Skip to main content

Grace upon grace, the food of marriage (Or, grace is what makes Christian marriage different - and how desperately I need that grace)

If Galatians is my favourite book in the New Testament then Romans 7v1-6 is one of my other favourite passages (if you'll permit having favourites).

It's so good because it tells of our awful old marriage to Mr Law which ended when we, not the law, died with Christ. And then we rose to a new marriage with Jesus. Freely. Secured. Justified. Alive. And while the old husband was always right and always fault-finding, Jesus just gives us grace upon grace that is transforming. Abundant grace by which we can reign in life.

I love this glorious life-giving life-changing God-glorifying truth. I love that we got taught it at our 'Join the Church' course meeting last night.

A secondary application has been hitting me afresh this week (actually it's been working away at me since Terry Virgo's opening talk at New Word Alive :

It's not Paul's intention in the passage, but anyone who is married is bound to ask the question - what about my marriage? The sobering question for me is,
Am I like the law to my wife?
Or am I like Christ?
Heart-breakingly I know that too often I've been self-righteous and fault-finding, trying to fix my wife with my great ideas. Such an approach is futile, stupid and evil. Such an approach is rooted in pride and idolatry. I'm not a perfect husband like the law, and even if I were, fault-finding can't help it only results in death.

How much better to be a husband who feeds his wife with grace upon grace. Grace that bears fruit of life. See I know that the husband is to be like Christ, and yet for some reason words like headship and submission don't instinctively work out in the kind of love that Jesus has for his bride. I need more looks to Christ, more feeding on his glorious grace.

O, that the grace I've received from Jesus would overflow increasingly in my marriage. O, that I would reign in life by the grace of God and the gift of righteousness that comes to me freely because of the blood of Jesus.

Comments

  1. Amen!! Amen amen amen!! Died to the law!! That's incredible - I was just listening to "The Power of the Cross" in the shower before leaving for work - what TRUTH!!

    "Oh, to see my name
    Written in the wounds,
    For through Your suffering I am free.
    Death is crushed to death;
    Life is mine to live,
    Won through Your selfless love.

    This, the pow'r of the cross:
    Son of God—slain for us.
    What a love! What a cost!
    We stand forgiven at the cross".

    WHAT can you say in response?! What a Saviour!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Favourite passage? Oh, brother. Have you considered printing it in red........??!#*

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great thought, thanks Dave. How many evangelical husbands take headship to mean 'In this marriage I am the law!'. Such marriages bear fruit for death. To be head means to be Christ, which means to pour out your life not because she's beautiful but to make her beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your post reminds me of one of my favorite books on marriage by Gary L. Thomas:
    "Sacred Marriage, What if God Designed Marriage to Make us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?"

    His contention is that just like there are unique opportunities in being single to follow Christ and be conformed to his image, so are there unique opportunities in marriage....

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

"Big eyes full of wonder"

Books. Fiction. Libraries. Second only to churches as are the best gateways in your community to ultimate reality and new possibilities.

Our local library has just re-opened after refurbishment, and I love that our boys have spent several mornings there during the summer holidays, discovering some wonderful new stories.

I realised a few months back that I wasn't reading enough fiction. My work necessitates reading a lot of non-fiction, a mix of historical and contemporary thinking, biblical studies and theology. But fiction is the cinderella. Easily overlooked, and yet able to awaken my imagination and show me the way things are meant to be.

So I've picked up a few more lately - bought and borrowed. Not every book attempted flies, and that's ok. These have been winners though.

Ink. This is Alice Broadway's debut novel. It's young adult fiction and tells the story of Leora who lives in a world where the events of your life are tattooed on your skin. Nothing gets hid…

Uniquely Matthew

Reading gospel accounts in parallel is sometimes used to blur the differences in perspective between the evangelists, seeking to harmonise the texts and find a definitive historical account of what happened. No such thing exists because every account is biased and limited. You simply can't record everything. You have to hold a vantage point. And that's not a problem.

Matthew, Mark and Luke take a very different vantage point to John who was of course an eyewitness himself of the events. Comparing the text of Matthew, Mark and Luke across the death and resurrection of Jesus yields two steps.

Firstly, the common ground. All three accounts tell of...
Simon of Cyrene carrying the cross…. · Jesus labelled as King of the Jews…. · Criminals crucified with Jesus… · Darkness in the daytime… · Jesus' loud final cry… The women who witnessed Jesus death, and Jesus' burial… · The tomb lent to Jesus by Joseph of Arimithea… · The women who went to the tomb on the morning of the…

Songs we're singing in Church

Christians are a singing people, it's part of what we do when we gather.

Our church meets morning an evening on a Sunday - normally using 5 songs in each service. So, over the year that's about 520 song-slots available. The report from the database system we use (http://planningcenteronline.com/) tells us that in the past year we've sung about 150 different songs.

Our current most used song has been sung 11 times in the last year, just under once a month. Our top 10 are used about every 6 weeks. By #30 we're talking about songs used every two months. The tail is long and includes loads of classic hymns from across the centuries, plus other songs from the past 40 years, that we have used around once a term or less.

1. Rejoice - Dustin Kensrue



2. Come Praise & Glorify - Bob Kauflin



3. Man of Sorrows - Hillsong



4. Cornerstone - Hillsong


Rejoice was a song I didn't previously know, along with a couple of others that have quickly become firm favourites for me: Chri…