Does Genesis 2 only apply to married people? How does it apply to a single person?
Each Sunday at Reforming we encourage folks to put questions on their communication cards for us to answer, specifically related to the sermon series we are in, and this week the above was asked. It’s a very real question in the sense that we are not seeking simply to know another theological idea for interest sake, for smarts sake. No, this is where our theology hits the road of life for many of us in our church and in our world. Since that is the case, I aim to answer with brevity in a blog and if you’d like to keep this discussion going then let us know.
As we heard on Sunday, after God affirms throughout Genesis 1 that His creation is good, good, good and then very good, it is God himself who says in Genesis 2:18 that it is not good that the man should be alone. So God makes a woman. We then see a picture and pattern in God’s created order for marriage and family that encompasses a wonderful celebration of sex in a safe and enjoyable place, where children are welcomed. The whole mixed basket of a good world that we enjoy today, just as God intended when we see this lived out. So what about single people?
The Bible is a series of progressive revelation. As we keep reading the Bible God reveals more and more about himself as he interacts with his world. So we are not going to see a verse for every question from the beginning, but the Bible does speak about singleness later in 1 Corinthians 7. This progressive revelation moves from the Old Testament and into the New Testament to our day, through the lens of interpreting the Bible, Jesus Christ (Luke 24:13-53). This thread of reading the Bible through Christ, as all the Scriptures are really about Him, is very important to interpret, understand and apply the Word of God to us today. It is by doing this we see where singleness fits into the Scriptures and for us now.
For what we see through the change that Christ brings is something extraordinary. Since Jesus has come (and lived the single life mind you), since his death of the cross and resurrection and ascension as king of the universe, things are different for singles. For whilst in the Old Testament it was all about procreation for that command to multiply, now Jesus commands us to multiply by making disciples. That is to say, its not about procreation and marriage and families as much as its all about regeneration. God is building his new society throughout the world by building his church, through disciples being made. Families are still important, marriage is to be celebrated with sex treasured and children welcomed, but its not shameful to be single. Rather, its an opportunity.
We see in the New Creation that there is no marriage in heaven, according to Jesus himself in Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:5-9, and now whether married or single (its good to be either Paul shows in 1 Corinthians 7), we are commanded to multiply disciples of Jesus. As we do this we get to enjoy what is very good in God’s world, community. You and I get to enjoy this on a local and daily basis, Reforming Church.
So if you’re single at the moment and asking that question about how to apply Genesis 2, keep coming and enjoying community with church and there you’ll be applying and enjoying God and his creation as he intended it to be. As we have been praying in our series in Genesis so far, may we keep glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.