Faithlife Sermons

Husbands Love your Wives as Christ loves the Church

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Ephesians 5:25–33 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Happy Father’s day to the dads out there. I know it is Fathers day but today we are going to talk about a Christian husband and his love for his wife.
And since it is Fathers day…this is a gift for the children here...because I truly believe in our day and time one of the best gifts we Fathers can give to our children…is to show them this kind of love for our wife.
This morning it may also at first glance seem like we are taking a small step out of our series on the church…but not really. This is huge for the church as well.
Ephesians 5:32 ESV
This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
John Chrysostom, an important Early Church Father, about 400 AD said this about God’s design for the church, family, and the role of marriage between one man and one woman in God’s overarching plan for society...
"The love of husband and wife is the force that holds society together."
It is no wonder then that one of the most fierce and most constant attacks from the enemy upon the church and in society is an attack on marriage.
And as you all know very well...this is as important now as ever...
We as God’s people must get this right. We as the Church must get this right. We whom are dads must get this right. And those who are called to lead the Church as elders/pastors must get this right.
As we will see in a few weeks…one of the first qualifications listed for being an elder is to love your wife…and manage your own household.
God has ordained marriage…Marriage is God’s idea…not ours...
And the relationship between man and woman is at the pinnacle of God’s act of creation...just before He declares everything He made to be very good He tells us this.,,,
Genesis 1:26–27 ESV
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
The creation of man and woman and the relationship of man and woman...Husband and Wife…was a display of God’s glory in creation…on full display…and God said...
Genesis 1:31 ESV
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Then in Genesis 2 we getmore detail of this sixth day...
And we also see that whent he creative wisdom of God in His ceation of man and woman…and His putting the love and care of woman by man at the center of His plan for creation…when that is disordered and not trusted and obeyed significantly…and even generationally...impacts society…the family…and the church.
This is seen in the fall.
Before creating woman God gives man this command...
Genesis 2:16–17 ESV
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
So a command given…in a world of Yes…everything we needed right there for us for our joy and pleasures…one protective no given to man…and then…the creation of woman.
Genesis 2:18–25 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Perfect…right? This sounds awesome.
The enemy sees a way in…to mess with God’s plan for creation…the plan for man and woman…perfectly united…living marriage in the way God had designed them to live…but the question arises...
Had the man instructed His wife with the command given Him by God? Was he lovingly leading her and caring for her and protecting her?
If the love of husband and wife is created by God as a display of His love and care for us....the church...
Then it will be constantly under attack…because when disordered…the force that can take a society down.
So the serpent puts this to the test…and asks the woman if she knows the command given by God to man.
Genesis 3:1 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
And with her husband with her…the serpent attacks and decieves…and the fall…and then the excuses…and the breaking of relationship…first and most importantly between man and God…then man and woman…and then soon after…their family and culture and society and kingdoms and nations...
And of course…we know the answer....
The answer is the Gospel…God provides the solution...
Jesus comes to save God’s people…to a world crying out with the psalmist in Psalm 80 7.
Psalm 80:7 ESV
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
God has done this…for us…in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:18–20 ESV
And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And…
2 Corinthians 5:18–19 ESV
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
We have the message of reconciliation…the Gospel of salvation…the only way for anyone to be returned to God and be saved....given to us the church.
And based on how the attack came upon God’s creative plan for man and woman and marriage...it should be no surprise to us that a large and visible part of that message of reconciliation would be for us to be a display of God’s love…and the gospel…andthe Church in the way we honor and trust God in His crative plan for man and woman and family…as seen in our marriages.
In the midst of the fall of culture and the attack on the wisdom of the God of Genesis 1…we have this message of reconsiliation…we are the answer…we have been given the message that the world needs…therefore...
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
With that turn with me to Ephesians 5.
Ephesians 5:25–33 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5 tells a husband he must love his wife as Jesus Christ loves his church.
