Married to Jesus

Wedding rings

Jesus spoke of the joy that erupts in heaven when a sinner repents and comes to believe in the good news. We might imagine they have something like a birthday party to celebrate the new birth, but in reality it’s the rejoicing that accompanies a wedding. It’s a celebration of a new life wedded in union with Christ.

Many of us are looking forward to the wedding banquet yet to come, but Jesus is returning for his bride, not his fiancée. You are already married to him. Your union with Christ is not a future event but a present reality that began the moment you first said “Yes” to Jesus.

Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” and from that most wonderful affirmation of our union, confused preachers have drawn terrifying lessons about being cut off and thrown into the fire. Whoa. Slow down. That’s like fretting about divorce in the middle of your honeymoon. Relax. Jesus doesn’t believe in divorce. In fact he hates it. You’re stuck with him for good. What God has joined together, let no man separate.

Look at those words again: “I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5). Your union with Christ is not a far-off event but an accomplished fact. You are already in Christ. Since there is no part of the branch that is not also part of the vine, anyone who touches you touches Jesus. When you place your hands on the sick, you are placing his hands on the sick. When you open your mouth to speak the good news, you are speaking his words with his mouth.

One-flesh team

I have been married for some time so I don’t find this strange at all. I am accustomed to thinking in terms of a one-flesh team. I remind Camilla about this every time the parent-teacher interviews come up at school. “But honey, we don’t need to both go, for if you are there then we are there. We’re a one-flesh team.” And she usually responds by giving me a sideways glance.

I jest to make an important point. Our one-flesh union is an earthly picture of the spiritual union all believers have with Jesus:

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. (John 14:20)

He is in you and you are in him. Wherever you go, he goes. When you go to the parent-teacher interview, the Lord of the Universe goes with you.

“Wait a second, Paul. How can Jesus be here with us if he’s up there with the Father?” That’s a good question. How can Jesus be in two places at once? How can he be present within every believer at the same time?

Before Jesus returned to heaven, he said to the disciples: “It is for your good that I go away” (John 16:7). Jesus said the Comforter would come after he left and we would be better off with him than we were with Jesus being physically present. He was saying, “I have been with you, and that has been good, but soon I will be in you, and that will be even better.”

Union Lucado

The Holy Spirit is the answer to the question, “How can Jesus leave us and be with us at the same time?” Since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, to be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with Jesus. And since he who has the Son also has the Father, to be filled with Jesus is to be filled with the Father as well. He who has the Spirit also has the Son and the Father. They are an inseparable team (Rom 8:9, Col 2:9, and John 14:20).

Right after promising the Holy Spirit, Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans.” An orphan is a fatherless child. Jesus was saying you won’t be that person. “My Father and I will come to you and make our home with you” (see John 14:23). You have not been filled with one-third of God but all of him; Father, Son, and Spirit.

The gospel of union

Perhaps you originally came to Christ on account of some need. It may have been a need for healing, forgiveness, or simply to get a ticket in to heaven. Whatever your need, God is faithful and generous. Receive from the abundant provision of his grace and be blessed. But then brace yourself for a blessed shock. The Giver is greater than his gifts. The Blesser is infinitely lovelier than his blessings.

GITW_sideThe gospel is not an advertising brochure for the treasures of the kingdom. The gospel is the thrilling revelation that the Lover of your soul desires to share his life in wedded union with you forever. For those who believe it, the gospel is the joyful declaration that right now and forever more, you are in perfect union with him. Your days of restless wandering are over, for in Christ you have already found your eternal rest. In Christ, you are already home.

Extracted from chapter 4 “Union,” The Gospel in Ten Words.

45 Comments on Married to Jesus

  1. Thank you paul, I am realizing in the rough times, and thats been going on for a few years now,and things are getting better, but I find myself drifting to wanting what he can do for me instead of wanting more of him,He brought that up to me,I think we just do it out of habit,at least I do,once that hurdle was cleared,a peace and love came over me,and it allows you to be able to handle even more of any situation.

  2. Refreshing as always. Thank you. 1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

  3. Oh my goodness! I can’t tell you how much I NEEDED THIS!!
    I’ve been feeling like He is so far from me and I have been asking Jesus to let me feel His presence because I don’t feel anything inside me. But I SO LOVE AND ADORE HIM beyond words! This message is FOR ME…I know it is!!

