Ephesians 5:22-33

Eph 5:22 (KJV)
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
 
Now God gives an example of submission. He gives this order of submission not so husbands can walk around as kings but to show that everything under Heaven has an order of accountability. The wife is to submit to her husband in the same manner as she would submit herself unto the Lord. This does not mean her husband is a god or that he is to be a cruel dictator but since he is head of the house, she is to submit to him as an order of submission. While the wife is an equal party to her husband, this does not negate the order of authority that God has set up. If there was no order in the family, there would be none in society in general. In true Christianity, the man is the spiritual head of the home and when the woman submits to him, there will be blessings upon that marriage. If both try to be head of the house, there will be chaos and fighting. There cannot be two presidents of the same company, someone must be a vice-president.

 

Eph 5:23 (KJV)
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
 
In this verse, the Bible plainly sets forth the order of accountability and leadership. The wife in Scripture represents the body of believers, the church. So as Christ is the head of the church, so the man is the head of the wife. God is leaving no question as to this order. This is not a suggested order, this is a commanded order. The last phrase is establishing that Christ was the one who died for the church and became the savior of every true believer. This shows that Christ has the right to be the head of the church because he gave Himself to redeem the church. Now let us apply that to the husband. The husband must also try to make sure his wife is protected and loved. He becomes the defender of his wife. Since they are one flesh, they are members of each other. If one becomes hurt, the other should hurt also.
 
 
Eph 5:24 (KJV)
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
 
The order of accountability and leadership is furthered plainly in this verse as it continues the thought from verse.  As the church must be subject unto Christ because He is the progenitor of the church by reason of His sacrifice, so the wife must be subject unto their own husbands because of the divine leadership appointment of the husband. The wife must be subject in everything except sinning. If the husband tells the wife to do something sinful and against the law of God, then she has to refuse. She does this, because she is also subject unto the Lord and sinful behavior in any Christian cannot be tolerated. The husband should never place the wife in a position to commit sin on his behalf, for he too, must be accountable for that sin.
 
 
Eph 5:25 (KJV)
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
 
In this continuing discourse we now come to the admonition for husbands. The word for “love” in the Greek is “agapaw” or “agapao.” This love is a cognate of “agaph” or “agape.” The love in this verse speaks of a caring or affectionate love and to cherish with a reverence. A husband is to love their wives in word but they are to show the truth of those words by loving them in deeds. Hence, we see the second part of that verse that a husband is to love and care for their wife in the same manner that Christ loved the church. When we read the Scriptures, it is plain that Christ gave the ultimate sacrifice for His church. This is how the husband is to be toward his wife, he needs to be prepared to give his life for his wife. Also another aspect of this verse needs to be included here. Christ not only gave His physical life but He now lives to rule the church and guide it. The husband must realize that he entered into a life long commitment to his wife. After the initial marriage, he must now live for the preservation and enhancement of that marriage. He is no longer to be putting other things before his wife. She has to take priority over the things he cherished in the old life. For example, if a husband went out every weekend with his friends, he must now forsake that and spend time with his wife. This is not to say that friendships or doing things outside of the marriage are wrong but they must be kept in the proper perspective. The couple does everything together including worshipping, building the home, raising the children, etc. When a man becomes a husband, his life must take on different direction. No longer can he think single while being married. Christ lives for the church and makes intercession for her. The husband must also live for the marriage and protect and love his wife.
 
 
Eph 5:26 (KJV)
That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
 
Sanctify - Set apart or make holy
Cleanse - Purify
Washing - Cleansing
 
This verse continues the lesson on the church. Christ gave Himself for the church that He might sanctify or set apart, all those He came to save. Once a person becomes saved they are then purified in Spirit, although there is still a desire for sin in the flesh, the spirit essence is cleaned and made ready for Heaven. (Mat 5:8 KJV) Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. The washing or cleansing we receive is to prepare us to be brought to the Lord Jesus Christ on the last day as His bride. This washing is done by the inward work of the Holy Spirit according to the Scriptures. (2 Cor 11:2 KJV) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Outward ceremonial washing is never preparation for Heaven. It is the word of God which sanctifies our tenure on earth. The Scriptures teach us to live opposite what the world system teaches. (John 17:17 KJV) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. This word “word” could also allude to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the “Word” who washes us clean through His blood.
 
 
Eph 5:27 (KJV)
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.
 
Once this world is behind us and the last one is saved, then the fullness of the atonement will be brought to light because every Christian will be part of the Bride of Christ. That bride will have no spot or wrinkle. These represent the tiniest sins that one could commit. They will be absolutely pure. (Rev 21:9 KJV) And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. (Rev 14:5 KJV) And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God. (Rev 19:8 KJV) And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. In Heaven there will be not one blemish of sin nor anything which could cause uncleanness in the believer any more. The time of final sanctification has arrived.
 