So before we look at how a husband does that....and the power of that in the church and inthe world…we need to answer a quetion...
How are we loved by our great Savior…How does Jesus love us…the church?
Let’s look at 5 ways these verses tell us that Jesus loves us and apply those to husbands…and then empower us as the church.
Christ Loves the Church with Sacrificial Love
Ephesians 5:25 ESV
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
Jesus’s life was a life of sacrifice…and the ultimate sacrifice in the history of the universe…was God as man…perfect man…in the ultimate act of sacrifice…giving His very life for the sake of his church.
He sacrificed himself to the pain and loss and shame and punishment of the cross so that we would not have to.
He willingly placed Himself under the wrath of God so that we would never need to face it.
He sacrificed everything for us by name…He specifically for you…put Himself on the cross...There is no sacrifice that could ever be greater than this.
1. Therefore Husband...Love Your Wife with a Sacrificial Love
Husband let me ask you the obvious question and then a not so obvious question that arises from this verse...
The obvious question...
Would you die for your wife?
If someone was holding you and your wife hostage and said, “One of you needs to die”
I’m betting you men would say...“Take me, I will save her.”
The less obvious question from this verse...will you live for her? This sacrificial love is not only a potential one time deal...
This is primarily a way to show the world the sacrificial love Jesus displayed for you on the cross…by daily dying to yourself for the woman God has chosen for you.
Ultimately, will you live more for her good than for your own?
Are you willing to sacrifice for her…your time....your preferences…
Will you lead Her when you would rather just stand by…or follow?
Will you give her your life?
Do you see this as not a burden…but a God given honor?
And will you sacrifice for her not simply out of duty…but like Christ did....will you...
Hebrews 12:2 ESV
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Men…love your wife sacrificially for the joy God has set before you.
2. Christ Loves the Church with a Sanctifying Love
Ephesians 5:26 ESV
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
The point and purpose of Christ’s sacrifice was not simply to get us to heaven someday...
But our sanctification.
Jesus reconciles us to the Father by empowering us with His Spirit leading to our becoming more like Him.
In our devotion to God.
In our love for God.
In our obedience to God.
In our hatred of Sin.
This verse tells us that Jesus sanctifies us by setting us apart to live for God and serve God.
We were going our own way, living for the world, the flesh, and ultimately the devil.
And while still in our sin...Jesus Christ came to us, saved us, and specifically for you if you are saved…He called your name....He set us apart to serve God.
Christ loves his church and sanctifies us to the live for the purpose you were created…to live in true joy for the glory of God.
2. Therefore Husbands...Love Your Wife with a Sanctifying Love
Jesus died so that he could set apart his bride the church for service to God.
Husband your wife exists first for God.
Yes, amen and hallelujah...she has been set apart to you, given to you....but primarily so you can help her be more set apart to God.
Your wife exists to bring glory to God by doing good to others.
This means as husbands we need to be committed to leading her and helping her to do this.
It’s your task to help her unleash her gifts, her talents, her passions, her interests in doing good to others and bringing glory to God…and living as partof the Church…for the love of Jesus…and the spread of the gospel.
Love her with a sanctifying love, a love that helps her live set apart to do what God calls her to do and to be who God calls her to be.
3. Christ Loves the Church with a Purifying Love
Ephesians 5:26 ESV
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
Jesus not only sets us apart to God’s purposes, but he also gives us what we need to accomplish those purposes.
So what does He give us...what do we need?
Purity! Holiness!
Hebrews 12:14 ESV
Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.
He equips us by purifying us from our sin.
We are saved as people with sinful desires, sinful habits, sinful selfishness, living in sin and for self...
And Jesus purifies us.
He gives us new desires, new habits, and new joy, new wants, new minds. And this is not a one-time act but one that goes on every day as we take hold of his power of His Spirit to put sin to death and come alive to righteousness…as we become like and live more for Jesus…not by our power or for our glory but by His power and for His glory.
