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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:22-27
The Church: The Bride of Christ
1. Eph. 5:22-33: Marriage is the great illustration of the relationship of Christ and His church.
a. United to Christ, Rom. 7:4 (ginomai: “to become”). Joined, married
b. Joined, 2 Cor. 11:2 (betrothed/espoused: “of carpenter’s, fastening together beams and planks to build houses, ships, etc.” (Thayer).
c. The bride of Christ, Rev. 19:7.
2. Gospel obedience brings the sinner into this pure and holy relationship, Rom. 6:3-4; Acts 2:47; 2 Cor. 11:2.
3. Our text teaches Christ’s love for His church and the church’s respectful submission to Him.
4. Marriage illustrates this “great mystery” (Eph. 5:32):
a. This relation had previously been kept secret, but it is now revealed.
b. God arranged marriage to be a great teacher concerning Christ and the church.
I. CHRIST LOVES HIS CHURCH. (Church: called out ones, the saved, Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47).
A. Jesus Sacrificed Himself for His Church. (Oh, what love!)
1. To save the church, 5:23. Lk. 19:10; Rom. 5:6-8
2. To sanctify the church, 5:25-27. Set apart from sin, to be holy and without blemish.
a. Redemption and reconciliation, Eph. 1:7; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:10.
b. The blood applied through faith, Acts 2:37-41, 47; 22:16.
B. Christ’s Leadership (rule). Servant-leader, Mk. 10:45
1. As head of His church, Christ’s leadership (rule) is marked by Service–Sacrifice–Salvation.
2. Unselfish, not pleasing himself, Rom. 15:3; Phil. 2:5-8.
C. As Head, He Nourishes and Cherishes His Church, 5:23, 28-30.
1. Christ possesses full authority to save us, bless us and lead us.
2. Christ uses His authority...
a. To strengthen (nourish) and cherish us, cf. Matt. 28:18-20; Jno. 14:23.
b. To give us eternal life, Jno. 5:21.
3. Expressions of His authority are for our glory, joy, purity and virtue – Not personal glory, cf. 1 Ths. 2:19-20.
II. THE CHURCH IS SUBMISSIVE TO CHRIST IN EVERYTHING.
A. Subjection to Christ is Essential for Our Salvation, Eph.5:23-24.
1. A rebellious wife cannot expect to live in the warm blessings of her husband. See the contrast in Prov. 31:10-12, 28-30
2. Rebellious Christians will not be saved, Gal. 5:4; cf. Rev. 2:16.
B. The Church is Faithful to Christ in Everything, Eph. 5:24; Col. 3:17.
1. There is no head who is more loving, caring and devoted than Christ.
2. Imagine a wife who is faithful to her husband 90% of the time.
3. Just as the wife honors her husband by respecting and supporting his word, the church honors Christ by respecting and supporting His word, 1 Tim. 3:15.
C. Submission to Christ (His Word) Expresses Our Faithfulness to Him.
1. Jehovah used the figure of marriage to explain His relationship with Jerusalem, Ezek. 16:8.
a. God adorned Jerusalem with great blessings, Ezek. 16:9-14.
b. Jerusalem trusted in her own beauty and became unfaithful to God, Ezek. 16:15-59 (32, 38, 59).
c. God’s judgment was that of a jealous husband, 16:41-43.
2. Similarly, the church must be faithful to Christ...
a. Through morality, Eph. 5:3-11. (Walk in love)
b. Through zealous devotion to what pleases Him, Eph. 5:10, 14. (Walk in light)
c. Through true and thankful worship, Eph. 5:19-20 (Jno. 4:24). (Walk in wisdom)
D. Submission to Christ Expresses Our Unity with Him, Eph. 5:31.
1. Leave and cleave: New relation in Christ, 2 Cor. 6:14-18.
2. One flesh: United, following Him in everything.
1. Christ commands the husband to completely love his wife and the wife to completely respect her husband, Eph. 5:33.
2. Marriage reflects the relation Christ has with His church, Rev. 19:7-9:
-The church: His wife...made herself ready...righteous acts of the saints...the marriage supper is prepared – the gospel calls you to come and be saved, Rev. 21:9; 22:17.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: March 12, 2013