 
Eph 5:28 (KJV)
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
 
Ought - Owe or indebtedness
 
The Scriptures now return to the physical marriage. The word “ought” is interesting as it carries the meaning of “owing.” It also connotes the idea that the woman in marriage can expect her husband to treat her in the same manner that he would treat his own physical body. This is because the marriage relationship makes one person out of two people and no man in his right mind would ever attempt to cause physical harm to his own body. The husband will love himself if he loves his wife. They are one flesh and if he hurts her, he is hurting himself. Husbands should realize how much wives do for them in marriage. Even in modern times when a woman gives birth, it could be a death sentence for her, yet a woman in love doesn’t even consider that because she has the love of her husband. (John 16:21 KJV) A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. A wife is a great gift from God and any man who abuses his wife, whether by word or deed is spitting in the face of God. (Prov 18:22 KJV) Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. Many husbands do not know what they have until their wife is gone.
 
 
Eph 5:29 (KJV)
For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
 
Ever - Anytime
Hated - Detest or Abhor
Nourisheth - Feed or Bring to maturity
Cherisheth - To warm or comfort
 
This verse continues the thought from verse 28. No man ever or at anytime has ever detested his own flesh. Whenever we shop we look for the best clothes, the best food, the safest car, and anything else that will give us a comfortable ride in life. What person would intentionally do things to hurt their own body? We see the word “nourisheth” which means that we feed our bodies to bring them to a comfortable maturity. We also see the word “cherisheth” which means we look for the creature comforts. We don’t buy the hardest mattress or the lumpiest easy chair. When you get right down to it, we pamper ourselves to the best of our ability. Now we apply this very same principle to how Christ nurtures the church. Christ would never turn on the very church that He purchased with His own blood, but He feeds it and nurtures it. We grow by reading and applying the Scriptures to our lives. It is there where we learn about the Lord Jesus Christ and how He continues to watch over His church. (Titus 2:14 KJV) Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
 
 
Eph 5:30 (KJV)
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
 
Now the Bible is teaching us that those who are in Christ are members of His body. This we understand, but of his flesh and bones? When the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He came out of the grave bodily, not a spirit. Some teach that Christ only rose in Spirit. If that is the case, then His grave would be with us today, and believe me the enemies of Christ would have definitely handed down the location of His grave to every generation, but they can’t, because where ever it was, it is now empty.
 
When Eve was formed from Adam’s rib, the Scripture teaches: (Gen 2:23 KJV) And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. God took Eve from the rib of Adam and when the church was formed, the side of the Lord Jesus was punctured by the soldier with the spear and out came water and blood. The church was formed the same way Eve was. We are one flesh with Christ as we are married to him, just as Eve was one flesh with Adam when they were married. It is the principle that we have seen in this chapter. There is such an intimacy between Christ and the church, that it is symbolized as us being a member of his physical body. Remember in John 6, when the Lord Jesus Christ was speaking of eating His flesh and drinking His blood? This was also symbolic of being such an intimate part of the Lord Jesus. The church as the wife of Christ, are enjoined as one, which is symbolized by the marriage relationship.
 
 
Eph 5:31 (KJV)
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
 
Here is the essence of marriage, in that the two that are joined together are one flesh. This is the only time that one plus one equals one. Notice the admonition too that the man is to leave his parents and be joined to his wife. This means that he is not to compare his wife to his mother or allow the parents to interfere in the marriage. Nothing is to come between us and Christ either. We are also not to compare our new lives to the old lives. When one lived under the roof of their parents, they had a different situation. Now we live under the roof of Christ, under a new situation. The old life is not to influence the new. The new life is to displace the old. Remember the admonition to put off and put on? (Eph 4:22-24 KJV) That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; {23} And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; {24} And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
 
 
Eph 5:32 (KJV)
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
 
Here is the end of the matter. Both marriage and the relationship of Christ are a great mystery. The idea that two people can become one is hard to understand yet we take it on faith. This is what the prophets longed to understand when they wrote their books under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is the great mystery which remained hidden for hundreds of years but has now been revealed. Even with it being revealed, it must be understood through the eyes of faith.
 
 
Eph 5:33 (KJV)
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
 
Reverence - To fear in manner of honor
 
While the marriage relationship represents Christ and the church, while on earth, when two people become married, the man is to love his wife as he does himself. The wife, in turn, is to reverence or honor her husband. When these things are done, then the symbol of the great union between Christ and the church is better understood.

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