3. Therefore Husbands...Love Your Wife with a Purifying Love
The wife is called to submit because the husband is commanded to lead...
And a primary part of that leadership is leading, guiding, and assisting her along the path to holiness.
This obviously puts a call on us men to grow in holiness ourselves first.
We need to identify our own sin and put it to death.
We lead the way in holiness, to lead the way in love, in character, in worship, in repentance, in maturity.
And then you have the honor leading our wives as they grow in holiness.
This is our helping her and washing her in prayer and the word...helping her put sin to death so she can come alive to righteousness.
Then rejoicing with her in who God is making her to be.
It is encouraging her in her spiritual growth and praising and thanking God for every bit of it.
It’s helping her be as pure and holy as she can possibly be…because Jesus is worthy and has purified us.
4. Christ Loves the Church with Gospel Love
Ephesians 5:26 ESV
that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
We all know that water washes away dirt.
It cleanses and purifies our bodies.
What cleanses and purifies our souls? The gospel! The Word of God.
We hear the gospel and believe it and are saved, then all throughout our lives as we live together as the church...we continue to hear this gospel…and apply the gospel…and learn the word...
And become purified from sin.
The gospel is what saves us, the gospel is what sanctifies us, the gospel is what purifies us.
The Christian life is not our determination to be better people, but together as the body of Christ...continuing to hear, believe, obey, and apply the gospel of Jesus Christ…by the power of the Spirit.
Jesus’s love for the church is declared by the gospel, enabled by the gospel, and eventually will be completed by the gospel…when He returns for those who have believed and obeyed the gospel.
4. Therefore Husbands...Love Your Wife with Gospel Love
Men you are to wash your wife with the water of the Word which is the gospel.
Your love is to be shaped by the grace given to you in gospel. You need to speak truth to your wife, to lead her to the Word of God, to remind her of the pomises of God that are Yes in Chrust for He because of the gospel.
Pray with her...worship with her.
Read the Bible and teach the Bible to Her.
Many people cometochurch so God canfix their marriage...
Only the gospel can do that…men saturated with the Gospel and who love Jesus because of what the good newsmeans foe us will...
Love our wives…lead them in the Word and prayer to the God of the Gospel.
5. Christ Loves the Church with a Purpose in Mind
Why did Christ sacrifice himself, then sanctify and purify his church by the gospel?
Ephesians 5:27 ESV
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.
After the Gospel has been preached to the ends of the eaerth…and Jesus returns...
Jesus will present the church to himself in absolute perfection—this is the purpose.
Revelation John looks forward in time and sees this:
Revelation 21:2–4 ESV
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
The church Jesus sacrificed for, the one He sanctified…the one he purified…the Church that JEsus saved bythe gospel...
Presented to Him as his bride, perfect…spotless…pure...Holy.
We will dwellwith God..He will be with us…His people…forever...
No sin…no tears…no death…no sadness…no crying…no pain...all because of Jesus.
5. Therefore Husbands...Love Your Wife with this Purpose in Mind
You may get many years with her.
But one day marriage will end…she will not.
If she is in Christ, her life will just be getting started.
We need to keep that in view.
Husbands our purpose and honor and joy…our task as a husband is to prepare our wife for eternity.
God has chosen you and appointed you as the one who will sacrifice for her, sanctify her, purify her with the Word and love Her with and because of the Gospel with the purpose to love her and prepare her for forever with Jesus.
Why?
Because Jesus sacrificed himself to do for you what you could not do for yourself.
He is sanctifying you to God’s purposes.
He to set you apart so you could live the life God created you to live.
He purified you...so he could put aside the sin that keeps you from Him and He leads you to His righteousness.
He did this for you by the word of the gospel…for His eternal purposes.
This is how Christ loved the church and how us husbands who are in Christ are to love the wife He has given us.
Husbands Love your Wives as Christ loves the Church
May we men of Revival show this this world the wisdom of the God of creation…and the love of Christ…by the way we love and live for the wife we have been given.
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