It is true, that the restored relationship between God and the sinner is best understood as that of a Father and son (or daughter) through the agency of adoption.
He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:5-6 However, the mechanism of how that happens is revealed more accurately through the relationship of husband and wife.
Allow me to explain.
The first thing a man must do to enter into a relationship with God is to acknowledge his own sinfulness. There is no point talking to a man about being clean if he is still perfectly comfortable with his filthiness. A man cannot claim to love God if he still loves his sin, too.
He first has to become quite repulsed by his own state of being, otherwise it is all lip-service and a self-gratifying desire to escape the consequences of his own choices. But when a man finally comes to a place of honest self-realization, he also comes knowing that he is not worthy of the God he seeks. This is true repentance.
A wretched, sinful man cannot approach a Holy and Just God in his own merit. The corrupt man would be annihilated simply by the very Presence and Power of God the same way a dry autumn leaf would be incinerated by the flame of a fire. Man needs a mediator; One who would intercede before God on his behalf. This is who Christ Jesus is. He came as the Son of Man and the Son of God to fill this precise role.
The only way a corrupt, guilty man can be accepted before a holy and just God is to be IN CHRIST. And CHRIST must be IN THE MAN. And how this happens is best illustrated through the agency of holy matrimony.
When a man comes to Jesus Christ for the purpose of salvation he must first come BELIEVING. (John 3:16 & 36, 5:24, 6:40, 11:25-25). He enters into the covenantal relationship by the act of his will. He must come humbly, submitting himself to God. He comes acknowledging Christ’s person and position as the Son of God. And he comes recognizing Him as the only One able to do what he is unable to do for himself. This is the “I Will take Thee” of the ceremony (Romans 10:9-10).
At this point, the man RECEIVES Christ. He is inviting Christ, through the Holy Spirit, into himself (Acts 2:38). This is the act of consummation.
The very Spirit of Christ enters into the man’s spiritand becomes one with him. The spirit within the man, that was once dead, is granted new and eternal life through the Spirit of Christ. Christ is in the man, and the man is now in Christ. The two have become one. (John 14:17).
The man is a now a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). He is not the being he was before. Now, also as an act of his will, he surrenders all rights to himself and his previous identity. He chooses to forsake the desires and nature of the old man in order to yield to the new nature being cultivated within him.
And this is, in every sense, a cultivation. It is a process that occurs over time with patience, attention, and care.
In Christ, he has a new name, a new family, and a new home. Everything that is found in Christ, is now his. In Christ, he has protection and provision from the Father. With Christ, he is granted the inheritance of the kingdom of Heaven. He has power and authority that is in His name (John 16:23, 17:11).
Now, when God looks upon the man, He sees not the corrupt and sinful man, but instead His perfect, sinless Son. As one would exchange one garment for another, Christ takes the sin of the man upon Himself and exchanges it for His own righteousness. The man’s own life does not speak for him any longer. Christ’s life speaks for him because his life is covered, or hidden, IN CHRIST (Colossians 3:3, Galatians 3:26-27). The man has, in a sense, been washed clean by the blood of Jesus, because the His Blood represents His life (Revelation 7:14). He is clothed in His righteousness.
The holy union that has just taken place is what the bible means by the word “knowing” Jesus. Just as a woman would not enter into the covenant of marriage with a man without first carefully weighing all the ramifications associated with such a union, neither should one enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ without understanding what it means to do so. In fact, I believe this is a more accurate explanation of what the commandment “thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” means. Do not take His name in covenant if you have no intention of living your life as though you were one with Him. When you take His name, you represent Him in the world (2Corinthians 5:20).
You are a vessel for the Glory of God (John 17:22).
The world looks unto you as a reflection of the nature and character of God. If it hates you, it is because it hated Him first. “And these things they will do unto you because they have not known the Father, nor me.” John 16:3
In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. John 14:20
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not; neither knows Him: but you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you. John 14:17
Do you know Him?