    Paul, I am so introspective and constantly searching within myself for evidence of His presence. Thank you so much for this message. I guess I just need to “take it by faith” that Jesus does live in me….and I am MARRIED to the Creator of all things! Wow…what a thought!!!
    God bless you! – Paulette

  4. It occurred to me while reading your post, that the preacher who suggest we are merely in a period of engagement waiting for the wedding miss some pretty big truths. For starters, we are waiting for the wedding banquet, not the wedding itself. In Jewish culture, weddings were often celebrated over a period of days, sometimes even a week long. The wedding would occur, but many times the celebration banquet didn’t take place until several days later, but the bride and groom were still married prior to the banquet. Also, considering there is so much Scripture saying that Christ is in us, the Holy Spirit is in us, and that God makes His home with and in us, if we are merely in a period of betrothal, then those preachers are suggesting that the relationship has been consummated prior to the wedding.

  5. Warren (South Carolina, USA) // November 19, 2015 at 5:44 am // Reply

    Saint Paul. . . thanks for shedding more light on our present reality. Awesome. Really like the Bride vs. Fiancée clarification! Also great quote from Max.
    Blessings,
    Warren (South Carolina, USA)

  6. Hi Paul, writing again to you from the Olive grove. Excited, on the one hand as I got cuttings of the olive trees from original garden of Gethsemane, very very sad on the other. Very good friend of mine lost his son in a terrible motor vehicle accident on saturday. Good guy, son was 20, went off a cliff, into sea, still no body recovered. I myself also motor vehicle accident. The grief is immense, strife, pain, similar to what Job went through, considering your recent posts. So my question is does God correct us, like a loving father who loves you would discipline a naughty child, in order to correct their path? Consider Paris, the terrible things that happened there. The same question again and again, if God is a loving God, why? Because he knows this little trip around earth is but a brief moment in time? Because in Heaven there is no more pain, memory, suffering, sin? Because in these times we are to expect suffering? Job asked what did he do to deserve such punishment?, My friend asks what did he do to deserve loosing his son in such a way? Other than he now knows the pain God went through in loosing Jesus to death, but for the greater good of all who believe, hence their is a purpose. I dont know. what? How? I suppose but prayer. At the base of the stem of the olive tree I took the cuttings from, is a plaque which reads, “I do not understand your ways oh Lord, but I trust you and I love you.” (Planted in 1695, – how much more to endure?) Yup, thanks for listening..

  7. amandapride45 // November 19, 2015 at 7:45 am // Reply

    This is absolutely beautiful & amazing. Thank you.

  8. Paul, I recently read your book “The Gospel In Ten Words” and now I’m about done with “The Gospel In Twenty Questions”. I would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to be established in grace and renew their mind. Thank You!
    At Rest,
    Richard (East Tennessee)

  9. Thank you so much Paul! 😇 I did think according to what I have heard preached, and read in many Christian books, that we were only engaged in preparation for the wedding.
    Wow! What an enlightment! We are truely blessed to have you among us who are slow to comprehend the real truth of Gods Word. I have been a Christian for many years and still being enlightened. Thanks to E2R

  10. Paul
    Thanks you so much for all your posts. This one has so touched my heart. The love of Daddy God for us is always so expressed in your post , I always feel I could just jump, scream and dance yelling my God so loves me , there is no more condemnation for me only love and forgiveness , grace and mercy and righteousness. All good and perfect things such Blessings I can only receive with praise and thanksgiving from our wonderful Savior and Lord.
    There is no one like Him and no words to express it.
    Thank you Paul , you are truly a Blessing sent from God to touch and teach His people ( His Bride)
    God Bless

  11. Thank you Paul for allowing our always good heavenly Abba to speak through you in new and grace filled ways. We all appreciate the research and time you spend in writing your messages from the Lord to this community and for portraying the Father for who he truly is! I personally have been ministered to time and again over the years through E2R and so I thank you, we thank you. May God’s blessings continue to cover and inspire you!

  12. I’m the richest girl on the planet. loveliest post.

  13. Paul, you say: ‘Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” and from that most wonderful affirmation of our union, confused preachers have drawn terrifying lessons about being cut off and thrown into the fire.’

