Doctrines of interest Salvation Is Not By Works; The Angelic Conflict; The Confession of Sins, the Filling of the Holy Spirit; The Confession of Sins related to the Filling of the Holy Spirit; Alcoholism and Drinking – with Recovery.
Current Bible Studies
Ephesians Chapter 5,
A study on Marriage – Right Man/Woman Relationship,
Eph 5:22, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
This verse, in the Greek, begins with the Feminine Plural of the Article HO for “the,” followed by the Fem., Plural Noun GUNE, γυνή, in the Nominative of Address (vocative). It is translated, “woman or wife,” the latter in our verse in the plural for “wives.” It is equivalent to the Hebrew ISHSHAH, Gen 2:24-25. The definite Article is used here as a personal pronoun. This is a Classical Greek form. It should be translated “You wives.”
The words, “be subject” are not in this sentence in the Greek. But the concept is carried over from vs. 21, from the verb HUPOTASSO that means, “to take a subordinate role in relation to that of another,” that we all must have inside the body of Christ. This is the first object lesson of “voluntary submissive subjection to one another.”
In vs. 21, it is in the Present, Middle, Participle. The Middle Voice used in vs. 21 is carried over to vs. 22 meaning, “to subject oneself, to be subservient, to submit voluntarily, or to place oneself in submission.” The Middle voice is used showing the necessity of voluntary submission. The Middle also means that the action of the verb has a result back to the one performing it. Therefore, when you have this mental attitude as an extension of AGAPE love, you will be blessed.
HUPOTASSO is also used in relation to subjection of wives to their own husbands in Col 3:18; Titus 2:5; 1 Peter 3:1, 5-6.
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” (Pres., Mid., Imper.)
Titus 2:5, “Wives are to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God will not be dishonored.” (Pres., Mid., Part.)
1 Peter 3:1, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.” (Pres., Mid., Part.)
Interestingly, continuing in 1 Peter 3:2, it suggests that another factor is sometimes present: an unbelieving husband. The passage states that God may be able to use the submissive attitude of the wife to bring her husband to Christ.
1 Peter 3:2, “As they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”
In Eph 5:21, HUPOTASSO was a Participle that indicates a mandate for voluntary submission, which too is applied to wives in vs. 22.
HUPOTASSO is also implicitly applied to wives in vs. 24, with the Verb being used once again for general submission of all Church members, and then applied directly to wives. In vs. 24, it is in the Present, Middle, Indicative for the dogmatic fact of having customary ongoing submissive subjection that has a result back to the wife performing the action.
The Customary Present Tense tells us what the Church and wives are to do customarily, on an ongoing basis.
The Indicative Mood tells us of the dogmatic reality of the role of the wife. She is to voluntarily place herself in subjection to the authority of her husband.
In vs. 21-22, it is directly mandated of wives using the Participle, and in vs. 24 we see that it is a dogmatic ongoing customary action to be performed.
Further, vs. 24, adds EN PANTI, “in everything,” that means she is to be submissive, in every respect or way; in everything. Therefore, this submission is not a part-time thing or on a case by case basis. But in all things and at all times, she should voluntarily submit to her husband’s authority.
The mandate is once again reiterated for wives in vs. 33, with the Verb PHOBEO, φοβέω that means, in this context, “reverence or respect.” We noted the Noun, PHOBOS, of this verb in vs. 21, where the Church’s motivation for “submissive subjection to another,” is out of respect for the Lord Jesus Christ. That same concept is used in vs. 22, for the wives’ motivation to be in submissive subjection to their husbands.
In vs. 33, PHOBEO is used in the Present, Middle, Subjunctive for customary ongoing action that has a benefit back to the wife. Here, PHOBEO is in the Subjunctive Mood, as part of an independent HINA clause that is used imperatively. HINA is typically translated “that.” It is called an Imperatival HINA Conjunction. In other words, this too is a command for wives. In vs. 33, the husband is commanded to AGAPE love his wife, using the Imperative Mood for AGAPAO, and the wife is commanded to respect her husband, by being submissive to him, using the Imperatival HINA clause in the Subjunctive Mood.
And remember that the Subjunctive Mood also carries the idea of uncertain but probable action, where volitional responsibility is in view. In other words, it is a decision wives must make from their own free will. God has commanded it, now wives have to choose whether they will be yielding and obedient to God’s Word or not.
In vs. 21-22, (Pres., Mid., Part.), wives are mandated to be in submissive subjection to their husbands.
In vs. 24, (Pres., Mid., Indic.), wives are dogmatically to be in submissive subjection to their husbands in everything.
In vs. 33, (Pres., Mid., Subj.), wives are commanded to be in submissive subjection to their husbands from their own free will.
Next, we have the Dative of Possession in the Plural of the Article HO that means, “to the,” and the Adjective IDIOS that means, “one’s own, your own, private, or peculiar to oneself,” and the Noun ANER that means, “male, man, husband or bridegroom.” Here it is used for “husband.” This is the possessive object of the wives submissiveness; her own husband.
So we have, “You wives (be submissive) to your own husbands.”
This brings up the principle that wives are NOT to be submissive to someone else’s husband or another man or even another woman, as she would be to her own husband. As a member of the body of Christ, she, (as we all), is to be in subjection to other members of the body of Christ. But wives should never be submissive to another man, (or woman), in respect to wifely duties, and she should never get involved sexually in submission to another.
Then we have the proper motivation for the wife’s submissiveness, “as to the Lord,” HOS HO KURIOS, the Dative of Direct Object, indicating the one, Jesus Christ, for whom the act of submission is performed. This reiterates vs. 21’s motivating factor, “in the fear of Christ.” Therefore, the motivation for the wife’s submissiveness to her own husband is not based on who and what her husband is, but is based on who and what the Lord Jesus Christ is. She is to subject herself to her own husband out of awe and respect for Jesus Christ, as also noted in Col 3:18. This is the definition of AGAPE love.
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject, (Present, Middle, Imperative), to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
Every woman is to submit to her right man, once she finds him, just as she would the Lord. And just like any other form of submission, it takes capacity to be able to submit which is developed and built through the intake and application of Bible doctrine. This gives the woman capacity to submit to her right man, to appreciate her right man, and to fulfill her right man. This can only be obeyed by the Filling of the Spirit and a positive attitude toward Bible doctrine.
This is a very important point and accompanying principle. For the woman to build capacity to submit to her husband, she must go to Bible class and learn consistently. But sometimes men get jealous of their wives going to Bible class, and do not want them to or let them go. This is detrimental to the husband, as she will not learn capacity to submit to his authority otherwise. So, when a husband does not let his wife go to church, he is only hurting himself. Better a little absence, than to have a perpetual contentious wife.
As she is able to respond in loving the Lord, Category #1 Love, she builds greater capacity to love her husband, Category #2 Love. Category #1 and Category #2 Love are inseparable in the Christian life. As goes Category #1 Love, so goes Category #2.
In addition, “As to the Lord,” does not mean that a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way she submits to the Lord, but rather that her submission to her husband is her service rendered, “to the Lord.” The reason for this submission is that the husband is the head of the wife, 1 Cor 11:3, and this is compared to Christ’s headship over the church, cf. Eph 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18.
1 Cor 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”
As the Church is in submission to Christ, so also a wife should be to her husband. It would be foolish to think of the Church being head over Christ. Yet, submission does not mean inferiority. It means that she recognizes that her husband is the head of the home and responds to him accordingly without usurping his authority to herself.
Unfortunately, there are some women who make a mistake in marriage, or even make a right marriage, and have no concept of submission. They get in the saddle as soon as the marriage takes place, and then from then on they run their husbands completely and totally. There is nothing worse than a female dictator, nothing worse than a woman who controls a man by nagging, by making life uncomfortable for him. So, the man who ought to be a lord in her life, really finds himself to be the servant.
There are two reasons given for the command to wives to submit to their own husbands:
1) The Lordship of Christ, Eph 5:22.
2) The headship of the husband in Christ, Eph 5:23.
When the Christian wife submits herself to Christ and lets Him be the Lord of her life, she will have no difficulty submitting to her husband.
Jer 31:22, “How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth— A woman will encompass a man.”
1 Cor 11:7, “For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.”
As the super-grace believer is glory to God who provides for him, so the woman is the glory for her right man who provides for her. Submission takes capacity to be able to submit, which is developed and built through the intake and application of Bible doctrine.
Submission has nothing to do with the order of authority, but rather governs the operation of authority, how it is given and how it is received. Being part of the body of Christ, men and woman are equal members of Christ’s body in God’s eyes, Gal; 3:28. They have equal privilege and equal opportunity to fulfil God’s plan for their lives. Yet, there remain physical, positional, and functional differences, as each has been given different functions and responsibilities, with differences in regard to authority. Therefore, within the Church, where we are all members of the body of Christ, yet have differing spiritual gifts, ministries, and impact, we are to support one another in humility to achieve God’s Plan for our generation, including wives, children, and workers, who are to support the husband, parents, and bosses, respectfully, through submissive obedience.
If we accept certain functions under the authority of a fellow human, we must then subject ourselves to that individual to accomplish the desired goal. So, it is with a wife placing herself in the proper and Divinely-fitted position under her husband. The functions are equally important, although different in scope and responsibility. They are different, not because we want them to be, but because God made them to be so.
In the Christian family, the wife has a supportive role, something like soldiers under the leadership of an officer. Yet, to be successful, they need each other. Therefore, the wife should voluntarily submit to the leadership role of her husband as head of the family. He is responsible for the spiritual and physical welfare of the family. He should not force his wife to submit to him, nor should she take a passive approach in submitting. For the woman who actively, voluntarily submits to the leadership role of her husband, she will be the main recipient of blessings derived from her action.
Jesus tried to teach His disciples to actively, voluntarily submit to one another, and not abuse their authority or seek to become great at somebody else’s expense. Unfortunately, they failed to learn this lesson at first and even at the Last Supper, they were arguing over who was the greatest, Luke 22:24-27. When Jesus washed their feet, John 13, He taught them that the greatest is the one who uses his authority to serve others in subjection in order to build them up. In the same way, wives should use their authority over their own souls, to build up their husbands in subjection to the husband’s God given authority.
Likewise, we all, including wives, are to esteem others as “more important than ourselves,” Rom 12:10; Phil 2:1-4.
Rom 12:10, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.”
By nature, we want to promote ourselves, but the filling of the Holy Spirit enables us to submit ourselves to one another, especially wives to their own husbands. Therefore, in whatever relationships exist in life, especially the marriage unit, in order for it to be successful, wonderful, and have great content, it demands self-discipline on the part of one person, the wife, to submit herself to the authority of another, her husband, as a result of having fear and respect for the Lord, (i.e., authority orientation to the Person of Jesus Christ), which also means Occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ. This also means you stand in awe of Christ, who is the King and Judge, not only of His holiness, but also of His forgiveness, Psa 130:4. We belong to Christ’s kingdom. He is the King. Out of reverence for Him, we gladly submit to His rule and serve others with compassion.
Eph 5:23, “For 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.”
We now turn to the role of the husband inside the marriage unit, (Divine Institution #2). This verse begins with the Conjunction HOTI that can mean, “that, because, since, or for.” Here the latter is applied. From the article HO, “the,” and the indefinite pronoun TI, “what,” HOTI draws specific attention to the object or idea under consideration, which is the “husband as the head of the wife.” Here, it also indicates the nature and extent of the influence of the thing said in the subordinate clause, (i.e., “husbands as heads”), on the statement in the main clause, (i.e., “be in subjection to one another”), in reference to the wife’s responsibility given in vs. 22, toward her husband.
“Husband,” is ANER once again, in the subject Nominative, Masculine, Singular. There is one husband for one wife, and vice versa.
“Is the head,” is the Verb EIMI in the Present, Active, Indicative. With the Nominative Noun KEPHALE, that means, “head or authority.” It is used over 70 times in the N.T. for both the literal head of a body, and also metaphorically for authority, strength, and leadership. In this metaphorical sense, we have noted the verse above that tells us God is the head of Christ; Christ is the head of man; and the man is the head of his wife, 1 Cor 11:3, in leadership and authority in all things.
1 Cor 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”
The headship of the husband is in regard to Divine Institution # 2, Marriage, as he is the head, leader, or authority, “of the wife,” the possessive Genitive, Singular, Feminine of HO GUNE.
Even though men and women are equal members of the body of Christ, the role of husband has been given Divine authority in regard to his wife inside the marriage unit. So though they are equal in one respect, the body of Christ, they are unequal in another respect, the marriage unit, as the husband has authority over his wife and the wife must submit to his authority. This is the Divine order of things.
Then we have the analogy of the husband’s headship, which is in relation to Christ’s headship over the Church, HOS KAI HO CHRISTOS KEPHALE HO EKKLESIA, which translated is, “just as the Christ is head of the Church.”
Frequently, Christ is stated to be the head of the Church in Scripture, Eph 1:22; 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19. He is also in charge of angelic powers and authorities, Col 2:10.
Col 1:18, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.”
Then we are given one example, a very important example, of the responsibility of the head, as it states, “He Himself being the Savior of the body,” AUTOS SOTER HO SOMATOS.
SOTER means, “savior, redeemer, deliverer, or preserver.” It was used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew term YESHUAH, (in various forms), that is the basis for the Greek name IESOUS or Jesus. SOTER occurs 24 times in the Greek N.T. On 8 occasions, it is applied to God, and 16 times to Christ.
Jesus Christ is the Savior sent from God. He is the Savior proclaimed by the prophets. Accordingly, the angel of the Lord announced to Mary that the baby she carried was the promised Savior. The shepherds outside Bethlehem were told of the birth of the Savior, Luke 2:11.
Luke 2:11, “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Jesus himself bore witness to His calling as Savior, Luke 19:10.
Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
His apostles declared Him to be Savior, 1 Tim 1:15; cf. Acts 4:12.
1 Tim 1:15, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.”
Acts 4:12, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.”
Jesus, as Savior, delivers from the guilt of sin, as well as from sin’s power; He is the Redeemer. Everyone having been justified through the blood of Christ, cf. Rom 5:1, is delivered from the guilt of sin. Being made holy in Christ, believers are freed from sin’s power. The first is an act, the second a process that culminates at Jesus’ return when believers will be transformed into His likeness and their bodies will be redeemed by the Savior, Phil 3:20-21.
Phil 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.”
In our verse, Jesus is the Savior of the “body,” SOMATOS, which is analogues to EKKLESIA, “the church or assembly,” whom Christ is the head of. Therefore, headship authority means, “to provide saving grace to the body,” which is what the husband must do for His wife as head. This saving grace of the husband toward his wife is not for eternal salvation; that is what Jesus accomplished once and for all upon the Cross. This saving grace is in regards to temporal life here on earth as a caretaker, provider, healer, lover, decision maker, etc.
As the human head governs the body to which it belongs, so authority is vested in the headship relation wherever it exists.
Below we will note that headship is one of the seven figures of Jesus Christ related to the Church, and then we will note the significance of Jesus’ headship over the Church as examples of the husband’s headship over his own wife.
In this analogy, regarding the authority of the husband over his wife, we remember Luke 12:48b, that tells us, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, His Body, in analogy to the headship of husbands over wives.
1. Christ is the shepherd and Christians are the sheep of His pasture. This speaks to His care for us and the helplessness of His sheep, John 10:11; 1 Peter 2:25; Heb 13:20-21.
John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
1 Peter 2:25, “For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.”
Heb 13:20-21, “Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, 21equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”
When believers do not take in the Word of God, through their right Pastor-Teacher, they are like lost sheep, Mark 6:34; Zech 10:2.
Mark 6:34, “When Jesus went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”
Zech 10:2, “Therefore the people wander like sheep, they are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to care for her, provide for her, and tend to her needs like one would do for a helpless lamb. This tending means both in the physical realm of providing for her materialistically and making sure she is supplied with good Bible teaching to feed her soul. As head, he is to provide both financially and spiritually.
2. Christ is the vine and believers are the branches, John 15:1-8.
In this analogy, we see that the Church, the body of Christ, feeds off of what He, the Head Vine, supplies. The branches are nourished from the vine, so that they can produce fruit, the fruit of the Spirit, i.e., “Divine Good Production.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to provide her everything necessary, physically and spiritually, so that she can be a productive believer inside the plan of God, in the execution of her spiritual gift. Like the above, this means to provide for her excellent Bible teaching so that she learns, grows, and applies the Word, especially in the execution of her spiritual gift.
Secondly, in the analogy, as the unproductive branches are pruned, so that the productive ones can produce more, the husband is to remove obstacles in the life of his wife, (e.g., sin temptations, harassment from others, the gossip of others, etc.), so that she is able to produce maximum Divine Good Production. This analogy has a protective tone to it as well.
3. Christ is the Chief/Head Cornerstone and Christians, are the Building, Zech 10:3-4; Psa 118:22; Mat 21:42; 1 Peter 2:6-10; Eph 2:20-21.
Psa 118:22, “The stone which the builders rejected, has become the chief corner stone.”
Another way of saying this, is that Jesus Christ is the lynch pin regarding the family of God, bringing together both true Israel and the Church.
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to be the head of the family to provide a sound structure for peace and harmony inside marriage, family, and home. Both parents have a teaching and disciplinary role to play, but the husband is to be the final authority in all things, with the goal of peace and harmony within the marriage and family.
4. Christ is the High Priest and New Testament believers are a kingdom of Priests, Heb 2:17-18; 1 Peter 2:9.
Heb 2:17, “Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”
As the leader and example of our spiritual lives, Christ was a merciful and faithful sacrifice on our behalf that pleased God the Father. As our High Priest, in like form as man, he is qualified to be our advocate, Heb 2:18.
Heb 2:18, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, who is also an equal member in the body of Christ, is to be merciful and faithful to his wife in all things, covering her sins, so that they are not exposed to the world or allowed to fester within her soul, being her advocate, so that she can advance in the spiritual life, and suffering and suffering for her as necessary, for her well-being, as also noted in Eph 5:25-27.
5. Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Body, Eph 4:15.
Eph 4:15, “But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”
This speaks to Jesus’ authority over His own body, the Church, Eph 5:23, 28-29. Christ sustains at least four such relations, as:
a. Head over the mystic Body of Christ, the Church, Eph 4:15; 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19. This figure is used more than any other to represent the service and manifestation of Christ by or through the members of His Body.
b. Head of the Corner, as we noted in Point 3 above, where KEPHALE is used in the Greek of Acts 4:11; 1 Peter 2:7; cf. Eph 2:19-22, where the whole company of believers is seen as a building of God, (a temple and a dwelling place), Christ being the Headstone of the corner.
c. Head over every man, 1 Cor 11:3; cf. Eph 1:22. Whether recognized or admitted by men, Christ is ruling over all of them. To Him they must one day render an account.
d. Head of principalities and powers, Eph 1:21; Col 2:10. Christ has universal authority over all angelic hosts. This speaks to the Angelic Conflict and Christ’s authority over angels and His protection of believers during the Angelic Conflict.
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, has authority over his wife in regard to all marital and family issues, as the two have now become one, Gen 2:24; Mat 19:5; Mark 10:7-8; Eph 5:28-29, 31. The husband is to manifest Christ in rendering service to his wife, by providing for her and a sound structure within the unit. Every woman is under the authority of her husband whether she recognizes it or not and is held accountable thereof. And the Husband has a protection role toward his wife inside the Angelic Conflict. He assists and supports her in spiritual warfare; primarily through the instruction of God’s Word and prayer.
In addition, as our verse tells us, “Jesus is the Savior of the body.” This speaks to Christ’s propitious sacrifice on the Cross on behalf of the entire world, especially for His own Body, the Church, that paid for our sins and provides eternal life. Therefore, the husband is to sacrifice himself daily for his own wife. This means “taking the hit” for and covering her sins, working hard to provide for her every need so that she can live life fully her on planet earth, in the worship and service of God.
6. Christ is the Creator and the believer is a New Creation, 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15.
2 Cor 5:17, “Therefore if anyone is in (union with) Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” Cf. Gal 6:15.
When someone believes in Christ as their Savior, they are born again and receive a regenerated human spirit, giving them a new spiritual life in Christ. They are a new creation, a new “spiritual species.” They are placed in a new union with Jesus Christ. With the new life they have been given, they can function in and experience the spiritual things and spiritual phenomenon of God, and are no longer held back by the “old things,” the Old Sin Nature and Satan’s cosmic system, 1 Cor 2:1-16. We are free to live in our new life.
This analogy relates to the husband and wife, as the two have become one new life at the moment of their marriage, Gen 2:24; Mat 19:5-; Mark 10:7-9; Eph 5:31. They have a new union and a new life to live. And just like our new life in union with Christ speaks to our eternal security, which means we cannot be separated from Christ, God desires our new union with our husband or wife to be inseparable too.
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is the head of this new life, and he should lead, guide, provide for, and protect it, just as Jesus does for His body, providing security that should be inseparable. Therefore, in addition, the husband has the responsibility to make sure the marriage stays intact.
7. Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church is the Bride, 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:23-33; Rev 19:7.
2 Cor 11:2, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
Rev 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
Here again the Church is in view, with a unique relationship, which relationship is to be fully realized after the marriage of the Lamb.
As His bride, we will be displayed in our perfection and glory.
Rev 21:9, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
Therefore, the husband, as head of the wife, is to protect his wife’s soul from sin and Satan’s cosmic system, so that she is able to walk in glory without spot, blemish, or wrinkle and remain holy and blameless in experiential sanctification. Eph 5:25-27 also speak to this analogy. In other words, help her to overcome her own personal sins, and secondly, protect her from the temptations of the world or the attacks of others from the world that could harm her soul, and her spiritual walk.
