Vs. 25 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and Himself for it.”
Christ is the bridegroom, and has taken upon himself full responsibility for the bride, His church.
Her actions are binding for she is His executive while He is away preparing a special place for her, (John 14:3). In His eternal counsel He viewed her sins to be those of His very own, and took upon Himself the punishment due His bride, He suffered in her room and stead that His bride might be presented to Him without blemish and without spot. Thus it is we hear Paul say to the church, “for I am jealous over you with Godly jealously: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2).
Christ suffered the torments of hell
for His bride, and wrought cut for her a righteousness that
is far greater than all her sins, yea, a righteousness that
is more invincible than the gates of hell, (Matt. 16:18).
Christ paid the greatest dowry ever paid for a bride. The
New Testament bride is the “church of God, which he hath
purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
Lest I be remiss, yea, derelict in proclaiming the church to be the bride of Christ, I inject here, the Lord’s church (es) are visible, and each church is independent and autonomous. Each church is an entity in itself, and fully capable of carrying on the Groom’s business, needing not the least assistance from any outside source. To teach the church is either, a universal visible body, or that it is a universal invisible body is to fly in the face of honest scholarship, it is to distort scripture, and to rob every metaphor which the Lord uses in reference to his church of any sensible meaning.
The metaphor “body” used frequently in
scripture to refer to the Lord’s churches cannot properly
apply to the so-called universal visible church or the
universal invisible church, Paul told the local visible
church at Corinth, “now ye are the body of Christ and
members in particular” (I Cor.
God has blessed this world with true and visible churches, and He has blessed many of His elect men with membership in one of his churches. Moreover, he has blessed many of His elect men with God honoring wives, and they together serve the Lord in one of his churches. Such is the ideal married state, and they that have been so blessed are to strive with all their might to perpetuate it. One thing above all others that will serve to maintain the happy state is for the husband(s) to obey the divine admonition, “love your wives even as Christ also loved the church,” and He loved His bride to the end that he gave Himself for her.
Husbands are to love their wives, for
without this kind of love, They
will abuse their headship, and cause their wives to suffer
unduly, even causing bitterness in some.
“Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it, that he might sanctify, and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” I doubt very strongly that Paul alludes to baptism when he uses the terms “washing” and “water” in this text. If so, it would be a reference to the cleansing which baptism pictures, and not literal cleansing by the ordinance. Then too, the phrase is qualified by the suffix, which reads, “by the word.” So, the actual cleansing is done by the Holy Spirit in applying the word of truth to the church. Christ said to his church in John 15:3 “now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
The word of God is many times in scripture presented by the beautiful metaphor, “water.” i.e. Ezek. 36:25 - 27, John 3:5, Titus 3:5, and John 7:38. We need to recognize the figure so as to be able to distinguish between the shadow and the substance. Some have grievously erred in taking the significant figure “water”, giving it literalness, and have there-by added to the scriptures, by making baptism essential to salvation.
Paul says to the church at Thessalonica, 2 Thes. 2:13 “we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”
Thus it is, the sanctification or cleansing of the church comes by the Holy Spirit making application of the word of God to the church the Holy Spirit takes the word and washes out all the spots and blemishes in the bridal gown.
“To her it was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white . . .” Rev. 19:8)
Vs. 27 “That He might present it to Himself a glorious church not, having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
While the church is 2000 years old it
has not lost its radiant youth, it is today in the eye of
the groom what it was the first day of betrothal, a virgin
ever lovely. The church is presented by Paul under the
figure of a garment coming from the
fullers hand, new, spotless,
blemishless, and wrinkleless. All the spots and
blemishes have been washed out by the Spirit’s application
of the piercing word of God (Heb.4:12), and all the wrinkles
pressed out by the hot irons of persecution. The love of
church for her blessed head will ever be new, and His love
for her can know no change. So it should be with husband and
The church is the body of Christ; He
loved it and gave Himself for it. Carrying this theme
forward, Paul teaches that Christ’s love for His church is
the supreme example or model showing how the husband seeking
to honor God should love his wife. Furthermore,
Now we know that a man and his wife do
not become “one flesh” in the absolute sense, yet they
become so much alive that their desires and aims are one and
the same. While they will never be one in the ultimate and
absolute sense, yet they can and many do become two
complimentary parts of one personality. It is in this sense
that the wife is the body of the husband, and she being his
body, he should love her as he loves himself.
Honesty demands that we own the fact
that we love our own selves, and there is nothing wrong with
loving ones self, as long as the other loves demanded of us
by our Lord does not go wanting. No man ever hated himself,
though he be the poorest of the poor, and repulsively
deformed, yet he loves himself, yea, not only doe he not
hate himself, but he manifests his love for himself by doing
all in his power to nourish himself. The loving tender care
ye shows himself should be and will be by the God taught
“Even as the Lord the church.” The Lord loves His church, and provides for her every single need. If a true church lack in the least thing it is due to the church having not availed herself of the supply provided by her head, Jesus Christ. Everything the church needs for her welfare and happiness on this earth has been purchased by Christ for her, and is as close to the church as the finger tips of prayer. Many churches have not because they ask not.