BIBLE STUDY: PART XXIV
V1- Therefore means “as a result of” something. The therefore here is since we have been forgiven all our sins by God through Christ, we are to “therefore” be like God. This therefore connects this verse with the previous chapter. Therefore, everything we learned to not do and to do in chapter four is leading us to be like God.
We don’t have His wisdom or power to be like God, so what does this mean? How can we be like God? Just as children imitate their biological parents, we are to imitate God. We must be mirrors, or reflectors of Christ as we wander this path. Let’s read 1 Peter 1:13-19; specifically verses 14,15. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot...”
We’re told to be like God as “dear children” because we are God’s adopted children. We have a personal relationship with Him. We are in blood covenant with God by Jesus (Hebrews 12:18-24). Please take time now to read the following list of verses about the covenant. Hebrews 9:15; Romans 3:21-25; Colossians 1:19,20.
God said that if we accept His Son’s gift of salvation (Romans 1:16; Mark 16:14-16; John 3:17,18; I John 5:11,12), we are predestined for heaven after our physical death.
V 2- Let me paraphrase verse 1 and 2. “Therefore, be a replica of God as His adopted children. That is, walk in love towards others as Jesus walked in love, and that love so deep that He gave Himself as a sacrifice. As with Jesus, give off a sweet, fragrant aroma that pleases God, (II Corinthians 2:14-17)” Love is not something we need to be taught by humans because God’s Spirit in us teaches love.
What does this love accomplish? Look at I Thessalonians 4:9-12. “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more; and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”
V 5 - We have talked often during these studies about checking our internal compasses to be sure of our salvation. If we participate in sexual immorality, covetousness, course jesting, and bad language, we need to wonder how saved we are. We have to be in constant check because of what I Corinthians 6:9,10 tells us. Let’s read it. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Verse 10 tells us the result of our walking in these sins. If you are involved in these things, you are not going to heaven. One reason I can find in my studies is that these things are idols to those participating in them. We can have only one God, and we cannot build idols or worship them (Leviticus 26:1).
V6- What vain talking are we to avoid? Bad theologies that suggest these things are not really wrong, or just tiny wrongs that God doesn’t care about. Dirty talking, swearing, gossip and lying are very wrong. Covetousness, and fornication are very wrong. Treating others badly with our tongues is very wrong. What I say a lot, and hear many others say is, “I was just teasing.” But are we always teasing? Is it ever wrong to say the things we do to others knowing they will be hurt by hearing them? Yes, if what we plan to say is hurtful, it’s wrong. Teasing is not a good excuse for calling people names, or sighting their shortcomings. We are to edify, uplift and encourage with our words, not tear down.
Another deceiver we need to be on the alert for is the antichrists, the false teachers, who try to make believe that these things are not sins, and that God is way too busy to care if we use bad language. God is never too busy to keep in touch with the actions of His children. Just as you would be angry to hear your own child swear, or see him use the “digital” language, so is God angered by this. Let me remind you that walking in these sins puts us down to the same level as the unbeliever, the unregenerate, the unclean. We are to be above that, and good examples to the people who don‘t yet know the Lord.
BIBLE STUDY: PART XXV
V7 - Therefore, because of, everything we learned, we are not to participate in the sins of the world (I Timothy 5:22, "Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.") Does that mean we can’t spend time with sinners? No. If we isolate ourselves from the world, how will they learn about salvation. God gave the apostles, so all of us, a commission when He said preach everywhere we go to everyone we meet. (Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.") God wants no man to perish, and all to be saved.
V8 - Christians were once in the darkness as these lost souls are in darkness. We were blind and deaf too, and could neither see nor hear the truth, so could not believe it. But then, by the grace of God, someone who knew Jesus was willing to associate with us in our defiled state, and we now have the Lord. Now we are in the Light of the Lord, filled with the Light of the Spirit, His fire, and we walk in righteousness. Let’s read I Thessalonians 5:1-10. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”
V9 - What is the Fruit of the Spirit? Let’s read Galatians 5:22,23. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.“ Do you think Ephesians 5: 9 encompasses all the fruit? I do. Let’s take a look at forgiveness. We are righteous before the Lord because by His grace we were forgiven and saved from our sin. I would put forgiveness under righteousness. What about goodness? Isn’t treating people with love, joy, patience, long-suffering and kindness showing goodness? What would you write in the truth column? I would write not lying, not gossiping, not slandering the sinner or the saints. So that sums up the fruit quite nicely.
