Just Forget About Marriage for a Minute!

Ephesians 5 tells a husband he must love his wife as Jesus Christ loves his church.

Christ loves his church with a sacrificial love. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Jesus’s life culminated in an act of sacrifice for the sake of his church. He sacrificed himself to all the horrors of the cross so that we would not need to endure it ourselves. He turned himself over to the wrath of God so that we would never need to face it. There is no sacrifice that could ever be greater or costlier than this.

 

We are a people obsessed with love. We crave love and long to both extend and receive it. It is the subject of our favorite films, the theme of our treasured poems, the thrill of our happy hearts. Yet for all the love we see and experience, there is one much greater than them all. While we find it in a passage of the Bible that describes the relationship of a husband and wife, it points us to a love that is even deeper, even greater, and even more thrilling. Ephesians 5 tells a husband he must love his wife as Jesus Christ loves his church. So let’s forget about marriage for a minute and reflect simply on how we are loved by our great Savior.

Christ Loves the Church with a Sacrificial Love

First, Christ loves his church with a sacrificial love. “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Jesus’s life culminated in an act of sacrifice for the sake of his church. He sacrificed himself to all the horrors of the cross so that we would not need to endure it ourselves. He turned himself over to the wrath of God so that we would never need to face it. There is no sacrifice that could ever be greater or costlier than this.

Christ Loves the Church with a Sanctifying Love

Second, Christ loves his church with a sanctifying love. “Jesus Christ gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her.” The point and purpose of Christ’s sacrifice was sanctification. That word is used in a few different ways, but here it refers to being devoted to God. This tells us that Jesus sanctifies his church by setting her apart to the service of God. We were merrily (or miserably) going our own way, set apart to serve the world, the flesh, and the devil, when Jesus Christ reached out to us, saved us, and set us apart to serve God. Christ loves his church and sanctifies us to the best and highest purpose a human being can achieve—living to the glory of God.

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