Free In Christ

Finding Freedom in the Churches of Christ

Genesis: One Flesh

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I would now like to make a few comments on the passage that states “for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh”.

“for this reason” — The reason is in the preceding verse “…for she was taken out of man”. The man was spiritually whole but was alone and this was not good. Because of this, God took a part of the man and made the woman. Now, for the man and the woman to be whole they must be made “one flesh” again.

This has a connection to the Trinity. God is one but also Three as man is one but also two.

“joined to his wife” — This is the Bible’s way of saying “have sex” and this is the foundational passage in dealing with all issues relating to sex and marriage. Proper application of this verse requires that if a man and women have sex then they are one flesh. This explains the lack of marriage ceremonies in the book of Genesis and explains what is truly wrong with other sexual practices.

For example, adultery is wrong because it is breaking the one flesh relationship that God has created. It tears the one man into two again. Remember “what God has joined together let no man separate”. It also explains why Jesus allows for divorce in cases of adultery (since the one flesh relationship has been broken through adultery then a divorce is just recognizing what is already true). If you think about it, you will see that most of the Bible’s wisdom about sex is related to this one flesh relationship.

This teaching about sex has not been taught in the church today because of a misinterpretation of the term “fornication” (or sexual immorality in some translations, the Greek porneo).  Nearly all have taught that “fornication” means “sex before marriage” but this is not the case.  “Sexual immorality” is a better translation because the term refers to any sexual action that is immoral (that the Scriptures define as immoral).  It is not its own thing, but a word that refers to all sexual sin.

The truth is, there is no such thing as sex before marriage.  Sex creates marriage.  Not the contractual part of marriage (or the legal part if there is one) but the spiritual part.  If we were teaching this accuratly maybe our society wouldn’t treat sex like a recreational sport and realize the spiritual significance of it.  More importantly, we need to be teaching this accuratly to our children in the Church so that they will have the wisdom they need to treat sex the way they need to treat it.  They need to see the importance of it.  They need to know that the one flesh relationship is created when they have sex with someone and that isn’t something to be fooled around with.

We have really dropped the ball on this one.  The truth on this subject must be known.  Many will disagree, but will have no leg to stand on when viewing the simplicity of biblical marriage and the sexual teaching of Scripture.


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