Christ and the Church
We were talking about duties of husbands and wives last week and there was quite a bit of good interaction between both parties who seemed to have reacted to what was written in the Bible. Well I’m blessed and happy to know that the Word of God is really working in your lives. Actually, the relationship of husband and wife is the simplest illustration about the relationship of Christ and the church. So, let’s have a look at it and see what the Holy Spirit would like to teach us today.
I. The relationship of Christ to the Church
A. Christ is described as a lover – Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:25). When did this love
begin? He loved it before it was born, as the promised gift of the Father. His love is an
abiding love, a love that passeth knowledge (Eph. 3. 19).
1. Christ’s love is described as:
a. Unchangeable (Jn. 13:1)
b. Divine ((Jn. 15:9)
c. Self – sacrificing (Jn. 15:13)
d. Inseparable (Rom. 8:35)
e. Constraining (2 Cor. 5:14)
f. Sacrificial (Gal. 2:20)
g. Manifested by His death (1 Jn. 3:16)
2. Because Christ loved us we must also love Him in return.
3. It’s quite an easy thing for us to profess love, but to prove it to God is another
B. Christ is the Redeemer of the church – He gave Himself for it (Eph. 5:25). Like a true
lover, He gave Himself first.
1. Redemption means bought and released, describing the act of buying a slave from
the market in order to give him freedom
2. We are redeemed through Christ’s blood (Col 1:14; Heb. 9:12; 1Pet. 1:18-19).
Those who say the blood of Christ is only symbolic for death are wrong. The blood
of the O.T. animal sacrifices was symbolic, typifying the blood of Christ, but the
blood was real and was required by the law of God (Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). To
change the word “blood” to “death” as some modern versions do is wickedness
and is a denial of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
C. Christ is described as a husband – “The husband is head of the wife, even as Christ is
the Head of the Church” (Eph. 5:23).
1. The Head is the seat of authority.
2. With the Head also rests the responsibility of supplying the needs of the wife—
3. The husband lovingly provides, protects, preserves, and loves his wife.
4. The Spirit filled wife recognizes that her husband’s role as a leader was not only
God ordained but a picture of Christ’s authoritative role in the church.
D. Christ is the Sanctifier – “That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing by
His Word” (Eph. 5:26).
1. He sanctifies, or separates, her for Himself. He found her in rags and
wretchedness, but He looked on her in love and spread His skirts of mercy over
2. He washed and clothed her with broidered work. He anointed her and decked
her with ornaments and jewels, and made her perfect with the comeliness He put
upon her (Ezek. 16:5-14). It is all His doing. Praise His Name.
3. Christ’s love is purifying and He wants us to be cleansed from every form of sin
E. Christ is described as a satisfier. “He nourisheth and cherisheth it” (Eph. 5:29). No
mother was ever more careful over her child than the Lord is over His Church. He
nourisheth her with the milk of His Word, and fondles her in the arms of His love (John
17. 14, 15). He satisfies with good things by His Comforting Spirit (John 16. 13, 14). For
no man hated his own flesh.
1. Modern teaching tells us that the troubles now are due to the lack of self-love in
criminals and antisocial misfits.
2. The Scriptures however teaches the fact that no man hates himself. Everyone
loves himself too much. The first prophesied characteristics of the perilous last
days is that “men shall be lovers of their own selves” (2 Tim. 3:1, 2).
F. Christ is described as a bridegroom. He longs to “present it to Himself a glorious
Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing” (Eph. 5:27).
1. There is no spotless church in existence today, but when Christ returns, “we shall
be like Him” (1 Jn. 3:2) and all shall be in “the general assembly and church of the
first born” with “the spirits of just men made perfect (Heb. 12:23).
2. That He might present her to Himself a glorious Church—glorious in her position,
immunities, and honour, not having a spot, for the redeemed shall be without
fault before the throne. No wrinkle of decay shall mar her countenance, or
blemish of sin.
Illustration: Metaphors of marriage, Christ and Church
The bride surrenders all her property to the man, and hence calls nothing her own; the bride submits her dependence to the man, calling him lord and master. Her very life from that moment runs in his; and, according to the strictness of law, she can have no private right, she can hold no separate existence, she loses herself, and lives only in her husband: while, on the other hand, he undertakes for her in all things. She bears his name; she claims his love; she shares his property: he represents her before the world; he is responsible to pay all her debts; he provides her all she wants. So Christians have no independence, but find it far happier to lean only upon Christ; they cannot order their own
steps, but it is far belter that Christ should order them for them. He steps forward as their Representative; their place is at His side; their home is in His happiness. Far from heaven they can never be, for they can never be divided from Him; and His word has gone forth in covenant love thatwhere He is they shall be for ever and for ever. From: J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons
II. The Relationship of the Church to Christ. It is that of:
A. The church is composed of saved ones. “He is the Saviour of the body” (v. 23). It can
never be forgotten that the Church is as a brand plucked out of the fire.
B. Every saved ones is a member of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones (v. 30). So
close is the relationship that “they two shall be one flesh” (v. 31) The members of the
body are the operators on behalf of the Head (Rom. 12. 5).
C. Every member must submit to Christ. “Therefore the Church is subject unto Christ”
(v. 24). The members of the body that is not subject to the control of the Head is either
separated or paralyzed.
D. Every member must reverence the Lord Jesus Christ. “The wife see that she reverence
her husband” (v. 33). We reverence our Lord when we believe His Word, love His will,
and adore His Holy Name. This is the happy slavery of love. “Thou art worthy, 0 Lord,
to receive honour. ”
Our Lord Jesus Christ is described as a lover, redeemer, husband, sanctifier, satisfier, and
bridegroom. He is the head of the church. Will you submit and reverence Him? You should
for you will never regret it.
Note: The outline of this message was taken from the Book Handfuls of Purpose.