Sound doctrine from the word.

Savior of the body

Having finished a two-part study on what it means to be a help meet, we now turn to the biblical role that God has outlined for husbands.

Ephesians 5 #

We’ll use Ephesians 5:22-33 as our outline:

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 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.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Just as our own bodies of flesh are subject to our heads, so every body is naturally subject to its head. When it isn’t, it is sick and dysfunctional. And what if the head is sick? Then the body must suffer with it. But let it rather be healed. Shall the body be disordered as well, when the head is already sick? Shall the body seek to sever its own head?

But, our focus here is not on the wife, but on the husband.

What does it mean that the husband is the savior of the body? Paul explains:

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 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.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 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.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Christ Became One Flesh With His Bride #

Paul paints here a picture of Christ coming to save his bride, becoming one flesh with her, just as a man leaves his parents and is joined unto his wife. The church is the body of Christ; we are members of his flesh and of his bones. We are joined into one body with him. In the same manner, husbands should treat their wife as a member of their own body, their own flesh and bones. As Adam observed in Genesis, a man’s body is not fully complete until it has been joined unto a woman. And for this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. So Christ, in taking on flesh, likewise became imperfect, but his body is made whole by him being joined unto his bride, the church.

It is amazing that Paul bases his exhortation here on this principle of flesh union. He does not speak in deep spiritual truths, but the raw nature of what God created and intended. Marriage forms the foundation of the home, and thus of the church and society at large, yet his exhortation is painfully practical. He is telling the husband that his wife is like an external organ of his body, and that he should treat her as such. He is only as healthy and complete as she is and can make him. And therefore he should nourish and cherish her as his own flesh. By bettering her, he is bettering himself. Paul doesn’t tell us to love our wives because it is right, but because it is the only sensible thing to do.

Christ Gave Himself For His Bride #

The love that we are to have for our wives is the same love that Christ had for the church, wherein he gave himself for it.

Christ had before him the promise of a great kingdom and inheritance. He was heir of all things. But like the Father, he has always sought something more than kingship. He wants kinship. He has always desired to have a relationship of faith with his creatures. And so when Christ looked upon the world, and saw those who would enter into that faith, he loved them. He prepared a place for them in his kingdom, a part that they would play in his Father’s plan. And so he left his throne in heaven, humbled himself, and came to earth to give himself to save us. He postponed the coming of his kingdom, until we were ready. He would not reign as king, until his queen was prepared.

So he came, and won us to himself. He gave himself for us that he might free us from bondage, and save our body. But he wasn’t finished there, because we were still broken people. And so he sanctified us, setting us apart, and cleansed and washed us with the word. Because we were becoming a part of his body; he wants his body to be clean, and so with his word he removed our spots and wrinkles, that we should be holy and without blemish. So that his body, his whole body, would be holy and glorious.

Christ saved his body (the church) by giving himself for it (sacrificing his own flesh). One might think that the direct analogy is that husbands should be willing to lay down their lives for their wives. And though that is true, it is clear that this is not what is intended here, primarily. Rather, Christ had a purpose in giving himself: that he might sanctify and cleanse the church by his word. Therefore, in giving himself, Christ was not only dying for the church, but knew that he would rise again. His resurrection and continuing work with the church is inseparable from the act of sacrifice. His death was but a necessary step to enable this larger plan. The pattern set, then, is one of giving yourself for your bride so that you can make her glorious, not of laying down your life for her. This is, in fact, the greater calling of the two, and takes more love, and sometimes more suffering. This is the love of Christ.

In other words, Christ gave himself for the church to the end that it would not just be his body, but that in being joined to him he could make it glorious like unto the rest of himself. Otherwise, had he not first given himself in this manner, he could still have been joined to the church in a fashion, but his word would not have been able to sanctify and cleanse it so. His body could not then have been made holy and without blemish. But he would present it to himself so, and thus he must first give himself for it, that he might perform upon it this ministry of his word effectually.

The principle expressed here, then, is one of a husband preparing the way for the sanctification and cleansing of his bride-to-be. Or further, as Paul speaks here to those who are already husbands, that the husband would make sacrifices of himself as he sees it is necessary to sanctify and cleanse that other part of himself, his wife. He must consider what he must do in order for his words to become effectual in that ministry, and then do it, never counting the cost.

