Keep the Oil in Your Lamp

“But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.” (Matthew 25:6-7)

Marriage means different things to different people. Somehow the state has acquired the institution as theirs. If that were true what happened to the phrase “Separation of Church and State.” In truth that phrase appears nowhere in the Constitution of the United States. It comes from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President of the United States. Ignorant people have jumped upon that statement to cause all kinds of havoc for the Church of Jesus Christ. Aside from that point marriage is not an institution of the state but of the Kingdom of God and was instilled into society shortly after Adam and Eve were created by God. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

The Christian lives his or her life in unity with the Holy Spirit which is given to the believer at conversion to the Christian faith. As the Apostle Peter told those who were desiring to have a relationship with the Lord. “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) A person of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is given His Spirit to dwell within them and to guide their steps through this world to the greater world to come, the Kingdom of Heaven. The Christian is to yield their fleshly sinful desire for this world and live as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirt. The Christian is to walk by the Spirit that they may overcome the desires of the flesh. In this way they will not be under the judgment of the Law of God. “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.” (Galatians 5:18)

The problem comes that after we have committed ourselves to live in the unity of our spirit with that of the Holy Spirit and set aside that motive for our worldly desires we have committed adultery. At creation God breathed the breath of life into us which made us living beings. “Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7) Before the fall is was a perfectly righteous spirit that had unity with God. But Lucifer, in the body of a serpent, tempted man to disobey the Word of God and thus sin. This sin tainted the whole of mankind and destroyed the righteousness of the race. This is adultery, exchanging that which we are committed to and satisfying our lust for something that is pleasing to our sinful desires. This is a violation of the third commandment, You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

We have broken a vow that we made to God that we will serve Him and glorify His name that others will see in us a reflection of Him our Creator. It is a marriage of our spirit with His Spirit. Anytime we deviate from being led by His Spirit we have committed adultery and forsaken our first love. “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4)

Marriage between and man and a woman is in the model of the marriage that we are to have with Jesus, as it is the same unity that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have in forming the Godhead. For this reason we are commanded to have no other god’s before Him. There are many gods in this world. Anything that we place before the One and True God is a false god. “–For you shall not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God–“ (Exodus 24:14)

The Church of Jesus Christ is the Bride of Christ. The day is soon coming when Jesus will call His Bride out of this world and we will meet Him in the heavens. Until that time we are to be ready and keep the oil of the Holy Spirit filled so that the world may see His light. If we do not walk in the Spirit, then we are not abiding in Christ and our light will be dim and His truth hard to see in us. It is a marriage relationship, a perfect relationship as we are to have with our spouses. As the union of the triune Godhead is the model of the marriage relationship that we are to have with His Spirit and our spouse. “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:22-27)

Anytime we forsake that marriage relationship with Jesus to fulfill our desires for this passing world we have committed adultery against a jealous God. God is love and He paid a price for our salvation that none other could pay. God sacrificed Himself in our place to pay the sin debt that we could only pay with our lives. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) God is love and He desires to have an eternal spiritual relationship with us His creation. Anytime we sacrifice our relationship with Him for our desires of the world we have become to Him as the adulteress. “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”? (James 4:4-5)

Through the power found only in His Holy Spirit we are being made ready for the day when Jesus comes for His Bride. The Christian has the seal of that Spirit and is exclusively invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. There we will be clothed in the fine white linen of the righteousness of the Savior that we serve. We will be cleaned of all unrighteousness and be perfect and presentable before God the Father Almighty. Upon us there will be not spot or wrinkle that we may be fully presentable before the Father in Heaven. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he *said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he *said to me, “These are true words of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)

Today the doors of His church are open for all to come and learn the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. To come and seek the free gift of His salvation and receive eternal life in His Kingdom. It is not the desire of God that any should perish but there is only one door that one can enter in and that is Jesus Christ. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Whoever confesses with their mouth and believes in their heart that He was raised from the dead will find salvation. (Romans 10:9) Then they may come into the marriage relationship of the Church and their Savior and drink freely of the water of life. “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.” The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Revelation 22:16-17)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, March 13, 2017

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