Doing Marriage God’s Way, Part 11 — Ephesians 5:28-33 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #35)

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A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6

A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”


I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.

Ephesians 5:28-33:

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

—–

James Burton Coffman said, “The exalted view, both of marriage and of the church of Jesus Christ, shines forth in this text. The sacredness of marriage is seen in God’s design of it, from the very beginning, to be a figure of the union of Christ and his church; and the glorious importance of the church appears in the fact of its having been in the design of God from the very beginning.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Oh that believers would become eternity-conscious! If we could live every moment of every day under the eye of God, if we did every act in the light of the judgment seat, if we sold every article in the light of the judgment seat, if we prayed every prayer in the light of the judgment seat, if we tithed all our possessions in the light of the judgment seat, if we preachers prepared every sermon with one eye on damned humanity and the other on the judgment seat—then we would have a Holy Ghost revival that would shake this earth and that, in no time at all, would liberate millions of precious souls.”

Paul calls marriage — specifically the ‘leaving and cleaving’ aspect of marriage — a mystery. In the Bible, a “mystery” is something that was previously hidden, unknown, or misunderstood. Marriage itself is not the mystery here; the mystery is the thing that marriage signifies. That mystery is the union of Christ with His body, the Church. That is why Paul says, “I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Before Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, and rose from the dead, no one knew how it was possible for us to take part in the life of God. That was the mystery — mortal, sinful man and immortal, holy God coming together in a great union. In the New Testament, now that such a union has taken place, Paul uses marriage to explain or to unveil the mystery. He takes something that is familiar and uses it to help people understand that which is unfamiliar.

At the same time, however, Christian couples are called to an even higher standard in their marriages. The relationship between a Christian husband and wife should be a model of the relationship between Christ and His Church. A Christian marriage ought to be a testimony to the world that doing family God’s way works. A Christian marriage ought to also be a tangible, visible representation of Jesus’ union with His people.

Husbands and wives, when you look at your marriage through the spectrum lens laid out by the Apostle Paul, you will view matrimony as a holy calling — one that God can use and has used to accomplish His will on Earth and to bring more people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. This understanding should inspire you to be committed to doing marriage God’s way.

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