Christ Loved His Bride #

Christ did this, we are told, out of his love for the church. His giving of himself was an expression of his own love, not a response to the love of the church. But it was not just a show of love for her, it was a needful action to open the door to this ministry of his word to her. That is, it was his love not only for her, but for himself, since she would be his body. But it is not selfishness, for the selfish man would not be willing to give himself. But it was love of another, that was also in his own self-interest. It was an effectual love, a love that does not blindly fall for another, but which sees their true need, and gives of himself that he might better fill that need, making her glorious, to his own glory. It is a willingness to share your glory with another who is not so glorious, but then to glorify them, making yourself more glorious as well, being one.

Christ Sanctified His Bride #

There are two parts or steps which Christ would take to effect this. First, he would sanctify the church. That is, he would set her apart from the world.

Note that it does not say that he would sanctify himself, although that seems more obvious. As a husband, you should set yourself apart for your wife. But Christ not only sanctified himself, he also sanctified his bride. John 17 is a parallel passage to Ephesians 5, where Christ clearly expresses this:

John 17:11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. 20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Here we see Christ describing the same pattern set forth by Paul in Ephesians: Christ laying down himself that the church might be sanctified by his word, and through it receive his glory.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Christ became one with his bride that he might bring her unto his glory, having sanctified her.

Husbands are to follow this same pattern as Christ did, sanctifying their wife. Again, they are not just to set themselves apart for their wife, but to set their wife apart for themselves as well.

How is this done?

Through the husband’s word.

The husband sets apart his wife from the rest of the world by the words that he speaks to her. He must speak words of truth to her, for this is the means by which she is made glorious, and learns how she is made a partaker of his glory.

Men may not see the importance of their words in the marriage relationship, but women need their husbands to speak to them in a manner that they speak to no one else. When a husband sanctifies another woman by his words, he is heading for adultery, and may not know it. His wife will probably see the danger long before he does, but he may think that she is just being overly sensitive.

A husband’s words are what keeps his wife separate from the world, just as God’s words do for the church. It is what keeps us from the evil, though we continue to live in the midst of it. Christ knew that unless he spoke his words of grace to us, we might not remain faithful. We might fall into sin, and become spotted by the world. But with his words he sanctifies us.

Christ Cleansed His Bride #

And that brings us to the second part of Christ’s ministry of the word: cleansing. Christ’s words cleanse the church with the washing of water.

Once again we see this illustrated in John’s account of Christ’s ministry:

John 13:10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Jesus spoke the latter verses to the eleven just hours before he was betrayed. Judas was not there to hear it. He was not clean, but was a branch that bore no fruit, and so would be taken away. But they were bearing fruit, and so the Father would purge them. And thus they were clean through the word which Christ spoke to them.

As he continues, we find that he also speaks to sanctify them:

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

What then, is that cleansing?

It is that they might abide in him and bear fruit. It is yet the next step in sanctification, whereby, being set apart, we are made yet better suited to that purpose for which we are set apart. Sanctification, without cleansing, is of little purpose. The two must come together, and so Christ’s ministry of the word supplies them both.

The ministry of cleansing is one of purging. Christ speaks of purging a grapevine. This is to remove all that is extraneous, that will not contribute to the end of bearing much fruit. It is to take away that which supplies nothing to this purpose. The result being that growth and energy is directed into that which will bear fruit, and so more fruit is brought forth.

A husband’s words are to do the same for his wife, as the washing of water. Just as Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, making them clean every whit, a husband’s words must cleanse the spots from his wife, that she may be clean every whit. This is the work of a servant and savior, which Christ took upon himself, though he was the head.

The end purpose of Christ’s ministry of sanctification and cleansing by the word is that he might present her to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. That is, the end is that she should be glorious, and to be glorious is to be holy and without blemish, not having spot or wrinkle.

Blemishes #

What are spots, wrinkles, and blemishes?

Leviticus 21:16 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
17 Speak unto Aaron, saying, Whosoever he be of thy seed in their generations that hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.
18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,
19 Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded,
20 Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken;
21 No man that hath a blemish of the seed of Aaron the priest shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire: he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.
22 He shall eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy.
23 Only he shall not go in unto the vail, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not my sanctuaries: for I the LORD do sanctify them.
24 And Moses told it unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.

Leviticus 22:19 Ye shall offer at your own will a male without blemish, of the beeves, of the sheep, or of the goats.
20 But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.
21 And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.
22 Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.
23 Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.
24 Ye shall not offer unto the LORD that which is bruised, or crushed, or broken, or cut; neither shall ye make any offering thereof in your land.
25 Neither from a stranger’s hand shall ye offer the bread of your God of any of these; because their corruption is in them, and blemishes be in them: they shall not be accepted for you.

Leviticus 24:19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.

Deuteronomy 15:21 And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.

