is incontrovertibly speaking to individual Christians within the local church at Corinth. The verb “are” (esti) is a third person singular present indicative of the “to be verb” eimi which means “to be, to exist.” This may seem a lot to go through to get to the truth. Nevertheless, for me it is necessary to show you what God’s verbally inspired Word says on this occasion. What Paul is saying is that this union exists now. The words “members of Christ” translate “melos” meaning “a member, limb: a member of the human body.” The words “of Christ” conclude the question and refers to that mystical union that exists between Christ and all his children. Let me just refer to some Scripture: 2 Cor. 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” What does “in Christ” mean? It is certainly not referring to being in a local Church. It means that we have been placed in Christ by Holy Spirit Baptism (1 Cor. 12:13) at the point of salvation (Eph. 1:13). Romans 6:3 says, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?” Unless one believes in baptismal regeneration, he must believe that verse 3 is speaking of our baptism into Jesus Christ at salvation and verse 4 is the outward sign. Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.”
Paul in Colossians speaks of this mystical union. He says in Colossians 1:25-27, “Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” Christ in us is a present tense truth because the “is” in “which is Christ in you” is a present indicative verb.
The words in verse 17, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” describe a present union. The words “is joined” (kollao) means, “to glue, to glue together, cement, fasten together.” It is a present passive participle. The present tense means to continue in that condition in the present tense. The passive voice means that “he that is joined unto the Lord” did not join himself. It happened to him. This refers to the work of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13 and 1 Cor. 1`2:13). Nevertheless, the point is that the verbally inspired Word says it has already taken place and believer’s are enjoying that relationship right now in the present world.
The whole passage in First Corinthians 6 verses 15-17 is the language of marriage. Ephesians 5:30 says, “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” This passage is using the marriage relationship to illustrate the relationship between the believer and Christ. The verb “are” (esmen) is the first person plural of the "to be" verb eimi. It is in the present tense. This means that what Paul is talking about to the believers in the Church at Ephesus is not setting before them a goal to shoot for but a truth in which to rejoice and a motivation to holiness of life.
What Paul says in 1 Cor. 6:16-17 is that you are married to Christ, to commit fornication with a harlot would be to violate your marriage relationship. When we are saved, we are not at liberty to use our bodies as we wish. Paul says in verses 19 and 20 of this chapter: “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
Our mystical union with Christ has a practical application. It is that we treat our bodies as “the temple of the Holy Ghost.” How would you treat God’s temple? Just make a little extra study and find out what God required concerning the cleansing and maintenance of the temple.
Can you imagine God’s temple having a smoking room in it. I go into restaurants and they asked me when I am about to be seated, “Smoking or non smoking?” Can you imagine God’s temple having a bar in it where the occupants are talking our of their head? Can you imagine God’s temple having a dance on Friday night (or any other night)? You make your own list, ok?
This is the reason Paul says, “Flee fornication” in verse 18. When a person commits fornication against his marriage relationship, every Christian that I know of begins to withdraw and to expect repentance. If that person does not repent, we begin to treat him as an unsaved person. It is taken for granted in Scripture that Christians repent when confronted with their sins ( Matt. 18:15-17). If they do not, then it is right to treat them as a “heathen man and a publican” which means as unsaved. If this is the Scriptural way to treat a person who sins against his marriage relationship on earth, how much more should we consider the awfulness of sin against our marriage relationship to Christ as our heavenly Bridegroom.
When I discovered that I am married to Christ now, it changed my attitude toward what I do with my spirit, soul and body. I belong to him. He has and is fulfilling his role toward me as my Bridegroom. He has never once reneged on his responsibility toward me. God grant me grace to be faithful and obedient to him and never entertain the thought of sinning against my marriage.
For those who like outlines let me offer this one that I jotted down as I studied this:
1. We are joined in Spiritual union.
2. We are joined in holy separation.
3. We are joined in joyous communion.
4. We are joined in an unbreakable relationship.
5. We are joined in an awesome destiny.
May the Lord bless you.