Summary: 3 Part sermon, viewing the paralells of husband and wife to Jesus and His Bride.
To, Love, Honor & Cherish Part 1. Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; How many remember their wedding vows? Remember the preacher saying to each; To, Love, Honor & Cherish? I would like to examine this phrase and compare marriage between man and woman and the marriage of Christ to the Church.
In Eph 5:25 we see that Jesus loved His bride so much, he gave His life for Her (speaking of the body of the Church) What is Love? The two Greek words for "love" are distinct: phileo, the love of impulse, ardent affection and feeling; agapao, the love of esteem, regard. 1. An affection of the mind excited by beauty and worth of any kind, or by the qualities of an object, which communicate pleasure, sensual or intellectual. It is opposed to hatred. Love between the sexes, is a compound affection, consisting of esteem, benevolence, and animal desire. Pleasing qualities of any kind excites love, as by kindness, benevolence, charity, and by the qualities which render social intercourse agreeable. In the latter case, love is ardent friendship, or a strong attachment springing from good will and esteem, and the pleasure derived from the company, civilities and kindness of others.
The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of his attributes or Excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and a fear of offending him is its inseparable effect.
A strong attachment springing from good will and esteem, this is the Love that God has for His Church. We must understand that the church is the central point of Gods focus. She must be cleaned, dressed and prepared for an eternal relationship with Him. Nothing else will do. The Bride of Christ must be the best of all things, and as we come closer to the wedding day or union of Christ and the Church, the preparations become more precise. Gentlemen, if your bride to be, showed up at the wedding dressed in a housecoat, curlers in her hair and cold cream all over her face, you would think twice about the union, wouldn’t you? You expect the best she has, and since she will represent your name, purity is expected. So if we as men expect this of our bride, then Christ has the right to expect the same. Jesus loves His bride but impurities will and must be eliminated. In Jewish law a woman about to be married, is given a makeup kit bought by the bridegroom and is given 1 year to learn how to use it. God has given us over 2,000 years to learn. Lets take a look at some expectations of bridegroom to bride. 1Titus 2:9-10 in like manner, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobriety; not with braided hair, and gold or pearls or costly raiment; [The meek shall inherit the Earth]
but (which becometh women professing godliness) through good works. [God expects good works from His Church]
1Titus 3:11 women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. [Come out from among the world and be ye a separated people]