Ephesians 5:29-33

29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.

30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.

31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

for (v.29) — giving a reason for the previous statement that “he that loves his wife loves himself”

members (v.30) — The Greek order is, “Because members we are of His body.” The word “members” has the emphatic position. We are not something apart from Christ, nor do we occupy only an accidental relation to Him. We are veritable parts of that body of which He is Head, and this is the reason why He nourishes and cherishes the Church. — Wuest, page 134.

of His flesh and of His bones (v.30) — probably not in the original text

leave (v.31) = leave behind, depart from

joined (v.31) = glued to, stuck to

mystery (v.32) = that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by Divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit (Vine). — Here, that concerning Christ and the church. The union of a man with his wife was not a mystery. It was revealed in Genesis 2:24.

each one (v.33) — for emphasis — no husband is exempt

as (v.33) — hos (as) means not merely that each husband is to love his wife as he loves himself, but that he is to love her as being herself part and parcel of himself according to the divine idea of the marriage union. — Wuest, page 135.

respects (v.33) = venerates, treats with deference or reverential obedience, spontaneous and obedient regard

This passage is NOT teaching that the Church is the Bride of Christ. It is evident from other Scripture that the Bride of the Lamb is believing Israel at the Second Coming of Christ (after the Tribulation and long after the church has been raptured).

The “Bride of Christ” is an unscriptural phrase that is foreign to both programs of God. It is merely a theological expression that originated … to describe those who will be present at the marriage of the Lamb preceding the kingdom (Revelation 19:7-9). The exact phrase used in prophecy is only found in Revelation where one of the seven angels said to John: “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Revelation 21:9).

The terms “bride,” “Lamb,” and “wife” (in relation to the marriage of the Lamb) are woven throughout the pages of prophecy. For example: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom” (John 3:29 cf. Jeremiah 2:32). “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 cf. Isaiah 53:7). “… for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7 cf. Isaiah 54:4-7).

One will search in vain to find any of this terminology in Paul’s epistles. Paul frequently makes reference to Christ as Savior, Lord, and Head, but he never speaks of Him as the Lamb of God … Today, He is the Lord of glory, the mighty Victor who has conquered sin through His death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 2:8; 15:20-23).

It is essential that we keep in mind that the Church, the Body of Christ was hid in God from ages and generations past. Thus with the advent of the administration of Grace a number of new metaphors are applied to the Church, such as the Body, stewards, ambassadors, etc. Some seem to think that Paul also speaks of us as the Bride of Christ here in Ephesians chapter 5. But they have failed to distinguish between Paul’s usage of a metaphor and a simile.

“Metaphor” places one thing for another. It is representation. “Simile” is but resemblance.

Observe the continued comparison between Christ and the Church of His Body, and the conduct of wives and husbands. Note the presence of simile in every instance, and the absence of metaphor” (Ephesians 5:22, 23, 25 and 29).

So then, the apostle by using a simile instead of a metaphor is desiring to show the resemblance between the marriage relationship and Christ and His Church. Paul points to the love relationship to demonstrate that “as Christ loved the Church,” husbands should love their wives. In like manner, wives are to emulate the Church by submitting to their own husbands. Nowhere in the portion under consideration does the apostle use the metaphor of a bride. In fact, just the opposite is true: “and He is the Savior of the Body” (v.23). “For we are members of His Body” (v.30). — Sadler, from pages 300-306.

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