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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:22-27

The Church: The Bride of Christ

(Ephesians 5:22-33)



1.  Eph. 5:22-33: Marriage is the great illustration of the relationship of Christ and His church.

  a.  United to Christ, Rom. 7:4 (ginomai: “to become”). Joined, married

  b.  Joined, 2 Cor. 11:2 (betrothed/espoused: “of carpenter’s, fastening together beams and planks to build houses, ships, etc.” (Thayer).

  c.  The bride of Christ, Rev. 19:7.

2.  Gospel obedience brings the sinner into this pure and holy relationship, Rom. 6:3-4; Acts 2:47; 2 Cor. 11:2.

3.  Our text teaches Christ’s love for His church and the church’s respectful submission to Him.

4.  Marriage illustrates this “great mystery” (Eph. 5:32):

  a.  This relation had previously been kept secret, but it is now revealed.

  b.  God arranged marriage to be a great teacher concerning Christ and the church.


I. CHRIST LOVES HIS CHURCH. (Church: called out ones, the saved, Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47).

  A.  Jesus Sacrificed Himself for His Church. (Oh, what love!)

    1.  To save the church, 5:23. Lk. 19:10; Rom. 5:6-8

    2.  To sanctify the church, 5:25-27. Set apart from sin, to be holy and without blemish.

      a.  Redemption and reconciliation, Eph. 1:7; Acts 20:28; Rom. 5:10.

      b.  The blood applied through faith, Acts 2:37-41, 47; 22:16.

  B.  Christ’s Leadership (rule). Servant-leader, Mk. 10:45

    1.  As head of His church, Christ’s leadership (rule) is marked by Service–Sacrifice–Salvation.

    2.  Unselfish, not pleasing himself, Rom. 15:3; Phil. 2:5-8.

  C.  As Head, He Nourishes and Cherishes His Church, 5:23, 28-30.

    1.  Christ possesses full authority to save us, bless us and lead us.

    2.  Christ uses His authority...

      a.  To strengthen (nourish) and cherish us, cf. Matt. 28:18-20; Jno. 14:23.

      b.  To give us eternal life, Jno. 5:21.

    3.  Expressions of His authority are for our glory, joy, purity and virtue – Not personal glory, cf. 1 Ths. 2:19-20.



  A.  Subjection to Christ is Essential for Our Salvation, Eph.5:23-24.

    1.  A rebellious wife cannot expect to live in the warm blessings of her husband. See the contrast in Prov. 31:10-12, 28-30

    2.  Rebellious Christians will not be saved, Gal. 5:4; cf. Rev. 2:16.

  B.  The Church is Faithful to Christ in Everything, Eph. 5:24; Col. 3:17.

    1.  There is no head who is more loving, caring and devoted than Christ.

    2.  Imagine a wife who is faithful to her husband 90% of the time.

    3.  Just as the wife honors her husband by respecting and supporting his word, the church honors Christ by respecting and supporting His word, 1 Tim. 3:15.

  C.  Submission to Christ (His Word) Expresses Our Faithfulness to Him.

    1.  Jehovah used the figure of marriage to explain His relationship with Jerusalem, Ezek. 16:8.

      a.  God adorned Jerusalem with great blessings, Ezek. 16:9-14.

      b.  Jerusalem trusted in her own beauty and became unfaithful to God, Ezek. 16:15-59 (32, 38, 59).

      c.  God’s judgment was that of a jealous husband, 16:41-43.

    2.  Similarly, the church must be faithful to Christ...

      a.  Through morality, Eph. 5:3-11. (Walk in love)

      b.  Through zealous devotion to what pleases Him, Eph. 5:10, 14(Walk in light)

      c.  Through true and thankful worship, Eph. 5:19-20 (Jno. 4:24). (Walk in wisdom)

  D.  Submission to Christ Expresses Our Unity with Him, Eph. 5:31.

    1.  Leave and cleave: New relation in Christ, 2 Cor. 6:14-18.

    2.  One flesh: United, following Him in everything.



1.  Christ commands the husband to completely love his wife and the wife to completely respect her husband, Eph. 5:33.

2.  Marriage reflects the relation Christ has with His church, Rev. 19:7-9:

  -The church: His wife...made herself ready...righteous acts of the saints...the marriage supper is prepared – the gospel calls you to come and be saved, Rev. 21:9; 22:17.



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: March 12, 2013