V10 - Actually, I don’t know why they broke 8-10 into three verses. They go together, and should be read as one sentence. Let’s read Romans 12:1,2. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” What is our good and acceptable service to God? To walk in faith by the Light, to be servants, to keep ourselves out of sin, to be in praise and worship, and be willing to suffer when and where necessary.
V11 - This is one verse many people change to suit there purposes. It says not to have fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, or fleshly sin. It does not forbid us to fellowship with unbelievers. Look at II Corinthians 6:14. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” This is telling us not to be bound to someone who does not believe. It means don’t go to there idolatrous masses, or services, and not to marry them, or be in business with them. It’s not a word against being friends with unbelievers. Don’t fellowship light with darkness means don’t take part in their evil, rather teach them to be good.
We have the strength of the gospel, the power of the Spirit, the blood of Jesus, the righteousness of God that allows us to work with, play with, and live in the same neighborhood as, the unbeliever. We can’t segregate ourselves and allow the world to fall away into hell. It‘s our job to raise them up.
“...but rather reprove (expose) them.” Lay it out for them to see. Let sin be called sin, and let’s not sugar coat it for the world. We are to lead by example, not follow the masses. If someone, saint or sinner, is gossiping, telling lies, involved in adultery, or any other sin named in these chapters, it’s our duty to God to tell them it’s wrong.
V12 - If homosexuality, adultery, lying, stealing, gossiping are too evil to talk about, why are they mentioned in the Bible? Because we need to know the truth of what we are up against. Some of the believers were falling back into this type of lifestyle, and Paul was telling them why they should not be in it. Don’t mix darkness with light. If you are in the light of the Lord, live as one forgiven and made whole, not as one still lost and searching. Why do people look around before they take something? It’s sin. Why do voices lower when gossiping? It’s sin. Why do those telling the lies insist it’s the truth? They know they are lying. Why is evil speaking wrong? Because you cannot bless and curse your brother with the same mouth. That’s murder. Sin works best under the cover of darkness.
V13 - All sin is exposed by the Light. One way or another, your sins always find you out. You can’t hurt God and not have Him correct you. He will try in easy ways, like having the saints tell you about your sin, by His Spirit witnessing to your spirit, and by His Word pointing it out to you. If none of this convicts you, beware. God does not allow sin to go unpunished.
V14 - As long as we continue in sin, we close the doors to our blessings, we open the door to the light of correction and exposure, and we make ourselves a great target for discipline. Awake from the darkness of sin, get away from the death of sin, and walk in the Light.
BIBLE STUDY: PART XXVI
V15 - Wisdom means the quality or state of being wise; having discernment or insight. Wisdom comes from learning, learning comes from hearing a teacher, by mouth or book, and processing the information into the brain. The more you learn, the wiser you become. Wise people avoid the road to destruction they came from. They now walk in a new way, and keep their eyes open.
Let’s read Colossians 4:5. “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” What does this walking imply? It means putting one foot in front of the other to achieve a new place. When I walk ahead, I see new things, visit new places. I am not stuck in the mire of indifference. That’s what walking out your salvation is about: Moving forward. Walk in the wisdom you have attained by prayer and Bible study. the more you study your Bible, the wiser you become and the more you can help others learn about God. The inward walk is faith. The outward walk is the demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit in us.
Matthew 10:16 tells us to walk wise as serpents, yet gentle as doves. What needs to happen for us to be able to do that? Snakes are cunning. They devise ways to preserve themselves. The apostles were being sent out among the serpents (sinners) of the world and needed to have the craftiness of a snake to stay free from the traps of the world. Yet, even as they were wise and cunning, they had to maintain their humility and gentleness.