    Confused preachers like John the Immerser? ‘Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’ (Matthew 3:8-10) And Jesus Himself? ‘In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit; neither can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.’ (Matthew 7:17-19)

    • Neither John nor Jesus were confused (but it sounds like you might be🙂 ), for neither are referring to the Vine that is Jesus and his branches. John’s prophecy, as understood by the apostle Paul, referred to the unbelieving Jews, while Jesus specifically says “bad trees” are in danger. Not good ones, bad ones. What is a bad tree? He tells us in the following verses. (Hint: it’s not him.)

      Although confused preachers make threats involving swinging axes sowing fear into the church and promoting dead works to insure against an outcome that will never happen, the confident believer stands firm on the sure foundation that is Jesus Christ.

  14. This is awesome. Knowing that I am one with Christ, gives the confidence and courage to smile all the way through life. Thanks Dr. Paul

  15. Weddings yield something.

    Redeeming Worlds means something. Annihilating Man’s privation means something. The word “amalgamation” means something. And, also, the volitional contours of love within Trinity sums to reciprocity amid the Pure Self, the Pure Other, the Pure Us and “singularity” means something as all such land on the Great I AM there in God, in Trinity, in the immutable love of the Necessary Being. Man – the contingent Self – cannot (unlike God) in isolation know the fullness of love’s singular *us* – not in any coherent metaphysical sense. Christ Alone subsumes every rational claim upon reality – reason herself discovering in Him that which fills all contingent realities to their bitter ends – literally. The inescapable semantics of incarnation transpose the Hope of Mankind as Trinity reveals love’s eternally Sacrificed Self forever poured out in ceaseless reciprocity timelessly filling the beloved Other – all in Trinity – ad infinitum – void of First, void of Last. That same Self-Sacrificing God instantiates inside of Time and Physicality – filling it to its better ends – birthing an annihilation of privation and, by His Pouring, the ontology of God in Man / Man in God is revealed.

    Actuality is Perfectly-1. Such is what Weddings are for, such is what Weddings yield, such is what Weddings do. And Weddings are literal because reality just is literal.

    We ask, “What does reality look like?” Allowing reason to do her proper work, the peculiar metaphysics of a Groom and a Bride emerges as the Christian tells us to look upon Christ.

  16. Thank you, I am in a constant battle that I am not “doing” my part. That I need to be sharing the gospel or some other work or I’ll “miss it” like the 5 virgins who didn’t have oil in their lamps. Or that my lack of obedience could cause him to say, “depart from me…” I don’t spend a lot of time if the word. which is true?

    • Don, don’t be anxious about sharing the gospel, this is not from God but from the enemy. God wants you to relax and be prepared to share the hope that is within you. Your lamp is full if you have Christ. There is nothing you can do to “keep” your salvation or your right standing with God. There is no amount of church attendance or bible study that will change your standing in God’s eyes or your righteousness with God. Surely spending time in God’s Word is helpful and edifying to you, but that is not something that should be done as a ritual or under obligation. As for obedience, you were already obedient from the heart when you trusted and believed in Jesus at salvation. Once God comes into your life He does not leave because you have bad performance or are struggling with some sin. This is the power and freedom of the gospel. Jesus removes our sin, gives us a new identity and we spend the rest of our life learning how to act and behave from the new heart (spirit) God gave us. Anything short of this is just feeble religiousness that will leave you empty, condemned and anxious for the rest of your life. You would be happier and more content as an unbeliever if this is the way you were going to live your life. Don’t go down that road.

      Naz

  17. True, but when considering Matthew 25 there is warning to keep our lamp’s full, symbolizing the word of God which lights one’s pathway through life. Psalms 119:105 and Proverbs 6:23.
    This midnight cry will happen very close to Christ’s return. It is a warning message to the elect of God throughout the earth to awake out of their spiritual slumber (1 Corinthians 15:34, KJV), because Christ soon appearing.
    A man cannot borrow a relationship with God at the last minute, he must possess it for himself . It is only by the “washing by the word” we receive ourselves. Ephesians 5:26.
    1 John 2:24, “Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”
    “ And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ‘ashamed’ before him at his coming.” 1 John 2:28.
    The wise virgins wake up when they hear the warning cry and quickly fill their lamps (word of God). The foolish, think that they can get into the kingdom of God through the effort of someone else.
    Five of the Ten, did not abide in that which they ‘heard from the beginning’ and were ‘ashamed’. Be ready to participate in the first resurrection and its attending celebration. “To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne..” Revelation 3:21

