Saturday, November 26, 2005

Christ, His Church, the Family, and Me

Ephesians 5:21-33 connects believers not only to Him, but in the same way links us to others in our family, and in the church.

In I John our love for God is measured by our love demonstrated for the brethren. Similarly we cannot claim to have a thriving relationship with God when the family is failing, or when delighting in His Word is constantly neglected.

Fortunately, the link that unites our families, our marriages, and our union with Christ has nothing to do with self effort. It is all about Christ himself. I think he is revealing something of his amazing work in that which is imperfect (us)! Isn't that just like God? How small our love seems when contrasted with his great love for the church!

We conclude that he has set the standard awfully high. I can't be the father, the husband, the brother to other believers as I ought. I fail. I don't love. I don't submit. But I bet that is exactly what he intends for us to realize. It's as if he says, "Here is what I expect. You cannot perform this, but I can, and you can see me do it if you want to!"

Just as Christ is the head of the church, and as he loved it, sanctified it, cleansed it, and will present it to himself a glorious church without any defects at all, so too is he at work in my marriage, in each relationship within my family, and in the fellowship of believers in his church. He is even now working to make my marriage a mirror of Christ's love for his church. My duties as a father will likewise be accomplished as I begin to glimpse his work with each one in our family. My responsibilities towards others at church or elsewhere in the week are also made effective as I see what he is doing daily in my life. The more I see, the more I begin to wake up.

"This is a great mystery" as he says. "But I speak concerning Christ and the church." My take on this passage is that I can be greatly encouraged that whatever the obstacle, Christ is perfectly performing his cleansing, washing and soon his presenting faultless his church, our family and me before the Father. Our actions then are motivated by our awareness of this truth, rather than by our hoping to fulfull each expectation perfectly.

The handbook to begin seeing this process is his Word.

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