Summary: Woman was brought forth out of man, as the church was brought forth out of Christ (#11 in The Christian Victor series)

“FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband.”

I hope no one has counted how many times I have said that when a verse begins with the word ‘for’, or ‘therefore’, it is important to go back and see what it’s referring to.

Well, this ‘for’ that we see at the beginning of our text verses today does not refer back to the previous verses. In truth, Ephesians 5:31 is a direct quote of Genesis 2:24, and that word ‘for’ refers back to previous verses in that chapter in Genesis. So we need to go there and spend some time there today, in order to get a hold on this mystery Paul is revealing to us in Ephesians 5.

Genesis 2:18, 21-25

“Then the Lord God said, ’It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.’ … So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. And the man 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.’ For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.”


I suppose the first thing that ought to be done here, is to lay to rest the issue of where we stand on the literalness of verses 21 and 22 in Genesis 2.

I want to read a portion of Henry M. Morris’ commentary titled, “The Genesis Record”, (Baker Books, 1976, pg 100)

“It is likely that the word ‘rib’ is a poor translation. The Hebrew word tsela appears thirty-five times in the Old Testament and this is the only time it has been rendered ‘rib.’ Most of the time (in at least twenty of its occurrences) it means simply ‘side.’ The thought evidently is to stress that woman was made neither from Adam’s head (suggesting superiority to him) nor from his feet (suggesting inferiority), but from his side, indicating equality and companionship. Probably the verse should be translated somewhat as follows: ‘And he took one of his sides, and closed up the {remaining} flesh in the stead of {that which he had taken} ; and the side, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man’. “

Morris goes on, “In what sense did the Lord God take one of Adam’s sides? A ‘side’ would include both flesh and bone, as well as blood, released from the opened side. Adam could later say, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.”

God performed the first major surgery in history. If He closed up the flesh, what does that mean but that He first opened the flesh? He could have made the woman out of the dust, as He had the man. He could have simply spoken her into existence. He could have baked her in the oven if He wanted to.

But He opened the man’s side, or as Morris puts it, took one of his sides, and made a woman. Do I believe this to be a literal account? Yes I do. I have absolutely no problem with it at all.

God can do whatever He wants to do, any way He wants to do it. He has a purpose for what He does, and in this particular case the purpose is fairly apparent, in retrospect. As we’ve covered before, so I won’t dwell on it, we have a type here of the piercing (or opening) of the last Adam’s side for the sake of the church.

Another perspective from this is the actual relationship between the man and woman, and Christ and His bride.

That is what we are primarily going to focus on today, but I wanted to be sure to make clear that because of what this teaches about Christ and the church, if for no other reason, I accept it as a literal, historical account of the making of woman.

But there is other reason to believe it is true and literal; and that reason is that God’s word is true. It’s not a fairy tale. It can be trusted; indeed, the man who will not trust it has set his foot on a course of doom.

This is why the theory of evolution and its setting forth as fact in our educational institutions and in the media, is not to be taken lightly. We as Christians cannot just take a ‘let them believe what they want to believe’ attitude and not see that this widespread projection of evolution as true and creation as a myth is demonic and violently opposed to the truth of God’s Word.

In the entire account of creation and Adam and Eve in the garden, God has typified Christ and His church, the plan of redemption, the believer’s future glorification and home in Heaven; and if we acquiesce to the lie that it is only a story made up to symbolize some theological suppositions (which has been done from far too many pulpits), then the next step is to accept that the gospel records are of the same fictional nature.

God caused the man to sleep, operated on him, made him a wife. Bless His Holy name.


For the sake of keeping us focused, let’s back up to verse 28 in Ephesians 5, and read 28 through 30.

“So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.”

Adam looked at Eve, and declared her to be bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh, and called her ‘woman’, it says, because she was taken out of man. She was part of the man. Now an individual, but intimately related to the man, as she was literally taken out of him.

Try to imagine just for a moment, part of your innermost parts, not a finger or a toe; not a lock of hair, but something from inside your chest cavity, being removed, and made into another person.

God took a portion of Adam’s own flesh and bone, and fashioned a woman.

If you ever have a question, or are questioned by someone else, in reference to how God views the marriage relationship, take them to Ephesians 5:28-30, and Genesis 2:21-24

If you can grasp the significance of God choosing to make a helpmeet for man in the way that He did, and follow that line of thought in reference to the husband/wife relationship, you can begin to get an inkling of why God hates divorce.

In fact, Jesus quoted these same verses from Genesis to the Pharisees when they tried to trap him with the divorce issue in Mark 10.

God hates divorce, because it brings death. Death to that relationship, death to the family unit, and death to the type He has given there of Christ and the church.

When God has declared something to be, of course He is going to despise any perversion of what He has declared. It is what Satan did in the Garden of Eden, and therefore what the man and the woman did when they believed Satan’s lie, and that is called sin, and sin introduces death into any situation.

God made woman out of the man, because man needed to be made complete.

“Then the Lord God said, ’It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’.” Gen 2:18

Notice please, that in verse 19 we’re told that God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky ‘out of the ground’. Even Adam was created out of the ground. The woman was the only creature not created out of the ground.

She was brought out of the man.


Now I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings. Christ is complete in Himself; He is fully God and has always been fully God.

Paul told the Colossians that all the fulness of Deity was in Him (1:19), as John makes clear in the first chapter of his gospel. So we are not diminishing or denying that fundamental and essential truth in any way.

But just as Adam was completed by the woman, so Christ is made complete by His church. Adam, at that time, was complete and perfect in himself. But he needed a helpmeet, a companion, and though all the animals had mates there was none for him. He was created in God’s image, they were not. There was no creature suitable to ‘complete’ him in this way.

So Christ, having become Man and Mediator between God and men, finds completion and fulness in that the Father brought the church, Christ’s bride, out of Him, and is presently in the process of ‘building’, as He did with Eve, so that He might bring to the last Adam His bride, as it says in verse 27, “…that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless”

In Ephesians 1:23 Paul says Christ is “head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all”.

And on that day when the last soul is ushered into the Kingdom of God by faith, and the church is finally complete, the Father will bring her to the Son, a bride made perfect and holy and suitable for Him.

Now I want to focus on one more aspect of this type before we move on.

Eve, woman, was the only creature not made from the ground. The earth. This is how that fits with being a type of the church.

All other institutions are from the earth. Earthly. Of this world. But the church is not. The church was instituted by God, and brought forth from the sufferings of the Bridegroom. She is not of this earth, this world, and never has been. She was made for heaven and for her Lord.

She is one with Him, as Eve was bone of Adam’s bones and flesh of his flesh.

The King James version questionably puts that phrase at the end of verse 30 in Ephesians 5. I say questionably, because though Eve was literally of Adam’s flesh and bone, the church is not that of Christ’s. But the spiritual application is valid.

As Paul said in I Cor 6:17 “But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him”

So unlike the animals and even Adam himself, Eve did not rise up out of the ground to be joined to him, like a graft, but was brought from his side. And the church was not brought up from the ground either. It is not man’s institution. What we often see with our eyes is of man’s making, and it is worldly and ungodly, and draws criticism from the world because it pretends to be something it is not.

But the true Church is joined to the Lord spiritually, and therefore is one spirit with Him. This, the world does not see, and cannot comprehend.


For this reason, or ‘for this cause’, it says in Genesis and Paul quotes in our text,

For what reason? For the reason that we are members of Christ’s body, a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife.

Here, Paul confirms the type to us, of the marriage union representing Christ and the church.

In Genesis, Moses quoted Adam as pronouncing the woman to be part of him, and then Moses goes on (and we can accurately say, God, through Moses) that because she is part of the man, brought forth from the man, for that reason, the man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. It is the first institution of man, but a holy one, since it was instituted by God. That’s why these familiar words are used traditionally in the marriage ceremony.

Now, in the New testament, Paul says that because we, the church, are a part of the Last Adam, brought forth from Him, and then he goes on to quote that same verse from Genesis, showing us that our union with Christ is the fulfillment of the type being presented back in Genesis.

But Paul mentions a mystery. So let’s solve this mystery together today.


First of all, it is not a mystery to the Christian. So there isn’t really a lot of solving to be done.

I’ve seen the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce version of Sherlock Holmes’ “Hound of the Baskervilles” at least a dozen times. It is a mystery, but it is not a mystery to me any more. I know every thing that happens in that story and why; but if you ask me what kind of story it is, I will say, ’it’s a mystery’.

For anyone who has never seen the movie or read the story, it remains truly a mystery. Only as they commit themselves to it and look into it, can the mystery be revealed to them.

To anyone outside of Christ, Paul says, this is a great mystery. They may on some surface level, understand that God would declare that man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, because God considers her a part of him and him of her. But as it pertains to Christ and the church, they cannot possibly understand.

