Ephesians 5:25-30


Day 52

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.” Ephesians 5:25-30

The Powerful Work of Christ for the Church
Christian marriage models the relationship between Christ and the church.  In the New Testament, this analogy of Christ as a bridegroom and the church as a bride runs throughout.  We can see this depicted in some of the parables Jesus taught.  We even see it in John 14:2-3 where Jesus said, In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Though marriage isn’t explicitly mentioned in the text, this pattern of a groom preparing a place in his Father’s house for his future bride fits the culture of marriage in the time of Christ.  A father and son would journey to a prospective bride’s home and pay the bride price for her hand in marriage.  After the payment, the groom began a lengthy preparation process of adding a room to his Father’s house for the new couple.  During that time, the bride also prepared herself for the wedding day.  Then, a town crier would step onto the street with the declaration, “the bridegroom is coming.”  With that, the bride put on her dress and met the groom on the doorstep of her home.  They traveled together to the place prepared where they would dwell together.  God the Father paid the price for the church through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  After completing payment, Christ returned to the Father’s house where He has been preparing a place for the church.  One day, the voice of the heavenly town crier, Michael the archangel, will resound throughout heaven and earth.  The bride, the church redeemed by Christ, will meet Christ and journey back to the Father’s house.  There we will be together forever.  With this language, Jesus set the proposal, preparation, and wedding ceremony as a striking analogy to the divine plan that God has for the church. 

Beyond the ceremony, the life of marriage also provides for a divine analogy.  As Christ loves the church and as the church loves Christ, so too should a husband and a wife love each other.  Though an earthly husband cannot do what Christ has done for the church, the model of His sacrificial ministry to us gives husbands a standard of ministry to their own wives.  The idea seems to be that a Christian husband will love His wife in such a way so as to prompt others to see his sacrificial ministry to her and say, “That’s uncanny how much your love for her reminds me of the way Christ loves the church.”  In order to punctuate this point, Paul drew the attention of his readers to the depth of service Christ has provided for His bride, the church.  Christ laid down His life for the church with the desired end that the church would be made perfect.  The sacrifice of Christ has a good and perfecting work in the church so that the husband should live sacrificially for the good of his wife.  Notice the explicit call for husbands here.  Having laid out the depth of the love of Christ for the church, Paul said, “So husbands ought to love their own wives.”  So “as Christ loved the church, husband love your wife,” was Paul’s exhortation.  

From here, Paul drew again on another analogy of Christ’s relationship to the church. Paul used this analogy earlier in the book of Ephesians where he described the church as a body with Christ as the head.  Any reasonable person takes care of their own body, feeding the body, getting rest, treating injuries, and nurturing good health along with a host of other daily provisions for the physical needs of their body. If the church is the body of Christ, Christ naturally takes care of His own body.  Since the husband is to model his ministry to the family as that of Christ’s ministry to the church, then as Christ takes care of the body of Christ, so too should the husband nourish and care for his wife.  Consider the way we contemplate meeting our own physical needs.  It is daily and an all day effort. We acquire and prepare food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the day. We rest when tired and cleanup when sweaty or unclean.  The parallel is obvious.  If we spend that much time and energy caring for our physical bodies, then the husband should spend much time and energy caring for his wife.  Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loves the church!

Suggested Prayer:  God, protect the Christian marriages within our church.  May our families model the relationship between us and You.  For both married and single individuals in our congregation, may we be encouraged by the destiny we have with You through the return of our bridegroom, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Posted by Daniel Sweet

Spouse - Kim

Favorite Music Artists/Bands

  • Phil Wickham
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Favorite Bible Passage:

II Corinthians 4-5

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  • John Piper
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  • Alistair Begg

Daniel Sweet has served as the pastor of Matthew Road Baptist Church for over twenty years. Prior to receiving the call to the pastorate, Daniel worked as a consulting actuary with Watson Wyatt Worldwide, an international human resources consulting firm for ten years. Daniel holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Ouachita Baptist University, a masters degree in applied mathematics from Southern Methodist University, a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Theological Seminary and a Masters of Historic Theology also from Southwestern and an enrolled actuary. He and his wife, Kim, have two adult sons, Austin and Michael.

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