So, as you can see, from the analogy of the Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, the husband has tremendous responsibilities to nurture, care for, and protect his wife during their time here on planet earth.
Luke 12:48b, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
The husband that does not do these things fails his wife, while also failing inside of God’s plan for his life. Yet, for the husband that performs these things, he will be exalted, blessed, and glorified by God as the Lord will say to Him at the BEMA seat, Mat 25:21, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.”
Eph 5:24, “But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.”
This verse completes the discourse on the wife’s subjectivity towards her own husband. In vs. 24, she was commanded to be subject to her own husband, just as she would to the Lord Jesus Christ. This tells of her motivation for respecting her husband’s Divine given authority over her; Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we have an analogy or object lesson for her subjection to her husband; the Church and Christ. This verse begins by continuing the emphasis on the husbands authority established in vs. 23, which is in the likeness of Christ’s authority over the Church. Therefore, vs. 24 notes that just as the Church is subject to Christ, so should wives be subject to their husbands.
It begins with the strong adversative Conjunction ALLA, “but, yet, or rather,” that transitions the conversation from husbands to wives, and sets the concept of authority between them in contrast to one another. It establishes the difference between the husband’s authority in vs. 23 with the wife’s subjectivity in vs. 22, 24.
Then we have the object lesson, which begins with the Adverb/Conjunction HOSPER, ὥσπερ, “as, just as, or exactly like.” This Adverb of manner appears frequently in the N.T. in the protasis, (i.e., that to which the main idea is being compared), of a comparison. We could say this introduces a first class “if” statement, (if and it is true), where the “then” statement will follow, even though the Greek does not use “if” in this passage.
“The Church,” is once again HO EKKLESIA in the Nominative Singular.
“Is subject,” is HUPOTASSO once again for, “to subject to, put in submission to, to be or make subject, or to submit oneself.” There is no verb for “is” here. It comes from HUPOTASSO, which is in the Present, Middle, Indicative for the dogmatic fact of the ongoing status that has a result back to the Church Age believer. This is the Church’s role and responsibility as the Body of Jesus Christ, and the analogy for the wife’s role in relation to her own husband. As we noted above, this submission must be voluntary or it will not work, and it requires genuine humility from the application of Bible Doctrine from the soul. Otherwise, enforced humility may be the result and unpleasant.
“To Christ,” is the Dative of indirect object, Singular of HO CHRISTOS, speaking of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Christ,” emphasizes His Deity, as the head and authority over the Church, His body. The Dative of indirect object indicates that Jesus Christ is the One for whom the act of subordination is performed. The definite article sets Him apart as the unique person of the universe, it emphasizes the hypostatic union.
So once again, we are reminded of the Head and body analogy of Christ and the Church, and the other 6 Figures of Christ and the Church. These are given so that the wife understand her role inside Divine Institution #2, Marriage. As the Church is under the authority of Christ, so is the wife under her husband, as noted in the second half of this passage.
This is the apodosis statement or “then” statement that completes the comparison.
“So also,” is the Adverb HOUTOS, οὕτως that can mean, “in this manner, thus, so, just as, in this way, as follows, without further ado, or simply,” and the Conjunction KAI. This indicates that the comparison is to follow. Therefore, this is the wives responsibility toward her husband, in comparison to the Church’s responsibility toward Jesus Christ.
“The wives,” is HO GUNE once again in the Nominative plural.
“Ought to be,” is in italics and not in the original language, but is implied.
“To their husbands,” is the Dative of Possession, Plural of HO ANER once again. The Dative of Possession versus the Genitive of Possession emphasizes the object possessed, which in this case is the husband possessed by the wife. If the Genitive were used, the emphasis would be on the wife. Therefore, this Dative continues the emphasis of the Husband’s authority over his wife, even though we are currently talking about the wife’s role and responsibility. We could say this is a double emphasis.
“In everything,” is the Preposition EN with the Adjective PAS, in the Dative of Rule Case. This sets the boundaries by which the wife is subject to her husband’s authority, which is “in all things.” It emphasizes the subject matter, but also alludes to time frame, i.e., “in all things, at all the times.” In other words, in all matters pertaining to their marriage and relationship, she is to respect and submit to her husband’s authority. As long as they are legally married, she is to be in subjection to him. The only exception is in her subjection to a higher authority than her husband, e.g., God and His Word.
Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
We now turn back to the commands for husbands. The rest of the chapter describes the husband’s responsibility.
As we have noted, the Letter to the Ephesians unfolds the high place to which the Church, the Body of Christ, has been brought and the corresponding responsibility in daily life which rests upon each member of that Body. At this point, Paul reverts to the order of truth which characterized the opening portion of this Epistle. Even though Christ died for the sins of the entire world, John 3:16, the Church alone is in view here as the one for whom Christ gave Himself to die upon the Cross. Just as the husband has husbandly responsibilities toward his wife and only his wife.
The fact of Christ’s death for the Church is here given the place of supreme importance. Thus, the death of Christ is introduced as the pattern of devotion, which the believing husband should maintain toward his wife. This is an ideal belonging not to the paganism of Paul’s day, but to the Christian home. The high and holy love of Christ for the Church, His Bride, is not degraded by this comparison; rather, the demands upon the husband are exalted to the measure of heavenly responsibilities. The message of this passage, which is constantly asserted in the N.T. is; it was Divine compassion which took Christ to the Cross; therefore, with Divine compassion, a husband is to lead his marriage.
The Greek begins with, HO ANER in the Vocative Nominative Plural for, “the husbands.”
Then we have the command, “love your wives,” AGAPAO in the Present, Active, Imperative with the Direct Object Accusative Plural of HO GUNE.
As you know, all principles of doctrine related to marriage are based on the concept that God has designed one right man for one right woman, just as there is one right Lord, (head), and one right Church, (body). God has done a great job in the field of marriage, and therefore the ideal system of leadership in marriage should be one right man, one right woman.
The words that are not used here include EROS, which means to have sex, and PHILEO, which is total soul love. We have here AGAPAO which means a mental attitude love. Therefore, it is not physical attraction or a give and take love that the husband is commanded to have for his wife. Instead it is a mental attitude love, where he loves her unconditionally.
This means, as Gal 5:22-23 tells us, his love for his wife (right woman), must have “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
In addition, as 1 Cor 13:4-8, tells us, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never fails…”
And remember husbands, 1 John 4:19, “We love, because He first loved us.” In other words, because God loved us, His Church, first, we are able to love him back. Therefore, if husbands love their wives first, the wives will love them back.
Then we have the object lesson for teaching husbands how to love their wives. The command here given to husbands calls for a response on their part that will make it easy for wives to submit; that is, husbands are to love their wives as, “Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
“Just as,” this time, is the Conjunction of Comparison KATHOS that means, “as, just as, to the degree that, since, when, according as.” This establishes the way husbands should love their wives, which is given in two forms, love and sacrifice.
“Christ also,” is the Nominative Singular of CHRISTOS KAI. With this is “loved” and the simple past tense Aorist, Active, Indicative of AGAPAO once again. This is Christ’s AGAPE love in action. The object of Christ’s love is “the church,” the Accusative Singular of HO EKKLESIA once again. This is the Royal Family of God, the Body of Jesus Christ.
The Church here refers to all believers of the Church Age, the Royal Family of God, a kingdom of priests. The Church is analogous to and compared to the right woman. Because of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the believer of this dispensation has a very perfect and very intimate relationship with Christ. This is called Positional Sanctification. Therefore, the Church, the Royal Family, occupies a very unique place in the Angelic Conflict. There was no Royal Family until Christ was glorified at the right hand of the Father. The Royal Family is directly related to the strategic victory of Christ on the Cross, and all the way from the Cross to His session; seated at the right hand of God the Father.
Then we have the second object lesson, “and gave Himself up for her,” which is the coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” with the Personal Pronoun HEAUTOU in the Accusative Singular for, “Himself,” and the Aorist, Active, Indicative of PARADIDOMI that means, “handed over or delivered up.” It is from PARA meaning, “over” and DIDOMI meaning, “to give.” So combined, it means, “to give up, give over, hand over, etc.” It is also used with regard to handing someone over to the court, Mat 10:17. Jesus “gave himself,” means that He handed over and delivered up himself to be scorned, tortured, and crucified, Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2.
Gal 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and 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.”
Eph 5:2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
The Constative Aorist contemplates the past action of the verb in its entirety, namely: reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, etc., everything that was accomplished on the Cross.
In our verse, Jesus gave Himself up, “for her,” the Preposition HUPER with the Genitive, Singular, Feminine of AUTOS meaning, “her,” that represents the Church.
Therefore, just as the submission of the Church to Christ serves as the wife’s model, the love of Christ for the Church reflects the husband’s attitude toward his wife. Just as the wife’s primary responsibility can be summarized in “voluntary submission,” so the husband’s special duty is to “love” his wife.
Christ instinctively from His own free will delivered Himself over, the highest possible sacrifice, the efficacious sacrifice; whereby, we have eternal life. Therefore, much is required from any male the moment he becomes a husband, Luke 12:48. The principle here is sacrifice. When you love someone more than you love yourself, then you are willing to sacrifice, and that is a mental attitude AGAPE love.
We will see in vs. 28, 33, that husbands are to love their wives “as their own bodies,” even as they would love themselves.
Christ loved His church enough to die for it. Therefore, the husband is to also have self-sacrificial love for his wife. Real love will not take advantage of the partner. If a man truly loves his wife, he will want to share with her in every possible way. The arrangement God established between a wife and a husband gives him the authority to make all decisions for the marriage, but it also implies that he should share that responsibility with her. If he truly loves her, he will share the decision-making responsibilities with her, as long as he does not abdicate his position as the spiritual leader of the family.
If the genuine love of the husband, (like that of Christ for the Church), balances the loving, voluntary submission of the wife, they both will find it easy to fulfill their role. Cf. Eph 5:28; Col 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7.
Col 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
The loving husband must have freedom from mental attitude sins. In Colossians, the husband is specifically commanded not to be bitter toward his wife, but that includes also jealousy, vindictiveness, implacability. Leaders cannot afford mental attitude sins, and the husband is the leader.
1 Peter 3:7, “You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
It takes more to be a husband than anything else in life, yet this is addressed to husbands as though it is the simplest, instead of the most complex of all leadership responsibilities. Any idiotic kid can get married, but to fulfill what is spoken here in a brief phrase requires more than any idiotic kid or any male can really fulfill apart from the grace of God.
There is a sense in which a leader is a protector. The husband is the protector of his wife. He protects her form gossip and maligning, from all the dangers of life, from the insecurities of life, from any physical harm of any kind. He never makes his wife’s failures known to others. In addition, He provides in the physical area for his wife, sex.
Leadership means sacrifice, and there is a sense in which the husband must sacrifice for the blessing and pleasure of the wife. That is a part of “love your wives.”
A husband must be a gentleman; the instincts of thinking about someone else rather than being self-occupied. No man can be a husband and fulfill this principle if he is selfish. Therefore, the principle of sacrifice, honor, integrity, and instinctive thoughtfulness for his wife is in view.
As a result of all of these things, this kind of a husband is the source of respect and even awe, but he should never be a source of discomfort or belittling to his right woman.
In regard to the husband loving his own wife, we are reminded of the initial command given in Chapter 5, verse 2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
This is the high standard by which husbands are to love their wives. The command given here to husbands, call for a response on their part that will make it easy for wives to submit to their authority; that is, husbands are to love their wives as, “Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.” Furthermore, they are to love their wives, “as their own bodies,” vs. 28, even as they would love themselves, vs. 33. Therefore, in order for husbands to fulfill their high calling, they must intimately understand AGAPE love inside of Divine Institution # 2, marriage.
The Doctrine of Category #2 Love
There are three categories of love in the human race:
Category #1 Love, is toward God, Deut 6:5; Rom 8:35; 1 John 4:19. Only the believer is capable of this kind of love.
Category #2 Love, is between one right man and one right woman in marriage, Song of Solomon 8:6-7; Eph 5:25-33; Col 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7.
Category #3 Love, is towards mankind, Mat 5:43; 19:19; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8.
James 2:8, “If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.”
The Greek language has six different words for love, four most applied, AGAPAO, PHILEO, (a rapport love), ERAO, (sexual or erotic love), and STERGO, (the special love of parents for their children). Of these four only two made their way into the N.T., AGAPAO and PHILEO.
A comparison between AGAPAO and PHILEO is inevitable because both are common to the NT, while neither ERAO nor STERGO can be found. Differences that can be discerned between the two are that PHILEO represents a deep affection in rapport for one another, while AGAPAO expresses a love that does not require a comparable response. As such, AGAPAO is a fitting description of the kind of love God has shown to man in sending His Son to save all who will believe, John 3:16, that is the high standard by which husbands are to love their wives. As such, the husbands love is not dependent on the love or affection that the wife expresses towards him. He is to love her regardless.
The strength of Category #2 Love is declared in Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) 8:6-7. It cannot be quenched by any pressure of life.
Song of Songs 8:6-7, “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. 7Many waters cannot quench love, nor will rivers overflow it; if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.”
The exclusiveness of Category #2 Love extends to one person of the opposite sex, all others are excluded. Therefore, happiness in sexual love can only be found in one person, Prov 5:18-19.
Prov 5:18-19, “Let your fountain be blessed, And rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19As a loving hind and a graceful doe, Let her breasts satisfy you at all times; be exhilarated always with her love.”
This excludes the following as a basis for such happiness: autoerotism or masturbation, homosexuality or lesbianism, promiscuity, or adultery, etc.
This love produces an exclusive and perfect happiness which is self-sustaining, as well as partner-sustaining, Prov 15:17.
Prov 15:17, “Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, Than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”
This love is protective, when the right one is absent, Song of Sol 1:13; 4:6, and when he or she is present, Song of Sol 2:4.
Song of Sol 1:13, “My beloved is to me a pouch of myrrh Which lies all night between my breasts.”
Song of Sol 4:6, “Until the cool of the day When the shadows flee away, I will go my way to the mountain of myrrh And to the hill of frankincense”
Song of Sol 2:4, “He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love.”
It illustrates the relationship with the Lord. The relationship between Israel and the Lord, Jer 2 & 3; Ezek 16 & 23. The relationship between the Lord and the Church, Eph 5:23-33.
Mental attitude sins attack all forms of true love, 1 John 5:18. Jealousy is one of the greatest enemies in this field, Song of Sol 8:6.
Song of Sol 8:6, “Put me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, jealousy is as severe as Sheol; its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD.”
This love is the provision of God’s grace, Prov 18:22.
Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing And obtains favor from the LORD.”
Divine Institution #2 is designed for Category #2 love, Eph 5:25, 28, 33.
God has set aside time in each life for category #2 love, Ecc 3:8, “A time of love.” However, certain functions in life can destroy this time, i.e. not waiting for the right man or the right woman, adultery, drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental attitude sins which destroy right lobe capacity.
Older women are to teach younger women how to love under Category #2, Titus 2:4-5, “so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
This love is a thought and the expression of that thought. It is the embodiment of soul function and concentration toward someone, so as to single them out from the masses. That exclusion is called intimacy. Intimacy expresses the concentration of love, as you are focused on one individual and one only. This means capacity to love is related to capacity to concentrate, as you are focused on one individual.
All love is meaningless and disappointing unless you have personal love for God first. This love for God makes other loves real. Stimulation of emotion is not loving God, nor is it loving someone else. To have personal love for God, you must concentration on His Word and get it into your soul. Rom 5:5 says the love for God is poured out in us through doctrine in the soul.
Rom 5:5, “And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Therefore, love in itself, and the capacity for that love, is Bible doctrine in the soul, so that perpetuation of love is the perpetuation of your intimate relationship with God.
Therefore, in order to have AGAPAO love for your right woman or right man; you must first have concentration on God and His Word, and love Him personally. When you do, you will know and have the love of Christ in your soul, and therefore, be able to express that love towards your right woman or right man in impersonal and unconditional (AGAPE) love. Therefore, for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, husbands must have the love of God resident within their soul, through maximum intake and application of Bible Doctrine, so that they can express God’s love towards their wives, as they should.
To have Category # 2 Love, we must have impersonal / unconditional love, which emphasizes the virtue, honor, and integrity of the subject. Gal 5:14, “For the entire Law is fulfilled in one doctrine, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” This mandate is found first in Lev 19:18, and quoted in Mat 19:19; 22:39; Mark 12:31; Rom 13:9.
Impersonal love is defined as that Problem Solving device of the plan of God for the Church, which produces unconditional love toward all mankind. Being impersonal, this category of love places emphasis on your honor, your integrity, and your virtue, (not morality), of the subject, rather than the attractiveness of the object.
Impersonal love and virtue can only be produced by perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. Impersonal love is the ultimate expression of maximum metabolized Bible doctrine circulating by means of the Holy Spirit in the stream of consciousness of the heart.
Impersonal love is a virtue which cannot be duplicated in any phase of personal love among human beings. “Impersonal” is an adjective which means without personal reference or connection, not primarily affecting or involving the emotions of a person. Although personal and emotional love is a part of the marriage, it cannot be sustained by them alone. Cat. 2 Love must have Impersonal Love to be successful.
Without impersonal love, you will never have any good human relationships, never mind a great marriage. You will change friends, partners in romance, and spouses in marriage simply because you have no basis for perpetuating any of those relationships apart from virtue. In fact, even morality will not hold together human relationships. Morality does not solve the problems of human relationship. Only virtue can solve the problems of human relationship.
The noun “impersonality” is the quality or state of not involving personal feelings or emotions in relationship to an object. Emotion is designed to appreciate the relationship, but it is never designed to establish a relationship.
To have impersonal love you must have objectivity and grace orientation, the expression of virtue in human interaction, and humility in spiritual self-esteem. As you advance to spiritual adulthood this love and virtue are expressed more and more from your soul.
The status of impersonal love is the status of true humility. Arrogant people are constantly seeking unconditional love from others, especially their spouse, but all they offer in return is conditional love. The greater your arrogance, the more conditions you put on someone else’s love. Most men do this to the woman they love.
Prov 8:13, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way…”
Prov 18:12, “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”
Eph 4:1-4, “…Walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Personal love in marriage and all relationships minus the virtue of impersonal love is the weakest and most unstable status quo in life. It is vulnerable to the entire realm of both the arrogant complex of sins and the emotional complex of sins.
Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness of the object. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Personal love is optional in the Christian life; it is not commanded. Impersonal love is the imperative of the Christian life, the Divine mandate for the function of the plan of God, even inside of marriage. Personal love is optional; impersonal love is imperative.
Personal love emphasizes rapport with an object; impersonal love emphasizes the virtue of the subject. Impersonal love emphasizes the virtue, the integrity, and the spiritual adulthood of the subject. Personal love emphasizes the attractiveness, the desirability of the object.
Personal love is conditional; impersonal love is unconditional. Impersonal love as unconditional love means that no merit is assigned to the object. No characteristic of the object, whether attractiveness, rapport, or worthiness, is the motivation for impersonal love.
Personal love is virtue dependent for its effectiveness; impersonal love is doctrinally dependent for its effectiveness. Impersonal love is sustained by Bible doctrine. Personal love is sustained by rapport and mutual admiration.
Personal love is subjective and possessive; impersonal love is objective and grace oriented.
As we have noted, impersonal love is motivated by personal love for God and Occupation with Jesus Christ; therefore, it is non-discriminating. This means that the husband treats his wife impersonally with fairness, equity, justice, conformity with the rules and standards of God’s Word, and without prejudice.
On the other hand, personal love is motivated by attractiveness; therefore, the husband can fall into prejudice and be discriminating, which means he will look for and make issues of her flaws and failures, real or perceived, or even if she is operating in a good and righteous way, he will find things to complain about, because he is in a “bad mood.”
Yet, with Bible doctrine in the soul, his love will have stability and not ride on the ebbs and flow of his feelings or emotions. Remember love is a thought, not an emotion.
Personal love for God means you now have the ability to love your right man or right woman. Your thoughts isolate on God, your right man, or right woman, and not on yourself, your feelings, or emotions.
Therefore, impersonal (AGAPE) love is devotion after thought, maximum self-esteem, and loyalty to the object of your love. Attraction is merely a preliminary to love, and never a sustainer of love.
Passion is another concept regarding right man, right woman relationships. It is a combination of the function of certain glands, plus the function of the emotional pattern of the soul. Passion can accompany both true and pseudo love, and therefore proves nothing in regard to whether you truly love someone or not. You should never use passion as the basis for your decision making inside of relationships, and passion can never sustain your relationships.
By falling in love, you have created a problem for yourself. One of the biggest problems in life is to fall in love, because the object of your love is not perfect, (and neither are you). Sooner or later, that object will be a source of people testing, whether irritation or antagonism. People testing comes from falling in love. When it does, you must have the pertinent Bible doctrine in your soul to overcome the testing, so that you do not function from feelings, emotions, or passion. You must operate with thought based on God’s Word resident within your soul to overcome any testing, including people testing, especially inside your marriage.
Without understanding the pertinent doctrines, you will idealize the object of your love, creating a monster out of them. And since no one is perfect, personal love does not have a chance, if there is any idealization of the object. No one is perfect. People we love disappoint us, frustrate us, turn against us, because we are not perfect; or they hurt us in some way, causing suffering.
Hypersensitivity versus Sensitivity.