When you get out into the world, be it for work or shopping, or any other activity, you have to maintain your watchfulness because satan will set traps for you everywhere you go. But if you have filled yourself up on the food of the Word, know the commandments of God, know what power you have in the Holy Ghost, you can avoid the traps. While you are watching and waiting for the trap to be set, you need to be kind, patient, gentle, and willing to be humiliated if that’s what it takes to stay in God’s graces. Our examples of this are numerous in the Old and New Testaments. Were Moses, David, or Jonah always great leaders? No, they learned by their mistakes, and then became wise leaders.
V16 - I wonder how many of you reading this remember when merchants gave out Green Stamps? Anytime someone made a purchase at a participating store or gas station, she was given one stamp for each dollar spent. She saved those stamps in books, and could redeem them at any Green Stamp redemption center set up for that purpose. Men and women alike were thrilled to be able to do this. They really believed they were getting something for nothing, when in fact, this program was more like a savings account then anything free. You paid the merchants more of your money than the items were worth, and they gave you stamps you could later trade with.
God has set up a similar account for us. The difference is, that instead of buying merchandise with money to earn stamps, we are spending our time on good works to earn credit in heaven (storing up treasures in heaven). God has given us a certain number of years in which to accumulate these credits This makes time a precious and valuable commodity. Redeeming your time means to spend it carefully. You must never waste a minute of your day. You are given a certain amount of hours each day to spend wisely, then redeem, or turn back to God as you fill them. What you are filling your time with is the most important thing. Each day should begin with praise and worship to God, and ended with prayers of thanksgiving. Many days would go so much better if we took the time to connect with God.
What does it mean the days are evil? Sin is everywhere, and wicked men come at us from all sides. We need to be on alert to avoid the pitfalls of sin. We might suffer personal persecution for our beliefs, and we might have to defend the Lord to others because they are evil and can’t see the truth. We must always keep our hearts and minds prepared to make a defense for our beliefs.
V17 - As Christians we are to walk in a new wisdom, understanding what we learn. We need to change our speech, our behavior, and how we spend our time. Let’s look at Romans 12:2. Walking in wisdom means not being “conformed” to, not complying with, not adapting to this world. We are to be separate from the world as we live in it. We need to develop new mind sets. How can we accomplish this? Look at Titus 3:4,5. It’s by the renewal of our minds by God’s Spirit that we can be in the world, yet apart from its sinfulness. Why? So we can please God.
What is the good, perfect and acceptable will of God? That the world by His Son will be saved. And that those who are saved, redeemed, and sanctified would continue in the way He has laid out for us. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and spirit, and love your neighbor as yourself. As you live out these commands, you are proving what God’s will is to the world.
V18 - Dissipation. When we are drunk on anything but God, we are wasting our valuable time. Read Proverb 20:1. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a raging, and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.“ We know what mocking is, right? Being drunk makes fun of us. It makes us into the joke of the day, or for some, of their lifetime. Nothing good comes from being drunk on wine or strong drink Only by drinking deeply of the Living Water of the Spirit of God can we be filled. Being filled with the Spirit means to be so greatly connected with God everyday that you can tap into His vast energy resources. When you pray, you get results; when you study, you get revelation; when you worship, you feel the presence of God around you.
V19 - Psalms are songs written by David and the other psalmists. Hymns are songs written from Biblical text and designed to worship the Lord. Spiritual songs are those given to men and women of all generations to enliven the worship service, bring praise and honor to God, and they are Spirit inspired.
When we sing these things to God, our hearts must agree with our tongues for them to please the Lord. If we sing with a mean heart, we touch no one’s life. But if our spirits, voices and hearts combine in joy, we bring harmony and love among the people. We please the Lord. Some of us can only accomplish making a “joyful noise” while others make beautiful music, but the notes that come from our hearts are the ones God listens to. He is either pleased, or not. James 5:13 tells us that when we are suffering, we need to pray, and when we are cheerful, we need to sing psalms.
V20 - As we sing, our hearts should be filled with praise and thanksgiving for everything God has done for us. Some examples of these things are, salvation, health, vision, hearing, food, clothing, a warm home, family, friends, church, and so on. We have to offer up our sacrifices of praise in the name of Jesus the Christ. Let’s read I Peter 2:4,5. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
V21 - Submitting to one another? Not wives submit to your husbands? What does this mean? Read Philippians 2:3. We are not to be selfish, ambitious at another’s cost, or filled with pride. We are to consider others better than ourselves. Why should we do that? Because Jesus did it! He washed dirty feet before He died for the people who walked on them. Let’s read I Peter 5:5, “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” We do all this in the righteous fear of the Lord, reverencing Him, and being constantly aware of His power to give and to remove.
