Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:22-32
“That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the Church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:26,27)
Christ first loved His Church and gave Himself for her. This is referring to the atonement. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us. He went to the cross in our place and bore the punishment our sins deserve, so that we could be forgiven of them. He voluntarily laid down His life for His Church. He did this because of His great love for us.
Christ not only laid down His life for His Church once and for all, but He continues His work of sanctification in the people who belong to His Church. Sanctification is the process of growing in our faith. Christ is actively involved in our sanctification. He continues to cleanse us through His Word. He causes us to be more like Himself. His desire is for His Church to be “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” This is a life long process that will not be completed until we are glorified with Christ.
Notice the two main provisions Christ makes for His Church. First is purification. He purifies us and continually cleanses us of all our sins. Second, He nourishes His Church. He is concerned for the health, growth, development and well being of His Church.
In this passage that deals with marriage, we see the glorious work of our Savior on behalf of His Bride, the Church. He loves us and gave Himself for us. He continues to work in our lives, sanctifying us, preparing us for the great wedding when His Bride, the Church, is presented to Him in all her beauty and perfection.
Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me and for giving Yourself for me. Thank You for your continued sanctifying work in my life. Thank you for purifying me and nourishing me. I know that I am a work in progress. You are preparing me for the day when I will be with You in glory.
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