Saved by a Second “Marriage”

SECOND_MARRIAGEThere is, I think, a fair analogy here. The death of Christ on the cross had made you “dead” to the claims of the Law, and you are free to give yourselves in marriage, so to speak, to another, the one who was raised from the dead, that you may be productive for God. (Romans 7:4 – J.B. Phillips New Testament)

In my last post (which has not-so-mysteriously disappeared), I tried to describe my spiritual infidelity while in the bonds of my former “marriage” arrangement. I must be careful to tell the whole story.

For the sake of clarity, I must make a vigorous defense of my former “spouse,” the Law of God. She was absolutely perfect. I was the louse who made it a lousy “marriage.”1ST_MARRIAGE

She vowed to express the heart of God through commands befitting an image-bearer, rules by which we might prosper together and live happily ever after.  I vowed to live in conformity to those good commands. She kept her vows. I didn’t.

I couldn’t.

When God’s law carved in stone met my heart made of stone, I remained stone dead to God. In this arrangement, my former “spouse” and I were incompatible because of my inherent weakness–my inclination toward infidelity.

In keeping her solemn vows, my “spouse” pronounced my just condemnation for breaking mine.

I now had relationship guilt. And I had to do something with my guilt. I tried pointing fingers and blame-shifting. I tried working harder at my vow-keeping to make up for my offenses. I tried punishing myself for my unfaithfulness. But my guilt only increased.

I was helpless and hopeless in this “marriage” arrangement. With one of us being holy, and the other being unholy, we had irreconcilable differences. So my “spouse,” God’s Law, condemned me to death.

That’s when I was rescued by the One who suffered death on my behalf. When Jesus died, He took me with Him to the grave. Buried with Christ, I died “to the claims of the Law.” Being liberated from the old marriage arrangement, I was free to give myself in “marriage” to a new Spouse.

As a wedding gift, my new Spouse gave me a new heart, a new wardrobe and a new life—His very own life residing within me in the person of His Spirit.

Here’s another beautiful thing. In my new “marriage” relationship I have been reunited with my former spouse under a new arrangement. The law that was carved into stone is now written on the tablet of my new heart by the finger of God. The law that I couldn’t keep is now fulfilled in me by the Spirit who lives within me.

This is my bold confidence that my union with Christ will endure and will produce lasting spiritual fruit for God. Compelling me by His love, my new Spouse keeps the “marriage” vows for both of us, and fulfills His law of love through me.

That is the whole, true story of how I was saved by my second “marriage.”

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4 thoughts on “Saved by a Second “Marriage”

  1. I actually read your previous this morning, but I couldn’t comment. You have done such a great job explaining Law and Grace and living it out. Loved this one, Dave. We truly must have the Spirit to enable us to be accurate image-bearers in our “new marriage.” You took on a tricky topic and handled it well.

    And your drawings—perfect!

    • Jeanne, thank you for helping me meditate on truth. I’ve been thinking about this analogy for a while. I wanted to write about it to help me understand it and apply it. You’re right. It was tricky and I mishandled it at first. You have distilled it down to the essence. In all of life, “we need the Spirit to enable us.” Thank you so much for your input.

  2. Dave:
    The oh-so-mysteriously-disappeared first post is a true part of the story. Well-written. Reality.
    And today’s post …well, you’ve written an even more compelling post about law vs. grace … our relationship with God … and his with us.
    As a former “Just tell me what to do” lover of the Law, I understand the beauty of standing in the wide open spaces of his grace … and am, indeed, eternally grateful for it.

    • Thanks you for your input, Beth. Yeah, the “just tell me what to do” approach didn’t work for me either. I didn’t, wouldn’t and couldn’t keep my end of that deal. I’ll confess that there are times find myself tempted to relate to God under that old arrangement. Then I wake up and return to wide open grace spaces 🙂

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