He is our example in every aspect. We should set our sights on following His example. We should follow His example in all we do and say. We should not model our lives on others or on other things, but we should model our lives on Him. Our lives should be shaped by His example and as a result we should be changed more and more into His image and example. His example can be applied to every aspect of our lives, from marriage to our careers. We should even follow His example as it applies to the church. The example He set regarding the church should be our guiding light. What was important to Him should be important to us.
Ephesians 5:25 ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.’
He did not love the church because it was perfect; He loved it because it was imperfect, but redeemable because He would work on her. Note 2 things:
1. The Lord loves the church.
The Lord loves His church. If the Lord loves the church then who are we to feel any differently? That which is important and loved by God should be important and loved by us. Just as the Lord embraced the church, so too should we have a deep love and appreciation for the church. Does that mean that the church is perfect? No! Is everything perfect in marriage? No – but we still love each other! The love of the Lord for His church was so great that He considered Himself incomplete without her.
Ephesians 1:22-23 ‘God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made Him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.’
Just as in marriage, where we find our completeness in one another.
2. He gave Himself up for her.
His love for the church was sacrificial. He was willing to pay the ultimate price for the church. Not only was Christ prepared to live with the weaknesses of the church, He went even further and sacrificed His life for her. Just as in marriage, where a husband would be prepared to protect his wife even to the point of dying for her to live.
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