The Prominent Woman of the New Testament

March 19, 2012

Ephesians 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The Prominent Woman of the New Testament

I was thinking this morning, “If I were to identify the most prominent woman in the New Testament, who would it be?  Would it be Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth or one of the other godly women?  Then it struck me that the most  prominent woman and the one to whom the whole New Testament is dedicated too, is the bride of Christ, us, His Church.
He loves us so much that He laid down His life to redeem us for His bride.  His love for His bride becomes the model of every husband’s love for his natural wife.  For Jesus, the life that he lived, the love that He proved in action, the Word that He gave and His Spirit that now indwells, all speak to the passionate love that He has for us.  He did nothing for Himself, but all was for us.
The Word teaches here that even with the same love and care you extend to personal self, you should extend to your wife; loving your wife as your own body.  Our wife is an extension of our own flesh and blood.  Spiritually she is united and one with us.  This scripture teaches us that all that Jesus did and is still doing, even His very life was dedicated to this woman, His bride.  All that He has done and is still doing is to make us all that we were called to be in union with Him. We were called and betrothed to holiness, so He cleanses  us with His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and He washes us with the water of His Word that renews us in our identity with Him; His mind, His heart, His love.  By the sacrifice of His own self He imparts into us His own righteousness and virtue to remove every stain, wrinkle and blemish.  As husbands who follow this example, we are compelled to provide an atmosphere and environment where our bride is treated in the same manner.  When she submits herself to us there is no fear or trepidation in her, because she is so secure in our love and best interests for her.  In that love she finds such a place of security and peace.  She knows that she is at the forefront of all that we do and provide.  She delights to submit, because her joy is to reciprocate the love that is so freely and unselfishly lavished upon her.  Her husband has cut all ties to his former obligations and earthly commitments that He might put her first.  She is His treasure and He will protect and cherish that treasure with His very life.
This may all sound very idealistic, but it shouldn’t.  It should be the way, we, as Christian men and husbands should think and believe, because it is the Word of God.  It is the way that Christ loves us.  Since we have inherited this same love, it is incumbent upon us to love our wives in this same manner.  God gave us all of His Word, but in particular the New Testament as His love letter to His bride.   His one desire is to bring us into all that He is and all that He possesses.  Jesus loves us with undying, unfailing and unending love.  Just as He is so in love with us; He wants us to be so in love with Him.  He gave us marriage to practice that love affair.  In the same way that we love one another in that marriage relationship, it is the same way we love Jesus.  You may think your spouse is so stubborn or has such issues that you can’t get along and love them in that way.  Do we think that it has been any easier for Christ to love us through all of our issues and sins?  Yet He does. His love never fails, it never gives up and never runs out on us.  He looks past our faults and sees our needs.  While He would have every justification to divorce us, He doesn’t. He patiently loves us, forgives us, ministers life and blessing to us, even when we live in defiance and rebellion to Him.  Love never fails when it comes to this prominent woman in the New Testament.  He has committed to stay with Her until He brings Her into His highest and into the fullness of Himself.


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