Dr. Denny Burk / Nov 3, 2019 / Ephesians 5:21-33
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Sermon Summary / Transcript
That a sitting US president would affirm same-sex marriage was shocking when it happened a few years ago, but it was really nothing new. Our culture had been there for a while already. Last Sunday, guest preacher Denny Burk, reminded us that our view of marriage must be based on what God says about it, not the culture.
From Ephesians 5:21-33, Dr. Burk showed us that what’s at stake is nothing less than God’s glory. We see this in the wife’s submission, in the husbands love, and in the reason for marriage itself.
1 The wife’s submission. Though we are to submit to one another, this is not a call for mutual submission or mutual service. The wife’s submission to the husband is stronger. It is a voluntary submission by the wife, not a coerced submission by the husband. Submission is hard. And while it may be that a wife’s refusal to submit is out of rebellion to God, it is more likely to be out of a failure of the husband to lead.
Why must she submit? Because as Christ is the head of the church, so the husband is head of the wife. Must she submit in everything? The analogy breaks down, but as the marriage relationship models Christ and his church, so the wife’s submission models that of the church’s submission to Christ. It’s the submission itself that reflects the model.
2 The husband’s love. Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, meaning that it is not merely a state of mind, but a giving up of himself in leadership, protection, and provision. We are to love our wives as our own bodies, that is, instinctively, putting her needs first just as Christ did for us.
Even when the conflict is her fault, the husband leads in reconciliation just as Christ did for us: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8) It’s hard to do, but no harder than what Christ did for us.
Why love in this way? Just as Jesus had a purpose – to sanctify the church – so the husband has a purpose. He is one flesh with his wife, and so he will nourish and cherish his wife as he does his own flesh. To do otherwise would be to harm himself and to bring reproach on the gospel.
And this brings us to our third point:
3 The reason for marriage. Why does Jesus Christ love the church? Because it is his own. We are members of his body, and for this cause “a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife.” (v.31) There is marriage because there is the gospel story to display. Christ’s love for his church is the reason that marriage exists.
Marriage is under assault, but God’s word is clear: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (v.22) “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church…” (v.25) Marriages built on this design will not distort the gospel but put it boldly on display.