It was quite clear from Genesis that the union of Adam and Eve had some ramifications to Eve’s identity. In Genesis 5:2, God called their name, Adam. As one flesh, God viewed Adam as Adam, and Eve as Adam, hence their collective name as Adam. I know this probably gets under the skin of the rebellious femi-nazi mind, but this is the way God designed it.
Why was this? Was this design to fuel a ‘man’s desire to lord over his wife’? Was this designed this way so a man could demand a slavery-esque submission of the wife? No, far from it. By the way, someone else’s misuse of scripture doesn’t prove or disprove anything about scripture. There are many folks who take the time to discredit scripture based on the misuse of it by someone else – which is a faulty way to establish something as true or false. But, let’s not digress too much. The point of this one flesh union is to portray something far grander.
Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
And there we have it. The purpose of this one flesh union is that it exemplified a great mystery. This isn’t a mystery like Sherlock Holmes would investigate, but is information kept secret in the mind of God. The Apostle Paul was called to reveal this mystery. In Ephesians 3, we find out more information about this mystery and the union to one flesh, one body.
Ephesians 3:3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Ephesians 3:4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:
This “church’ that he speaks of in chapter 5 is simply the congregation of God. It is this body of believers that demonstrates the mystery of husband and wife union.
In the last post, we quoted Khristi Adams, Chaplain at Georgetown University, as saying basically that it is frivolous to get bent out of shape over something as a hyphenated last name, especially since it is a means for the wife to hang on to an important part of her previous identity. However, when we understand what union with Christ means, we will see that hanging on to this previous identity is not only erroneous, but serves to keep the believer from walking by faith.
When you enter into marriage, the wife is to take the name of the husband and that name is to become her own. Her identity has been changed in marriage – no longer identified with her former self, but now joined to a new identity.
In Deuteronomy 24, we find an interesting arrangement under the law (and no, I’m not trying to put you back under the law, but simply want to make some comparisons.) Under the law, a wife could marry her husband and take his name. If he finds her to be in infidelity, he may divorce her and at that point, she is free to marry another husband. But, there is always that possibility of reconciliation with the first husband. However, if she takes the name of a second husband, she completely forfeits her opportunity to ever be reconciled back to her first husband.
Deuteronomy 24:1 When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.
Deuteronomy 24:2 And when she is departed out of his house, she may go and be another man’s wife.
Deuteronomy 24:3 And if the latter husband hate her, and write her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sendeth her out of his house; or if the latter husband die, which took her to be his wife;
Deuteronomy 24:4 Her former husband, which sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD: and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
This, by the way, is why those who take the name of the anti-Christ will forfeit their right to be reconciled back to God. Israel was given a bill of divorce in Jeremiah 3:8 and as Hosea writes, God desires to reconcile that relationship. However, for those who take the mark of the beast, which Revelation calls the number of his NAME. Those who effectually take his name will have joined themselves to the anti-Christ in marriage union and will have forfeited their right to be reconciled back to husband number 1, God.
What about us? Well, this mystery that was revealed demonstrates an eternally secure and eternally sound reality – a reality that we can never be severed from.
When we believe and accept what God accomplished for us through His Son’s death, burial, and resurrection, we have something happen to us by the Spirit of God. We don’t feel anything or see anything; we simply take God at His word that it is true. In Colossians 2, we find that believers have been circumcised from the body of sin. There are two realities for mankind – we are either in Adam or we are in Christ.
1Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
1Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Adam = death. Christ = life. Question – is there any middle ground between life and death? No – if one is alive, then there is no death, however, if one is dead, then there is no life. This is key to understand. Paul echos this in Romans 5. Paul says that even before the law, folks still died, even folks who hadn’t sinned after the same manner as Adam. In verse 17, Paul writes that by one man’s offense, DEATH reigned. Adam, as head of the human race, voted for sin in the garden, from which death results. Just as our Representatives in Congress cast votes that represent the entirety of their constituents (whether they voted for that particular Representative or not). Same idea here with Adam. Whether we voted for sin, as Adam did, or not, the result of the vote passed unto all men.
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
The identity of man in Adam is death. When we accept what Christ did for us, we are separated from that identity to Adam and ultimately to death. This separation happens by the Spirit of God. Christ became sin on the cross and experienced the full result of sin – death. That body of sin was buried in the ground. Upon His resurrection, Christ was separated from that body of sin as He was raised to NEW life. So too we, when believing the good news of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, are separated from the body of sin and death (Adam) and are joined to the body of righteousness and life (Christ).
In Galatians 3:27, Paul writes that those who have been baptized (immersed) into Christ (not water), have put on Christ. In other words, those who have been joined in union with Christ have taken His name – His identity.
In Adam, all die. In Christ, shall all be made alive. Are you starting to see the problem with a hyphenated last name or a hyphenated identity? Modern day religion has capitalized on this very well. If we can dangle life in Christ like a carrot, but keep you preoccupied by looking behind to your behavior in Adam, then you always keep the carrot danglers’ pockets padded, but you yourself in a world of no assurance and confusion.
Paul writes to the Corinthians and asks them, “What concord hath Christ with Belial?” There is no hanging on to a part of our past identity…and thankfully so! That means that every way that God deals with believers is based on their complete identity in Christ.
Ephesians 4:22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
Ephesians 4:23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Ephesians 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
God isn’t interested in you hanging on to your old identity to death. When wives demand a hyphenated last name, they are effectually giving their decree of how they wish for God to work with them, whether they know it or not. As the marriage union is designed to portray our union with Christ and separation from Adam, so too should the wife lose her old identity to her husband’s.