2 Samuel 14:25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

Clearly, a blemish is a bodily imperfection. Christ wants his body to be perfect, therefore he must remove all spots from his bride, which is his own flesh and bones.

Genesis 30:32 I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.

Song of Solomon 4:7 Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

Jeremiah 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

A spot is a discoloration of the skin. A wrinkle is a deformation of the skin. Both of these are bodily blemishes.

Spots #

What then, are the spots which Christ seeks to remove from his body, the church?

1 Timothy 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;
14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Here, Paul exhorts Timothy to be unrebukable, keeping the commandment without spot. Something without spot is uniform; a spot is an aberration. Paul is telling Timothy to wholly and consistently keep the charge he has been given. And to encourage him in this, he points him to the words of Christ, his commandments, and confession.

Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Here Paul is speaking of Christ being without spot, but he also speaks of us being cleansed. Just as Christ was a worthy sacrifice, offered without spot, so our conscience is purged to serve God through him. Here we see again our sanctification and cleansing. We are set apart to serve God, and purged that we might not be hindered from that. Just as Paul said before in Ephesians, Christ’s cleansing of his bride is to make her glorious, enabling her to better serve God with him.

James 1:21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

James here directs the brethren to lay aside their own filthy words and conversation, and to instead be transformed by the words of God. In continuing in this, following God’s word, they will have pure religion (vs. Judaism), and keep themselves unspotted from the world. That is, they will not follow this filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness. A spot is a thing superfluous and filthy.

2 Peter 2:12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption;
13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

Those who, like Balaam, see God’s word as a means to gain, and follow after their flesh, these are spots and blemishes on the body of Christ.

2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

But through the word of Christ, we have the promise of entering into his glorious kingdom, and therefore should we diligently keep ourselves without spot and blameless. Again, as Paul told Timothy to be unrebukeable, we are to diligently and uniformly follow the word, not forsaking the right way and going astray.

So then, the spots which Christ seeks to remove from the church by his word are the superfluity and filthiness of our flesh. These are things that distract and lead us astray from our calling, and need to be purged that we might bring forth fruit abundantly. The cure for these blemishes is to diligently heed the word of Christ, who offered himself without spot to God. He gave himself for us, so that he might sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the word.

2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

The cleansing of lepers is commonly spoken of in scripture. This is when a leper was sanctified unto the congregation, having been healed of his blemishes, and now made ceremonially holy that he might serve God with his people. Jesus cleansed the lepers with his word, and he does the same for us. His promises are what compel us to leave all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

A husband’s words should do the same for his wife. Just as Christ’s words encourage the church to walk after their calling, so should the words of a husband offer cleansing to his wife, and motivate her to be clean and holy, sanctified unto himself. That is, to remove that which is superfluous from herself, that she might bear more fruit unto her husband’s purposes.

Wrinkles #

Unlike spots, wrinkles are only spoken of in one other passage in scripture:

Job 16:6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?
7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.
8 And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.

Wrinkles would seem to be a sign of weariness, desolation, and exhaustion. While we tend to think of wrinkles as a natural part of old age, when they are possessed in younger years we associate them with overmuch work and care, and see them as an unnatural blemish in the flesh.

But how can a wrinkle be washed away? A spot, yes, but a wrinkle? The analogy may seem to break down. In fact, even a spot is often a blemish in the flesh in the OT, and this is the primary way that the word is used.

Can water wash blemishes away?

But the word of Christ can. For through it we are made new creatures, and it ministers grace to us that transforms our very souls.

When a woman is married, she does indeed become a new creature in her husband, as she is now one flesh with him. If he ministers grace to her through his word, she will be transformed into a glorious bride.

Spots and wrinkles are not the only blemishes that one can have, for he says, “or any such thing.” But they represent two different manners of blemish, covering a range of possibilities. A spot is on the surface, while a wrinkle is a deformation. And while a wrinkle may not appear obviously different than the surrounding area, a spot stands out.

Some things that a wife needs to be cleansed of may just be spots on the surface. Others may seem more integral, and more difficult to isolate and see the root cause of. But just as Christ’s words have a miraculous washing effect on the church, even removing wrinkles, so can a husband’s words remove all sorts of blemishes from his wife. The result is that she will be both holy and without blemish, set apart and purged to bring forth fruit unto her husband.

Christ Presents His Bride To Himself #

It is just such a glorious bride that Christ would present to himself. The Bible speaks of how the whole church will one day be raised again and presented before Christ:

2 Corinthians 4:14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Christ has given himself, and ministered his word to us, so that at that time we may be presented before him holy and without blemish.

