Nine Ways the Gospel Transforms Marriage

Nine Ways the Gospel Transforms Marriage

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered on the cross in our place and was raised triumphantly from the dead. He ascended to the Father's right hand and is now enthroned, sending his Spirit who by the Word gathers for himself a new people from every tribe and tongue and nation. This new people — the church — are those who by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus are welcomed into fellowship with God and now hope for his coming kingdom.

We know this news changes everything. It has to. But how?

What about everyday life? What about relationships? Or more specifically, what about marriage?

In their book, Love That Lasts, Gary and Betsy Ricucci list out nine ways that the gospel directly affects marriage (and so much more).

  1. Because of the gospel, Christians have become new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, in our marriage, our past does not define us, confine us, or determine our future.
  2. Because of the gospel, we are forgiven (Ephesians 1:7). Therefore we can live free of all guilt and condemnation for every sin, and we can trust that God, in his mercy, will be gracious to us.
  3. Because of the gospel we can forgive, just as Christ forgave us (Ephesians 4:32). Nothing done against us compares to our sin against God. Therefore all offenses, hostility, and bitterness between Christians can be completely forgiven and removed.
  4. Because of the gospel, we are accepted by God (Romans 15:7). Therefore we are not dependent on a spouse for who we are or what we need.
  5. Because of the gospel, sin's ruling power over us is broken (Romans 6:6, 14). Therefore we can truly obey all that God calls us to do in our marriage, regardless of any circumstance or situation.
  6. Because of the gospel, we have access to God through Christ (Hebrews 4:14-16). Therefore we can at any time take any need in our marriage to the One who can do all things.
  7. Because of the gospel, we have hope (Romans 5:1-4). Therefore we can endure any marital difficulty, hardship, or suffering, with the assurance that God is working all to our greatest good (Romans 8:28).
  8. Because of the gospel, Christ dwells in us by his Holy Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14). Therefore we are confident that God is always with us and is always at work in our marriage, even when progress is imperceptible (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
  9. Because of the gospel, we have power to fight and overcome remaining sin , which continues to dwell and war within us (Romans 7:19-21, 24-25; Galatians 5:16-17). This indwelling enemy represents the essence of what is called the doctrine of sin.

Love That Lasts: When Marriage Meets Grace (Crossway, 2006), 22–23, numbering added.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God, and is the lead planter of Cities Church in Minneapolis–Saint Paul, where he lives with his wife, Melissa, and their four children. He is also the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary.