Summary: Will we be the church as Jesus desires us to be? The husband and wife relationship pictures the mysterious relationship between Christ and His church. He will make us a NURTURING CHURCH as we are passionately in love with Him.
We are all saddened to learn this week of the death of one of our church’s most valuable members, Someone Else. Someone’s passing created a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Else has been with us for many years, and for every one of those years, Someone did far more than a normal person’s share of the work. Whenever leadership was mentioned, this wonderful person was looked to for inspiration as well as results: "Someone Else can work with that group." Whenever there was a job to do, a class to teach, or a meeting to attend, one name was on everyone’s lists- Someone Else! "Let Someone Else do it" was a common refrain heard throughout the church. It was common knowledge that Someone Else was among the largest givers in the church. Whenever there was a financial need, everyone just assumed Someone Else would make up the difference. Someone Else was a wonderful person, sometimes appearing superhuman. Now Someone Else is gone! We wonder what we are going to do. Someone Else left a wonderful example to follow, but who is going to follow it? Who is going to do the things Someone Else always did?
Someone Else is survived by Everyone Else, Anyone Else, and No One Else. It has been reported that Anyone Else is capable of doing all that Someone Else did throughout their long lifetime of service to the church. No One Else is willing to help, however the pastor is hoping that Everyone Else will also put their gifts and talents to work within the church (after all everyone knows that if No One comes to do the ministries at the church the job just won’t get done.)
Turn with me one last time to Ephesians 5:21-32 as we again look at the mysterious relationship of Christ and His Church as seen within the husband wife relationship. Fortunately, it is not Someone Else that Jesus is in love with today; He loves you and me. May the Holy Spirit help us again today to understand how God’s love is at work within and through us to make us into the Church He has designed.
✞ Eph. 5:21-31 21Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church--30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church (NIV)
Over the last several weeks we have been looking at what the Church should look like that has a passionate relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been looking at the profound mystery Paul describes in Ephesians 5. It is indeed a mystery that God can take two and make them one flesh, and yet that is what happens within the marriage relationship. The greater mystery is that God can take the multitudes that are members of His Church and make them one. We today are members of one body; we are united together by the Holy Spirit as the Church. Remember the church is not made up of bricks and mortar, but of individual believers joined together by the Holy Spirit. God makes us one; that’s amazing.
Through the husband and wife relationship which Paul describes here in Ephesians 5 we have discovered what it the Church should look like that has a love affair with Jesus. We saw first that the Church should be a submissive church; second the church a loving church, and third it will be a radiant and glorious church. (Now remember we can’t depend upon someone else to make the church a submissive, loving or radiant church. Someone Else isn’t with us anymore; it’s up to you and me to be the Church Jesus wants us to be!)
As we fall more and more in love with Jesus, He also wants to make us into a