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

To have blame is to have a spot. It is to have done something in the past for which you have incurred blame.

To be reprovable is to be rebuked for something you are presently engaged in. This is more like a wrinkle, a present deformity (as your face is wrinkled while you are squinting).

But Christ would present us holy and without blemish, without spot or wrinkle, unblameable and unreprovable in his sight.

Colossians 1:28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

Jude spoke of how we should hate even the garment spotted by the flesh. Then he points us to Christ, to God our Savior, who is able to keep us from falling, and present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. It is Christ’s ministry to us that can make us holy and glorious, fit to be presented in the presence of his glory. So that he may present us to himself and become one with us without diminishing his glory or holiness.

In the same manner, a husband should perform this ministry to his wife, that he may present her to himself with exceeding joy. A wife who is unholy and blemished may not feel glorious when her husband presents her to himself. The husband needs to give of himself for her, that he might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that he might present her to himself a glorious bride, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.

Christ Makes His Bride Glorious #

It is worth considering the entirety of Christ’s prayer in John 17:

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

Jesus lived to the glory of his Father through the word that the Father gave him. Now, as he leaves the world, having ministered that word to his disciples, and having thus sanctified and cleansed them, he hands off to them this ministry of glorifying him. The end, of course, is that they themselves will be received unto glory.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.
26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

Christ sanctified and cleansed his bride with his word that they might glorify him, and receive his joy and love, and, ultimately, his glory. Every husband likewise ought to desire to be glorified by his wife, and he has the power to effect this by following the ministry of Christ, and glorifying his wife in love and joy.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Ephesians 1:12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

1 Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.

2 Thessalonians 1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

Christ shall be glorified in the church, by calling her unto his own kingdom and glory, and then sanctifying and cleansing her, washing her with his word, so that she is transformed into his own glory.

Every husband ought to seek the same for his wife. Again, it is in his own self-interest to desire to be glorified in his wife. But while most husbands naturally desire for their wife to bring them glory, they do not take up the ministry of making her glorious, removing her spots and blemishes and every superfluous thing, and calling her to their own kingdom and glory. A husband must be willing to be the servant that cleanses his wife, the savior of her body, laying down himself in love for her, in order to effect this ministry. He must be willing to first sacrifice of himself, to increase himself in her. Only then may both he and his wife attain together a glory which neither could have achieved alone. Their marriage is glorious as they minister to each other in distinct but similarly sacrificial capacities. The wife as a meet help, and the husband as savior of her body.

Christ Is The Savior Of His Bride #

From our previous study on what a help meet is, we know that a help is also in one sense a savior. In fact, the two can be synonymous. So, what is the difference?

The difference is that a help comes to meet the person being helped in whatever they need help in. In contrast, Christ, as a savior, came to meet us where we were, but then to save us from it and bring us into his Father’s program. Christ didn’t just come to help us get the most out of our life; he came to give us new life. A help helps you in that in which you are engaged; a savior takes you to something higher. The fact that in marriage each is helped and saved by the other, that they are together able to do what could not be done alone, is why this is such a beautiful thing. Each is indebted to the other so deeply that they can only exist as a whole unit, for the world itself is not worthy of that which they supply. Were they separable, and had to compensate one another, they never could.

Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

Likewise, the needs of the husband and wife are different, but the role that each has been given is perfectly compatible with the needs of the other. The man is incomplete; the woman is not merely incomplete, but unfulfilled. Just as Christ came and gave us purpose, so we make it possible for our wives to find true purpose and fulfillment. Men, like Christ, can have a level of fulfillment and purpose without a woman, but they will just not be complete without a wife. A woman cannot be truly fulfilled apart from being joined to her man. And so he is the savior of her body. She helps him complete his vision, and he rescues her from purposelessness.

If the man is like a jigsaw puzzle, the woman is like a missing piece. Without her, the puzzle will never be complete. But apart from him, she will probably never find purpose, and certainly will never find one that fulfills all of her facets.

In the same way we are unfulfilled without Christ. We often describe this lack as a void inside that only God can fill. But the truth is that God’s plan is also like the jigsaw puzzle, with a hole in it that he wants us to fill. That is finding purpose.

Christ Nourishes And Cherishes His Bride #

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Just as we nourish and cherish our own bodies, a man should nourish and cherish his wife, as Christ does the church.

Colossians 2:19 …the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.

Christ nourishes and cherishes his bride with his words, loving her as his own soul.

Husbands, go and do thou likewise.

0 Comments

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.