Monday, April 28, 2014

Monday, April 28th

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Ruth 1-2, Psalm 84, John 16
Today's scripture focus is Ephesians 5:25-33

Ephesians 5:25-33

English Standard Version (ESV)
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Accompanying David Legge sermon: The Christian Husband
Accompanying John MacArthur sermons: God's Pattern for Husbands Part 1 and Part 2, and Husbands, Love Your Wives

I appreciated MacArthur's general advice about marriage....that it's not about finding that perfect person for you that checks off all the right boxes, but it's about finding someone who loves Jesus, with a heart to serve Him, and you can pursue holiness together in relationship with each other.
 I do understand that marriage does pose conflict because when you slam two centers together permanently, they’re going to rub each other the wrong way because that’s what sin does. But the answer to all of that, of course, is to be obedient to Christ, to love Christ, to love each other and to walk in the power of the Spirit and watch the Lord overcome those things and fill your life with profound joy and blessing beyond anything that could be experienced in singleness unless that is what God has particularly designed you for.

There is such a negative attitude towards marriage in our society today.  Such an emphasis on staying single so you can do all these things you want to do.  Such a self focus.  There are obviously people that God has called to singleness, either for a season or for a lifetime, but the majority of us are designed for marriage.  There are a number of reasons for that.  Marriage prevents immorality, eliminates solitude and provides companionship, produces children which are a blessing from heaven, and, of course, provide loving affection.  The sooner the better (within reason) I say!  :)

Thought marriage is one of life's greatest joys, because we are sinful people, our most intimate relationships can also be the source of our greatest hurts.

Our marriages need to be empowered by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit - that's why these passages follow the topic of being filled with the Spirit, having an attitude of submission towards those around us.  Friday we dealt with wives, today we're dealing with husbands.

The husband’s command is very clear. It’s a single command. Husbands, love your wives. Love your wives. That is the command. There is no command to take authority over your wife. That’s not the command. That is not the command. Is the husband the head? Absolutely he’s the head. We saw that, didn’t we, in 1 Corinthians 11, the husband is the head of the wife, Christ is the head of the man, God is the head of Christ. But the command is not to take authority. It doesn’t say a word about that. It doesn’t say take authority. It doesn’t say rule over your wife. It doesn’t say order her around. It doesn’t say command her. It doesn’t say subjugate her, subject her. It doesn’t say dominate her. It says love your wives…love your wives. And the word for love is from the verb agapao which is the most intense, most divine, most magnanimous, most sacrificial, most humble kind of love. It’s the love of the will. There are other words for love in the Greek language. There’s the word eros from which you get erotic, that’s a sexual kind of love. There’s the word phileo, the verbphileo which is the word that is in the word Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, it means that, that kind of a normal, human affection. There is even a word for family love and that word is used when the Apostle Paul writes to Timothy and says that people in the society, the worldly society have lost their natural affection. That is their family love. So there are words for family love, and erotic love, and brotherly love. But this is the word for the love of the will. This is the word that is the most magnanimous, the most far-reaching, and the most intentional. This is…this is a word for love that is not defined by the solicitation of the one loved. This is the love of the will. This is loving because it is right to love

Husbands are to love their wives the way Christ loves the church:
Christ loves us with an inseparable love, with an undying love, with a love that cannot be diminished and it cannot be replaced. You think about loving your wife that way. You love your wife with a love that couldn’t be broken by tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword. It couldn’t be broken by death, life, angels, principalities, things present, things to come, powers height depth or any other created thing in the universe. This is how Christ loved His church. This is how a man is to love his wife.

1 Peter 3:7 adds that husbands should love their wives with consideration, and understanding, and sensitivity, and chivalry, and communing together with her, understanding you’re equal heirs of the grace of life which is, of course, marriage in Christ. Together in deep intimate commitment and communion, your prayers will be heard and answered.

Husbands are to love sacrificially. Selflessly.
Legge: how many husbands die daily for their wife? I would hope most of us probably would die for our wives if it came to the bit in a situation - but dying daily is a different thing, isn't it? To be selfless for our wives, to pay the price of what it means to love as Christ loved the church

Husbands are to love with a purifying love, never leading them into sin, but rather towards a closer walk with Jesus, praying for them continuously.
Husbands are to care for their wives, protecting and providing for them.
Husbands are to love permanently, till death do us part.

And, what is the mystery in v32?
New revelation, something in the past hidden, and now revealed. The mystery is this; this has never been said before in holy Scripture, never in the Old Testament that marriage is to follow the pattern of Christ’s relationship to the church. Marriage is sacred. The church is one with Christ, that’s the mystery. The church is one with Christ, and that’s the picture of marriage. It is sacred by virtue of its association with the relationship between Christ and His church.

Marriage is not only an emotional and physical relationship, it is also a spiritual one, where two become one.  What a beautiful picture of Christ and His church.

Tomorrow's scripture focus: Ephesians 6:1-4
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Ruth 3-4, Psalm 85, John 17

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