Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Christ the Head – Saviour of the Church – Ephesians 5:23

Days portion for reading – Ephesians 5:22-33

Christ the Head – Saviour of the Church – Ephesians 5:23

In the passage we are considering today we see the evidence of the love that the Lord Jesus has for the Church. Please remember that the word ‘Church’ when it is used in the New Testament describes a group of people. It is not the building. For more detail on this point read the previous post -  ‘Christ the Head – the Sustainer of the Church’.  The Lord Jesus is not the ‘Head’ only as an office bearer but as the one who has the deepest interests and good of the church in his heart.

As you read Ephesians chapter five you will find that the picture of marriage between a man and a woman is used to focus our minds on the relationship that the Church has with the Lord Jesus Christ. The relationship of Christ with the church is the best picture that we have of a perfect marriage. Marriage should be a reflection of this. 

The husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church. ‘Even as’ means in the same way as Christ is the head of the church. What way is that? It is explained by the next statement - ‘Christ is the saviour of the body’. The word ‘Saviour’ can mean that Christ died to save and rescue fallen people who now, on conversion, compose the Church. In Acts 20:28 we learn that the church of God was purchased ‘with his own blood’. The one who is the ‘Head of the Church’ is also the ‘Saviour’ of the church. It was his blood that purchased our salvation when He died upon the cross.

The second meaning of the word 'Saviour' is 'one who preserves and protects'. This is the current activity of the Lord Jesus, the ‘Head’ of the church. We are being preserved and kept by Him. Our role as members of the body of Christ is to be obedient to the Lord who loved us, saved us and preserves us.

In this passage the present and future of the church is emphasised. The passage says that the Lord gave himself to ‘sanctify and cleanse’ the church. That is to set it apart specially for him and to cleanse it from impurity. This is presently what is being doing for all those who are saved. In the future the Lord will ‘present it to himself a glorious church.’ The Lord wants the church all for himself and to reflect his glory and this will be realised in a future day. The passage stresses that ‘Christ also loved the church’ and that he nourishes and cherishes the church. That is, the Lord Jesus feeds and provides care and comfort for the church. 

If husbands behaved like the Lord Jesus then it would be an easy marriage to live in!


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