The natural mind cannot accept the things of God, for they are foolishness to him.


But we understand. Charles Wesley wrote about it.

“He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace…”

When Paul said, “For this reason”, he was saying, to fulfill this type, to be the spiritual example and fulfillment of this relationship between Christ and the church, the man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.

Christian, when you joined yourself to Christ, you became one with Him. You are raised up above all creation, above the angels themselves, and you are joined in perfect union to Him.

He left His Father’s throne, and experienced separation from the Father. We heard Him cry out; “My God! My God, why have you forsaken Me?” He experienced that separation in order to purchase to Himself His bride, and take her to His heavenly home, there to be one with Him forever.


In drawing this to a close today, let’s look at some aspects of the marriage relationship that teach us something about Christ and the church.

First of all, when a woman gets married, she gets a new name. She takes the name of her husband.

This identifies her with him as his own and no one else’s. Maybe that’s why Paul worded verse 28 the way he did, when he said, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives…” No one else’s. She is his, and he is to love her as his own body, because she has taken his name and identified herself with him in every way imaginable. Let’s look at some of those ways.

The first one we already mentioned. She changes her name to his.

Next, she moves into his house. Christians, we are seated with Him in heavenly places.

She comes under the protection of the husband, and we are under Christ’s protection. He is our life, and our life is hidden in Him.

“…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me” Gal 2:20

I’ve always loved that verse in Galatians, but I used to be intimidated by it, and left feeling very inadequate. I used to think, ‘gee, is there any possibility I’ll ever be able to say that with Paul’s confidence? To attain to that kind of spirituality?’

Until I finally awakened to the truth one day, that Paul was not bragging about his level of spiritual maturity. He was expounding fundamental Christian doctrine. For anyone who has come to Christ by faith and been born again to this new and living hope, can say with confidence that it is no longer they who live, but Christ is their life; and they now live by faith in the one who loved them and died for them.

It’s just a basic doctrinal truth of all believers!

So as the bride comes under the protection of the husband, so the church, and every individual in the church, has their life in Him and it cannot be taken away.

“…for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” II Tim 1:12

The bride automatically inherits all that belongs to the groom. What is his, is hers.

Now that statement might have some minds reeling, as you flash on some instances in our recent culture where that has been debated.

In circles of wealthy people it is not at all uncommon anymore, to have prenuptial agreements. This is primarily because they don’t really expect the marriage to last, and they want to avoid a lengthy and expensive court battle over property when the divorce comes.

But this, and other things like the woman retaining her own last name instead of taking his, should only serve to show us how far removed from the scriptural and Godly idea of marriage the spirit and thinking of the world is.

In a Godly marriage, all things are shared equally, and the bride doesn’t have to earn anything. As soon as the vows are said and the preacher makes his pronouncement, and they’ve signed that license, everything that’s his, is hers.

People, you are joint-heirs with Christ, and right now, all that is his is yours. Does He own the universe? Then by virtue of your union with Him, so do you!

Does He rule the angels? Well, the writer to the Hebrews says they are your servants also.

Now this doesn’t mean you’re supposed to get all puffed up. Until you’re glorified you can’t be trusted with a lot of these things.

But I want you to stop and consider today, that a day is coming, and it is a certainty, that you will join your beloved in His heavenly place, glorified…

…as Paul said, presented to Him “…in all (your) glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but…holy and blameless…”

And on that very day you will come into full, joint ownership with Him.

What can the world offer you to top that? Nothing! Not that the world would try to top that. The world is concerned with getting, for the most part; not giving. But I think Rhea F. Miller must have been thinking along these lines when she wrote,

“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold,

I’d rather be His than have riches untold;

I’d rather have Jesus than houses or land,

I’d rather be led by His nail-pierced hand”

Because church, you are His bride. Bought with His blood. The highest and most precious price of all. He has prepared a place for you, as He prepares you for that place.

You are bone of His bones; flesh of His flesh. He loves you as a man loves and cherishes his own body. Not as some urchin off the street; not as a poor and destitute wanderer to be pitied and aided with an occasional meal and cot for the night.

You are brought forth by the Holy Spirit from out of Him. And He will not delay when the time is full, to snatch you up to Himself. He yearns for the moment; and on that great reunion day ~ what someone has called that ‘great gettin’ up morning’, the heavens are going to vibrate with the cry of rejoicing as the bride takes her rightful place, never to leave her Beloved’s side again.