Vol. 16 No 31 – July 23, 2017
Ephesians 5:27-30, “that 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. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body.
Concluding our list of six blessings/benefits our betrothed Lord won for us at the Cross:
- Cleansing, (purification).
- Glorification, (exaltation).
- No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
- Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
- 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 New Testament It is one of several Greek words in the New Testament 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?”
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.
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:
- Positional Sanctification, Eph 1:4, 1 Peter 1:18-19.
- Experiential Sanctification, Phil 2:15; cf. Rev 14:5.
- 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 Old Testament 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 Spirit), and by the agent of the 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:
- Cleansing, (purification).
- Glorification, (exaltation).
- No spot or wrinkle, (sinless).
- Holy, (perfect / righteous / set apart / consecrated).
- 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:
- Paul began in, Eph 1:4, by stating that God chose some to be holy and blameless before Him in love.
- This was accomplished by the Father’s election, Christ’s redemption, and the Holy Spirit’s sealing. Eph 1:4-14.
- New life was given to sinners, Eph 2:1-10, who were placed into a new entity, the Church, Eph 2:11-3:13.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 husbands 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?
- By being in the Word personally.
- Talking about the Word with her.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Authority demands virtue, and in the spiritual realm the function of grace. Leadership must never be divorced from the virtue that must accompany leadership.
- 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:
- The effective function of virtue-love.
- 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 to adulthood), or rear.” 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 New Testament, “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.”
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.
- Men care for their bodies even though they are imperfect, and so they should care for their wives though they are imperfect.
- 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.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 17-077 through 17-079
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!