Hypersensitivity is a problem in relationship to yourself when interacting with other people, especially your right man or right woman. Every person in a relationship has an area of vulnerability. If you are sensitive about what other people think about you, then you will become hypersensitive in arrogance when they say one bad thing about you, or do not complement you as you desire to be complimented. As a result, you lose any virtue you might have had in your life, and become hypersensitive. In slang terms we say, “you have become thin skinned.” This means that you have become hypersensitive, as you are occupied with self, and are reactionary about everything that people say about you and do towards you, rather than being “thick skinned,” with occupation with Jesus Christ. This leads to being reactionary to all situations of life, especially inside the marriage. It leads to having self-pity, being quick tempered, vengeance, vilification, etc.
Hypersensitivity can lead to the problem of having unrealistic expectations in your relationships. Very few people are loved the way they want to be loved, or treated the way they want to be treated. Because of this, people develop a subjective arrogance that leads to having eyes on self, eyes on people, and eyes on things. In other words, you are looking for love in all the wrong places. You are creating unrealistic expectations for how you ought to be loved by others. Then, when you are not loved the way you think you should be loved, you become reactionary and enter into mental, verbal, and/or overt sins. When you react to others who do not love you the way you want to be loved, it is impossible for any virtue to exist in your life.
In addition, you will be insensitive to the situations, thoughts, and feelings of others, especially of your spouse. Then you become thoughtless, rude, indifferent, and cruel with all the mental attitude sins that can lead to verbal and overt sins.
When you are hypersensitive and your area of vulnerability is touched, you lose your self-esteem, self-confidence, and poise, and become a reactionary to the persons and/or environment which produced it. Reaction in hypersensitivity results in loss of virtue. You no longer love God, have personal or impersonal love for your right man or right woman, nor have impersonal love towards man, nor spiritual self-esteem.
On the other hand, impersonal love is characterized by true sensitivity, the expression of thoughtfulness, courtesy, good manners toward others, and willingness to accommodate yourself toward your wife, husband, an individual, or group of individuals whether in business, social, or spiritual life.
Sensitivity is the function of thinking in the adult believer in spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. The basis for sensitivity is genuine humility, adding the superstructure of impersonal love, which reaches its peak in spiritual autonomy. Sensitivity is the dynamic expression of genuine humility by the spiritual adult believer. Therefore, sensitivity as the expression of impersonal love is a problem solving device in people, thought, and system testing.
Hypersensitivity can also lead to the problems of iconoclastic or role model arrogance.
This is an excessive admiration or personal love where you create an idol out of a person. This is followed by the idol showing their feet of clay, (doing something wrong). When the idol does something wrong, (real or imagined), there is a reaction by the one who created the idol. They become disillusioned or disenchanted.
When disillusionment or disenchantment sets in during iconoclastic arrogance, you seek to destroy the person you have set up as a role model or icon in your life. You created the idol, now you do not like the idol, so you seek to destroy the idol.
Impersonal love is the basic solution to the problem of marriage. Marriages fail because people are no better in marriage than they are as people. Marriages fail because:
1. People are failures as human beings.
2. People get married for the wrong reasons; therefore, they make wrong decisions concerning the spouse.
3. People think marriage is the solution to all problems in life. If anything, marriage is a problem manufacturing device.
Marriage is not designed for happiness; it is designed for virtue that leads to happiness. Virtue is designed for happiness. Therefore, happiness in marriage demands virtue-love. You cannot change your marital problems by changing your spouse to conform to your personal standards or your unrealistic expectation. Therefore, marriage is more than finding the right person; it is being the right person. Without the virtue of impersonal love, personal love in the marriage is vulnerable and weak. It is influenced by too many factors which hinder its perpetuation. For example:
1. Your involvement in personality conflict.
2. Moral or immoral degeneracy.
3. Lack of concentration on an object.
4. Lack of reciprocation.
5. Lack of mental, physical, or spiritual rapport.
6. Loss of attractiveness on which a relationship was originally based. People change in their looks over time, and if personal love was based on attraction, it will not last.
So personal love in friendship, romance, or marriage cannot be sustained or perpetuated without the problem solving device of impersonal love. All human and personal love relationships depend on virtue for their success, as well as their perpetuation; i.e., personal love for God the Father as a motivational virtue, impersonal love for all mankind as a functional virtue, and occupation with Christ as the priority virtue.
Personal love minus impersonal love is weak and vulnerable to being destroyed by arrogance, jealousy, pettiness, vindictiveness, implacability, and/or hypersensitivity as arrogant subjectivity, anger, hatred, bitterness, fickleness, etc.
Yet, with impersonal and unconditional AGAPE love, your personal relationships, especially your marriage, will be impenetrable, lasting, enduring, longsuffering, meaningful, and rewarding. As Andre Maurois, a French Writer, (July 26, 1885 – October 9, 1967), once said, “A happy marriage is always a long conversation that seems to be too short.” And, “A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.”
Vs. 26-27, Christ’s care for His Church as the example for husbands’ care for their wives.
These two verses give reason and results for Christ’s love and sacrifice on behalf of His bride, the Church, as noted in vs. 25b, “As Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.”
His love was also AGAPE love, which is that impersonal and unconditional love expressed towards the Church because of the love that was inside of Him. Because of His love, He voluntarily gave Himself over so that He could go to the Cross and pay the penalty for our sins, as noted in the Greek Verb PARADIDOMI in the Aorist, Active, Indicative that means, “handed over, delivered up, to give up, give over, etc.” Jesus handed over and delivered Himself up to be scorned, scourged, tortured, and ultimately crucified so that He could pay for our sins, Gal 2:20; Eph 5:2.
Gal 2:20, “… I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
Eph 5:2, “And walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
The Constative Aorist tense contemplates the past action of the verb in its entirety, namely: reconciliation, redemption, propitiation, etc., everything that was accomplished on the Cross. The Active voice and Indicative mood tells us that it is a fact of reality that Jesus voluntarily gave Himself over on our behalf; for our benefit.
Christ instinctively from His own free will delivered Himself over, the highest possible sacrifice, the efficacious sacrifice; whereby, we have eternal life. The principle here is sacrifice. When you love someone more than you love yourself, then you are willing to sacrifice, and that is a mental attitude of AGAPE love. Christ loved His Church enough to die for her.
Now in our verses, we see the benefits of Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, which too gives analogy for what the husband is to accomplish on behalf of his wife.
Eph 5:26-27, “So 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.”
Here we have six benefits for the Church, (the Bride of Christ), that Jesus Christ accomplished upon the Cross. Interestingly, the number six is the number of man in Scripture. The six benefits include:
2. Cleansing, (purification).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Within this list, we have three Subjunctive Mood verbs with the Conjunction HINA indicating three purpose clauses for Christ loving and dying for His Church. The three purposes are, “Sanctify,” “Present” glorified, and “Be” holy. The Subjunctive is for potential and probability, noting that a decision or choice must be made. It represents our volitional responsibility to receive Christ’s accomplishments on our behalf for salvation. When we receive what Christ has done for us, that is the moment of our salvation, and at that time we receive sanctification and are sanctified, glorified, and holy.
Also note in this list of six blessings, the various pairings.
1. When we are sanctified, we are also “cleansed,” which is a verb in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative that speaks of the past action that placed us into our current position. When we are sanctified, we are also purified.
2. When we are presented, we will be “glorified and without spot or wrinkle.” All three are in the Accusative case for an indirect object that speaks to what we are made at the moment of our salvation. When we are glorified, we are also positionally sinless before God.
3. When we are saved, we will be, “holy and blameless.” Both are in the Nominative case, which also speaks to our new position in Christ. When we are holy, we are also justified, innocent from the penalty of sin.
Therefore, when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we positionally receive six things that cannot be taken away: Sanctification, Purification, Glorification, Sinlessness, Holiness, and Justification.
All six blessings speak to our Position in Jesus Christ, as we are placed in union with Christ, from the moment of our conversion / salvation. These are part of the 40 things we receive at the moment of salvation.
Finally, in our introduction, note that the list begins with our Positional Sanctification. This is the basis for all that follows in this list that culminates in being justified before God forever. We will discuss each separately below.
This passage begins with the 1st of three HINA Conjunction clauses used with the Subjunctive mood that breaks these six blessings into three groups, as noted above. These HINA clauses are purpose clauses for Christ loving and dying for His Church. Here we have the primary purpose for Christ loving and dying for His church: to give her Positional “Sanctification.”
“Sanctify” is the Greek verb HAGIAZO that means, “to make holy, to sanctify, to consecrate, dedicate, purify, or to set apart.” It is in the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive. It signifies an act; whereby, people are consecrated or set aside for the exclusive use of God. They are not to be used for profane purposes, but are a special possession of God. For believers, it means to be separated from sin and unto God.
Our sanctification is accomplished by faith, Acts 15:9, “And He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.”
2 Thes 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”
Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”
And by the Holy Spirit, Rom 15:16, “To be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, that my offering of the Gentiles might become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”
And by God, 1 Thes 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And through the offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, Heb 10:10; 13:12.
Heb 10:10, 14, “By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”
Heb 13:12, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”
Remember that there are three types of Sanctification in Scripture. This verse speaks to the First Category of Sanctification, which is called, “Positional Sanctification,” which means our standing before God. Even though we sin after our salvation, we have been given the position, and therefore stand before God sanctified, as well as the other 5 blessings we have in our list. In other words, God looks upon you as justified, purified, holy, blameless, and sinless, giving you the position of being a member of the Royal Family of God forever. Positional Sanctification refers to salvation at which point the baptism of the Spirit enters every believer into union with the person of Jesus Christ. As such, we share the eternal life, righteousness, sonship, heirship, royalty, election, and destiny of Christ, as well as many more things. It is the status quo of every Church Age believer at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ.
The Second Category of Sanctification is called “Experiential Sanctification,” and has to do with your daily walk. This means that we are walking without sin in our lives and being filled by the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18. Even though positionally we are sanctified before God from the moment of our salivation, we are able to sin after our salvation. When the believer sins post salvation, they are no longer walking “experientially sanctified,” even though they are still positionally sanctified. Because of the sin they have committed, they lose their experiential sanctification. When that occurs, the grace of God is available to them by utilizing 1 John 1:9, confessing their sins and receiving experiential forgiveness and cleansing of those sins. In addition, as we have proved when studying Eph 5:18, they are filled with the Holy Spirit once again, which filling is also lost when the believer sins post salvation, even though they do not lose His indwelling, (see study of Eph 5:18).
Experiential Sanctification protects us from the schemes of the devil, John 17:15-17. This protection is the result of being filled with the Holy Spirit, 1 John 1:9 with Eph 5:18, and having the Word of God resident within your soul and applied in faith.
John 17:15-17, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
The Third Category of Sanctification, “Ultimate Sanctification.” This is the sanctification we live in, in the eternal state. When we die and go to heaven and ultimately receive our resurrection bodies, we are removed from sin positionally and experientially, forever and ever. This is the sanctification of our eternal state, based on the Positional Sanctification we received at the moment of our salvation. Ultimate Sanctification protects us for all of eternity from having anything to do whatsoever with sin or evil and their results, 1 Cor 15:54-57; Rev 21:4, 27; 22:3.
L.S. Chafer defines “sanctify” with its various forms, (i.e., holy and saint) as such. “This word, which is used 106 times in the Old Testament and 31 times in the New, means ‘to set apart,’ and then the state of being set apart. It indicates classification in matters of position and relationship. The basis of the classification is usually that the sanctified person (or thing) has been set apart, or separated, from others in his position and relationship before God, that is, from that which proves unholy.” (Systematic Theology, Volume 7.)
1 Cor 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.”
1 Thes 5:23, incorporates all three Sanctifications as protection provided for us by God.
1 Thes 5:23-24, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you in every part, (i.e., Positionally, Experientially and Ultimately); and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”
Therefore, because of our Sanctification made possible by our Lord Jesus Christ and His Work upon the Cross, death is not a hopeless thought of loss or the end of things; actually, it is a new beginning.
Continuing our list of six blessings/benefits our betrothed Lord won for us at the Cross:
2. Cleansing, (purification).
3. Glorification, (exaltation).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
We understand that Eph 5:26-27, is speaking primarily to our Position in Christ, our Positional Sanctification, with both Experiential and Ultimate Sanctification being in view. This is noted with our next blessing from the Greek word KATHARIZO, καθαρίζω that is translated, “cleansed,” which is a Verb in the Aorist, Active, Participle, Nominative, Masculine, Singular. It means, “cleanse, make clean, or purify,” used literally, morally, and spiritually in Scripture.
In the Aorist Participle, it suggests antecedent time to that of the main verb, HAGIAZO – Sanctified. In other words, to be sanctified, we first had to be cleansed. Interestingly, this is the mode of operation for our positional, experiential, and ulitimate sanctification. Positionally, before we can be sanctified, our sins had to be paid for, which they were by Jesus Christ on the Cross, according to God’s Word. The Word, Jesus Christ, fulfilled the Word of God. We will see this in our next phrase.
Likewise, for experiential sanctification, we first must be cleansed by application of the Word, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse (KATHARIZO) us from all unrighteousness.” As we showed dogmatically in Eph 5:18, this also means we are filled with the Holy Spirit, because both passages speak to, “walking in light” and “having fellowship with God.” Therefore, confession of sins, with its experiential cleansing, results in the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Thirdly, upon receiving our resurrection bodies, our current physical bodies of sin are removed through death or the rapture, and then we receive our final perfect, sinless resurrection bodies. The removal of this earthly body of sin is a type of washing or cleansing of sin, ultimately and for all of eternity.
But going back to the main idea of this verse, our Positional Sanctification, this positional “cleansing” occurs at the moment of our faith in Jesus Christ, where we are purified or made clean of our sins positionally before God. It speaks, as all of these blessings do, to our position in Christ, based on our Positional Sanctification. In other words, we stand before God absolutely clean, meaning our sins are not an issue between the believer and God. The barrier of sin that previously separated us from having a relationship with God was broken down at the Cross of Jesus Christ, Eph 2:14, 16-18; Col 2:14. Therefore, God looks at us as a creature that is without sin, even though we still sin after our salvation, giving us an eternal relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This being a positional issue, is further noted by the next phrase, “by the washing of water with the word,” which uses the Greek Noun LOUTRON in the Dative of Means case that can be translated, “bath, washing, or cleansing.” In ancient Greek it was used for “a full bath,” in contrast to other terms used for washing clothes or parts of the body, like NIPTO. In our verse, it is used symbolically of Christ’s provision of salvation for the Church. It is used only here and in Titus 3:5, speaking of our salvation, Positional Sanctification, contrasting the righteous works of men with the saving mercy of God, which is effected by the Holy Spirit’s “washing of regeneration.”
Titus 3:5, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.”
Further, LOUTRON comes from the Verb LOUO that is famously used by our Lord in John 13:10, where He told Peter that he did not need a full bath (LOUO), because he was already clean, (i.e., positionally sanctified,) in reference to his salvation, but Peter only needed to wash, (NIPTO), his feet, in order to have experiential sanctification and fellowship with the Lord. Therefore, in Eph 5:26 we have LOUTRON in reference to being made clean or purified for salvation only, that is our Positional Sanctification. It is not in reference to our Experiential Sanctification that other verses speak to.
The means of our bathing for salvation is “of water,” HO HUDOR in the Genitive of Source. The water here is a reference to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; the source of our cleansings. It is first used in the NT in Mat 3:11.
Mat 3:11, “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
There we see the analogy of water baptism, which at that time represented the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is the “one baptism” noted in Eph 4:5, because that baptism saves you; whereas, water baptism does not.
Then we have “the word,” which is EN RHEMA in the Dative of Agency that means, “a thing spoken, word, saying, a thing, matter, or event.” It typically is used for a single text of Scripture, that which is preached, and it does not usually stand for the entire Christian message as LOGOS so commonly does. Most often, it denotes a “word,” something said in words or even the written word. It should also be noted that RHEMA, referring to the “spoken word,” is never used in connection with a ritual such as water baptism. Therefore, if refers to the preached word that tells of Christ’s love for the church, which was demonstrated in his giving of himself for her in order to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of water. As such, it is used for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Rom 10:8.
Rom 10:8, “But what does it say? ‘THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART’—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,” Cf. Rom 10:18; 1 Peter 1:25.
It is first used in Mat 4:4, in Jesus’ reply to Satan’s first temptation, “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD’.”
Therefore, Christ cleanses His bride spiritually, and He does this through the word of the gospel, John 15:3; 17:17. Later in Eph 6:17, we will see RHEMA regarding salvation as the sword of the Spirit is the “word” (RHEMA) of God.
Therefore, our sanctification is by cleansing through the means of washing, (i.e., regeneration), from the source of the water, (i.e., the Baptism of the Holy Spirt), and by the agent of Word, (i.e., the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ).
When we believe in the gospel, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit, cleansed of all sins for salvation, and then entered into union with Jesus Christ, (our Positional Sanctification). In other words, cleansing of all our sins through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, (the water), as a result of believing on the gospel of Jesus Christ, (the Word), results in our Positional Sanctification.
John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the sphere of Your Truth; Your Word is Truth.”
1 Cor 6:11, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”
Doctrine of Cleansing the Leper, Leviticus 14
This chapter explains the ritual for the ceremonial cleansing of lepers so that they might enter society again. The ritual found in Leviticus 14 speaks of cleansing or purification of one who acquired leprosy. Leprosy represents sin and the ritual inscribed represents what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us and accomplished upon the Cross. As such, we see this cleansing ritual of leprosy as analogous to the cleansing the unbeliever receives for Positional Sanctification at the moment of belief in the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. As you review these passages and principles, think, in your mind’s eye, how our Lord performed this ritual on you at the moment of your salvation, to purify and cleanse you of your sin, and thus entering you into eternal fellowship with God, based on your Positional Sanctification.
A. The priest goes to the leper, vs. 3.
Of course, the leper was barred from coming into the camp, so the priest had to go “outside the camp” to him. What a picture of Christ who came to us and died “outside the camp,” that we might be saved, Heb 13:10-13.
Heb 13:12, “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate.”
We did not seek Him; He came to seek and to save the lost, Luke 19:10.
Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
B. The priest offers the sacrifices, vs. 4-7.
This ceremony is a beautiful picture of the work of Jesus Christ. The priest took one of the birds and placed it in an earthen vessel, (clay jar), and then he killed it. Of course, the birds were not created to live in jars, but to fly in the heavens. Christ willingly left heaven and took upon Himself a body, put Himself, as it were, in an earthen vessel, that He might die for us.
Note that the bird was killed over running water, a picture of the Holy Spirit, as we see in the analogy of Eph 5:26b.
The priest then took the living bird, dipped it in the blood of the dead bird, and set it free. Here is a vivid illustration of Christ’s resurrection. Christ died for our sins and was raised again, and He took the blood, (spiritually speaking), back to heaven that we might be cleansed from sin.
The priest finally sprinkled some of the blood on the leper, for “all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” Heb 9:22.
C. The leper washes, shaves, and waits, vs. 8-9.
The priest had already pronounced him clean, so he was acceptable as far as the Lord was concerned, but he had to wash, shave, and wait. The work of the sacrifice having been complete and applied, we now see the leper having to accept the sacrifice through washing, (i.e., the baptism of the Holy Spirit), shaving himself, (representing the new man, the new creation), and then waiting 7 days, (the number of spiritual perfection), and then on the eighth day gain fellowship, (the number of satisfying, satiating, new beginnings, superabundance, regeneration, and resurrection). So, it speaks of all three in regard to the new believer in Jesus Christ.
D. The leper offers the sacrifices, vs. 10-13.
He was now back in the camp at the door of the tabernacle. He offered a trespass offering, a sin offering, and a burnt offering.
The trespass and sin offerings took care of his defilements, his unknown and known sins, (i.e., wrinkle or spot). The burnt offering represents the judgment of our sins by God the Father in the person of Jesus Christ that propitiated the Father.
In regard to Experiential Sanctification, this also speaks to the application of 1 John 1:9.
E. The priest applies the blood and oil, vs. 14-20.
This is a touching part of the ritual; pun intended. The priest took the blood and applied it to the right ear, the right thumb, and the right big toe of the man, symbolizing that his whole body had now been purchased and belonged to God, (i.e., hear the Word, work in the Word, walk by the Word).
A leper had blood placed on his ear, vs. 14, to indicate the importance of hearing Bible doctrine for salvation; i.e., the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Putting blood on the ear, thumb, and big toe, also indicates that post-salvation, he was to listen to God’s Word, work for God’s glory, and walk in God’s ways.
Then the priest put the oil on the blood to symbolize in a different way, the Holy Spirit’s work in our salvation and sanctification. The blood could not be put on the oil; the oil had to be put on the blood. The blood represents Jesus’ sacrifice upon the Cross. The oil represents the Word of God, which is made understandable by the Holy Spirit. So. oil represents both the Word and the Spirit in combination.
You see the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the blood, comes first, then the Holy Spirit through common and efficacious grace can apply the blood of Jesus for our salvation. This means that the Holy Spirit makes the Gospel of Jesus Christ understandable to the unbeliever. Then, for those who believe on it, the Spirit makes their faith effective for salvation. For where the blood has been applied, the Spirit of God can work.
The rest of the oil was poured on the man’s head by the Priest, and thus, he was anointed for his new spiritual life with the power of the Word and Spirit in His life.
If you read Lev 8:22-24, you will see that a similar ceremony was performed for the consecration of the priests. In other words, God treated the leper as he would a priest. And for the Church Age, all believers are Royal Priests, 1 Peter 2:9.
Of course, all of this is accomplished today through faith in Jesus Christ. He went “outside the camp” to find us. He died and rose again to save us. When we trust Him, He applies the blood and oil to our lives and provides eternal fellowship with God.
