Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries
The TREE OF LIFE weekly teaching summary from THE WEEK ENDING:
December 13, 1998
Positive volition toward doctrine considers reception and retention of the word of God very important for the sake of recall. Spiritual growth comes in two ways, doctrine retained which brings changes in one's thought pattern and doctrine recalled when needed. Direct growth comes from retention and accelerated growth is ascertained by recall and passing the various spiritual tests. You can count on the fact that the doctrine you have retained will be tested. And testing comes in many ways. The issue always stands the same, will you allow yourself to become distracted from your spiritual objective or will you recall and apply that which you have retained and know to be true?
Many of our pressures come in the way of people testing. Yet, no matter who it is that may be the immediate source of pressure in your life, blood and flesh is not the enemy, Ephesians 6:12. The enemy is either the kingdom of darkness using people to lead us into distraction, or God testing us to accelerate our growth. But people are not always used in a negative sense. We also have the flip side of "people", that being, the most important people in your life are assigned to you by God. Your parents, siblings, pastor-teacher, friends, family members, right-man/right woman, etc. And when the Lord gives a gift it will be perfectly suited to you.
This is not to say the people themselves are perfect but that they are perfect for you, for your coming to the gospel knowledge of Jesus Christ and accelerating in God's word. Of course our free will volition must coincide with the sovereign will of God for God's highest and best to result. Following are three of the greatest grace gifts God gave to man:
1) The greatest grace gift of course is salvation wrought through our Lord Jesus Christ's expiating work on the cross offering to all, eternal life.
2) The second greatest gift after salvation is finding one's right pastor-teacher who can teach you the word of God and the mechanics of predestination. Numbers 1 & 2 entail God's two-fold plan for mankind as found in 1Timothy 2:4.
3) The third greatest grace gift given to mankind is right-man/right-woman. This gift is given to both believers and unbelievers alike.
One may say, 'What?! Marriage is a grace gift??!' Yes, if it is the right one God has designed for you it is a grace gift. The problem most have is that they did not wait on God's timing and married the wrong one. In marrying someone other than the one God has perfectly designed for you, you can count on suffering! Whenever a man or woman get married to the wrong person, they are going to perpetuate suffering throughout their life time, there is no getting around it. And if there are children involved it is Biblical to remain in the marriage for the children's sake at least until they are grown. Even after divorce, the suffering never subsides completely.
And so our study in positive volition toward doctrine (PVTD) has brought us to note the Biblical Pattern for Right-Man/Right-Woman. The pattern was established at the creation of man, Genesis 2:21-25. God brought the woman to the man, as He continues to do today, 1Corinthians 7:17; ECC 9:9. Again, most do not wait for God to accomplish His perfect will. Most are in a hurry and lack faith and patience.
The pattern is also found in Ephesians 5:31-33, in that, just as there is one edification complex for one soul, there is one man for one woman and one woman for one man in God's design. The original marriage ceremony in the Garden of Eden was sex, Ephesians 5:31. To cleave is not to hold tightly as one might visualize. The Greek word means sex! Therefore, sex is that which consummated the marriage in ancient times. Ephesians 5:31-33">EPH 5:31-33 is actually speaking of the mystery of the right-man, being the Lord Jesus Christ and the right-woman, being the Church of Jesus Christ. In such there is a soul rapport that must exist based on a solid soul structure. And in this passage God the Holy Spirit through Paul uses the analogy of human accommodation, that being physical marriage to illustrate this mystery. In physical marriage there must also exist soul rapport for a complete union. Physical bonding though enjoyable for some, will not carry the couple. Their bond must be based on a soul fusion. Just as our bond with the Lord Jesus Christ must be based on a soul structure.
When the right man initiates with love, the right woman responds with respect. The Lord Jesus Christ (TLJC) initiates to His Church in love and grace by having offered His life for our eternal life. In response, the Church responds with awe and respect to her hero, TLJC, by respecting His word. And so marriage between the right-man and right-woman is supremely analogous to this mystery. Notice, I said marriage to the right one. If you are married to the wrong one, it is almost impossible to feel this awe toward him/her. This is not to say there should not exist a measure of respect. Yes, as we respect TLJC the woman therefore respects the position of authority held by her husband though he, himself may not be worthy of that respect. And yes, the man loves and protects the woman's position as his wife, though the woman herself may not extrapolate his undying devotion. It is unto the Lord that we honor the divine authority in view of His divine order as noted in Ephesians 5 and Col 3.
