Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:25-33, esv
Husbands, love your wives, AS Christ loved the church…. It begs the question, how does Jesus love the church?
He GAVE Himself up for her,….
Truth Point: Whereas wives are called to submit to their husbands, husbands are called to submit to Christ by loving their wives sacrificially.
SACRIFICE: to willingly give up something you want, or perhaps even need, to provide for the needs and/or desires of another.
Jesus walked the sacrifice road to the point of death on the cross. A road most husbands will never have to travel.
But with the same self-sacrificing attitude, all Christian husbands are called to give of themselves for their wives, thus being a living demonstration of the love Christ has for us.
…for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross… Hebrews 12:2
What JOY could there possibly be that would compel Jesus to:
· lay aside His divine attributes,
· leave heaven,
· take on human flesh,
· live among sinners,
· allow them to crucify Him on a cross?
VS26-27: It was the JOY of seeing His Bride, The Church:
· rescued from eternal destruction,
· safe and eternally secure,
· able to become all she is destined to be through His loving service to her.
The natural way to see a relationship with my wife is from the perspective of how she can add to my life.
As a Christ-Follower my perspective is to be the exact opposite. Instead of looking at how she adds or subtracts from my life, I must be focusing on how I can add to her life.
· How can I serve her needs,
· How can I help her achieve her desires,
· How can I help her grow in her relationship with Christ so that she is blessed as she is transformed more and more into His likeness.
VS28: In the same way husbands should love their wives AS their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
It harkens back to the Great Commandment… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind… and love your neighbor as yourself.
Unless something is off, we men are very much attuned to our needs, desires, aspirations, and for the most part, we find ways to pursue those for ourselves.
Paul says… turn that way of thinking toward your wife, and do so with the understanding that you and your wife are one flesh. VS31
If in God’s eyes, husband and wife become one flesh LITERALLY, what advantage is there in practicing what Paul instructs here? VS28: He who loves his wife loves himself.
When a husband loves his wife as Christ loves the Church, and loves her as he loves his own body, he is loving himself in the truest, most satisfying way possible, because he and his wife are one flesh.
TRUTH POINT: There is no way to be hateful, resentful, unfaithful and uncaring, inattentive to your wife and expect to find a happy, fulfilling life for yourself.
Of course, this instruction isn’t just about husbands and wives, is it? VS32 tells us that the relationship of husband and wife is profound because it mirrors the relationship of Christ and His church.
Marriage is more than a legal relationship where sex is moral, family is supported, and the human-race is propagated. It is a picture of Christ and His Bride the Church, whom He is loving, saving, transforming and securing to Himself for eternity.
Truth Point:Men, your marriage, the relationship you have with your wife, is about more than your happiness, fulfillment, and enjoyment. It is a living testimony of The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
That said: it is either a vibrant, compelling, attractive testimony of The Gospel, or it is a damaged, weak, unattractive testimony of The Gospel.
Where it lands comes back on us men. We bear responsibility. Consider these realities:
· God knows we not capable of sustaining the instruction given.
· He gives us His Spirit to indwell and empower us. He enables us to do supernaturally, what we cannot do in the natural. He will empower you but, He will not overpower you.
· MEN, this is where we coming in. We must yield to The Spirit.
o That’s what it means to be Filled With The Spirit.
o Being Filled with The Spirit is what it means to be a fully functioning follower of Jesus.
· The Holy Spirit will fill us with everything needed to:
o Love our Wives as Christ Loves The Church.
o Love our Wives as we do our own bodies.
· He will not force us. We must yield (submit) to Him.
Paul’s summary in VS33: …let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
What do wives need? LOVE
· They need a husband who cares for them, is attuned to their feelings, who is willing to hear them, share with them, receive their input on life issues, who will spend time and not be in a hurry.
What do husbands need? RESPECT
· They need a wife who looks up to them, who affirms them, encourages them, who honors, sees them as their champion.
Both of these unique needs will go unmet if husbands and wives live only in the power of the flesh. The fallen nature cannot achieve such Godly living over the long-haul on its own.
Mutually satisfying marriage, that mirror’s the truth and power of the gospel, requires the supernatural presence and power of The Holy Spirit.
It begins with a personal relationship with Jesus. It is sustained, by walking with Him daily in the power of His Spirit.
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