BIBLE STUDY: PART XXVII
V22 - There is a lot of confusion about what this verse means, for men and women. Let’s see what we can find out about it. We women should want the right perspective on this so that we can honor this command to us. Men should want the truth so they too can do what’s right in the sight of the Lord.
Mr. Webster defines submit in two ways that apply to our study:1. It is to give over or yield to the power or authority of another. 2. It is to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, or decision.
As a general rule, wives should think the best of their husbands. We should not be gossiping about them to others. We should only say those things which uplift them before others. Sarah showed her respect for Abraham by addressing him as her lord. She paid tribute to him, and showed reverence for him in this manner. I am not asking the women to speak to their husbands as their lord. For born again Christians there is only one Lord. I am suggesting that we learn to treat them with deeper respect. We need to learn to honor them, and allow them to take the position God assigned them in the family. Look at Proverbs 15:33. “The fear of the Lord is instruction of wisdom; and [before honor is humility].” We need to humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and before our husbands. We are going to look in Proverbs a lot tonight, so you might want to place a marker there.
Does being submissive mean we can’t ask where the money comes from, or where it goes? No. Does it mean we can’t ask our husband where he’s going when he walks out the door? No. Does it mean we have no input into the matters of the household or the family? Certainly not. We are entitled to our opinions, and to voice them. We can even sometimes get into a fuss about something. Ultimately, though, the man has the final say. The Bible does not suggest that we must like what’s said or done. It says that we have to submit to the husband’s authority, and do what he decides.
We must remember however, that we are not to follow a man who directs us away from Jesus, or into sin. If he tries that, we must then defer to the Lord’s Word to see what we should do. The Bible says we are not to commit adultery, so wife swapping is out. It says that we are not to steal, so breaking and entering behind the husband is wrong. It says we are not to lie, so calling your husband’s boss and telling him he’s sick so he can stay home and watch a sports event is wrong.
Wives need to work with their husbands to make the home a comfortable safe haven for their family to live in. Proverbs has something to say about wives. Let’s read Proverbs 21:19, “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” And now Proverbs 25:24. “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.” It’s better for a man to live anywhere but in a home where the wife makes him feel useless, stupid, always wrong, or in the way. Most people marry without checking with God about their choice, then blame Him when things are not perfect in the relationship. Let God off the hook, and let Him show you how to make your marriage work.
Women must remember one thing. The submission you give to your husband is for him alone. You need not treat anyone else in the same manner, not even your children. This is a special commitment between the two of you. This man is your priest, your spiritual protector, your provider. He has many jobs to do for you that no one else has, so he deserves the treatment that comes of respect. A wife may even lead her husband to the Lord by her quiet submission (I Peter 3:1).
Note: God does not expect anyone to live in an abusive relationship. I am in no way advocating a woman stay in such a marriage. If you have done all you can by your quiet witness, and by prayer, then please seek help in removing you and your children to safety.
Let’s read Genesis 3:16. “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” God gave us a physical as well as emotional need for our men. We need them to love us and support us financially and spiritually. We were a gift of God to them, and they need to treat us as such, but we need to treat them well too.
Let’s read Proverbs 12:4. “A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” And now Proverbs 19:14. “House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD.” We don’t want to be rottenness in any way. We should prefer to be prudent so that the men can claim the truth of Proverbs 18:22. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” We want to be considered a favor to our man from God.
We must aspire to become the Virtuous Woman who lives in Proverbs 31:10-28. Please take a moment now to read that portion of Scripture. Men you should read this also, and make a choice to help your wife grow in these ways. If we women don’t cultivate these things in our lives, we will make the second half of Proverbs 15:13, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.” the reality in our husband’s life, and in our lives.
