The Gospel Romance

Those who have listened to my ‘Riding on the Clouds’ podcast will know that I’ve often referred to the writing of Raymond C. Ortlund Jnr. Mary and I also had the privilege of listening to and meeting Ray at a conference over in Canada (Prince Edward Island was the lovely setting) some years ago. As I thanked Ray for his ministry, I shared how moved I was by his description of the biblical story as ‘ultimate reality is romance’ (Whoredom, p 173). Ray has written a commentary on Proverbs and I came across the sametheme as he introduced a chapter about why our Sexuality Matters to God based on Proverbs 6:20-7:27. Here it is:

“The gospel reveals something we never would have known. We are men and women playing out this drama of human romance over and over again because of who God is. Romance is not an evolution-generated mechanism for the survival of the human species. Romance came from God. Romance reveals God. Ultimate reality is not cold, dark, blank space out there going on forever with no meaning or message or emotion. Ultimate reality is romance. God loves us, and not with a platonic love but with a romantic love. God love us not with chilly indifference but with hot passion. The gospel reveals that is who God is.

“This wonderful truth means many things. For starters, it means marriage is not just another mutation in human social development. Marriage is a divine creation, pointing to something beyond us. A man and woman falling in love, committing themselves with lifelong vows of faithfulness, uniting sexually, living life together “’til death us do part” – it is all pointing to the mega-romance of Christ and the church in love forever. A man and a woman in love display the ultimate story of the Son of God coming down to win to this heart, with great suffering, a bride from the wrong side of town. God created the universe for the purpose of telling that love story. More than any other reason, that is why our sexuality matters, whether married or single. Just being a man is a gospel privilege. Just being a woman is a gospel privilege. What we are is about the gospel. That is why we need to learn gospel sexuality.” (Ray Ortlund, Proverbs, p 106).

Timely words for our day and age.

“Can a man carry fire next to his chest and his clothes not be burned?” (Proverbs 6:27).

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