1 John 5:8, “For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.”
1 Peter 1:2, “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure.” Cf. Heb 9:14
One day a leper said to Christ, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” He replied, “I am willing; be cleansed.” See Mark 1:40-45. Christ is willing to save and able to save. And through His work upon the Cross and our non-meritorious faith in Him, He cleanses His bride for all of eternity, thereby, sanctifying her positionally.
And remember, by analogy, what Christ and the Holy Spirit have done for the believer, the husband should do for the wife experientially, to cleanse her, to overcome the sins in her life. Likewise, as the Leper had to accept the sacrifice, so does the wife in honoring her husband.
Continuing our list of six blessings/benefits our betrothed Lord won for us at the Cross:
2. Cleansing, (purification).
3. Glorification, (exaltation).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Vs. 27 is the 2nd of three pairings of the Six Blessings. When we are presented glorified, we will be without spot or wrinkle. In other words, we are glorified, because we are positionally sinless without human good or evil before God.
So, we begin with “glorification,” as the first half of vs. 27 reads, “That He might present to Himself the church in all her glory,…”
This passage begins with the 2nd of three HINA Conjunction clauses used with the Subjunctive mood that breaks these six blessings into three groups, as noted above. These HINA clauses are purpose clauses for Christ loving and dying for His Church. We just noted the Primary purpose for Christ loving and dying for His church being Positional “Sanctification.” Now we note the secondary purpose for Christ loving and dying for His Church being, “to present her to Himself in all her glory,” or “Glorification.”
Then we have, “He might present,” which is the Personal Pronoun AUTOS, with the Aorist, Active, Subjunctive of the Verb PARISTEMI, παρίστημι that can mean, “Place beside, put at someone’s disposal, present, offer, provide, to bring to, show, demonstrate, stand by, help, or come to the aid of.” This is our second Subjunctive in these passages regarding the 6 blessings for the Bride of Christ.
It comes from PARA, “beside” and HISTEMI, “to place or stand.” It therefore means, “cause to stand, place beside, or present.” This is the one who is presenting the bride or as we say today, “is giving her away,” to the groom.
The Aorist tense, views the entirety of the action of Jesus Christ presenting His bride in all her glory. The Active voice, tells us Jesus Christ produces the action of presenting His bride. This is coupled with the Personal Pronoun AUTOS that follows in the Greek. The Subjunctive mood is part of this purpose clause for why Jesus Christ loved and died for His Church, vs. 25, so that He could present the bride, the Church, in a great marriage ceremony to the groom.
In ancient days, the bride’s parents presented their daughter to the groom. This means that the contract had all been settled, the dowry had been placed at whatever place the groom demanded, and everything was now set for the marriage to occur, which for the Church has all occurred at the Cross of Jesus Christ. So “presentation” meant an official marriage. Again, this speaks of our position in Christ, even though this will literally take place during our Ultimate Sanctification, as noted in Rev 19.
The one the bride is presented to, is also Jesus Christ, as noted in the Dative case of the Personal Pronoun HEAUTOU in the Masculine that means, “to Himself.” Jesus Christ is also the groom.
Therefore, the image here is that Jesus Christ gives the bride (Church) away to Himself to be married. It speaks of His sovereignty, as being one with the Father, and His humanity that won the victory at the Cross to establish the Church, His Bride.
Next is, “the church in all her glory.” In the Greek, “in all her glory” comes first, with the Adjective ENDOXOS, ἔνδοξος that describes the direct object in the Accusative, Feminine. It comes from EN, “in,” and DOXA, “glory.” It means, “honored, highly esteemed, splendid, or glorious.” It is also used in Luke 7:25; 13:17; 1 Cor 4:10. The progression of its usage in the N.T. refers to the gorgeously splendid clothing of royalty, the acts of Jesus, people being honorable or illustrious, and in our verse the Bride of Christ, (the Church, His body).
Elsewhere in Ephesians, the Church is seen as God’s glorious inheritance, Eph 1:18, and the sphere in which His glory is acknowledged, Eph 3:21. Here, the glory with which the Church as the bride is adorned will be elaborated on in terms of her Divine Good Production. The bride’s beauty is to be all-encompassing and is not to be spoiled by anything, by the least spot or wrinkle.
Therefore, this glory represents the royal wedding gown adorned by the Bride of Christ, “the Church,” (HO EKKLESIA, the Accusative of Direct Object,) will adorn, which is “the righteous acts of the saints,” Rev 19:8. This wedding gown does not represent the imputed righteousness of Christ in which we stand justified before God, although it influences us to act righteously. It represents the acts of faith and righteousness that we do as the result of our relationship and union with Christ. It is the out-workings of the gift of salvation and the gifts of the Spirit, which we receive freely from Him. In other words, it represents our Divine Good Production / the Fruit of the Spirit, and is part of our Experiential Sanctification that is made possible because of our Positional Sanctification.
This clothing of white linen reminds us of Christ’s desire that His believers could come before Him, “not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing,” as we will see in the supporting phrase coming next in this verse.
Therefore, this is a reference to the Rapture of the Church, at which time the bride is presented to the groom by the groom, followed by a great wedding feast / celebration, in heaven and on earth.
The Doctrine of the Manifestation of the Bride.
1. The Bride is another title for the Church, the Royal Family of God, in resurrection body, John 3:29; Rom 7:4; 2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:25-33; Rev 18:23; 19:7; 21:9; 22:17.
2. This is one of the Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, as we noted previously:
a. He is the Vine and we are the branches.
b. He is the Shepherd and we are the sheep.
c. He is the Chief Cornerstone and we are the stones in the building.
d. He is the High Priest and we are a kingdom of priests.
e. He is the Last Adam, the Head of a new order of beings, and we are that New Creation.
f. He is the Head of the Body and we are the members of His body.
g. He is the Bridegroom and we are the Bride.
Of the first six of this series of figures, they represent the present affiliation between Christ and the Church, whereas the seventh, that of the Bridegroom and the Bride, represents that between Christ and the Church, which is wholly future. Therefore, based on our Positional Sanctification, we are guaranteed in Ultimate Sanctification the Bridegroom and Bride relationship.
3. The body or Bride of Christ is formed on earth during the Church Age, Eph 1:22-23; 2:16; 4:4-5; 5:23; Col 1:18, 24; 2:19.
4. When the body of Christ is completed, the union occurs in heaven after Christ has come again to receive His body to Himself, called the Rapture of the Church, 1 Thes 4:16-18; 1 Cor 15:51-57. By comparing Col 2:15 with Rev 12:4; 19:6-8; Zech 13:2; 1 Thes 3:13, it is concluded that the number of believers in the body of Christ will equal the number of demons operating under Satan’s command at this stage of the Angelic Conflict.
5. During the Tribulation on earth, the bride is prepared in heaven in three ways.
a. She receives a resurrection body exactly like that of the Son of God, 1 Cor 15:51-57; Phil 3:21; 1 John 3:1-2.
b. The bride’s old clothing, the human body with its Old Sin Nature, is removed and she no longer has the Sin Nature.
c. The bride is cleansed from all human good at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 3:12, 15.
6. The coronation of the groom, Rev 19:6.
7. The bride is given a gloriously splendid wedding gown to adorn herself with, which are her acts of righteousness, Rev 19:8, performed during the Church age that are rewarded at the BEMA seat of Jesus Christ.
8. The wedding feast / supper of the Lamb, Rev 19:6-9, which is to take place on earth, Mat 25:1-13: the Millennial reign. There are four categories involved:
a. The groom, the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. The friends of the groom, the Old Testament saints and the Tribulational martyrs who receive their resurrection bodies at the Second Advent. They are the friends of the groom. John the Baptist, John 3:29, is called friend of the groom.
c. The Bride, the Church
d. The friends of the bride, the Tribulational believers alive at the Second Advent, who go into the Millennium. They will not receive their resurrection bodies until the end of the Millennium. The Groom, Bride, and friends of the groom have their resurrection bodies.
9. The bride returns with Christ at the Second Advent, Rev 19:8, 14, cf. 21:9. This is the manifestation of the Bride.
10. Our return is related to “Operation Footstool,” which immediately follows, Psa 110:1. In operation footstool we have a picture of:
a. The triumphal procession in which all demons are disarmed and publicly displayed in the triumphal procession, Col 2:15.
b. Satan being imprisoned for 1000 years, Rev 20:1-3.
c. Church Age believers, the Bride, cast demons into prison, Zech 13:2; Col 2:15; 1 Cor 15:24-25.
The present age will thus witness the inception, development, and completion of God’s purpose in, “taking out… a people for His name,” Acts 15:14.
Continuing our list of six blessings/benefits our betrothed Lord won for us at the Cross:
2. Cleansing, (purification).
3. Glorification, (exaltation).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
In support of our glorified wedding gown or uniform of glory, we have the next phrase “having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing,” in this 2nd pairing of blessings.
“Having no,” is one of the Greek negative Particles, ME, μή with the Present, Active Participle of ECHO, ἔχω that means, “to have, hold, keep, possess, cling to.” The Stative Present indicates a condition that is perpetually existing in reference to the wedding gown adorned at the great Wedding Ceremony and Feast, when Jesus presents the Church to Himself. Coupled with the Simple Active Voice, it means that the Church experiences the action of not having the following issues at the great Wedding Ceremony and Feast.
The “issues” we are without are emphasized in three groups, “spot, wrinkle, and any such thing.”
“Spot,” is the Direct Object Accusative of SPILOS, σπίλος that means, “spot, stain, fault, or blemish.”
You see, when you spill something onto your clothes, you get a spot or stain. That is what sin does to us experientially, when we spill it out of our souls. But, fortunately for the believer, Jesus has taken care of that for us positionally and ultimately at the Cross, (and experientially when we use 1 John 1:9).
SPILOS is only used here and in 2 Peter 2:13. In the latter, Peter is speaking of false teachers of false doctrines, who in their false teaching are stains, spots, and blemishes in God’s eyes, as they perform their sin, human good, and evil.
2 Peter 2:13, “Suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you.”
In classical Greek, it was used literally for a spot on the skin, reminding us of the analogy of the cleansed leper noted above, and figuratively, it was used with the sense of “impurity, vice, or moral fault.” It was not used in the Septuagint, (LXX). Yet, Paul uses the figurative sense of “moral blemish or impurity” that is caused by the Old Sin Nature that the bride of Christ will be without at the great Wedding Feast. Therefore, it teaches the removal of the Old Sin Nature at the Rapture of the Church, as a part of Ultimate Sanctification, so that the “splendid-glorious” clothes of the resurrection body are unstained. The Old Sin Nature stains anything. We carry around an inner stain, which is constantly messing things up. But, there is no Old Sin Nature in eternity. Ultimate Sanctification includes the concept of no Old Sin Nature in the resurrection body.
Then we have “or wrinkle,” which begins with the connective Conjunction E, ἤ that is a Particle of Separation that complements SPILOS. Therefore, we are talking about two different things that have the same overall meaning of sin, human good, and evil. We could say, “two sides of the same coin.”
“Wrinkle,” is the Direct Object Accusative of RHUTIS, ῥυτίς that means, “wrinkle.” Symbolically, it is a type of imperfection, an aging, or deteriorating process, and therefore, spiritual decay as in human good and evil that comes from the area of strength of the Old Sin Nature. It is used only here in the N.T.; therefore, it is a hapaxlegomena.
This word is very rare in classical Greek and is not used at all in the LXX. It denotes a “wrinkle,” but there is very little evidence of its range of use. Here, Paul uses RHUTIS metaphorically of the spiritual decay of human good from which believers are and will be eternally freed from beginning at the PAROUSIA, (the Rapture of the Church), and subsequent Wedding Feast. Interestingly, one of the presumed roots of this word is RHUOMAI that means, “to save, protect, rescue, deliver, or ward off.” Because Jesus Christ has saved or delivered us from our sins and the Old Sin Nature, and will judge our human good works at the BEMA seat, we are positionally and will be ultimately, without RHUTIS, “wrinkle,” (i.e., sin, human good, or evil).
Then we have another, “or,” E, ἤ that continues the complementary list. This time, it is with, “any such thing,” that is made up of the Indefinite Pronoun TIS, the Article HO, and the Objective Genitive Plural of the Demonstrative Pronoun, TOIOUTOS, τοιοῦτος. This phrase is the catch all for “sin, human good, and evil,” spawning from the Old Sin Nature, that is removed in Positional and Ultimate Sanctification, so that there is no doubt of the glorious nature we will adorn at the Wedding Feast.
Because Jesus Christ, who was without spot or blemish, as the propitiatory sacrificial lamb, took on the sins of the entire world and paid the penalty for those sins at the Cross, whoever believes upon Him is positionally sanctified, cleansed, and glorified without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, and will be presented by Jesus, to Jesus, in ultimate sanctification at the great Wedding Ceremony and Feast, clothed in fine linen, bright and clean, which are the results of their Experiential Sanctification.
In our first purpose clause, the believer is cleansed and sanctified. In our second purpose clause, the believer is presented glorified without an Old Sin Nature and its resultant sin, human good, and evil. Then, as we will see, in our third and final purpose clause, the believer is holy and blameless, as a result of the self-sacrificial love of Jesus Christ.
“The church today is not perfect; it has spots and wrinkles. Spots are caused by defilement on the outside, while wrinkles are caused by decay on the inside. Because the church becomes defiled by the world, it needs constant cleansing, and the Word of God is the cleansing agent. “Keep yourselves unspotted from the world,” (James 1:27). Strictly speaking, there should be no wrinkles in the church, because wrinkles are evidence of old age and internal decay. As the church is nourished by the Word, these wrinkles ought to disappear. Like a beautiful bride, the church ought to be clean and youthful, which is possible through the Spirit of God using the Word of God. One day the church will be presented in heaven “a glorious church” at the coming of Jesus Christ, (Jude 24).” (Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Be Rich – Ephesians).
2. Cleansing, (purification).
3. Glorification, (exaltation).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Finishing our verse, we now have the third and final purpose clause, “but that she would be holy and blameless.”
The parallel verse is Col 1:22, “Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
It begins with the Contrasting Conjunction, ALLA, ἀλλά, “but,” to contrast the “spot, wrinkle, or any such thing” emanating from the Old Sin Nature with the third purpose of Jesus’ self-sacrificial love.
The contrast is noted in the purpose clause of the Conjunction HINA, “that or in order that,” with the Present, Active, Subjunctive of the Verb EIMI, εἰμί that means, “to be, exist, live, etc.” It speaks of the believer’s continuous and eternal existence which is noted in two categories. First, we have “holy,” and then we have “blameless,” which are both Adjectives in the Nominative, Singular, Feminine.
“Holy” is HAGIOS, ἅγιος that can mean, “holy, consecrated, perfect, pure, upright, worthy of God, or saint.” Holiness distinguishes between what is ethical or right, and what is sinful or wrong. The starting point for any understanding of holiness is the holiness of the Lord Himself, His Divine perfection.
From ancient times, the holy nature of the Lord contrasted all sin and uncleanness. As the “Holy One” He is a “consuming fire” against sin, Deut 4:24; Joshua 24:19. The holiness of God is made known in both judgment and salvation. Holiness stands for His exalted, Divine substance, His majesty, and sovereignty. The holiness and glory of God are intricately joined in Scripture. The Holy God is a God of “light,” and His holiness shines forth in His revelation of Himself in glorious splendor, Isa 5:16; 6:3; 10:17; 44:14.
Isa 43:14, “Thus says the LORD your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, …”
Holiness in the Bible also means separation from all that is common or unclean, positively pure, and thus distinct from all others. An analogy may be helpful here. What does it mean to be healthy? It is the absence of illness, but also a positive infusion of energy. Therefore, holiness is the absence of sin and evil and the presence of positive right.
In God, His holiness is a purity of being and nature, as well as of will and act. The absolute, innate holiness of God means that sinners have to be separated from Him unless a way can be found to make them holy. And that way has been provided in the merits of Jesus Christ upon the Cross.
As such, because the Lord is holy, His people are a holy people. And because the Lord is holy, that which was sanctified to the Lord or “consecrated for the Lord” is holy too, for example, Num 3:13; Jer 1:5; Ex 28:2. Cf. Isa 6:3, 5-7.
Ex 28:2, “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.”
The “saint” then is the one made holy by God, and is therefore, sanctified in Christ, “You shall be holy, for I am holy,” Lev 11:45; 19:2; 1 Peter 1:16.
Positionally, you are holy due to your regeneration and the imputation of God’s righteousness from the moment of your salvation, just as Christ is. Ultimately, when we are presented by Christ, to Christ, you will be holy! Cf. Rom 8:29; 1 John 3:1-3.
1 John 3:3, “And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies, (HAGNIZO), himself, just as He is pure, (HAGNOS).”
In the N.T.:
God is holy, Isa 5:16; John 17:11; 1 Peter 1:15; Rev 4:8; 6:10.
Jesus Christ is holy, Luke 1:35; 4:34; John 6:69.
The Spirit is holy, Mat 1:18; Luke 3:22; John 14:26; Acts 2:4.
Likewise, the believer is made holy positionally at the point of conversion / salvation, Rom 1:7; 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 1:4; Phil 4:21; 2 Thes 1:10; Heb 3:1; 1 Peter 1:16; 2:5, 9.
1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, ‘YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY’.”
1 Thes 3:13, “So that He may establish your hearts unblamable, (AMEMPTOS), in holiness (HAGIOSUNE), before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
Therefore, at the Great Wedding Feast, based on our positional holiness in Christ, we will be presented by Christ, to Christ, and stand ultimately holy, consecrated, perfect, pure, upright, and worthy of God before Jesus Christ and God our Father.
Concluding our list of six blessings/benefits our betrothed Lord won for us at the Cross:
2. Cleansing, (purification).
3. Glorification, (exaltation).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Next, we have the factor that makes us holy, “and blameless,” which is the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” with the Predicate Nominative Adjective, AMOMOS, ἄμωμος that means, “without blemish.” It comes from A, “without,” and MOMOS, “spot or blemish.” Blemish means, “to impair or spoil by a flaw, a flaw or defect, a stain, or disfigurement.” This also alluded to our Old Sin Nature, sin, human good, and evil. Christ died for our sins at the Cross, and will judge our works at the BEMA seat. Therefore, the believer is to be presented at the Great Wedding Feast “without blemish.”
Literally AMOMOS means, “spotless or without blemish.” It is a rare word in classical Greek, and is only used 8 times in the N.T. It is one of several Greek words in the N.T. used for denoting religious and moral perfection. Many of these terms may be used interchangeably, but AMOMOS is not so versatile.
Figuratively, it indicates a moral state, an “absence of blemish or blameless.” The word blameless means, “free from blame or guilt, a person who is innocent.”
Innocent means, “one who is uncorrupted by or free of sin, evil, malice, or wrongdoing; sinless, untainted, or pure, (as a child innocent of evil); not exposed to or familiar with, devoid of, or without.” It also means, “not guilty of a specific crime; legally blameless.” In addition, it means, “not responsible for or guilty of something wrong or unethical; not to be accused.” And finally, it means, “betraying or suggesting no deception.”
This is the positive analogy of the Bride of Christ, along with being made holy above; whereas, the negative analogy was given previously under, “spot or wrinkle or any such thing,” in that the glorious Church will not be tainted in any way; not a stain or wrinkle or anything else that would suggest imperfection. In a positive sense, she will be holy and blameless.
AMOMOS became a technical term to “designate the absence of anything amiss in a sacrifice, of anything which would render it unworthy to be offered.” Thus, as a technical term in Jewish sacrificial language, (cf. Num 19:2, “spot,” TAMIM and “blemish,” ME’UM), it provided the perfect description of the sacrificial lamb, Jesus Christ, Heb 9:14; 1 Peter 1:19, when He arrived at the Cross, because He had no sin of His own and was therefore, qualified to be our sacrifice.
Heb 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish (AMOMOS) to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
1 Peter 1:19, “But with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished (AMOMOS) and spotless (ASPILOS), the blood of Christ.”
Both passages refer to Jesus Christ as being without guilt or blame, (without sin of His own), to qualify as THE sacrifice for our sins. It would have been better to translate these, “without blame, without any deficiency whatsoever,” because it speaks of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ’s sinlessness as a man, and the exclusion of anyone else’s sinlessness.
Yet, believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are also called AMOMOS positionally, and will be ultimately in the eternal state. But this is only possible in connection with our standing or position in Jesus Christ, as a result of the Baptism of God the Holy Spirit.
As Eph 1:4 states, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (HAGIOS) and blameless (AMOMOS) before Him.”
Therefore, this is the term used to describe the condition of the Church before Almighty God, Cf. Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Jude 24; Rev 14:5.
Col 1:22, “Yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.”
Jude 1:24, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”
Therefore, the term “blameless,” AMOMOS, is used for the believer in regard to our:
1. Positional Sanctification, Eph 1:4, 1 Peter 1:18-19.
2. Experiential Sanctification, Phil 2:15; cf. Rev 14:5.
3. Ultimate Sanctification, Eph 5:27; Col 1:22; Jude 1:24, which is all based on the perfect work of the blameless One, Jesus Christ, upon the Cross, Heb 9:14.
Heb 9:14, “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”
The allusion to the Church’s holiness and blamelessness is important not only in the immediate context, but also because it serves as a climax to the argument and theology of the whole book. In every sense, at the Great Wedding Feast of Jesus Christ, we will be holy, pure, and perfect. It was for this purpose that Christ gave Himself for the Church; and for this purpose He continues the preaching of the Word; the doctrine of reconciliation through faith in His Cross. None shall be presented to Him at the Wedding Feast, who has not here been sanctified, cleansed, washed, made glorious and holy, having neither spot, wrinkle, blemish, nor any such thing.
