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Building up believers and the New Testament church

They Two Shall Be One

Demands of Love

In the natural realm, to place one over another in a position of authority means that one rules the other, and in most cases "lords it over" them. At the root of this is covetousness, and the desire of one to get ahead of the other. But in God, love lifts up. To put one over another means that the one has been given a place of responsibility and ministry, for the purpose of bringing the other up to a oneness in the life of God--and this is so that the one who receives may partake of all that that position makes available to him. It is then by ministry that they are made partakers of all that Christ is, in life. This brings unity and oneness--thinking alike, having the same judgments, moving within the boundaries of the authority of each member as given by the working of grace, in God's plan and according to His calling.

As we move in His grace, any demand is a demand of love, and is to bring us into more understanding of God's end purpose, which is Christ becoming all in all. Understanding can only be born out of doing God's will. If we do not do, we cannot know (John 7:17). Love will set us free from all bondage and cause us to rejoice in doing what God has designed us for since the beginning--expressing His life. We are to express His life in the completeness of His nature, with all things put under His feet and Christ becoming all in all.

As the apostle Peter has said, the husband is to honor the wife, recognizing her in the role she has, both in their relationship and in God's purpose. True piety must have a practical outworking. Only those who know what God's design is for the home can move in that plan. God's authority must be evident in a practical way, with both husband and wife taking their proper role. There must be a giving of life (love) and a receiving of life (love). The life of God (love) is only meaningful as both parties find purpose in its outworking. When we speak of the outworking of love, we mean seeing and doing as the Spirit leads, in order that true godly affection may be seen, and bear fruit as it is experienced. The working out of the life of God permeates our whole lives. It affects our attitudes, our motives, and the actual living out of His life together as one.

The relationship that Christ has with the church is the same as the working between the husband and wife. This cannot be in any way two people living their separate lives, but two people moving in their appointed places in that one life, Christ's life. A husband and wife, submitting, nourishing, and cherishing in their appointed functions, give forth an expression of Christ's life which can only be revealed in oneness.