Married or Single? Christ is our True Spouse

Married or Single? Christ is our True Spouse

After a decade in the works, my book on the Lord’s Supper and the gospel is finally out! It’s available here at Amazon, and other booksellers as well.

The book, Remembrance, Communion, and Hope makes the case for how a renewed theology and practice of the Lord’s Supper can lead to a deeper embrace of the gospel itself. Thus, it’s not just a book about the particulars of “what the bread means,” or “how Christ is present” at the meal. Through the sign-action of the Supper, the book probes the character of the biblical drama of salvation.

Here is one aspect of that drama of salvation that is often missed today: Jesus Christ is our true spouse. God has entered into covenant with his people, which both the Old and New Testaments compare to marriage. Specifically in the New Testament, we are betrothed to Christ — as a people, and as individuals. Our bodies and our lives belong to him. The Supper gives a concrete and quite dynamic entry into this theme when we celebrate it as a foretaste of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

But what does this reality of union with Christ — as spouse — mean for us as married and single people? I explore this in the book, and here is a paragraph from that exploration:

All Christians–whether single or married–are called to testify to Jesus Christ as their true spouse, even as we live as desiring creatures in these present days… Single Christians have a special calling to testify to the way in which all Christians should relate to the world: with chastity and with passion directed to Jesus Christ their spouse. In this way, because marriage to Christ is even more basic than sexual intimacy, single Christians have an indispensable witness to the meaning of marriage to Christ in a world with many competing lovers. Likewise, married Christians testify to a spiritual marriage that is even more fundamental to their identity than their earthly marital fellowship. As Paul argues, the coming together of male and female in marriage points to “a great mystery” at the heart of union with Christ: that just as God is bringing together heaven and earth in his new creation, the Lord unites male and female in a covenantal relation of oneness to testify to the oneness and fidelity of Christ with the church (Eph. 5:32).


“A rich, thick, pastoral and theologically sensitive approach. . . . The Lord’s Supper needs to be baptized into the Bible’s most significant texts as well as into the riches of the deep traditions of the church. Todd Billings does just that! In Remembrance, Communion, and Hope we watch a sensitive Christian dip us into the death of Christ and then raise us up with Christ to discover a hope that swallows up death in victory.”
 — Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary
“In this richly devotional volume, Todd Billings commends the Lord’s Supper as a source of nourishment for God’s people, an essential practice not just for the church’s remembrance of Christ but also for its sanctification. This vision draws from the wells of the Reformed tradition, yet it invites wide appropriation, illustrating the ecumenical fruit of theological retrieval from particular traditions. Billings’s work displays the wide learning, sound judgment, and social conscience that readers have come to expect from his writings. This book represents ‘Reformed catholicity’ at its very best.”
— Gregory W. Lee, Wheaton College