These last two adjectives, HAGIOS, “holy, set apart,” and AMOMOS, “without blemish, blameless, (like a spotless lamb),” are also stated in Eph 1:4, as the purpose of God’s election of believers from before the foundation of the world.
Eph 1:4, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”
Therefore, the Bride of Christ is to be holy and blameless, the two terms found so frequently in O.T. contexts of cultic and ethical purity, used with the language of presentation in Col 1:22, and Eph 1:4, where the display of such holiness and blamelessness is seen as the purpose of God’s election. Impurity is what characterizes unbelievers, cf. Eph 4:19; 5:3; purity is the distinguishing mark of Christ’s Church.
2 Cor 11:2, “For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
Our election was performed, so that Christ could present His Church to Himself in all her perfection, (cf. “make holy” in Eph 5:26; and HAGIOUS and AMOMOUS in Col 1:22). Whereas, human brides prepare themselves for their husbands, Christ is preparing His own bride for Himself. And that preparation will continue until the bride, (the body of Christ), is complete, which will culminate in the Rapture of the Church.
Jesus Christ was qualified to pay for our sins, because He was the perfect sacrificial lamb without spot or blemish, having no sin of His own. He was innocent of any sin. For those who believe upon Him for salvation, they receive forgiveness and cleansing of their sins, first positionally, and stand before God in that perfect state without blame for any sin in regard to their salvation, thereby having eternal security. Positionally, we are as Christ is today, seated at the right hand of God the Father in glory and perfection.
Given the position in which we stand, we are to walk blameless and innocent of sin during our lives here on earth, as children of God and lights in the world, Phil 2:15.
At the Rapture of the Church, the believer will ultimately be blameless and innocent of all sin, when we receive our final resurrection bodies that are absent of a Sin Nature and Sin, as we are prepared for the Great Wedding celebration. At that time and forevermore, in body, soul, and spirit, we will be perfect, without spot, or blemish, (i.e., without an OSN, sin, human good, or evil), as we stand holy before God forever and ever.
Therefore, to be presented as holy, we had to be rendered blameless of all sin and corruption. To be presented in glory, we had to be rendered without spot or wrinkle, (the literal removal of the sin nature, sin, human good, and evil). To be presented sanctified, we had to be rendered clean by the means of washing, (i.e., regeneration), from the source of the water, (i.e., the Baptism of the Holy Spirt), and by the agent of Word, (i.e., the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ).
Because of our Positional Sanctification, we can walk in our Experiential Sanctification, and upon the Rapture of the Church, we will receive our Ultimate Sanctification, at which time we will be presented by Christ, to Christ, sanctified, purified, glorified, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, being holy and blameless before God at the Great Wedding celebration.
This imagery is given to us in Ezek 16:8-14, by the prenuptial bath taken by the bride-to-be so as to be prepared and ready for her husband. The bride took this bath just before the wedding to symbolize her being set apart to her husband. Ezek 16, is an image of the marriage between God and Israel. In Eph 5:26-27, we have the marriage between Christ and His Church, and it is Christ who prepares His bride through the Cross, Baptism of His Holy Spirit, and BEMA seat, 1 Cor 3:10-15.
1 Cor 6:11, tells us that the Church was prepared for marriage by Christ and the Holy Spirit, “And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.”
Therefore, we have the six blessings/benefits our betrothed Lord won for us at the Cross, so that we would be His pure bride:
2. Cleansing, (purification).
3. Glorification, (exaltation).
4. No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
5. Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
6. Blameless, (justification, innocent).
Today, we stand positionally in these 6. During our lives here on earth, we are to walk experientially in all 6. And one day, we will ultimately be and experience these 6 for all of eternity.
“In heaven all will be pure. On earth we are preparing for that world of purity; and it cannot be denied that here there is much that is imperfect and impure. But in that future world, where the church shall be presented to Christ, clothed in the robes of salvation, there shall not be one unholy member, one deceiver or hypocrite, one covetous or avaricious man, one that shall pain the hearts of the friends of purity by an unholy life. And in all the millions that shall be gathered there out of every land, and people, and tongue, and age, there shall be no envy malice, backbiting, pride, vanity, worldliness; there shall be no annoying and vexing conflict in the heart with evil passions, “nor any such thing.” How different from the church as it is now; and how we should pant for that blessed world!” (Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament.)
Thus far, in the Book of Ephesians, we have noted that:
1. Paul began in, Eph 1:4, by stating that God chose some to be holy and blameless before Him in love.
2. This was accomplished by the Father’s election, Christ’s redemption, and the Holy Spirit’s sealing. Eph 1:4-14.
3. New life was given to sinners, Eph 2:1-10, who were placed into a new entity, the Church, Eph 2:11-3:13.
4. This body of believers is to live in unity, Eph 4:1-16; holiness, Eph 4:17-32; love, Eph 5:1-6; light, Eph 5:7-14; and wisdom, Eph 5:15-6:9, by the means of being filled with the Holy Spirit, Eph 5:18.
5. That which was planned in eternity past, Eph 1:4, will be accomplished when Christ presents to Himself a Church that is holy and without blame, Eph 5:27.
6. Presently, Christ is building and sanctifying the Church as the body of Christ, but in the future Christ will present the Church to Himself as His bride.
7. Christ’s love, as demonstrated in the redemption, sanctification, and presentation of the Church to Himself, serves as an illustration of husbands’ love for their wives.
This is the subject that Paul now returns to.
Eph 5:28, “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself.”
Christ’s love for the Church set out in vs 25–27, now serves as the model for the writer’s second assertion of husbands’ obligation to love their wives.
It begins with “so,” the Adverb HOUTOS, οὕτως that means, “in this manner, thus, so, just as, in this way, as follows, without further ado, or simply.” It is derived from the demonstrative pronoun HOUTOS by lengthening the final vowel. It describes the manner of the verbal action or state of being. In this case, the husband’s love for his wife as modeled by Christ’s love for the Church. It also is used for comparison, summary, or degree of emphasis. Each in its own way applies here: comparison between the husband’s and Christ’s love; summarizing the discussion of the husband’s love for his wife, and the emphasis of the husband’s responsibility inside the marriage.
Also used in vs. 24, it is a reference to what precedes rather than simply being taken as part of the sentence’s later comparison.
It is linked with “ought,’ the Present, Active Indicative of OPHEILO, ὀφείλω that primarily speaks of, “a debt or what is owed,” that is an obligation. It is used both literally and figuratively. Whether it is used literally or figuratively, the underlying sense of the term indicates an obligation that has not been accomplished or fulfilled, with the emphasis of a desire; the desire of God for a husband to love his wife in this way. The Indicative mood is a Potential Indicative that indicates an obligation of husbands, as well as God’s desire. Used here in the figurative sense, the term expresses an obligation, something that God reasonably expects or demands of husbands.
This is emphasized with the Conjunction KAI, “and, even, also.” Here “also” is used in comparison to Christ’s love for the Church that the husband should also have for his wife. The subject to perform this obligation is “the husbands,” HO ANER once again, in the Nominative Plural.
The obligation they have is “to love,” the Present, Active, Infinitive of AGAPAO. The Infinitive mood continues the purpose of Jesus’ self-sacrificial love coupled with obligation for ongoing or continuous action from the Customary Present Tense, for husband’s to love “their own wives,” HO HEAUTOU GUNE.
Then we are told how he is to love his wife. Here, we have the Relative Adverb or Conjunction HOS, ὡς that can mean, “as or like,” as a particle of comparison that introduces the model of comparison. In other contexts, it can mean, “when, as long as, after, or so that.” Here, the comparison of the husband’s love for his wife shifts to a personal one; the husband’s love for “their own body,” HO HEAUTOU SOMA, in the Genitive of Possession, Plural.
Then, in the next sentence of this passage, we have the logical principle of his love towards his wife, “He who loves his own wife loves himself.” Here, we have the article HO, acting like a personal Pronoun, “he,” with AGAPAO in the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative, Singular for “who loves.” Again, we see the Customary Present for continuous action. Then we have the article HO as a Pronoun once again with HEAUTOU for, “his own.” This is followed by the Accusative, Feminine of GUNE, “wife.” Therefore, it should read, “he keeps on loving his own wife.”
This passage is completed with the Reflexive Pronoun HEAUTOU, and the verb AGAPAO again, but this time in the Present, Active, Indicative, for “himself loves,” or as we would say in English, “loves himself.” This is a static Customary Present tense, representing a condition assumed to be perpetually existing under Divine Institution #2. The Active Voice tells us that the husband produces the action of the verb through the normal function of the soul’s self-consciousness. The Indicative Mood is declarative, indicating an absolute principle. Therefore, this is the normal stand in marriage, versus mental attitude sins and pride.
This first off, reminds us of Lev 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD,” interchanging “wife” for “neighbor.”
As marriage is a Divine Institution, (#2), it is designed for the entire human race, believer and unbeliever alike. This does not tell us that the husband should be an ego maniac; it does not infer pride. Instead, it is the normal function of the husband’s self-consciousness inside the great spiritual principle that the two have become one in marriage, just as Jesus is one with His body, as He is the head and the Church is the body; one entity.
Likewise, as the Church is the extension of Christ, so is the wife an “extension” of her husband. Christ loves the Church, not simply as if it were His body, but because it is in fact His body. Husbands, therefore, are to love their wives, not simply as they love their own bodies, but as being one body with themselves, as indeed they are.
Therefore, this verse describes another reason for a husband to love his wife; the fact they are one flesh. No sane person destroys his own body; therefore, for a husband to treat his wife merely as property or a piece of meat, as it were, means he is damaging himself in the process.
So intimate is the relationship between a man and his wife that they are fused into a single entity. For a man to love his wife is to love himself. She is not to be treated as a piece of property, as was the custom in Paul’s day. She is to be regarded as an extension of a man’s own personality, and so, part of himself.
Paul previously used Christ’s love for the Church as the model for the husband. Therefore, just as Christ never bullies His Church, so the husband should not be guilty of that error.
So what is the application for husbands? While a husband cannot atone for sins or cleanse anyone, we see here that Christ’s sanctifying work is the pattern for husbands. Practically, it means the husband should love his bride in a way to help her grow in likeness to Christ.
Here is the question: “Is your wife more like Christ because she’s married to you? Or, is she like Christ in spite of you?”
Husbands, be concerned for your wife’s spiritual well-being. How?
1. By being in the Word personally.
2. Talking about the Word with her.
3. Knowing how your wife is doing in theological knowledge, in the practice of spiritual disciplines, in her service in the local church, and in her relationships.
4. Care for her soul. Do you know her fears, hopes, dreams, temptations, and disappointments? Shepherd her faithfully.
Just as a husband cares for his body’s needs, so his love for his wife should be of the sort that cares for her needs and facilitates her growth and development. This also includes her physical needs, as Christ provides for our physical needs. That being: food, clothing, shelter, rest, exercise, stimulation, etc.; all of our logistical grace needs.
The husband’s love for his wife should be sacrificial and sanctifying, but it should also be satisfying, as we will note in the following supportive verses. In the marriage relationship, the husband and wife become “one flesh.” Therefore, whatever each does to the other, he does to himself or herself. It is a mutually satisfying experience.
The man who loves his wife is actually loving his own body, since he and his wife are one flesh. As he loves her, he is nourishing her. Just as love is the circulatory system of the body of Christ, Eph 4:16, so love is the nourishment of the home.
How many people have confessed, “I am starved for love.” There should be no starvation for love in the Christian home, for the husband and wife should so love each other that their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. If both are submitted to the Lord, and to each other, they will be so satisfied that they will not be tempted to look anywhere else for fulfillment.
Our Christian homes are to be pictures of Christ’s relationship to His Church. We are one with Christ. The Church is His body and His bride, and the Christian home is a Divinely ordained illustration of this relationship, so devoted with such sacrifice of self for the beloved object, with such an intimacy of sacred union, and with such an indissoluble fidelity.
This is the type and kind of the Christian husband’s love, and it certainly makes marriage a serious matter, not something that can be put on and thrown off easily and repeatedly. It is a lifelong, lasting commitment.
Since from the Genesis 2 perspective, marriage declares that husband and wife are, in fact, one body, the husband can be said to be under the obligation to love his wife as his own body.
Love is related to the exercise of the husband’s authority, which is manifest in his care for his wife. Where love is the motivation, the husband is kind, thoughtful, tender, and self-controlled to guide the woman in their relationship. Since the husband and wife are one body, just as Christ and the Church are one body, the husband does not love his wife simply as he loves his own body, but his love goes beyond this into the status of unity. His body joined to his wife making them one flesh is the issue, as we will see in vs. 31-32.
Just as the policy of Christ in ruling the Church is grace motivated by the combination of love and integrity, so the policy of the husband in ruling the wife is grace motivated by the combination of love and integrity. This is the analogy. The husband rules the wife in grace, as Christ rules the Church in grace.
The wife is part of the husband’s body, and is to be treated in love, integrity, and grace. And since the two are one flesh, if the husband takes care of his own body, then obviously he is going to take care of his own wife, as we will see in vs. 29-30. This means that the major function of the husband in marriage and in the use of his authority is a sense of responsibility.
1. The husband’s authority demands virtue-love rather than arrogance, bullying, and tyranny. Just as the head rules the body in the function of life, so the head rules the body in the function of marriage. When the body rules the head, you have lust, fornication, and all the sexual distortions.
2. Authority demands love and a sense of responsibility. Otherwise, the woman will never have respect for the man. The woman is never commanded to love the husband directly; she is commanded to respect him. From respect comes obedience and love response. But virtue-love and Spiritual Self-Esteem are commanded of the husband.
3. Authority demands virtue, and in the spiritual realm the function of grace. Leadership must never be divorced from the virtue that must accompany leadership.
4. Authority must recognize the privacy, freedom, and magnificence of the woman as a responder, so that from her own free will, she will respect her husband and lovingly obey her lord and master.
Loving self is not arrogance here, but is the first stage of the adult spiritual life, Spiritual Self-Esteem. In the fulfillment of the First Law of marriage, (“wives respect your husbands”), the Christian husband must illustrate the status of Spiritual Self-Esteem.
Just as Spiritual Self-Esteem is the most vulnerable point in the spiritual life, so also a husband’s love for his wife reaches its most vulnerable point at this point in his spiritual life.
Prov 19:8 is a parallel passage, “He who acquires wisdom keeps on loving his own soul; He who guards understanding prospers.” The coalescence of souls between the husband and wife eventually makes marriage successful.
1 Thes 5:8, “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, (attain Spiritual Self-Esteem), after we have put on the breastplate of faith, (Bible doctrine), and virtue love, and as a helmet, the hope of (confidence regarding) salvation.”
“Since we are of the day” means our spiritual life is related to virtue. Virtue always produces grace orientation and humility rather than legalism and arrogance from morality. The first and second, (i.e., husbands love your wives), Divine Laws of Marriage, have added some things to marriage that have never existed before. The precedence of the husband’s love for his wife has been upgraded to the highest state that will ever exist in history, (i.e., “as Christ loved the Church.”)
The Present, Active, Subjunctive of the verb NEPHO, “sober,” means, “to be free from drunkenness, to be self-controlled, to be well balanced, to understand the sober regulation of the powers one has been given.” It consists of acknowledgement of the reality given in God’s revelation and the discharge of the resultant ministry by worship, hope, virtue love. All of this adds up to Spiritual Self-Esteem.
Jesus Christ loves the Church with perfect personal love, because He loves His own righteousness, which is Divine Self-Esteem. In Spiritual Self-Esteem, the husband loves his wife as he loves his own body. The attainment of Spiritual Self-Esteem leads to the coalescence of souls and bodies in marriage.
As a result of Spiritual Self-Esteem and Impersonal Love going inward, Personal Love with the virtue of Impersonal Love is directed toward the wife. Note that Impersonal Love has two directions: Toward self in Spiritual Self-Esteem; toward the wife in the virtue of Impersonal Love.
A normal believer in spiritual adulthood does not despise his own virtue. The believer loves his own virtue attained through Bible doctrine; therefore, the emergence of Spiritual Self-Esteem.
The virtue of Spiritual Self-Esteem has two objective functions toward the woman in marriage:
1. The effective function of virtue-love.
2. The effective and proper use of the husband’s authority in marriage.
Spiritual Self-Esteem plus Personal Love in the integrity of virtue, fulfills the true responsibility of the husband toward the wife. True virtue produces both love and happiness in marriage. The problem is that people put love before virtue, and that is backwards.
Therefore, husbands being under obligation to love their wives, they are now given examples of how this AGAPAO love manifests itself.
Eph 5:29, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.”
Here we have the logical analysis for why husbands should love their wives. It begins with the postpositive Conjunction GAR that comes second in the Greek, meaning, “for, certainly, indeed, then, etc.” It signifies the reason, cause, or ground of the preceding statement with an explanatory thought about to be given. You see, if a man takes care of himself, he should take care of his wife, who is now the same body as he is. That is the principle here.
“No one,” is the Cardinal Number OUDEIS in the subject Nominative Case that is a compound of the Greek negative OUK, plus the numeral HEIS, “one.” Therefore, “not one or no one,” is the translation.
“Ever” is the Adverb POTE, ποτέ that with a negative means, “not ever or never,” but the negative is noted in the previous word, so “ever” is sufficient here meaning, at no time does a husband treat himself in this way.
That way is, “hated his own flesh,” the direct object Accusative of HO SARX, “the flesh,” with the Genitive of Possession, Personal Pronoun, HEAUTOU in the Masculine for, “his own,” and the Aorist, Active, Indicative of MISEO, μισέω that means, “Hate, detest, abhor, or prefer against.” The Aorist – Active, views the entirety of the action performed by the husband. He does not hate his own body. Remember, the statement of this principle is in regard to the normal person.
“Flesh” here and vs. 31, represent the Christ model. It is because of the claim of the Genesis text that the act of marriage makes husband and wife one flesh that Paul can make the comparison of the wives to their husbands’ bodies as one flesh.
Then we have the Contrasting Conjunction, ALLA, “but,” to contrast the hating of one’s own body, compared to loving it, as noted in the next phrase, “nourishes and cherishes it.”
“Nourishes,” is the Present, Active, Indicative of the verb EKTREPHO, ἐκτρέφω that means, “to feed, nourish, or bring up, (as in raising someone from childhood toachieves Spiritual Self-Esteem It is a compound word from EK, “from or out from,” and TREPHO, “to feed, nurture, or bring up.” It is used only here and in Eph 6:4 in regard to raising your children. One way this is used in the LXX is noted in 2 Sam 12:3, for the idea of fond, loving provision or rearing.
2 Sam 12:3, “But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, and was like a daughter to him”
In our passage, the primary idea of feeding and otherwise providing for is involved and means to promote health and strength; nourishment in that sense, not only in the physical realm, but also in the spiritual.
This is emphasized with “and cherishes it,” the Coordinating Conjunction KAI, “and,” with the Present, Active, Indicative of THALPO, θάλπω that means, “to warm, comfort, or cherish.” It is used only here and in 1 Thes 2:7, in regard to the Pastor’s tender loving care of his congregation.
1 Thes 2:7, “But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children.”
It literally means, “to keep warm,” and figuratively, as it is in the NT, “to cherish, comfort, or foster with loving care.” “Cherish,” generally means to love your own body, but here there is no narcissus complex involved. This is followed by the Personal Pronoun AUTOS in the Accusative for “it,” referring to the husband’s body.
Therefore, because the husband is attentive to, provides for, raises, nurtures, and has tender loving care for his own body, he should do the same for his wife, since she is one flesh with him in the marriage unit.
This also tells us that a healthy attitude toward ourselves is necessary before we can have a healthy attitude toward others. In other words, as believing husbands, we need to obtain Spiritual Self-Esteem in order to fulfill this mandate.
Finally, we have, “just as Christ also does the church,” which begins with the Adverb KATHOS, “just as,” used as a comparative Conjunction. It compares the love Christ has for His body, the Church, to the love the husband should have for his wife. This is emphasized with the continuative Conjunction KAI meaning, “also.”
Next we have the subject of the example to be followed, HO CHRISTOS, Χριστός, “the Christ,” in the Nominative for our Lord Jesus Christ, the Anointed One. Some copies of the ancient Greek NT manuscripts have KURIOS here, but the more reliable manuscripts, and writings of the early Church fathers, have CHRISTOS.
Finally in vs. 29, we have, “does the Church,” which is simply the direct object Accusative Article and Noun, HO EKKLESIA, “the Church,” which is the body of Jesus Christ that is the object of His nurturing and cherishing,
Next in vs. 30, we are given the cause for Christ’s nourishing and cherishing the Church.
Eph 5:30, “Because we are members of His body.”
It begins with the causal Conjunction HOTI, “that, because, since, for, etc.,” that expresses the basis or grounds of the preceding action, (i.e., Christ’s nourishing and cherishing the Church).
Next in the Greek comes, “members,” the Nominative Plural of MELOS, μέλος that means, “member, body, part, or limb.” It is used by Paul regarding the Church as the body of Christ that is composed of individual members, Rom 12:4-5; 1 Cor 6:15; 12:12-27, as we have noted previously in the book, Eph 4:25.
Then we have the verb EIMI in the Present, Active, Indicative to indicate the believer’s current and perpetual status, “we are.” In English we say, “we are members.”
The thing we are members of is, “of His body,” HO SOMA AUTOS, in the Genitive of Possession, referring back to “THE Christ,” of vs. 29. Some Greek manuscripts read, “of His flesh and of His bone,” but the most reliable manuscripts have “of His body.”
