LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Sunday, May 20, 2007

AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH


“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:25-29).

Paul doesn’t leave us without examples. Our agape love for our wives will look like the love Christ has for the church. And as we look at the love Christ has for the church we can rejoice in this fact: This is how Christ loves me!

Christ’s love for the church is unconditional. In other words, his love for us is not based on any worth that is to be found in us. In fact, he chose to love us in spite of our unworthiness. “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We were dirty, filthy sinners and enemies of God when Christ died for us! Look what he did for us! He made us holy! He cleansed us by washing us with the water of the word. He dressed us radiantly and removed every stain and blemish of sin. This is how Christ loved the church! And this is how we Christian husbands are to love our wives! There is no place for us to say, “But she’s a shrew! She doesn’t lift a finger around the house. She’s impossible to please. She’s not worthy of that kind of love.” Our love is unconditional! We choose to love because that is what Christ did for us!

Christ’s love for the church was demonstrated in the fact that he gave himself up for her. We think of the glories of heaven that Christ surrendered when he willingly came to earth in human form. We think of the poverty of his life. We think of all the things that he gave up for us. But that’s not what Paul says! He says that Christ gave himself up for the church! The Lord Jesus surrendered everything that was rightfully his and having surrendered everything, surrendered himself! He went to the cross and suffered and died for the sake of his church.

If you say, “I am willing to lay down my life for my wife,” you haven’t got it yet! Paul doesn’t tell us to be willing to give ourselves up for our wives. He tells us to do what Jesus did and completely surrender ourselves for our wives! What does that look like in day to day life? We put our wives first, before our careers, our comforts, our health, our friends, our hunting or golf, NCAA basketball on TV, before everything! If we want to know that we are loving our wives like Christ loved the church then we should ask ourselves every day, “Am I laying down my life for my wife?”

7 Comments:

Blogger Baptist Girl said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 20, 2007 3:31 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hey Dave,
That is excellent and if wives would obey their husbands and submit to them like they should submit to Christ, oh how life would be so much easier and there would be less divorces today. I am really enjoying your blogs on marriage, they are so uplifting.

(Previous post had to many errors, so re-did it.)

Cristina

May 20, 2007 3:32 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Dave,
I appreciate this post very much, particularly your citing of the verse re: washing with the water of the Word.
The husband of whom I wrote recently who misused this verse is losing his wife. She spoke with me twice this past week - the first time in tears visiting me at home, the second by phone to inform me that he has offered that she can buy their home from him and he'll move out.
This man - and I write this with a heavy heart - has been "ordained" (so he says) to pastor a church up north.
I can't tell you how much my heart and mind are troubled when two Christians separate (and probably divorce) from marriage.
It happened with my parents and I see it with these two as well. I really can't understand it.
This particular wife has a "great peace now" she said. She knows it's not Biblically sanctioned, but she's been told by her husband that she is never to disagree with him "unless the house is burning down or someone's life is at stake." I've seen her grown increasingly quiet and timid in the six months I've known them both.
Frankly, I'm a little frightened by "Christians" - male and female - who aren't humbled by the Word and who don't see themselves in it.

May 20, 2007 6:15 PM

 
Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Cristina: Thanks for your kind words and I agree; how joyful marriage could be if we would DECIDE to be obedient!

Susan: My heart is so grieved for these friends of yours. The whole body suffers when things like this happen!

May 20, 2007 11:38 PM

 
Blogger mark pierson said...

"then we should ask ourselves every day, “Am I laying down my life for my wife?”

Honestly, no. I am selfish and need to repent. Thanks for the reproof and correction, Dave.

May 21, 2007 7:46 AM

 
Blogger Susan said...

Similar to this thinking is something that our pastor's wife referred me to recently. At a godly parenting website called "raising godly tomatoes" (referring to staking your young children very closely to you at all times to raise them upright), it notes:

”When I think about the subject of God's "will" or "purpose" for my life, I do not think, as many Christians do, of some important occupation or of some great missionary endeavor. Instead, I think more along the lines of doing what is the right thing to do in every situation all throughout my life, whatever that may involve. When I search the Scriptures, I'm not looking for my name listed right next to some specific career path, instead I'm looking for guidelines to teach me right from wrong, and how to make wise and godly decisions in everything I do today and forever. This is what I believe is God's will for my life - to please Him in everything I do. To be like Him to the best of my ability.”

I think this is wise information and well-stated. It reminds me that to seek God’s will for my life by looking first to my husband and my children as my “mission,” as it were – to serve them and honor God daily in how I serve them. To seek to please God first in my home, then outward.

That site can be found here:
http://www.raisinggodlytomatoes.com/index.html

ps – Dave, I hadn’t considered before how the entire body of Christ suffers during situations such as that of my friends, but you’re right. It’s bigger than just a few folks. It some spiritual way, it affects us all.

May 21, 2007 9:41 AM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Hey susan,
I went to the site you recommended and it is a wonderful site for parents. 10 children, truly blessed parents. I am going recommend it to some new parents I know.
thank you for sharing the site with us.

Cristina

May 21, 2007 10:35 AM

 

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