Guest Article by Ray Ashmore


September 2, 2016

Marriage between a man and woman, for it to be legitimate in the eyes of God, must include two essentials: Covenant and Consummation. Since biblical times marriage has been defined as including both a covenantal act and an interpersonal consummation, a betrothal agreement followed by a “knowing,” the wedding night.
The Definition of "covenant" is this: a binding agreement; a compact; a formal agreement; a legal act undertaken to express an internal heart pledge. The Definition of "consummation" is this: the point at which something is complete or finalized; the action of making a marriage complete by having intimate relations; an experiential act undertaken to establish oneness in body and soul.
Marriage includes both a covenant and an intimate consummation. Understanding the following is vitally important. A covenant without consummation to follow is an empty pledge. Consummation without a covenant is fornication. A covenant with one and consummation with another is adultery. Adultery  breaks the covenant bond and carries with it a biblical justification for divorce. And fornication prior to marriage carries with it judgmental consequences, either immediately or at a later date. Both sins are forgivable, but forgiveness does not abrogate negative consequences.
Why does God hate fornication? It is intimacy without covenant. Why does God hate adultery? It is intimacy that violates and breaks a covenant. Why does God hate a binding marital covenant made without the following intimacy of consummation? Because it is a pledge to give oneself to another and then a withholding of the gift, a vacuous pretense.
There is no room, from God’s point-of-view, for any justification of fornication or adultery under any circumstances, or a withholding of intimacy after a covenant commitment is made. Why? Because mankind is made in God’s image. And Triune Oneness includes both covenant love and a faithful giving of that love in and among the Persons of the Godhead.
Human marriage reflects the biblical concept of spiritual salvation. A covenantal pledge to Christ, whether in personal prayer, by baptism, a response to an altar call, or a fleeting emotional moment, must also include a surrender to consummation, the infilling of the Holy Spirit. When a covenant pledge is made to Christ without a spiritual consummation taking place during or after the covenant is made, or when a covenant pledge to Christ is made, followed by an idolatrous infilling of the heart with the world’s values, spiritual adultery results. When one flirts with Christ but then is seduced by the world, never making a true and heartfelt covenant commitment to Christ, that person is a spiritual fornicator.
“Once saved always saved” is sometimes a deceptive doctrine because it may give false assurance, based upon covenant appearance rather than consummating love. On the other hand, one cannot lose his salvation after the Lord Jesus’ consummation fills his life. A continuing relationship with Christ produces growth in godliness, even if it takes years to fully develop. The scriptures teach that those who are truly saved will continue to exhibit true faith and growth in godliness, exhibiting faithfulness to their covenant, even to the end of their lives.
If the eternal covenant of salvation is not consummated by Christ entering us, knowing us, as Adam knew Eve (ginosko), is it then an “unconditional” covenant? If our submission to His Lordship is not undertaken by us being filled with the Holy Spirit, then the covenant responsibilities have not been performed and therefore the covenant becomes invalidated. Christ "divorces" us at the last day: “Depart from Me. I never ‘knew’ you.”

Raymond E. Ashmore
Imparting Life Ministries


First Love Ministry
a ministry of Anglemar Fellowship




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