All believers collectively, from the day of Pentecost to the day of the Rapture of the Church, are included in the body of Christ. We are not something apart from Christ, nor do we occupy only an accidental relation to Him. We are absolute parts of that body of which He is the head, cf. 1 Cor 12:12-27; Eph 5:23; Col 1:18; 2:19. This is the reason why He nourishes and cherishes the Church.
1 Cor 12:12, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.”
1 Cor 12:27, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.”
Col 1:18, “He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.”
Col 2:19, “And not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.”
The fact that Christ “nourishes and cherishes” or “feeds and cares for” His church is one of the most prominent truths taught in Scripture. As its organic Head, He gives the orders in a manner that expresses true concern. He alone truly knows the needs of His people, and He operates in them through the Holy Spirit in the light of those needs. He gave the written Word of God, our spiritual food, so that believers would have answers to the pressing problems of life. A person who consistently studies the Bible will gain an understanding of Jesus that is not possible in any other way.
As the Church is the extension of Christ, so is the wife an “extension” of her husband. Therefore, the husband should provide, nourish, and care for his bride, just as he cares for himself and as Christ cares for the Church.
1. Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect, and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.
2. Husbands, just as you long to satisfy your own needs, you are to satisfy your wife’s needs. Just as you long for intimacy, joy, security, health, peace, companionship, and community, you are to provide them for your bride also.
Husbands, how are you doing at nourishing your wife? Are you physically and spiritually nourishing her? Are you cherishing your wife? Are you admiring her and complimenting her? Are you sacrificing for your wife?
The imagery as applied to Christ’s treatment of the Church is meant to remind us of His nourishing and cherishing of her, along with His constant provision for and building up of her; His body, cf. Eph 4:11–16, and His sanctifying and cleansing of her through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the Word, cf. Eph 5:26.
Yet, if we have arrogance in the marriage, it is doomed to failure. The “me, myself, and I” syndrome prevents marriages from advancing beyond the attraction stage. The man is so designed in his body that if he is in a state of arrogance, he cannot fulfill his Divine obligation for marriage. He cannot give physically or mentally of himself while in a state of arrogance.
Likewise, if the wife is full of unrealistic expectation with arrogance, she cannot give either physically or mentally of herself. Therefore, she becomes bitter, frustrated, miserable, full of hatred and self-justification, which leads to the “me, myself, and I” syndrome. Instead, Christian husbands and wives must bring into the marriage a mental and spiritual rapport from the position of Spiritual Self-Esteem.
The first half of vs. 29 is the negative illustration of Spiritual Self-Esteem. It is a reference to normal people, not abnormal people. The last half along with vs. 30, is the positive illustration, and explains the analogy of Eph 5:28, “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.”
Spiritual Self-Esteem is the effective function of the adult believer’s Impersonal Love directed toward his wife and toward himself. It is the effective function of the husband’s personal responsibility toward his wife. When a husband has Spiritual Self-Esteem, he has something far better than Personal Love. He has stabilization in life through freedom from arrogance and Christian degeneracy.
When a husband has Spiritual Self-Esteem in life he has:
1. Tranquility of soul.
2. Stability of mentality. Never feeling threatened by others; never succumbing to peer pressure.
3. Composure marked by self-assurance.
4. Grace orientation to life.
5. Doctrinal orientation to reality.
6. Good decisions from a position of strength.
7. Personal control of life.
8. A personal sense of destiny.
9. Self-confidence from wisdom, the application of doctrine to your experience.
10. Poise, the believer under spiritual self-command.
Achieving Spiritual Self-Esteem means he is on the road to Spiritual Maturity and is able to conquer people testing, thought testing, system testing, and disaster testing. If he is able to overcome the various forms of testing under Suffering for Blessing, he is then able to provide for and lead his wife through them victoriously too, by providing for her the necessary resources in nourishing and cherishing her.
In addition, when a husband achieves Spiritual Self-Esteem, he now has the virtue necessary to apply AGAPE love as Christ loved the Church.
Virtue is defined as having grace-righteousness with integrity, in the application of Impersonal Love. And remember that virtue is that quality of intrinsic good that can only be manufactured by God the Holy Spirit and doctrinal application.
Virtue is not proving one’s worth; the believer who is trying to prove something cannot improve. Instead, it is having Divine humility with grace orientation in self-sacrificial love that you express towards others, especially towards your wife in marriage.
Whatever destroys virtue in marriage, destroys happiness in marriage and turns love into a disaster. Unhappiness in marriage is simply a manifestation of one’s failure to execute the Plan of God due to failure to grow spiritually.
Everyone sins in marriage, but not everyone is virtuous in marriage. The demand syndrome, on the part of either spouse, is a total lack of virtue. It means that personal love is outside the integrity of impersonal love. Instead of the demand syndrome directed toward self, there must be trust directed toward one’s spouse.
How do you trust your spouse or anyone? By having Spiritual Self-Esteem, which is directed toward your spouse or others in trust. You base your trust on who and what you are, not who and what they are. That is the function of the faith-rest life. Loser believers do not trust anyone, including themselves.
A successful marriage depends upon a successful spiritual life. A successful spiritual life depends on the filling of the Holy Spirit, plus momentum from metabolized Bible doctrine. No believer can have a successful marriage apart from a successful relationship with God. Relationship with God is the basis for every blessing that comes out of marriage. Therefore, Bible doctrine must be number one on your scale of values and must be applied to every situation in life.
If your relationship with God is a failure, your relationship with people and in marriage is a failure.
There is no solution to the problems of marriage in psychology and human viewpoint. All solutions for the believer come from application of the principles of Bible doctrine. You cannot have application without knowledge of doctrine.
Marital problems are symptoms; the disease is human failure in life. No marriage can be successful without virtue on the part of one or both partners. There are two sources of virtue in marriage.
1. For the unbeliever, virtue originates from the observation of the Laws of Divine Establishment, or morality without arrogance.
2. For the believer, virtue originates from two sources.
a. Constant post-salvation renewing of the mind, which results in momentum and spiritual maturity.
b. Understanding and using the Problem-Solving Devices of the plan of God.
You cannot change your spouse in marriage; you really can only change yourself. This change requires spiritual energy in three spheres: learning, thinking, and solving.
The husband should provide, nourish, and care for his bride, just as he cares for himself. No one hates his own body but takes care of it; “nourishes and cherishes.” Thus, as Christ loves the church, His body, (of which all believers are members; cf. Eph 4:25), so should husbands love their wives as their own bodies. Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect, and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.
The analogy between the man and his body, as well as Christ and the Church, is emphasized here by two verbs EKTREPHO, normal nourishment providing food and shelter, and so on. EKTREPHO meant to nourish or rear children originally. The verb THALPO, meaning to impart warmth, to provide tender care, to comfort, also means here reasonable care. A reasonable person provides reasonable care.
How does Christ nourish us in the analogy? He nourishes us by making available to us Bible doctrine and the filling of God the Holy Spirit. The availability of Bible teaching and Bible doctrine is equivalent to Christ nourishing the Church. Providing reasonable care is analogous to the utilization of Bible doctrine, through the power of the filling of God the Holy Spirit, once acquired in the soul. Once the believer has Bible doctrine in the soul, he begins to think Divine viewpoint and has the problem solving devices for life.
The analogy is also based on the fact that the right man initiates love toward his right woman, just as Christ initiates love through the availability and teaching of Bible doctrine.
Remember, God ordained marriage. Christ set the pattern for marriage. The Spirit empowers marriage. The good news of the gospel is that Christ died for those who could not keep demands perfectly. And the good news is that the Spirit daily renews us and empowers us as we look to Christ for grace and mercy. Therefore, husbands, as we all, should dwell on the love of Christ daily, as they seek to live out a Spirit-filled marriage.
In concluding the discourse on the responsibilities of wives and husbands in marriage, Paul goes back to Genesis and the inception of Divine Institution # 2, to confirm his reasoning. This constitutes the most profound and fundamental statement in all Scripture relative to God’s plan concerning marriage.
Eph 5:31, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”
A first emphasis here is that both individuals are to break away from the family unit they were reared in, to establish a new one. The two individuals become one in doing so. It is not that they no longer have a relationship with the families they were nurtured by, but that the main emphasis and focus for this love, is to be between the husband and wife.
“For this reason,” is the appeal to husbands to love their wives as their own bodies. It begins with the Preposition ANTI, ἀντί that functions in a variety of ways in Greek determined by the context in each particular case. Here, it indicates the reason for both the wife’s and husband’s responsibilities inside the marriage. In fact, the text in Genesis in the Septuagint actually uses HENEKEN, “because of, for this cause, on account of, for the sake of, or by reason of,” rather than ANTI, as does Mat 19:5 and Mark 10:7, which also demonstrates the sense of reason Paul is intending here. ANTI in our verse means, “for this cause or because of,” to indicate the reason why a man is to leave his mother and father. With ANTI is the Demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS for, “this.” The Hebrew uses two words, the Preposition AL, עַל, “on account of,” and Adverb KEN, כֵּן, “thus,” for the emphasis of, “for this reason,” as is translated in Eph 5:31.
Gen 2:24, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
Therefore, quoting Gen 2:24, constitutes a final justification for the appeal that husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
“Man” is the generic ANTHROPOS in the subject Nominative Singular.
“Shall leave,” is the Verb KATALEIPO in the Future, Active, Indicative that means, “leave behind, abandon, forsake, or depart.” From the root LEIPO, “leave,” and the prefix, KATA, “according to,” here it is not a harsh departure or forsaking, but the fact of separating from the first love of your childhood, your family, to be joined to your new one.
The family he is to leave is noted in the combination of HO PATER KAI HO METER in the direct object Accusative case for “his father and his mother.” The two definite articles are used as possessive Pronouns in reference to parents under Divine Institution #3.
This is the first and very important principle, that there must be a definite leaving behind of the childhood family, because they are in authority over the son or daughter. He must leave them behind because of assuming responsibility of authority for his new family. The young man must be cut off from the authority of his parents, so that he can rightly exercise his authority over his wife. While it may work in some cases, it is much better for newly wedded couples not to live with their families, nor even extremely close to them, as the ties to the old families may not be broken to the extent necessary for the new couple to bond as they should.
“And shall be joined,” indicates the new family he is to be connected to, with the Conjunction KAI, and the Future, Passive, Indicative Verb PROSKOLLAOMAI, προσκολλάομαι that means, “adhere to, be devoted to, or join.” It comes from the root KOLLAO that means, “to glue or cement, join, cling, cleave to, or join oneself to.” It is primarily used figuratively as here, to describe a close social contact, an intimate sexual relationship. Sometimes it is also used for a personal spiritual relationship.
We also have the prefix of the Preposition PROS, “to, toward, or face to face,” that does not significantly change the meaning, but intensifies it. We could translate this as “he shall have sexual intercourse.” The Future tense is a Gnomic Future for a timeless general fact, which may be rightfully expected under normal conditions. The Passive Voice is very deceptive, because it is a Deponent verb, in which the form is Passive, but the meaning is Active. The husband produces the action of the verb. The Indicative mood is declarative, it denotes certainty, and it represents the verbal idea from the viewpoint of reality. He has sex with his wife, is in view.
This word is used in the NT for the quotation of Gen 2:24 in Mat 19:5; Mark 10:7 and our verse, and is used in Acts 5:36 for the simple act of a group of men banding together.
This is the second principle. The marriage tie takes precedence over every other human relationship, and for this reason is to be regarded as inviolable. Therefore, a new couple needs to “cleave” to each other in every sense of the word. The act of having sex together is a wonderful demonstration and part of the complete union that marriage is. This joining together also means, accepting the other person completely and not trying to reform each other. It means a person is who they are, and the other member must accept them for who they are and learn how to live with and love them. If you are trying to change them into something they are not, it will inevitably fail.
The person the man is to “be joined” with is “to his wife,” PROS HO GUNE AUTOS. It should be translated “with his wife,” because it means an association in which both volitions are involved, in which the desire of both is involved, in which two people express the love of their souls in physical coalescence. The marriage of right man, right woman is consummated by the sex act, and sex love is designed by God for maximum expression in the marital relationship.
The third principle is, as they allow the process to work, the two will be experientially woven into one fabric. Legally this takes place when they are united in marriage, but experientially it continues over their entire lifetime.
“And the two shall become one flesh,” is the reason for the man leaving his father and mother, and joining to his wife. It is made up of KAI, “and,” with the Progressive Future, Middle Deponent, Indicative, 3rd Person, Plural of the Verb EIMI, “to be, exist, live, become, etc.,” with HO DUO, “the two,” EIS, “into,” SARX, “flesh, human, etc.,” HEIS, “one.”
This indicates that their relationship in marriage is not only one of the soul, but one of the body, and it continues to be that way on into the future.
The difference between Gen 2:24 and our verse is the personal Pronoun “they,” is changed to “the two,” to indicate one man and one woman, as was the only case in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, this refers to the right man, right woman relationship. It views them in the state of marriage.
Jesus emphasized the two becoming one in Mat 19:4-6 and Mark 10:7-9, when speaking on divorce.
Mark 10:6-9, “But from the beginning of creation, God ‘made them male and female. 7for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, 8and the two shall become one flesh;’ so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
The fourth principle is that the bond between husband and wife is greater than that between parent and child.
This mystical union between a wife and a husband is one of the most marvelous relationships known to humans. The greatness of the mystery refers to the two becoming one flesh. Next to the spiritual relationship a Christian has with Jesus Himself, the marital bond is no doubt the strongest tie any one person could have with another person, with the love for children a close third. This is one reason the act of sexual intercourse is so sacred. It is the ultimate expression of two companions showing their love to each other. It should not be cheapened! Again, of course, the matter of voluntary submission comes into focus. Christians, who truly follow Paul’s instructions in vs. 21, are people who will enjoy their marital relationship.
The Scriptures reinforce the truth that husbands must love their wives as Christ loves the Church by referring to Gen 2:24. It describes beautifully the leaving, cleaving, and weaving process through which people go as they leave their childhood homes and establish new homes of their own. As we will see in the next verse, Paul is actually first speaking about Christ and the Church, and secondly speaking about the union between husbands and wives. This tells us that our earthly union is predicated on our heavenly union with Christ and not vice versa. The standard and prototype for these instructions about human marriage is the bond between the heavenly Bridegroom and His bride. “He is arguing from the Heavenly Marriage to human marriages, not vice versa; he is seeing the human in the light of the heavenly, and therefore will have the human model itself on the heavenly.” (Chavasse, “The Bride of Christ,” quoted by the Word Biblical Commentary.) The union between Christ and the Church is the prototype for the relationship of believing husbands and wives.
The Doctrine of Right Man, Right Woman
Based on the Doctrine and Book by R.B. Thieme, Jr.
Gen 2:18, “Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
1. There are three gifts from Jesus Christ given in the scripture.
a. The first is the right woman; He built her, Prov 18:22; 19:13-14.
b. The second is salvation; He did it.
c. The third is Bible doctrine; He thought it. Doctrine is the mind of Christ, 1 Cor 2:16.
Historically speaking, the first gift that Jesus Christ ever gave to man was a right woman, Gen 2:18. The fall of man did not change their relationship.
2. When man was created, Jesus Christ said, “Not good that man should be alone,” Gen 2:18. Therefore, in grace, Jesus Christ constructed a right woman for the man and brought the woman to the man. The relationship was established from the beginning during innocence and continued after the fall. The fall did not change the relationship. This relationship was designed for maximum human happiness and even an unbeliever with failure and otherwise a miserable life, can find great happiness in this gift from Jesus Christ. So, it is a gift for the unbeliever as well as the believer, Ecc 9:9.
Ecc 9:9, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
This is a command to all of mankind, the unbeliever and believer. The unbeliever and reversionistic believer can actually enjoy life provided that the rest of this verse is fulfilled, “with the wife whom you love.” That is, he keeps on loving her. The principle is very important. If a man is a total failure and he finds his right woman, he is going to be happier than the man who is a total success and does not find his right woman.
3. Right man/right woman related to the Laws of Divine Establishment.
Under these laws, marriage becomes the Second Divine Institution. It is the protection of category #2 love, as per Heb 13:4; 1 Cor 7:9; 1 Tim 5:14; Rom 7:2-3; Gen 2:24-25; Eph 5:22, 25, 28, 31, 33.
Heb 13:4, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
1 Tim 5:14, “Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach.”
Marriage forms the basis for stability in society and rejects the theory of both anarchy, promiscuity, and communal living. Anarchy and promiscuity comes when there is not a recognized system of marriage. Since the right man, right woman relationship was designed for the ultimate in human happiness, marriage is both the protection and the boundary for category #2 love.
Marriage is also protected by the Divine Institution #3, where parents have the responsibility for training their children, Eph 6:1-3, not someone else’s. Likewise, the husband is the authority in the marriage, Eph 5:22. As such, God protects the woman from tyranny, as the man with authority is first a little boy trained and taught by his mother and father. They teach him respect for womanhood by both their teaching and by their life, and this keeps him from becoming a tyrannical animal, Prov 31:1-3, 10-31.
Prov 31:3, “Do not give your strength to women, Or your ways to that which destroys kings.”
Prov 31:10, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.”
Once the couple is married, it is a matter of honor, integrity, and impersonal love, which must provide the power for the marriage to work. Monogamy is designed to remind the human race that there is only one right man for one right woman and vice versa, 1 Cor 7:2-4.
4. There are several analogies in Scripture portrayed by the right man/right woman relationship. Right man/right woman is used to teach many types of doctrine since it is one of the most common relationships to the human race.
a. The Lord and Israel, Jer 2, 3, 13; Ezek 16, 23.
b. The Lord and the Church, Eph 5:26-33.
c. Christ, the Shepherd and bishop of the believer’s soul, 1 Peter 2:25, cf. 1 Peter 3:1.
d. The right woman is the glory of the man, just as the mature believer is the glory of God, 1 Cor 11:7.
5. The recognition of right man/right woman.
The first thing both parties need to do to recognize their right man or right woman is…. “Grow in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” 2 Peter 3:18. Yet, the doctrine of right man/right woman is for both believers and unbelievers. So, there has to be away for all to recognize their right man or right woman. The Song of Solomon gives us 8 ways to identify your right man/right woman. In most of these passages, the Shulamite woman is speaking of her shepherd lover; right man/right woman.
a. Category 2 love involves one person in your soul whom you never forget and cannot erase. S.S. 1:7, “Tell me, O you whom my SOUL loves.” Someone who merely turns you on physically, but is not in your soul, is not the right man or right woman. The right one will be in your soul. Physical attractiveness is not eliminated, but it is not the key. When a man or woman is very sweet at one time and very rotten at another, yet he is still in your soul; that is the one. Your soul will photograph a person and that person is there forever. The right woman may love or hate her right man, but she will not be able to stop thinking about him. So, your recognition of right man or right woman begins in the soul.
Mentally this person becomes your frame of reference for everything. All memories are related to this person. Over a period of time, your norms and standards change so that this person is the honorable one, while other people are insignificant. In your viewpoint, everything in life is related to that right man or right woman. From your volition, you adjust your life with pleasure to please your right partner. You dress to please them and omit things in life to please them. Your emotion has a fantastic response to them.
Today, sex or body love has been emphasized to the exclusion of soul love. The movies, books, advertising, etc., all glorify sex, completely apart from the soul. Many are asking the question concerning identification of their right man or right woman, because they only hear about the body and sex and do not even know how to identify soul love. As a result, young people do not know what soul love is, and instead seek out and react to stimulation in indiscriminate sex practices, or free love, coupled with drugs and alcohol. Since there is no soul relationship, they are sublimating with drugs or alcohol to get the sensation their Sin Nature lusts for. Consequently, there is increased fornication on the one hand and homosexuality on the other.
Teenagers should have an empty soul, as far as right man or right woman is concerned. Your capacity for Category 2 love is not yet ready. You should be filling your soul with norms and standards and Divine viewpoint from Bible doctrine, so that you will have the basis upon which to identify the right man or right woman at the right time. Recognition occurs in your soul, not in your physiological being.
b. Category 2 love demands knowledge of the other person. S.S. 1:2, “May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.” As a person learns about the quality and uses of wine, so a man needs to know something about women, and particularly about one woman, under all conditions. There never was a woman who did not have many sides; and if you are such an idiot that you see only one or two, (e.g., sex and food), then you have missed something really wonderful in life, namely, the whole point of the doctrine of right man and right woman. A lot of people are never going to find their right man or right woman because they do not know a thing about people.
Young woman, by the same token, need to understand something about men. For example, you need to recognize the “wolf.” This type of man has a fantastic, though misplaced, confidence in himself, based on pride. He believes that women cannot resist him. Women who are dumb about men are always impressed by this pseudo self-confidence. Frequently, when a man makes such a point of self-confidence, it is a veneer to hide insecurity. A man who assumes that he is irresistible to all women is in great danger spiritually, as well as physically and mentally. Excessive love of one’s self destroys the capacity to love in both the male and the female.
When Solomon discovered the Shulamite woman, he wanted her above all else; and in his egoism, he erroneously assumed she would not be able to resist him, S.S. 4. However, he had already destroyed, through promiscuity, any possibility of her being his right woman. Relationship with others, other than the right man or right woman, destroys the whole principle which God has designed. I am sure the “chaser” has never considered that his whole operation is anti-God, because God designed the right man for the right woman. Although Solomon has been regarded as a great lover, he was actually the most frustrated person alive. After so many women, he no longer had the capacity to love. Promiscuity put so much scar tissue on his soul, it knocked him out.
