Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel

By Ray Ortlund, Series edited by Dane Ortlund, Miles V. Van Pelt

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Winner of the ECPA Book of the Year Award for Bible Study

“This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”  Ephesians 5:32

Marriage reveals something of eternal significance. From the beginning, God designed marriage to convey a greater reality—the passionate, unfailing, redeeming love of God for sinners, the eternal romance between Christ and his bride. In this volume, Ray Ortlund traces marriage throughout Scripture—from the first marriage in the garden of Eden to the ultimate marriage in the book of Revelation—laying out a transcendent vision of marriage that dignifies our own imperfect unions as a display of the gospel. This book offers insight and hope to every married person today.

Part of the Short Studies in Biblical Theology series.

Read Chapter 1


Ray Ortlund

Ray Ortlund is the president of Renewal Ministries, the pastor to pastors at Immanuel Nashville Church, and a canon theologian with the Anglican Church in North America. He is the author of several books, including Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel; The Death of Porn; and the Preaching the Word commentaries on Isaiah and Proverbs. He is also a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. Ray and his wife, Jani, have been married for fifty years.

Product Details

Category: Marriage & Family
Biblical Studies
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 128
Size: 5.25 in x 8.0 in
Weight: 4.95 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4687-6
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4687-7
ISBN-UPC: 9781433546877
Case Quantity: 100
Published: October 31, 2016

Table of Contents


  1. Marriage in Genesis
  2. Marriage in the Law, Wisdom, and Prophets
  3. Marriage in the New Testament
  4. Marriage in the World Today

For Further Reading
General Index
Scripture Index


"There is no one alive I would rather read than Ray Ortlund. This book will show you why. It shows us how marriage is a metaphor for the gospel itself, the one-flesh union of Christ to his church. This book will help you see the gospel and marriage both in a clearer light—in the light of an unveiled mystery."
Russell Moore, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

"Captivating, alluring, and tearfully rendered, Ray Ortlund's Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel displays the blood-bought gift of biblical marriage amidst the splendor of the whole biblical landscape. No polemics here—just the love of God poured out to conquer hell itself. Each page shows the biblical worldview in its aesthetic loveliness and disarming power. And don't let the title fool you. This is not just another book on marriage. Readers will drink in a tour de force of biblical majesty on display on each and every page."
Rosaria Butterfield, former Professor of English and Women’s Studies, Syracuse University; author, The Gospel Comes with a House Key and Five Lies of Our Anti-Christian Age

“Ray Ortlund brilliantly enables you to carefully examine your marriage through the lenses of creation, fall, law, and gospel. In so doing, he helps us deepen our understanding of marriage, know why it is a struggle for us all, diagnose the marriage confusion in our culture, be clear where marriage help is to be found, and fall in love all over again with our God of amazing love, wisdom, and grace."
Paul David Tripp, author, New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional

"In this movement through Scripture, Ray gave me more reason to love and nurture my wife. He also let me gaze at even bigger matters. He took my marital story and revealed how it is by Jesus, for Jesus, and to Jesus."
Edward T. Welch, Counselor and Faculty Member, Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation; author, I Have a Psychiatric Diagnosis: What Does the Bible Say?

"My husband and I asked Ray Ortlund to preach on marriage as a picture of redemption at our wedding. We knew him to be a pastor with a scholar's head and a lover's heart. And we admired his and Jani's marriage as a beautiful picture of the passionate, tender, loving relationship between Christ and his church. For the same reasons, I commend this book to you. It will deepen your understanding of the divine mystery of marriage and why it matters, and will inflame your heart to pursue greater love and oneness with Christ and with your mate."
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author; Founder, Revive Our Hearts and True Woman

"Marriage and the Mystery of the Gospel lifts our eyes above the contemporary debates over complementarianism and egalitarianism, feminism and patriarchy, same-sex unions, and divorce and remarriage. Ortlund places our focus on the glory of the cosmic love story, and the joy-filled hope this story offers for finding true romantic love in a fallen world. This is biblical theology at its best."
Eric C. Redmond, Professor of Bible, Moody Bible Institute; Associate Pastor of Preaching and Teaching, Calvary Memorial Church, Oak Park, Illinois

“The widespread tendency to treat the Bible as if it has been dropped straight down from heaven into the hands of the individual believer significantly inhibits the life and hampers the mission of the church. This series of Short Studies in Biblical Theology holds important promise of helping to remedy this situation with its goal of providing pastors and their congregations with studies of key biblical themes that will foster a growing understanding and appreciation of the redemptive-historical flow and Christ-centered focus of Scripture as a whole. I look forward with anticipation to the appearance of these volumes.”
Richard B. Gaffin Jr., Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary