"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Husbands, Wives, And The Church
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body." (Ephesians 5:25-30)
Husbands- if you are not intimate with Christ, you are not in the Word. If you are not in the Word, you are not sacrificing yourself for your wife, sanctifying her by the pure life of Christ that would be dwelling in you. It is only by Christ that you are able to truly love your wife; that you may present her without spot or wrinkle, holy and without blemish...in the same way that Jesus cleanses His bride.
"'Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." (Ephesians 5:31-32)
"The Word became flesh and dwelt among us." (John 1:14) This is a beautiful physical representation of how Jesus left the Father, came down to earth and through His sacrificial death redeemed His bride by conquering sin and death in the world thereby consummating the bride of Christ into the kingdom of our heavenly Father. He has created a new body for Himself, His bride, and He is holding fast to her. He gave himself up for His wife. Husbands are called to leave the source and familiarity of their previous kingdom and hold fast to their wives, thus creating a new body by the intimate fellowship wrought by the work of the Holy Spirit.
Why isn't the woman called to leave her father and mother? Verse 30 is the 'therefore' of verse 31: "For no one ever hated his own flesh...". Because the woman came from man, (1 Corinthians 11:8) she is her husband's own flesh (which is why husbands should love their wives as their own bodies;). She will readily recognize and cling to her husband [as Mary Magdalene attempted to do in the garden, finally recognizing Jesus as her Spiritual bridegroom (John 20:16)]. It was man that was formed from the dirt of this world, but the woman was formed from man. In this way, she knows no one to leave, only the one to cling to; and so the husband is to recognize and embrace this act of the inward knowledge of woman and thus cling to her.
Just as the source of the bride of Christ is Jesus, the church should naturally recognize and cling to Him, because we were in Him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4); just as Eve was already in Adam before God formed her. (For a life changing revelation, read Frank Viola's book, From Eternity To Here.)
Jesus created physical marriage as an analogy to express the mystery of how He relates to His church, and vice versa. Also, as physical intimacy brings forth offspring, so too by the intimate fellowship of the Spirit are borne others into the body of Christ. This is why marriage can only be between a man and a woman. (Any other union of male/male or female/female is of the devil; a physical perversion of the Spiritual picture of the bride of Christ. Both physically and Spiritually, homosexuality can not reproduce, nor know the true intimacy God designed and intended for marriage.)
"However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." (Ephesians 5:33)
Here is my 'amplified' spiritual paraphrase of the above verse. "However, let each one of you love the body of Christ as his own body, because that's exactly what the body is; the temple of the Holy Spirit (the fellowship of believers, not just the individual); and let the body of Christ see that it respects the Spirit of Christ, not the spirit of the world."
"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready." (Revelation 19:7)