Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, and then they marry. This has become an important part of everyone’s life. When two meet, they become attracted to each other and then they begin their relationship. It starts with the courtship. The boy tells the girl various things that might catch her attention and tries to draw the other in. When the two become attached to the other, they move to the next level, the engagement.
In this stage, the two declare their desire to live for each other for the rest of their lives and their willingness to choose each other over all others. Then they make the announcement. They publicly tell all that they are getting married and will be joined forever. The ceremony comes next, and it is the actual joining of the two under law into marriage. After the two go through the ceremony, they have a new status. They are no longer two people but the two are “one flesh.” They are joined together, “in sickness and in health, as long as the two shall live.”
In our spiritual lives, we go through this same process. First, we hear the word of God. The apostles were told to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
We first hear and believe God’s word and then we are ready for the next level. We must then decide that we are willing to dedicate our lives to the gospel and turn from our old wicked lives. This is the repentance stage. God once allowed ignorance to reign but now, “God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent” (Acts 17:30). Once we have made that decision to join ourselves to Christ we announce it, confess it, to the world. In Romans 10 we read, “for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth, he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Once we have made that good confession before men we are ready to perform the act of joining Christ, baptism. Galatians 3:27 tells us that, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
There, just as in the physical marriage between men and women, are certain guidelines we have to follow to bind ourselves to Him. This baptism is a full immersion, not a sprinkling or pouring. We are “buried” with Him. You never see anyone in a graveyard with a small amount of dirt on them, or some poured on them, they are fully buried in the ground, and completely covered with dirt. We are now joined to Christ and have become part of His church, His bride (Eph. 5:23). Some other lessons we can take from this relationship is that both sides are fully aware of what is taking place. They have to “believe” so little kids, babies, etc., do not get married. Same in the spiritual sense, to enter into the church one must believe.
With just as much dedication as men and women enter into the bonds of marriage, and with all the reverence we give to that relationship, we today should be even more careful with the relationship we have with Christ. Let us all keep ourselves pure in religion, and pure in the soul for Christ until He comes again.