Marriage: God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace
(5 Part Message by John Piper – Part 2)
A Solid Basis in Grace
Reiterating our title: “Marriage: God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace.” So we are turning to the second reason I mentioned that Noël is right to say that you can’t say too often that marriage is a model of Christ and the church, namely, that this gives to marriage a solid basis in grace, since Christ obtained and sustains his bride by grace alone.
In other words, the main point today is that, since Christ’s new covenant with this church is created by and sustained by blood-bought grace, therefore, human marriages are meant to showcase that new-covenant grace. And the way they showcase it is by resting in the experience of God’s grace and bending it out from a vertical experience with God into a horizontal experience with their spouse. In other words, in marriage you live hour by hour in glad dependence on God’s forgiveness and justification and promised future grace, and you bend it out toward your spouse hour by hour — as an extension of God’s forgiveness and justification and promised help. That’s today’s point.
The Centrality of Forgiving, Justifying Grace
I am aware that all Christians are supposed to do this in all your relationships (not just married Christians): live hour by hour by the forgiving, justifying, all-supplying grace of God, and then bend it out to all the others in your life. And Jesus says that all of our lives are a showcase of God’s glory (). But marriage is designed to be a unique display of God’s covenant grace because, unlike all other human relationships, the husband and wife are bound by covenant into the closest possible relationship for a lifetime.
“All of our lives are a showcase of God’s glory.”
There are unique roles of headship and submission, but that is not my point today. That will come later. Today I consider husband and wife as Christians per se, not on the analogy of head and body. Before a man and woman can apply biblically and graciously the unique roles of headship and submission, they must discover what it means to build their lives on the vertical experience of forgiveness and justification and promised help and then bend it out horizontally to their spouse. So that’s the focus today.
Or to put it in terms of: the key to being naked and not ashamed ( ), when, in fact, a husband and a wife do many things that they should be ashamed of, is the experience of God’s vertical forgiving, justifying grace bent out horizontally to each other and displayed to the world. (Part 3 tomorrow)