The respect noted in Ephesians 5:33 that a woman is to have for her right man is the Greek word phobeo, and in the pres/act/subj means it is to be habitual, and she receives the power from God the Holy Spirit and the word of God (JOH 4:24 - spirit and truth). And, the subjunctive mood means maybe the man will receive this respect from his woman, maybe he will not. Again, our free will must line up with God's sovereign will to execute such divine orders. Take the case of Hosea, his right-woman was unfaithful to him and entered into prostitution. This is a perfect picture of the fact that though TLJC initiates with aggressive love and grace toward His right woman, not all believers respond in truth and grace. Many go to the world to offer their affections. Our emotions can lead us astray and betray us. Our thinking can deceive us! Ladies need to be especially aware of allowing their sentimentality to dictate to them concerning a man they do not respect. Love may enflame the mind, then die down. Love, as a feeling, is never constant which is why respect is a necessity. A soul rapport is based on thinking which develops a love that goes far beyond feeling. When Adam and the woman fell in the garden you will note that they still had their right-man/right-woman relationship. Though the parameters changed, their relationship remained intact. Point being, no disaster, pressure, nor unfaithful act can destroy the personal love between right-man/right-woman (RM/RW). If a woman is in love with a man she truly respects, she will be happy to surrender her personal freedom to him in knowing that she can trust he will not abuse it. A man who puffs up and says "man is the head, he, he, he," is not a man at all but a foolish and perhaps insecure boy.
So, the word phobeo (respect) means to frighten, to be alarmed, be afraid, to fear, respect, to be in awe of, revere, to treat with deference, courtesy, high regard or reverential obedience. In context in means respect, awe, reverence, deference, high regard, and reverential obedience. The woman is not to fear her right man but to be in awe of him and highly respect the integrity in his soul.
The RM/RW aside from having a soul rapport have bodies designed for each other by God, JER 31:22. Here the analogy used between the Jews and the Lord is carried over to the right-man's relationship to the right-woman. At creation the Lord created a new thing on earth, JER 31:22 "...a woman will encompass a man." In the Hebrew it reads naqeebaah tacowbeeb gaaber which states that the female (with emphasis on her body and sex) will perfectly fit her male hero. Of course, the hero and his woman are married before they partake of such pleasures! Precedence does not tell us that Adam and the woman lived together for a couple years to be sure they were suitable then they got married. And again though there exists a great physical attraction between RM/RW it is their soul-fit that establishes their rapport. The physical fit is for pleasure and the intimacy it builds is what constructs the walls around them establishing their fortress against temptations from others.
The right-woman is the glory of the man, 1CO 11:7. Although the cross is God's greatest demonstration of grace, the woman is God's walking illustration of grace. She is the completion and fulfillment of the man. Without woman, man cannot be complete. And a point worth noting here is the fact that all God's grace gifts are vigorously attacked by Satan and his fleet. Legalism, deception, distraction, confusion, whatever it takes, the enemy will deploy for the purpose of attrition. And, he is very successful, how few there are who wait on truth for the execution of God's personal plan for their lives! Man exists as the image and glory of God. And even though man is fallen and a sinner with a sin nature, man still exists and if he does so in a regenerate state he can glorify God under the principle of spirituality. Under the divine order, woman is the glory of her right-man. As she responds to TLJC, she brings glory to her right man exemplifying God's grace to the angels. A woman's submission to her man is a reminder to the angelic creation as well as to the human race, the importance of submitting to God's divine order. This is not to say that man is better than woman or that God the Father is better than God the Son, it is merely the divine order. God the Father cannot exist without God the Son nor can man exist without woman. 1CO 1:11 "However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman." Man's position of authority over his woman was never meant to be a system of tyranny but a mutual fulfillment. The RM and RW are totally dependent on each other as a grace gift from God. And all of God's gifts have their perfect time.