    • By context does the bible define what the oil in the lamps is? No it does not. Not having read that parable for quite some time until just now the story reminds me quite a bit of people who always are looking for religion but put off making a choice out of a lack of conviction and so are left seeking and wanting when the groom comes. But the thing is in trying to figure out un explained parables is that their interpretation must not contradict other clear contextual passages. Keeping one’s lamp full requires work, commitment and effort on the part of the person. If this is how one enters or gets to stay inside the kingdom then serious contradictions exist.
      Each and everyone one of us enters into the Kingdom based upon the work and effort of someone else- Jesus. God defines overcomers not as those who have behaved well, read their bible and kept “full” of scripture but as those who have this 1 John 5:4-5
      The Kingdom is not a club we join whose membership is earned or lost by following or disregarding the club rules.

      • No contradiction if you see that our “faith is the victory that overcomes”. 1 John 5:4. How does faith come? Initially by measure, “the measure”. Possibly a measure the size of a mustard seed. But then it grows by “hearing and hearing by the word of God”. This is what John spoke of 1 John ““Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you,….”.
        The children of Israel were told to keep His word as frontlets, “Deuteronomy 11:18
        Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.” This is what they had to do for all the benefits listed in Chapter 11. To think we don’t need to do the same is not wise.
        Thus we too are to abide in His word.
        Now we have ways of binding “ and “frontlets”, they could not have even dreamed of!(High Tec.)
        Why would one who truly believes, ever worry about such an eventuality. We that believe are victorious, because we abide. Amen!
        He is not speaking ideally when saying to, let that abide in you and remain.
        The oil has something to do with the word, as the lamp is the word according to scripture.Thanks.

      • I do not mix my covenants.😉
        Jesus said abide in my word. Abide in is to live in. Live like you believe Jesus words are true. One thing Jesus said plainly was that faith in Him removes condemnation and grants eternal-everlasting life. To live otherwise is to not abide in what He said there.
        Faith is persuasion and moral conviction. Either you believe or you do not. There is no middle ground.
        The oil being the word of God simply does not fit without causing massive contradictions with the rest of scripture. Also to say we need the written word to enter the kingdom or stay there denies those with no access to a bible the kingdom. The written word in hand and heart is a blessing and helpful but it is not kingdom entrance or residence. We are to abide in Christ himself not just the written words He spoke.

      • Collen, well said. Tom would be wise to listen to your words.

        Naz

  18. We Believers are the body, not the bride. How can Jesus marry himself?

    • According to Jesus we’re also branches, sheep, wheat, fish. Don’t get hung up over metaphors. The point of the post is your union with the Lord is an established fact, rather than an unfulfilled prophecy.

    • Married couples in God eyes are one flesh, we are one in Christ, the church came from Christ’s death and resurrection. God bless!🙂

  19. This blog has really helped me know who I am in Christ and i’m grateful for that☺

  20. Beautiful! I remember when my bride came down the aisle I had tears in my eyes. How much more does he feel for me (US).

  21. This is enlightening and graced. Thanks Paul

  22. Very true Colleen you are either or , nothing else, or He will spew you out. Cant be straddling on such a thing, Reve. 3:16. One must be firm on John 3:16.
    Yet, Peter, not being negligent, 1 Peter 1:12, affirms that we need to be diligent by adding to our faith, 2 Peter 1:5, and to be diligent about our salvation, which is through faith Verse’s 10,11.
    Timothy said some will depart from the faith 1 Tim. 4:1, giving credence to Peters admonition..
    There is no other means by which one can be saved, but through the word, as Peter tells us here, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever.” 1 Peter 1:23. Though I hear that Muslims are being converted through dreams. I can only suspect, the word is there too.
    Jeremiah says God actually watches over His own Word .The word is the quintessential thing, as that is why it is so hated by satan.
    There is great controversy on what oil represents, but oil is simply representative of that which keeps one ready and alert and “on task”, so to speak. But we know Jesus is our energy, the one in whom we live and move and have our being, Acts 17:28. So, since Jesus is the word John 1, it just seems to fit.