In Chapter 4, Solomon’s aggressiveness was related only to his selfishness and egocentricity and not to his love, vs. 8, “Come with me to Lebanon, my bride (wife)….” Although Solomon wanted the Shulamite woman to be his bride, he did not think to consult her concerning the honeymoon, but thought only in terms of what he wanted to do. Aggressiveness related to true love always considers the desires of the one loved. A man does not have to do a lot of things to be happy under true love; all he needs is for the woman to be happy.
Therefore, the right man or right woman can make identification without touching. The right woman always emphasizes the soul of her right man when they first know each other. She is looking for his precious soul. The right man is the most precious thing to the right woman, but she emphasizes his soul and hunts for that soul. A super-rapport develops where the two people cannot wait to share what has happened while they were apart. They enjoy conversation, and even their silence has super-rapport.
1) Experience does not make a good lover! This is one of the greatest fallacies in Category 2 love. A lot of women are snowed on the idea that they need experience in order to be a good responder. But it is not experience which makes a good lover; it is the RIGHT MAN or the RIGHT WOMAN! Experience is the result, not the means.
2) Many times a woman will go for a man because she thinks everyone else is going for him! That is a great error. You should only go for a man because he is in your soul.
3) Physical response should come only from soul response; which only comes with knowledge of his soul, and it is impossible in the course of a date or two.
c. Category 2 love is protective, both when the right man is present and when he is absent.
1) When present: S.S. 2:4, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” The word for “banner” means a “standard of protection.” The right man is not only her Lord, he is her protector at all times.
2) When absent: S.S. 1:13, “A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me; it (literally) shall lie all night betwixt my breasts.” Myrrh has a very lovely aroma. In the ancient world, a woman wore a bag of myrrh all night, which hung between her breasts. This pictures the sweet fragrance of memories of the right man in her soul when he is absent. She is protected in his absence by this fragrance of memory. The right woman can go anywhere in the world and be protected by the memory of her right man. This is a beautiful picture of doctrine protecting the believer from temptation.
d. Love must come from volition or free will. S.S. 2:7, “….stir not up, nor awake my love, till it (love) please.” The word “please” indicates volition. In other words, “let me choose my own lover.” True love always involves the operation of free will. Any man who seeks to destroy or coerce the volition of a woman is the WRONG MAN! The right man recognizes that what is not freely given is not worth having. Some men will never understand what true love is all about because to them a woman is a “slot machine”: You put a coin in a slot and get sex. There is no volition involved in this kind of activity. Although a woman is a responder, once she is positive toward a man, she becomes aggressive in pleasing him. Response in itself has aggressiveness. This is declared in the woman’s volition.
e. True love is tone-oriented. S.S. 2:8, 10, “The voice of my beloved… my beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Right man and right woman respond only to each other. A right man, or vice versa, can always tell the mood, the status of the condition of his right woman by the tone of her voice! In this rapport, the right man will be able to tell the mood of his right woman by her voice and action. The right man’s soul will have a good understanding of the right woman’s soul, emotions, moods, etc. You will also know your right woman because she will not react to you. Bitchiness in a woman is an indication of the wrong woman.
f. The woman’s love responds to the right man when present: S.S. 2:6, “Let his left hand be under my head, and his right hand embrace me.” And when absent: S.S. 3:1, “On my bed night after night I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but did not find him.” We might say in modern colloquialism, “he turns you on.” This is not ordinary libido; any normal, healthy body has that at times. It is referring to something beyond libido. 1 Cor 7:9, describes the real thing by the word “burning,” “But if they do not have self-control, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Burning, for the woman means, to trigger insatiability to the point of total desire and a total surrender that excludes even her natural pride. It is constant in contrast to libido, which comes and goes. The right man’s aggressiveness and passion will be consistent and these will satisfy her soul and, later on, her body.
g. When unrequited, love can cause a strange illness, for which there is only one cure; the thought or memory of her lover, and his eventual return. S.S. 2:5, “Sustain me with raisin cakes, refresh me with apples: because I am lovesick.” She is love-sick with unrequited love for her absent shepherd lover. “Raisin cakes and apples” are things to keep her alter and awake to her right man while he is absent. The raisin cake was even thought to be an aphrodisiac.
h. Category 2 love is recognized by the two persons involved. S.S. 6:3, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine…” S.S. 7:10, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” There is no doubt about her lover; she has absolute confidence regarding her right man.
With the right man / right woman, there is a period of waiting, resisting temptation, and a period of doubt before God brings the right woman to the right man. Neither can work to get their right man or woman; it is a grace gift from God. God always brings the right woman to the right man. Grace takes up the slack before you find your right man or right woman. Bible doctrine is your right man or right woman until God leads her to you; and you do not even need to date others while waiting. But when God does bring her to him, you will recognize her through the rapport you have with her in Personal Love. In fact, both parties will recognize this rapport.
When the right man finds his right woman, physical compatibility is not a problem; the difficulty is recognition in the soul. Right man/right woman are not ashamed or disappointed in each other physically. The right woman fits the right man perfectly in sex. The right woman’s body is the most magnificent thing to the right man. You cannot make a woman your right woman by having sex with her or vice versa. The right man sees his right woman as personifying symmetry and beauty.
The right woman is a storm of passion when the right man makes love to her. When the right man makes love to his right woman, he satisfies her soul as well as her body.
6. Identification of the right woman, Prov 31:10-31.
The following are principles found in Prov 31:10-31 regarding a worthy woman that provides several principles that a man can utilize in identifying his right woman. These verses are in acrostics fashion, meaning that each verse begins with the consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
This poem is made up of three sections:
1. The introduction, vs. 10ff, that announces the theme of the excellent wife, vs. 10, and her effect on her husband, vs. 11-12.
2. The central portion, vs. 13-24, that focuses on her life, interrupted by a brief description of her person, vs. 17f, and a further note on her effect on her husband’s reputation, vs. 23, before ending as it began with her industry, vs. 24.
3. The poem then ends by focusing on her person, vs. 25ff, and reward, vs. 28-31.
Its chiastic structure is as follows:
A. Her value, vs. 10.
B. Her effect on her husband, vs. 11-12.
C. Her industry, vs. 13-16.
D. Her person, vs. 17-18.
C. Her industry, vs. 19-22.
B. Her effect on her husband, vs. 23.
C. Her industry, vs. 24.
D. Her person, vs. 25-27.
A. Her value and praise, vs. 28-31.
You may ask, “how can a woman do all of this and be all of these things?”
The poet cleverly delays answering this question, not revealing that her life demonstrates her fear of the Lord until the end of the poem, vs. 30. This is a reflection of Prov. 1:7, and is thus a “bookend” of the entire Book, showing what a life lived in the fear of the Lord, a life lived wisely, looks like.
Therefore, in regard to the right man recognizing his right woman, he should see the following qualities in her directed towards him, (and for believers only, with her motivation being the Lord), Eph 6:6.
Eph 6:6, “Not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
Vs. 10, tells us that your right woman will have certain things for you that she does not have for anyone else. The man must recognize her first and be aggressive to her. The man makes the identification first. Since she is rare, she must be “found,” like rare jewels and wisdom itself, cf. Prov 2:1-4. This implies a careful search, a search that is rewarded by the favor of God, cf. Prov 18:22; 19:14.
In vs. 11, her way of life gains her husband’s trust. As such, the right woman becomes a home to the right man. The heart of the man is at home with the right woman’s soul. The right woman regards the right man as her lord. The right man’s right lobe has confidence in her. This is called love security of the soul. The right woman will not flirt, tease, or think about some other guy. She is totally occupied with him when he is absent.
In vs. 12, the right woman will do good to the right man, show him good, and cause him good, Prov 12:4a. Material prosperity is also in view here.
In vs. 13, the right woman makes decisions to please her right man. The right woman dresses only to please her right man. Her soul is so occupied with him that she is motivated to always appear in clothing he appreciates. She searches diligently to find clothes to impress him. She works with pleasure because it is for her right man.
Vs. 14, says that she goes to extra effort to find things for her right man to please him, like his favorite food. It shows her willingness to search out that which is best for her husband and household. The point is not the distance that she travels, but that she does whatever is necessary to provide for his needs.
Vs. 15, tells us that her mental attitude determines how things go around the house. The right woman places love for her right man above her own comfort and personal wants. Not only is she careful to seek what is best, she disciplines herself to meet the needs at the right time. She is also generous and giving.,
Vs. 16, tells us that she pleases her right man in business, e.g., she is an aggressive business woman either directly or indirectly.
In vs. 17, we see she prepares herself for whatever may be the task. She understands that whatever must be done should be done well, cf. Ecc 9:10. “Strong arms,” means she works hard at whatever she does.
In vs. 18, whatever she does related to her right man is worthwhile to her, which she knows by experience with him. She is stimulated by him and in a state of perfect human happiness. The second half of the verse indicates the self-sacrifice inherent in such a woman.
Vs. 19, indicates she is industrious. She is occupied with those things which bless him. She gives him no cause for concern. She does not play games, (cheat on him), nor is she vindictive and seek revenge against him. Her instincts of love keep her concentrating on her right man. She no longer depends on parties, outside friends, and fun. She does not try to hurt her right man who is so vulnerable to her social or mental unfaithfulness.
Vs. 20, indicates her generosity. It tells us that because her soul is full of grace happiness from her right man, she extends grace to others.
In vs. 21, red dye was expensive; scarlet clothing was a sign that they were well-prepared for harsh weather with the best clothing that could be made. It tells us that the right woman anticipates certain kinds of disaster and heads them off. She prepares for disaster before it arrives and makes provision.
In vs. 22, the right woman makes herself beautiful around the house because her right man is there.
Vs. 23, The right woman makes it possible for the right man to concentrate on work and be away from home without worrying about her. She compliments and implements, but never competes with her right man. She is not a nag. She turns him on, but never puts him down. She seduces him, but never belittles him. If he had the discretion to choose such a wife, he may also have the insight necessary to rule as a judge, cf. Ruth 4:2-11.
In vs. 24, we see the super-abundant blessing that she is to her right man. The right woman supports her right man with fanatical loyalty and love.
Vs. 25, “her clothing,” metaphorically what she wears, the qualities she has in her soul. It says that the right woman is the glory of her right man and wears her glory in her soul, which includes having a sense of humor. She has beauty of soul. She is totally relaxed, giving her the ability to laugh at housework, office work, or whatever she must do.
Vs. 26, when she speaks, the right man is thrilled because wisdom comes out of her mouth. Divine viewpoint and Bible doctrine is the basis of her conversation. She refrains from verbal sins. Her words are words of healing and life, thoughtful and wise.
In vs. 27, she is alert in her soul and not idle. Her activity is not the frenetic rushing of the fool, unable to discern what is most important, and so shifting her energy from object to object. She is faithful and busy because she knows what is most important and, understanding this, focuses her attention and energies to accomplishing it, both for her own sake and for the sakes of her right man.
The last four verses show the response of all who know her.
Vs. 28, says that her sons remember her with happiness, as does her right man, and praise her. Your right woman should have a good reputation first with her family and then with those in society.
Vs. 29, the quotes are for a song of praise. For the right man, only one woman surpasses all others: his right woman. She waits for her right man by taking in Bible doctrine.
Vs. 30, her beauty is not in her physicality, but in her soul. You should not use physical beauty to determine your right woman. Beauty is deceitful. Identification is made in the soul. When you get turned on by some woman’s looks, then you missed your identification. She is not your right woman. Beauty, sex appeal, and a great body is not the basis for recognition of the right woman. Once identification is made in the soul, you will find she has the most beautiful body. The woman occupied with Christ will receive praise from her right man.
Vs. 31, reminds us of Boaz who said that everyone in his town, literally “gates,” knows that Ruth is an “excellent woman,” (the term used in 31:10 and repeated in 31:29a). She was highly esteemed because they had seen her faithfulness toward Naomi, both in coming with her from Moab and in gleaning grain for the two of them, Ruth 3:11. Therefore, the right woman is not praised for her beauty, vs. 30, but is honored and respected for her way of life, her faithfulness, especially directed towards her right man. Therefore, she is blessed inside the marriage.
Proverbs states repeatedly that wisdom must be sought and, when found, obeyed. This life is not one of privilege and rank, but the result of deliberate and repeated decisions to act, speak, and live wisely. Just as the craftsman is honored for his skill Prov 22:29, when a right man and right woman recognize and respond to each other, they will be blessed as a result of their wisdom.
7. Attacks against right man/right woman relationships.
The greatest attack on the gift and the Divine law comes in the soul. Therefore, life in the cosmic system is an attack on right man/right woman.
a. All mental attitude sins attack right man/right woman, Song of Sol 8:6, 8; Prov 6:34; 27:4.
b. Negative volition toward Bible doctrine is an attack on right man/right woman, Jer 12:7-9; 15:8-9, 15-21; 16:1-2; 17:9-11. Negative volition toward doctrine destroys right man/right woman relationship.
c. Various stages of reversionism such as blackout of the soul, scar tissue of the soul, emotional revolt, as we noted in Eph 4:17-19, are attackers of this principle. These attacks are accompanied by adultery, fornication, or promiscuity, Prov 5; 6:20-32; 1 Cor 11:3-16; Jer 31:22; Ecc 7:26-29.
Jer 31:22, “How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth; A woman will encompass a man.”
d. Various perversions of the doctrine are an attack, including:
1) Autoerotism or masturbation. In this, self-responds to self and that is a perversion.
2) Homosexuality or lesbianism, Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-27. Homosexuals are not sick, they are sinful. There never has been and there never will be a sin for which there is not a solution, a spiritual solution from the Word of God.
3) Bestiality, sexual response to animals, Lev 18:23.
4) Adultery and fornication. These are a perversion of the Divine institution, Ex 20:14; Prov 5:20; 6:32; 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4.
Heb 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
On the other hand, no disaster, pressure, or unfaithful act can destroy AGAPE impersonal / unconditional love coupled with personal love between a right man and a right woman.
8. The right woman is still today a great gift from the Lord, Prov 18:22, “He who finds a wife, (his right woman), finds a good thing and obtains favor, (she is a blessing), from the LORD.”
The Lord brought the first woman to the first man in grace. Adam, the man, recognized her in his soul. He called her ISHA, part of himself. This explains the burning of 1 Cor 7:9, which is not a wave of libido but the soul climax, where every compartment of the soul’s essence is stimulated by total concentration on the one you love. The word for ‘good’ here means that he has acquired the original gift from God to man. As we noted above, the original gift was the right woman.
Eph 5:32, “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Paul now mentions the wonderful bond between Christ and the Church, which illustrates the love of a husband for his wife. The creation of the Church from the single man, Christ, (as Eve was produced from Adam), is the foundation of this spiritual marriage.
Paul’s reflection on Gen 2:24, caused him to exclaim, “This is a great mystery.” The fact that husbands and wives become one, just as Christ and His Church are one, was almost too much for Paul to comprehend. Remember, that prior to his conversion, Paul had a zeal for God that led him to persecute the Church. But upon his conversion, he suddenly had the manifestation of Christ in him, and for the first time he was entered into a relationship with Christ. From that point forward, he was able to enjoy that intimate relationship with Christ, as all believers can. That is what led him to understand and now exclaim the greatness of this mystery, “Christ in you!”
Col 1:27, “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
As we have noted and seen in Gen 2:24, the union between husband and wife is closer than that of parents and children. And yet, the believer’s union with Christ is even closer and, unlike human marriage, will last for all of eternity.
Vs. 32, begins with HO MUSTERION, μυστήριον for, “the mystery, secret, hidden, or unrevealed.” We have noted this word in Eph 1:9; 3:3-4, 9, and will see it again in Eph 6:19. As we have noted, “mystery” has reference to the once-hidden purpose of God, which has now been revealed in Christ. Different aspects of this mystery can be highlighted according to the context of each passage that it is used in. Here, it is the mystery doctrine of Christ and the Church being one.
Therefore, it refers to the doctrine which was unknown in the past but is now revealed in the Church Age. As such, all doctrine pertinent to the Church Age should be well known to the Royal Family, yet it is not known outside the family of God, (i.e. to the unbeliever), and was never known to the Old Testament writers or believers.
MUSTERION is followed by the Demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS, “this,” referring to the union between one man and one woman mentioned in vs. 31, and the Adjective MEGAS, μέγας for “great,” that means, great in quality, more important, more prominent, and more outstanding. With this is the Gnomic Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI, “is,” for a timeless general fact.
Therefore, Paul is referring to the greatness of the fact that marriage between a man and woman makes them one throughout the history of the human race. This is the backdrop to what comes next, which is what truly excites Paul, “but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
It begins with the Connective use of the Conjunction DE, “but,” that connects and does not contrast, so we can translate it, “now.” With this is the Personal Pronoun EGO, “I,” as Paul is referencing his own thought pattern here.
Then we have LEGO for “speak, say, tell, etc.,” in the Instantaneous Present, Active, Indicative where Paul is referring us to the great mystery.
That great mystery is noted in the Preposition of Reference, EIS, with the Accusative Noun CHRISTOS, “Christ,” and the Preposition EIS once again, with the Accusative of HO EKKLESIA, for “assembly, congregation, or the Church.”
So we translated this, “now I am speaking with reference to Christ and the Church,” were we do not have to repeat “with reference to,” regarding the Church, as the first suffices for our understanding in English.
The establishment of Divine Institution (D.I.) #2 in the Garden of Eden, Gen 2:24, was based on the precedent of the union between Jesus Christ and the Church, (i.e., the body of Christ that is made up of every believer of the Church Age). This precedent was seen and known by God from eternity past, and from His foreknowledge He was able to establish D.I. #2 in the Garden of Eden between one man and one woman to reflect the union that the Christ has with the Church.
The mystery union between Christ and the Church was unknown to mankind, including believers of the Old Testament, until the first Advent of Christ and the establishment of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, followed by the preaching and writing of the mystery doctrine for the Church Age in the New Testament.
In this mystery union, Christ has a love for His Church that is unprecedented. In other words, man by himself cannot express the type of love Christ has for His wife, the Church. Yet, the believer in Christ has the capacity to love his wife as Christ loves His Church, because the believing husband can understand the mystery doctrine of this union and the precedent for that kind of love.
In other words, the love that the Christian husband must have for his wife is a love that cannot be fulfilled by an unbeliever or by a believer who does not know the mechanics of the spiritual life.
Once again, we have reference to the last of the Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, “We are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom,” as noted previously in vs. 22 and 27. As we noted previously, this relationship between Christ and the Church is contrasted to that relationship of God and Israel, and is unique to the Church Age believer under the mystery doctrine for the Church Age.
1. The NT revelation concerning the mystery of the one body of Christ between bride and groom, is given in expressed terms in Eph 3:1-12. It is based on the sacrificial love of Christ, Eph 5:2, 25-27, that surpasses knowledge, yet, can be comprehended by the positive believer, Eph 3:18-19.
2. It is an assurance of the Church’s authority as consort of Christ. In the sense in which other citizens are subjects, the wife of the king is not a subject of the king. As the word consort suggests, she is a co-sharer in his reign. No actual responsibility is allocated to her, but the fact remains that she is governing rather than being governed. This distinction is highly significant when recognized in relation to the King of kings and His Consort, the Church. As the designation King-Priest indicates that Christ will reign, as well as exercise priestly functions, so the title “royal priesthood” applied to the Church, 1 Peter 2:9, means that Church Age believers are co-reigners rather than subjects of the King. This is clearly asserted in Rev 20:4-6, “And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. . . . but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him a thousand years.”
3. It is a revelation of the bride’s position above all created beings.
The Church, as Bride of the Lamb, attains to an exalted position by virtue of Christ’s infinite majesty, which could not be attained by any creature in any other way. Of His elevation it is said in Eph 1:20-21, “Which he brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.”
The Lord Himself speaks of this sublime elevation when He said in John 14:3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Also in John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me.”
The very place to which He refers is especially prepared, as though no existing realm of glory could be worthy of His Bride. Think for a moment on the exaltation of the Son of God and the incomparable reality of it in relation to time and eternity, to earth and heaven, to men and angels, and that the Church will have been called out and prepared without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. As you do, it will compel the conclusion that the Church’s elevation is like that of her Bridegroom, “far above principalities and powers,” cf. Eph 1:21; 4:10, that is, above the angelic creation.
4. It is a surety of infinite glory.
Closely related to the high and holy position the Bride of the Lamb has and will experience is the fact that she will be glorified with Him in His glory. The word “glory” is used upwards of 180 times in the NT, and the majority of its usage refers to the glory of Christ.
a. The glory that He had with the Father before the world was, John 17:5.
b. The glory which John testifies was manifest in the incarnation, John 1:14.
c. The glory of the transfiguration, Mat 17:2; Mark 9:2-3.
d. The glory of the resurrection, Rom 6:4; 1 Peter 1:21.
e. And, the glory He now has in heaven, Rev 1:13-18.
When all this glory is understood, it is not difficult to understand why He is called the Lord of Glory, 1 Cor 2:8; James 2:1, or what is meant when it is said that when He comes again, it will be with power and great glory, Mark 13:26.
Nevertheless, He who is crowned with glory and honor is “bringing many sons into that glory,” Heb 2:9-10.
Christ’s own petition is that believers may behold His glory, as we noted in John 17:24; and that they will share that glory is asserted by Paul when he wrote in:
Rom 8:17, “If indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we may be also glorified with Him.”
Col 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
The believer’s body is to be changed from a body of limitations to a body of glory, 1 Cor 15:43, even like His glorious body, Phil 3:21.
As L. S. Chafer noted in his systematic theology, “The Church, the bride of Christ, is an elect company called out from Jews and Gentiles to be forever with Christ in His highest glory.” I also quote his accompanying poem/song.
“The Church’s one Foundation, Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation, By water and the word:
From heaven He came and sought her, To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued.