V23 - Why do all this? Because your husband is your head, your priest, your counselor, your protector, and your provider. He is assigned a heavy burden and for him to be able to do his part, you must do yours willingly and graciously. Their is a hierarchy listed in I Corinthians 11:3. Let’s read that and see how God set things up. “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” So, God is Jesus’ head, Jesus is man’s head, and man is woman’s head. There’s no getting out of that. The Lord made each role clear, and we need to stick to it. That does not imply we need to be welcome mats for our men to wipe their feet on. This respect must become a mutual demonstration.
Husbands, you need to be the kind of priest in your home that your wife can imitate. You need to walk circumspectly so that you never bring disgrace upon your head. If you want a good, respectful, submissive wife, be submissive to her. Ephesians 5:21 said that we are to submit to one another in the fear of the Lord. When we submit to each other, we treat each other with respect and love, not taking thought for what we want, but for what will please the other.
We have recently seen testimony of true love, and of the type of relationship God wants between husbands and wives. President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan lived out this kind of submissive commitment to each other for all the world to see for fifty-two years, and they have received great respect for this. With prayer, and with determination, we can achieve this same kind of communion with each other and with God.
Jesus is the Savior, the Head of the body, meaning the church (Colossians 1:18). Even as He provides everything the body needs to make it healthy and whole, so should the husband provide for his wife that she can be healthy and whole too.
V24 - So, just like the church who is dependent on Jesus for her provision, protection, comfort, and happiness, so should we women depend on our men for this too. Many women now work outside the home, and often earn more than their husband, but that changes nothing. The church body needs to live by the precepts Jesus made for her governing, and one of those is that a woman is subject to a man, not to all men, but the man God gives her. Men, you need to be as open and honest about your feelings toward the women God gave you as Jesus was, and is with all of us. Emotions are something He shared with family and friends, and you guys need to soften up and share yourselves too.
BIBLE STUDY: PART XXVIII
One thing I want to talk about here before I get into the study is the growing number of Christian men who are giving in to the temptation of lust. Some are addicted to pornography either in copy or on the Internet. Others are involved in affairs with other women. Others have only gone so far as the feed their eyes from TV commercials and scantily dressed women they see everywhere.
What is lust? It is a passionate or overwhelming desire or craving. When you allow your eyes to feast on another woman’s attributes, lust enters your brain. Once it’s allowed into the mind, then it becomes a play that you rewind and play according to your own needs and desires. The more you review this stuff in your mind, the more intense becomes your desire, your passion, your overwhelming craving to be with the person, or any person who will satisfy your fantasy.
That’s when it enters into your heart. Proverbs 23:7a says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” If you are allowing yourself to be drawn away into lustful fantasies, it won’t be long before you commit the act. What you think is what you are. What your mind feeds on is what your heart desires, and that desire is to be reserved for your mate.
I’m going to read Matthew 5: 27-30. “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” See what it says? When you lust, you sin. When you desire another woman, you commit adultery in your heart. And remember, as you think, so are you. This behavior is a terrible insult to God, and to your wife. Now let’s look at how men need to love their wives.
V25 - Husbands, love your wives. First we have to understand the word love. In many cases love is a noun. It is a deep affection one person feels for another. In this Scripture, love is a verb. It’s something you do, not what you feel. A husband should delight in his wife, share pleasures with her, seek to satisfy her and make her comfortable. He must respect her deeply, protect her, and see that no one does her harm. He is to keep secret between themselves her shortcomings. They are not fodder for the joke mill. He is to help her become ever more spiritual, growing deeper in their love and commitment to Christ. He must always treat her with respect in public. He must never ridicule her, especially in front of others. (Men, please do not make your wives the butt of your jokes with your children. They too must learn to respect this precious woman.)
There is only one Person a husband should love and respect more than his own wife, and that is God, the Trinity. He must never love his parents, his children, or anyone else more than he loves the woman God created for himself. He must love her as Christ loved the church.
How well did Jesus love the church, His bride? The often recited answer to that is, “He loved her so much, that He gave His life for her.” And that’s true. But what about the rest of what He did for her while He was here, and what He continues to do for her from heaven? When you think about it, Jesus was born to suffer and die. He often gave up His comfort for the church planting project He was working on. He didn’t allow eating, sleeping, or temptation to distract Him. (Remember the desert? Luke 4:1-13.) He was focused on building the church, and making disciples who would become living stones in His building ( I Peter 2:1-5). He had to vanish from the crowd because they were going to stone Him for blasphemy (John 8:59). He gave up His food to teach a woman at the well about salvation (John 4). He, being God, even prayed all night before selecting His apostles (Luke 6:12-16).
