Marriage And Godliness As One Flesh Part 1

1Co 7:2  Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

1Co 7:3  Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

1Co 7:4  The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.

1Co 7:5  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.

As saints “in Christ” we are taught of our Father how we ought to walk in godliness in this present evil world, and a good part of our godly education can consist of our being married to our spouse during this time. And just as we have a designed way we are to grow in the doctrine for our edification, (which is a ‘milk to meat’ progression through His Word), this is also the case with marriage as well. Within the epistle of Corinthians we find that this is a ‘milk,’ and foundational doctrine for the saints to grow into after just being established in the doctrine of the justification of their souls. And as such we see Paul dealing with saints who had a problem with fornication, which Paul gives the saints the cure for this problem; Paul says that “to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every wife have their own husband.”

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 6:18  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19  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?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 This is when the unmarried saints come to realize what they have “in Christ;” which Paul makes plainly clear in chapter 6, verse 11(the doctrine of their justified and sanctified position that they have in Christ, and in the eyes of God). And also the saint comes to realize the need to “flee fornication,” because when he does fornicate he “sinneth against his own body,” and also fornication cannot bring honor and glory unto the Lord whom gave up of Himself for us, so he should also possess a willingness to ‘give up’ the things that fed his flesh also to glorify God through his body and spirit, and also to find someone that has also realized the need to “flee fornication” as well. Moreover once married, Paul also makes it plainly clear that if the husband and wife are not rendering each other “due benevolence,” then they can be tempted by the course of this world, and the ones that follow it. This part of the marriage is one of the most important and the first thing that the saints have to change their way of thinking about, and that is that their bodies belong to their spouse and to the Lord just 1Corinthians 6:19 and 7:4 says, and not to this world.

1Co 7:25  Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.

1Co 7:26  I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.

1Co 7:27  Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

1Co 7:28  But and if thou marry, thou hast not sinned; and if a virgin marry, she hath not sinned. Nevertheless such shall have trouble in the flesh: but I spare you.

1Co 7:29  But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;

1Co 7:30  And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;

1Co 7:31  And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.

1Co 7:32  But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:

1Co 7:33  But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.

1Co 7:34  There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

The Lord would have the man and the woman to be married “in the Lord,” but the saints that are not yet married ought to ‘care’ (give more of themselves) for the things of the Lord on a more consistent basis than the married saints. And because this should be the case with the unmarried saints, Paul wants the married saints to act as the unmarried saints “in the Lord.” The thing that Paul wants the married saints to understand and appreciate is that both the husband and the wife should “careth for the things of the Lord” just as the unmarried saint ought to. Furthermore it is the married saints being ‘careful’ (full of care) with the things of the Lord by letting the doctrine go to work in their marriage. And this is also an important ‘first things first’ understanding that the married saints need to change their way of thinking about, and that is both the husband and the wife living their life together with godliness “in the Lord.” A “godly” marriage can only take place by both the husband and the wife growing in the doctrine for their godly edification, and living their married life the way God intends the husband and wife to, not after “the fashion of this world” and man’s way for a marriage to be successful (self-help books, marriage counseling, which are effective ways for a marriage to work, but as we can plainly see, it is not the “effectual” way for a marriage to be successful) , but having the same common godly thinking the way God designed “in the Lord.”

Eph 5:21  Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Eph 5:22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Eph 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

Eph 5:24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Eph 5:26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Eph 5:27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Eph 5:29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Eph 5:30  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Eph 5:31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Eph 5:32  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Eph 5:33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Oftentimes most husbands and wives can have a selfish way of thinking concerning each other’s role in the marriage, and “think more highly” of themselves than they ought to think, or put their individual goals before their spouse. And just as we as members of the body of Christ are taught to respect and not be “high minded” concerning the “office” of other members of the body of Christ, the married saints should also possess the same unselfish thinking by understanding and appreciating each other’s role in the marriage. And therefore just as we are members of “one body” with each member having their ‘role’ for one common cause, this is also the case in marriage (this is the reason Paul uses the comparison here in Ephesians chapter 5) with the husband and the wife being “one flesh.” This doctrine of godliness is often left as a “mystery” in many marriages, but the Apostle Paul and God the Father wants us to understand and appreciate this essential doctrine. Furthermore by the time both the husband and the wife come to this point in their marriage, (Ephesians-Colossians doctrine), they should understand that “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” and we ought to possess the same type of thinking as we grow in our marriage, and we are to understand that we ought to value and esteem our spouse more than ourselves.

Rod Jones

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