Yet she on earth hath union, With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion, With those whose rest is won:
0 happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee.”
5. Conclusion; The meaning of this figure, “Bridegroom and bride.”
The symbolism of the Bridegroom and the Bride as bearing on Christ in His relation to the Church speaks of:
a. His everlasting and knowledge-surpassing love.
b. The unity between Himself and the Church.
c. The authority and position to be accorded to the Church in ages to come.
Major features of truth are typified in the bride relationship which could be set forth in no other way. Much of God’s Divine blessing is determined for Israel, all of which is anticipated in her covenants and prophecies; but no covenant or prophecy brings that nation into heavenly citizenship or into marriage union with Christ.
Therefore, Christian believers have the greatest responsibility in marriage that has ever existed in the history of the human race. Never in history did God command a husband and wife to love and forgive as Christ loves and forgives. No one could do it until Christ came and the filling of the Spirit was given.
That is why Christian marriage is a part of the witness for the Prosecution in the appeal trial of Satan and the fallen angels, inside the Angelic Conflict. The fact that Christian marriage is being watched by angels is taught in the following passages.
1 Cor 4:9, “For, I think that God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, (theater to the universe), both to angels as well as mankind.”
Eph 3:10-11, “So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Tim 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and His elect angels, to maintain these doctrinal principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”
1 Peter 1:12, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”
Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Christian marriage is a part of the witness for the Prosecution in Satan’s appeal trial. Successful Christian marriage answers Satan’s contention that he won the case when mankind fell in the Garden. Part of the corporate testimony against Satan and the fallen angels in the Church Age is the Christian institution of marriage.
Therefore, the three Divine laws of Christian marriage, (wives obey and respect your husbands, husbands love your wives, and the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife in vs. 33), demand the highest and greatest system of honor, integrity, and virtue ever assigned to the Divine Institution of marriage, 1 Peter 3:1-9. This unusual system of Divine mandates is the monopoly of Christian marriage during the Church Age.
Eph 5:33, “Nevertheless, 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.”
We begin the final verse of our chapter and the conclusion of the discourse on Divine Institution #2; marriage between a right man and a right woman. This verse gives us a brief summation and reminder of the main principles of this discourse.
It begins with “nevertheless,” which is the adversative Particle Adverb PLEN, πλήν that can mean, “however, except, only, unless, but, etc.” It marks a contrast to what has been mentioned and draws one’s attention to what is essential. In general, PLEN adds a thought to what has been previously stated. Paul has been discussing the mystery doctrine of Christ and the Church as one, with the backdrop of marriage between the right man and right woman, and now Paul gets back to the backdrop of the marriage relationship between one man and one woman.
Next, we have a Greek idiom, “each individual among you,” which is made up of HUMEIS, “you;” HO, “the;” KATA, “according to;” HIES, “one or someone;” HEKASTOS, “each or every.” It is referring to husbands, as Paul is addressing each and every husband individually with this phrase, as opposed to the plural address previously. In other words, he is getting up close and personal, or as we could say, “he is getting in their face,” as a drill Sergeant would do to a Private to make sure he understands the command being given.
This phrase is joined with the Conjunction KAI, “and, even, or also,” to complete the thought of contrasting (PLEN) and comparing (KAI) at the same time.
Then we have the phrase, “is to love his own wife,” made up of the Article HO, “the,” the Personal Pronoun HEAUTO, “his or his own,” GUNE, “wife,” the Adverb HOUTOS, “in this manner, in this way, so, just as, etc.,” and the Verb AGAPAO in the Present, Active, Imperative that means, impersonal and unconditional “love.” Literally it reads, “The his wife in this manner love.”
So, we have the command for the husband to love his wife; his right woman. The Customary Present tense is what he should be habitually doing. The Active voice, the husband performs the action of loving his wife, and the Imperative mood is a command from God for husbands to impersonally and unconditionally self-sacrificially love their wives, just as commanded in vs. 25, and reiterated in vs. 28.
Then we have the repetition of the way in which he is to love her from vs. 28, “even as himself,” HOS HEAUTOU. This also reminds us of, “the two becoming one flesh,” of vs. 31. Therefore, husbands are to keep on loving their own wives as their very own self, vs. 25, 28, 29.
Then in the second half of this verse, we have the command for the wife, “and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” It is made up from the Greek connective Conjunction DE, “but, now, moreover, etc.,” the Article HO, “the,” the Nominative Singular of GUNE, “wife,” the Conjunction HINA, “that,” the Present, Middle Deponent, Subjunctive of PHOBEO, “fear, reverence, respect, etc.,” the Article HO, “the,” and the Accusative Singular of ANER, “husband.”
PHOBEO is a rare type of Subjunctive mood in this HINA clause, because it has the force of a command like the Imperative mood. It also indicates volitional responsibility based on positive volition and application of Bible Doctrine resident within the soul. Therefore, it parallels the command given to husbands.
The Verb PHOBEO used here for the wives’ mandate is a different word than what was used in vs. 22, which was HUPOTASSO, “to subject to, put in submission to, to be or make subject, or to submit oneself.” In vs. 22, she is commanded to submit to the authority of her husband. In vs. 33, she is command to respect the authority of her husband.
In addition, in vs. 33, we have the Verb form of the Noun given in vs. 21, in the opening general precept for all believers, PHOBOS that also means, “fear, reverence, or respect.” In vs. 21, it is a general command for all believers to be subject to one another out of respect and reverence for the Lord Jesus Christ. All believers are “to be subject to, (HUPOTASSO), one another.” So, we see that the wife is to be “subject to” her husband, with “reverence and respect” for the authority God has given the husband over the wife.
In vs. 22, “wives are to be subject to, (HUPOTASSO), their husbands, as to the Lord.”
In vs. 24, “wives are to be subject to, (HUPOTASSO), their husbands, in everything.”
In vs. 33, “wives are to respect, (PHOBEO), their husbands.”
In vs. 21, PHOBOS is the motivation. In vs. 33, PHOBEO is commanded.
Therefore, in vs. 33, the husband is commanded to AGAPE love his wife, using the Imperative Mood for AGAPAO, and the wife is commanded to respect her husband, by being submissive to him, using the Imperatival HINA clause in the Subjunctive Mood.
As the Rev. Handley C. G. Moule puts it, “She is called to an allegiance to her partner which is nothing if not free, with the freedom of regenerate reason. She is asked to recognize spiritual facts and to assent to them as a spiritual being, fully in Christ.” (Ephesian Studies: Expository Readings on the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Ephesians.)
The analogy is, Christ loves the Church self-sacrificially, and the Church’s love for Christ is expressed in submission and obedience. The same goes for the husband as he loves his wife self-sacrificially, and the wife’s love for the husband is expressed through her submission and obedience to his Divinely decreed authority in the marriage, vs. 23. Note that this time husbands come first and then the wives.
Therefore, the entire passage concludes by again reminding us of the total emphasis throughout that husbands should love their wives and wives should obey and respect their husbands. As such, the husband and the wife in the home are to set forth in simplicity the mystery of the coming glory.
“In conclusion, the first part of the household code has been concerned with the responsibility of wives and husbands. Wives are to submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ, and the husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. Much more space is devoted to the husbands’ responsibility than to the wives’. Marriage is the union of two individuals into one flesh (Gen 2:24), which should produce a loving harmonious relationship. Believers’ marital harmony is not to be dependent on their own ingenuity but rather should be motivated by obedience to God and by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. The successful development of this relationship requires Spirit-filled partners who are truly concerned for each other and who have a real desire to see God work in their lives. The primary goal of marriage is not to please oneself but to see God’s purposes work in and through each partner individually and corporately. Noteworthy is the fact that the illustration of the union of Christ and His church is used only for husband and wife. This indicates that their relationship holds a uniqueness not shared by the relationships discussed next, which follow in Chapter 6.” (Harold W. Hoehner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary.)
Three Divine Laws of Love in Marriage.
1. The first Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the woman, Eph 5:22, 24, 33.
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
2. The Second Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the man.
Col 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
3. The Third Divine rule in marriage is the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife.
This mutual responsibility has to be consistent by both parties. The man is commanded to have virtue love. The woman is commanded to respond to a man of virtue. Now watch this closely, the ultimate in marriage is for the husband to so fulfill the 1st Divine law, so that the woman responds with respect under the 2nd Divine law.
Conclusion to vs. 22-33, The Three Divine Laws of Love in Marriage.
1. The first Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the woman in Eph 5:22, 24, 33, to be subject to and respect her husband through submissive authority orientation. Authority Orientation is one of the 11 Problem Solving Devices.
1. Rebound, the Confession of sins, 1 John 1:9.
2. Filling of the Holy Spirit
3. Doctrinal Orientation
4. Faith Rest Drill
5. Grace Orientation
6. Authority Orientation
7. Personal Sense of Destiny
8. Personal Love for God the Father
9. Impersonal Unconditional Love for Mankind
10. Sharing the Perfect Happiness of God
11. Occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ
Col 3:18, “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”
For the wife to be subject to her husband, she must respect the authority vested in him by God. There is no higher form of love than respect. Everyone in life must have respect for something, which gives them capacity for life. We could not have authority without humility. The inner beauty of the woman comes from her humility to be subject to her husband’s authority. The capacity for life is humility. The ultimate capacity for life is respect.
In order for the right woman to submit to and respect her husband, there is great transformation in her self-consciousness, the mentality of her soul, her volition, and emotions as follows.
In her self-consciousness: When she becomes aware of someone else in the human race more than herself, she changes in her soul. These changes are quite radical in the self-consciousness. Before a woman finally falls in love, every woman is extremely vain. Mirrors were made for girls before they fall in love! This is really an expression of her self-consciousness. Yet, a woman undergoes a phenomenal change when she truly falls in love. She switches her self-consciousness from herself to her right man and becomes occupied with him, (this is part of becoming one with him). Her awareness of her right man excludes all others from that intimacy for which she was designed to have with her right man. Her instincts change to please him in every way. It is quite a transition for any woman to make.
In her mentality: This means her right man is in the norms and standards of her conscience, he is in her frame of reference, all of her memory now relates to him, she instinctively anticipates his desires and policies and fulfills them. Sex is never a pressure but a desire.
In her volition: When she says yes to the right man, she surrenders her volition to him. Her submission is both soulish and physical. She uses her volition to make thousands of decisions which please him, and which stimulate him, bless him, encourage him, resulting in the woman becoming his reflected glory.
In her emotion: Appreciation of the right man in the heart or right lobe leads to emotional appreciation of the right man. Up to now, before she has fallen in love, she likes certain types of music, certain types of activities. Now she has someone with whom she can share the things that she enjoys because her emotion is now linked to his in category #2 love. No man should be such a fool as to squelch a woman’s enthusiasm, which is to start to chip away at her love, at her response.
2. The Second Divine rule for marriage is the responsibility of the man.
Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself as a substitute for her.”
God does not assign the role of leadership in marriage without also assigning extra responsibility. The extra responsibility of the husband’s leadership is the application of the tandem Problem Solving Devices within his soul; Personal Love for God and Impersonal / Unconditional Love for his wife.
The authority of the man must be exercised through leadership, not tyranny or dictatorship. The leadership of the Christian man is based on personal love for his wife in application of personal love for God the Father and impersonal love for all mankind. The unbelieving husband finds his ability to fulfill the principle from the Laws of Divine establishment.
Our Lord Jesus Christ used impersonal love for all mankind as the device to handle the problem of bearing our sins and being judged for them. Husbands are to use the same Problem Solving Devices.
Col 3:19, “Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.”
Most of the failures in marriage are a result of mental attitude sins here classified as “bitterness.” Bitterness is a combination of arrogance and emotion. Bitterness in marriage results in the rapid decline from spiritual adulthood to loser believer. When the man is bitter against the woman he married, it destroys any possibility of a successful marriage.
Bitterness is a motivation. It is called bitter jealousy in James 3:14, because jealousy and bitterness are two sides of the same coin. Jealousy comes first and results in bitterness. Bitterness is refusal to take the responsibility that the jealousy came from your volition.
Bitterness also leads to reaction and the first result of reaction is denial, the second result is projection. Therefore, bitterness is a projection which comes from jealousy. You cannot entertain jealousy without flipping the other side of the coin to bitterness that also consolidates denial and projection.
Bitterness also leads to malice, which is the sin nature lust to get even, to seek revenge, to inflict misery, suffering, and injury on someone else in marriage. Therefore, bitterness in marriage means that your personal love is not operating on the integrity principles of the Problem Solving Devices of Personal love for God and Impersonal Love for your wife.
No one can have jealousy and bitterness and at the same time capacity for true love. Personal love for your wife inside the integrity principles is authority functioning under the leadership of love.
Eph 4:31-32, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
Becoming kind toward one another is the function of the husband loving his wife as Christ also loved the Church, and wives respecting their husbands. The capacity for impersonal love for all mankind produces true compassion, which is not emotion. It is a compassion that has a wonderful attitude. Precedence for forgiving each other was set at the Cross.
Therefore, every man who is a Christian gentleman should become aware of the trends of the sin nature of his wife. For some of them he will be patient, with others he will be intolerant, and with others he will assert his authority. But he must understand her areas of weakness, her areas of strength, the pattern of her lust, her trends. He must know when her trend is toward asceticism, when it is toward lasciviousness, or something else. No man is worth his salt if he does not learn to know the soul of a woman as he knows his own soul.
3. The Third Divine rule in marriage is the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife.
Eph 5:33, “However, you also (husbands), each one of you individually, let him so love his wife as himself; and the wife see to it that she respects her husband.”
This mutual responsibility has to be consistent by both parties. The man is commanded to have virtue love. The woman is commanded to respect her husband’s authority.
The woman is the responder; therefore, the potential is there for respect to her husband. But if the husband fails to love his wife as Christ loved the Church, then the woman may react negatively towards him rather than respect him. The reaction of the woman can be as vicious as her response is fantastic. Nevertheless, regardless of the sins of your spouse, husbands and wives are to love and respect the Divinely decreed position their spouse has been given, and honor it unto God.
The third Divine law has a positive and negative side. The negative side of the law is to remove all mental attitude and verbal sins. The positive side of the law is application of Bible doctrine through the Problem Solving Devices.
For believers, a successful marriage demands that each spouse deploy the tandem Problem Solving Devices to live in marriage inside the integrity principles. A person is no better in marriage than he is as a person. A loser in the spiritual life is a loser in marriage. A winner in the spiritual life is a winner in marriage.
Marriage is not finding the right person, marriage is being the right person. As in all aspects of the way of life of the believer in time, there is no substitute for integrity in all personal human relationships, especially marriage, and in all phases of the spiritual life. Therefore, it is very important to utilize the tandem Problem Solving Devices. Personal love for God is the man’s motivation for personal love for the woman and the woman’s motivation for her response of respect. Impersonal love for all mankind is love capacity for each spouse to fulfill the commands of Eph 5:25, 33.
The ultimate in marriage is for the husband to so fulfill the first Divine law so that the woman responds with respect through the second Divine law. Under those conditions, every problem in marriage has a solution.
Wives, do not enslave your loving husbands.
1. All three Divine rules in marriage are the basis for the husband’s function as a leader and ruler over the wife in marriage.
Eph 5:22, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.”
Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself up for her, (i.e., delivered Himself over as a substitute for her).”
Eph 5:33, “Nevertheless, each individual (husband) among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.”
In all three mandates, the husband must exercise his authority over the wife through the function of personal love inside the integrity of the PSD’s, Personal Love for God the Father and Impersonal / Unconditional Love for his wife.
Yet, most men as husbands become more interested in peace in the home than they do in assuming the responsibility and the authority of the home as leaders under Divine Institution #2. Peace at any price is the battle cry of the average husband. When this attitude is prevalent, it results in the husband being enslaved, which is the reverse of what Eph 5:22ff commands him to do.
2. In spite of what is said in Eph 5, many husbands are slaves to their wives because they are willing to pay any price for peace, which means they surrender to the wife’s policies, wishes, desires, whims, bad judgements, and/or her bad disposition.
3. When the wife sees this type of behavior in her husband, she often times manipulates the situation with the result that she controls him. This control means she enslaves him.
4. The control of the enslaved male is maintained by the behavior pattern of the woman with such things as nagging, tantrums, sulking, pouting, spreading a pall of gloom over the household, etc.; things that destroy the peace and tranquility of the home. Let us face the facts; some women do enslave men in the framework of marriage, and such a woman is never happy and obviously her husband-slave is miserable too. That is why God ordained marriage to have authority vested in the man.
5. Most men by nature are much more complex than the woman. For example, the man is highly sensitive to the above mentioned types of behaviors in his wife. In addition, authority increases the sensitivity of his soul. As such, he finds it distressing, irritating, and incompatible with tranquility and peace in the household, when the wife maintains those negative behaviors. As a result, he capitulates to those behaviors, with the result of destroying his own authority and the wife’s authority orientation. When a woman enslaves a man, she does more than enslave him, she destroys him.
6. Therefore, the average male feels that his only defense against a nagging and tantrum making woman who makes life miserable for him, is capitulation. Marriage then becomes a series of manipulation with the strings being pulled by the woman.
7. The wife controls the husband by her behavior pattern under these conditions. She enslaves him by nagging, by embarrassing him, by making his life miserable; and soon she sets up a policy which includes constant surveillance, curfews, interrogations for unexplained absences, examination of his check book, searching his drawers and anywhere else where he keeps anything, to see if she can get any clues as to what he has done.
Other means of enslaving the male is to ration sex or ration kindness, unless the male complies with whatever policy the woman has set up.
8. In other words, she has now become the authority inside the marriage and is running the man, which makes him a slave. And slaves have no privacy, nor any authority!
9. When the enslaving woman is backed into a corner and proved wrong, she immediately has a number of excuses by which she rationalizes her dictatorship, as if somehow this was an excuse for becoming a monster and a dictator. For example: she is either pre, mid, or post-menstrual; she is pre or mid-menopausal, where she is suffering from some psychosis as a result of the menopause, namely involuntary melancholia; she is under pressure from the kids or other things in her life that went wrong today; etc. Operation “Patsy” leads her to rationalize away her enslavement of the husband.
10. Because of the nature of the man as the Divinely-appointed authority in marriage, and as the aggressor, his enslavement is far more tragic, and in our society, more frequent than the enslavement of the woman.
11. In a matriarchal society, people love dogs rather than human beings! No one bemoans the fate of a house cat, but how pathetic to see the king of the beasts, the lion, ensnared in a trap. That is the principle here.
12. A right woman should never enslave her right man, even in the most adverse conditions of reversionism. A right woman may start it, but she is to grow up and adjust, so as to support his leadership position through subjection and respect of his authority, while leaving any issues in the hands of the Lord. A mature right woman will never enslave her husband.
13. A right woman may test her right man’s authority by trying to “pull a fast one” on him from time to time, but the mature right man knows exactly what to do and exactly how to handle it.
14. The right man is never afraid of his right woman, but sometimes even the bravest of brave are intimidated by the enslaving woman. It is a compliment, ladies, if a man is not afraid of you.
15. Life is a system of authority. Humility recognizes authority; arrogance rejects it. Happiness does not exist where authority is rejected. Arrogance always considers any form of authority demeaning. Arrogance is a loser in life, because arrogance always rejects authority.
16. Arrogance destroys morality because arrogance does not recognize authority, and all morality is based on authority. As such, virtue is destroyed by the rejection of authority. Yet, true humility turns morality into virtue, so that virtue-morality carries the husband and wife, even in the marriage of two unbelievers. Under the grace policy of God, humility benefits from authority, and virtue-morality avoids moral degeneracy. In the case of the Christian marriage, there is no substitute for the virtue produced by the inculcation of Bible doctrine under the filling of the Holy Spirit.
17. Above all things in marriage, the husband must be a spiritual leader. As a spiritual leader the husband executes the Divine commands of Eph 5:29 and Col 3:19. This is because the husband’s motivation is based on the virtue and motivation of Personal Love for God and Impersonal love for his wife.
18. Authority orientation demands that both husband and wife conform to God’s rules and policies in marriage. There must be no contradiction between the role of the husband and the role of the wife in marriage. To avoid contradiction, both must be avid students of the Word of God. They must be consistent in their perception, metabolization, and application (PMA) of Bible doctrine. Spiritual growth in the Plan of God results in success in marriage. Success means that each partner fulfills the mandates of the Word of God with regard to that relationship.
a. The authority of Christ over the Church is used to establish the authority of the husband over the wife in marriage. This relationship, like all others, demands the existence of Authority Orientation.
d. The woman, in surrendering her volition to a man in marriage, is relinquishing her authority over her own life and placing it in the hands of her husband. As such, she must have humility under Authority Orientation inside the marriage to fulfill God’s mandate for her to “be subject to” and “respect” her husband’s Divinely instituted authority over her.
c. Likewise, the husband must have Authority Orientation under AGAPE love from motivational virtue in his soul from both Personal Love for God the Father, and Impersonal / Unconditional love for his wife.
d. If both parties in the marriage do not have Authority Orientation from virtue AGAPE love in their souls, it will inevitably lead to enslavement; either the nagging suspicious wife enslaving her husband through manipulation for capitulation, or the tyrannical husband enslaving his wife through demanding dictatorship. Either way, that marriage is a slave factory and one of them is going to be a slave.
e. No one should ever enter into marriage lightly, erroneously, under the influence of alcohol, or anything else that takes away from the solemnity of the decision and the ceremony.
f. In order for the marriage to be blessed and happy, both the husband and wife should be consistently PMAing Bible doctrine to their lives, especially their marriage, to honor and appreciate God’s Divine Institution #2.