  23. You are more than one with Christ ‘ you are Jesus he came to display the minimum acceptable standard God sets, you are the beloved Son .This is how you are in him or have perfect unity with him and the father, you have found yourself.

  24. So be firm on John 3:16 and cease adding your effort as a blend. Straddling says that anything other than faith is needed to obtain eternal-everlasting life and freedom from condemnation. 2 Peter 1:5 is about being diligent to add virtue and knowledge to our faith. It’s not a salvation issue but a growth into character qualities. We should live rightly not to buy or keep but simply because we are God’s children.

    • Amen, yet this growth makes for strong faith, faith that can keep one overcoming, as it works two fold. I see in scripture there is both faith and effort to keep it.
      “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Tim. 2:11,12,13

      1 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV) “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” Verse 11, “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition….” What things? The things mentioned in verses 5-10. Notice Romans 11:20, Our security, so far as relates to God, consists in faith; so far as relates to ourselves, consists in fear.

  25. Tom, there is no such phrase as “need to” in our walk with God. It’s a “want to” that makes this salvation so awesome. Once we realize what God had done and who we are in Christ you will find that we “need to” abstain from religion and self-effort.

    Naz

    • I humbly submit right off that “we need” patience. Lol,
      Hebrews 10:36,
      “For you have need of patience (endurance), that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.”
      But no, I believe there is more to this awesome salvation, as far as keeping it. True, the work of God is believing (John 6:29), but there is another work,(Philippians 2:12). Fighting takes effort. 1 Tim. 6:12.

      • Colleen G // December 1, 2015 at 3:05 am //

        Here is all you ever need to know about “keeping your salvation”……Philippians 1:6
        It’s not about you, your fighting, your huffing, puffing performance. It is all about God no if’s or buts. Buts belong to the ash tray gospel of salvation through works not to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not of works lest any man could boast covers the obtaining and the retaining. Works simply have no part of our getting it or keeping it because then the door is closed to any form of pride in the performance. God levels the “playing field” so that spiritual giants of great character and strong self discipline have the same chance at forever life as the spiritually weak, erratic dispositions, and unstable self control. God be praised for that as how many of us, if we are truthfully honest, are the former and how many are truly the latter.

      • Not sure what you mean by “keeping it”. There is nothing you can do to keep or lose it.

        You HAVE IT or you don’t. It like the sheep and goats, good trees and evil trees, heaven and hell, there is nothing in between in God’s salvation.

        The fighting you speak of is the daily battle we all face. But you are not fighting for your salvation, you are fighting to resist the enemy who wants you and I to behave like someone we are not. Yes, it takes effort but don’t get consumed by the battle or the battle will consume you.

        Naz

  26. Hello Paul I found your website a few months ago and been reading lots of posts in the archives. I am grateful for your writings as its giving me a view of God I never had before, it was always harsh and stern the way I saw him but im starting to see him more as a friend instead of a scary judge. Its many years of learning wrong I need to unlearn.

  27. Wow! Thank you so much! I was absolutely blessed by this article. It was definitely timely! Thank you again!

  28. Belinda Sankah // July 19, 2016 at 11:56 am // Reply

    Thank you Paul, I also give my hubby the side look…lol
    @ Taylormade…from what I know in the BIBLE, its the Love of God that brings us into repentance… Jh15 and Hebrews12 are some of the scriptures that address this issue. I also use to suffer from that guilt of awaiting a punishment because of a wrong I did, THANK GOD for the true ministers of Grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, I’ve been enlightened and freed, not to sin but to live the glorious life He died for me to have.God uses the Holy Spirit, the Word and the five- fold ministry to prune His children.Joseph Prince as a sermon on Job and Andrew Wommack as
    a teaching on the Sovereignty of God, kindly check it out, I trust you’ll be
    blessed.” The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy but He came so we will
    have life till it overflows”, once again its the devil parading as an angle of
    light….the God who did not spare His only son for us, while we were yet
    sinners, will not kill us, now that is we are His Children.

    Kindly extend my condolence to you friend…hope I was helpful.

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