“That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”
The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
Eph 5:22-33 KJV
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 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. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives, even as 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, 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. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 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. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
This devotional, continues to look at the second main division of the book of Ephesians. Previously, we have looked at “Reflections Of His Grace Revealed” (chaps 1-3). It that section, Paul revealed to us the gracious works of the Lord in the lives of His chosen people.
In this new section “Reflections Of His Grace Applied” (chaps 4-6) Paul will be explaining to us the practical effects of God’s grace in the lives of His people.
- The Grace Of Unity (4:1-6)
- The Grace Of Maturity (4:7-16)
- The Grace Of Renewal (4:17-32)
- The Grace Of Imitation (5:1-14)
- The Grace Of Wisdom (5:15-21)
- The Grace Of Relationships (5:22-33)
- The Grace Of Authority/Submission (6:1-9)
- The Grace Of Preparedness (6:10-21)
The next effect of God’s grace we will be looking at is the grace of RELATIONSHIPS (5:22-33). For those who are called to be married, there is no greater earthly relationship that can be enjoyed. Within a Godly marriage love, harmony, unity of heart and mind, and unconditional support are constants that only enhance our relationship with Christ.
Keeping all this in mind, let’s turn our attention to this is a very basic outline of this section of Scripture:
I. The Marriage Relationship – The Wife’s Responsibility (vs 22-24)
II. The Marriage Relationship – The Husband’s Responsibility (vs 25-29)
III. The Marriage Relationship – An Example Of Christ’s Great Love (vs 30–33)
FOR A MORE COMPREHENSIVE LOOK AT THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF EACH PARTY IN THE MARITAL COVENANT PLEASE REFER TO:
As we begin looking at the grace of relationships, Paul focuses on the marriage relationship between a man and a woman. In this text, Paul explains that the authority held by the husband in a marriage are quite similar to the authority held by Christ over His “bride” the local assembly of believers…
Eph 5:23b KJV
even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Paul helps us to understand that the relationship between a husband and wife is a symbolic representation of the relationship between Christ and His local assembly.
In the previous part of this verse we are told that “For the husband is the head of the wife” . Paul now continues by making a comparison to the husband/wife relationship…
even as Christ is the head of the church:
The husband’s headship is likened to the headship of Christ over the local assembly. In our previous study, we saw that the headship of the husband involved three basic principles…
1. receipt and processing of sensory information (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching.)
2. decision making
3. influence over the body
These principles apply to the headship of Christ as well…
1. Christ is the source of and retainer of all spiritual truth and knowledge of events of this world past, present and even future. These events come to pass as the result of His sovereign decrees. (Psa 33:8-9)
2. Christ, knowing the end from the beginning, then issues His revealed will to mankind. (Job 33:16-17)
3. Christ, in the person of the Holy Spirit, then reveals His will to His churches (and members individually) and works in their midst influencing the church. His influence brings about unity, harmony, and the meeting of the needs of the church as a body. (1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
and he is the saviour of the body.
As the head of the local assembly, Christ is also the Savior of the assembly. Just as Christ died in payment for the sins of His chosen people, so too, Christ also died for the sins of local assemblies as a body…
Act 20:28 KJV – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
What are some of the sins that can be committed by a local church?
1. acceptance of heretical teachings
2. refusal to exercise church discipline on members who have fallen into sin
3. failure to fulfill the Great Commission
4. using unscriptural methods during the course of worship services and other ministries
All of these sins, and many others, are in need of deliverance from the penalty and power of these sins through the work of Christ. In this sense, Christ (as the head of the local church) also assumes the role of Savior of the church body.
For those who are married, we need to remember that the relationship between the husband and wife lays forth a symbolic picture of the relationship between Christ and the local assembly. Oh, how important it is to remember that our testimony of Christ to the lost world is affected by our fulfillment of our God-given roles within marriage. Not only has the Lord graced us by giving us our spouses, but also gives us a wonderful opportunity to glorify Him through the marriage union.
May we all get a clearer picture of our Lord and Savior, and the great grace He has shown to us. Let us be always watchful to keep His great acts of grace on our behalf in the center of our attention… In doing so, may we be motivated to LOVE Him more, APPRECIATE Him more and SERVE Him more!
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