Summary: The union in Christ portrayed through marriage
July 11, 2010
I’ve decided that the Lord’s Supper was an ancient, cultural tradition that really has no place in our modern world, so we’re no longer going to observe it as a church. In fact, I don’t even know why it has to be in my Bible.
[TEAR A PAGE OUT OF A BOOK THAT LOOKS LIKE A BIBLE]
I’ve decided the same thing about baptism. It’s just some ancient Israelite thing.
[TEAR OUT ANOTHER PAGE]
In fact, there are lots of things about Scripture I either don’t like or don’t understand so I’m going to do away with those too.
Oh, here’s another one:
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything (Eph. 5:22-24).
Are these the living and active words of God or are they a cultural and outdated command from a patriarchal culture?
I think all of you would agree that “all Scripture is God-breathed” (II Tim. 3:16), so maybe we should study a little longer before ripping out this page.
To begin, let’s review the book of Ephesians so far and then read the entire text for this morning’s message.
The phrase “in Him” or “in Christ” has been used repeatedly. We’ve been chosen in Him (1:4), in Him we have redemption (1:7), in Him we have obtained an inheritance (1:11), we have been taught in Him (4:21).
We have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (1:3), we’ve been shown God’s kindness in Christ (2:7), and we are His workmanship created for good works in Christ (2:10).
We are unified with Christ. We’re also unified as a church:
Christ established peace by removing the barrier between Jewish and Gentile believers and made us into one body (2:15-16). There is one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one calling, one faith, one baptism, and one God (4:4-6).
We’ve been charged with preserving the unity that God has established (4:3) so that the body is fitted together and built up in love (4:16) as a “holy temple in the Lord” (2:20-22).
Therefore we’re to walk appropriately as we imitate God (5:1) in righteousness (4:17), love (5:2), light (5:8), and wisdom (5:15). We’re to be under the influence of the Holy Spirit as we build each other up and sing praise and give thanks to God (5:18-20).
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30because we are members of His body. 31FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. 32This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
These verses go hand-in-hand with the rest of the book. They describe marriage as the greatest symbol which signifies what it means to be “in Him” and what it means to be a unified body.
What was once separate, God has put together so that…
The Two Shall Become One Flesh
How is the demonstration of this unity described in our text?
1. We are to submit to each other as a church because we all make up one body (:21)
and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
We don’t like that word “subject.” We don’t want to be under someone else, yet that’s exactly what’s described here.