The deeper His ministry grew, the stronger the persecution became. He was then beaten, spit on, kicked, slapped in the face, and had His beard pulled out of His chin. He was made to wear a crown of thorns on His battered and bleeding head, bore stripes on His back, and He was made to carry His own cross until He could no longer bare it. As He walked along the road, His dissenters shouted out awful things to Him, and they punched Him, and spit on Him. I would say that qualifies as giving your all for the bride!
So, why should a husband be willing to suffer for his wife? Because, just as Jesus set apart the living stones from which to build His church, so was she set apart unto him. Now he needs to set her apart above all others. He must love her unselfishly, considering her needs before his own. That’s what Jesus did for the church.
V26 - Why did Jesus die for the church? So that He could sanctify her, or set her apart from the other religious sects of the time. (Christianity is not a religion, it is a faith-based belief system that we live.) To be sanctified, hagiadzo, Strong’s #37, means to be set apart, to dedicate, separate, and consecrate. It is to be made holy. We are filled with the Spirit of God, therefore we are made holy in His sight.
Jesus sanctified the church by washing her in the blood He shed from the cross. Life was released from Jesus as water and blood when the soldiers pierced His side, and by the Word of God. Look at John15:3, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” and 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” He cleansed her and made her His bride, able to join Him in heaven because of the washing she had from the water that flowed from His lungs, and by His Word. That is, the preached Word of God that is the Bible which brings unbelievers to Jesus. Let’s read Romans 10:8-17. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” When we accepted Jesus as Savior, He cleansed us, and we then became a living stone in the building of His church, regenerated and restored to fellowship with God.
V27 - At some point in time, Jesus will present to Himself the church that He died for. She will be spotless, and without wrinkle. No sin or decay will be found in her. She will be holy and blameless. Why? Because she was built from clean stones. We know there will be no more tears in heaven, nor illness, and certainly not any sin. So, all who are the Lord’s will have been perfected, and sanctified for His purpose.
V28, 29 - As the church is a part of Jesus, so is the wife part of the man. As Christ loves the church and supplies her needs, and even her wants, so should husbands provide for their wives. Men go through an awful lot to make themselves comfortable. Women struggle to look good, men work to feel good. Men love their bodies, and give them whatever they need to be happy even though they are not perfect. That’s also what they should do for the wife God gave them. She may not be perfect, but she is what God knew you needed to complete you. It is your duty to nourish, and cherish her as Christ does the church.
V30 - Originally man was made in the image of God. He came from God, bone of His bone, so to speak. Eve was taken from Adam’s bone, his rib. Because of that, Adam called her woman (Genesis 2:23).
V31- is a direct quote of Genesis 2:24. To be joined means that a permanent bond has been created between two people so that they have become one flesh. That does not mean women can’t have their own minds, thoughts and ideas. It means that a woman should be working together with her man to make the union of the two into one strong enough to withstand any attack from the enemy. It means they are to be united in body, mind and spirit. If you cut out two paper figures, and glue them together, you seen that they are still separate figures, yet held together by a strong bond. That’s spouses should become, bonded for life.
V32 - And that’s the mystery spoken of here. How can two fleshly beings become one? It is by the miracle grace of God. Jesus loves His body, the church, and gives His all for her. That’s the demonstration of how husbands need to love their wives. Again I say, we are not perfect, but we are what God gave you.
V33 - This verse is a recap of what the previous verses stated. Let’s look at Colossians 3:19. “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.” Do not be bitter toward them. This is not to say husbands can never be upset with their wives. Only that it should never go so far as to cause bitterness in their relationship. We should keep short accounts. Forgiveness is one of the key words in marriage. Two other important words are communication and compromise. Let’s look at a final Scripture as we close this study. I Peter 3:7 “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” This makes it clear that husbands should treat their wives with understanding and honor because they are both going to receive a portion of the same inheritance one day. We are going to dwell together for eternity in the presence of the Lord Himself.