Creed Day 15 His Church: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days...are a pretty big deal at GT!

We search God's Word together, ask questions as we read, dig around to find the original intentions at the time of writing, and then make some applications to our everyday lives.
Along the way, we hope you'll pick up some new tools to study Scripture and you'll see truth in a new and accessible way!
Dig In!

The Passage

Fridays are 2-for-1! Check out the other Journey Post, His Church!

Ephesians 5:25-30 English Standard Version (ESV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 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. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.

The Questions

1) What is the correlation between marriage and Christ’s love for us?

2) What is meant by “sanctify” and “cleansing by washing with water and the word”?

3) How does Christ present the church to Himself?

The Findings for Intention

1) What is the correlation between marriage and Christ’s love for us?
Biblical marriage is the beautiful union of a man and a woman who have committed to loving the other, vowing to never leave, and choosing to willingly sacrifice for the other over a period of their entire lifetime. Incredible! But as precious as this institute is, it was never meant as an end in itself, but rather as a mirror, or even an object lesson. God gave us marriage, and then used it to point us to so much more…the relationship between Christ and His Bride, the Church, where He submits and sacrifices for her salvation, glorification, and for her very life.

2) What is meant by “sanctify” and “cleansing by washing with water and the word”?
The purpose behind Christ’s sacrifice is significant; He did not come to give of Himself, die, and be separated from the godhead to make the church happy, or you happy, or me. He sacrificed to make us holy and sanctified. Is there deep delight wrapped up in becoming sanctified? Absolutely! But happiness is not what we were created for nor is that Christ’s primary purpose in sacrificing for us. Sanctification itself is the work of the Holy Spirit in persons who have surrendered to Christ. (Read more here, or here) But we don’t get to the sanctifying part without the two-fold cleansing of “water” and “word”. Water symbolizing obedience to the command of baptism and “word” symbolizing obedience to surrender to Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh. We cannot become more like Jesus without asking Him to be our Savior and submitting to living a life of obedience to Him and His Spirit, which begins with baptism. It’s important to note here that the Bible in no way teaches that baptism brings about salvation, but if one who claims Christ as Lord is not even willing to follow in obedience to be baptized, it is a reflection that their heart is not fully surrendered to Christ Jesus in the first place.

3) How does Christ present the church to Himself?
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor”. Precious Sisters, there may not be more beautiful, tender, loving words in all of Scripture! We are ugly with sin, destined for death and separation from a holy God. There’s no getting around the fact that we are wretchedly imperfect. But. Jesus. Oh sweet, gospel, Jesus! He sacrificed that we might live, yes, but not just live….be united to Him in perfection! It was not enough for God to leave us in our sinful state of death, so He rescued us. He would not leave us as saved, but still following after death in our everyday lives, so He sanctifies us on earth. And it was not enough that we become “good Christians” through sanctification either. No, God goes all the way to finishing the work He began in each of us so that, one GLORIOUS day, we will be perfect, flawless, totally righteous and we, the Beloved Bride of Christ, will be united forever with the perfect bridegroom Jesus Christ. Sisters, that is breathtaking!

The Everyday Application

1) What is the correlation between marriage and Christ’s love for us?
Love is not love without sacrifice. The very definition of loving someone outside of ourselves is to sacrifice “us” for “them”. This loving sacrifice shows up in a million ways in our relationships from waking up early to get someone coffee, to cleaning up toys again, to wearing your husband’s favorite dress, sending a word of encouragement, or any number of other ways we give up something we would choose for ourselves for the betterment of another. Jesus’ sacrifice went far, far beyond anything we can even begin to imagine as He sacrificed His relationship with His Father to allow us to access a relationship with that same Father. Indescribable! Truly, greater love has none than this, that Jesus laid down His life for us, calling us His friends, even though we were still His enemies. Take time today to allow that kind of sacrificial, all-consuming love to weave its way into your thinking. Journal, sing, pray, declare the beauty of that love!

2) What is meant by “sanctify” and “cleansing by washing with water and the word”?
This sanctifying process Paul speaks of here is not a one-time thing, but rather a life-long one. Through the Holy Spirit, God is continually making us new and shaping our hearts to be like His, until that final day when we become “glorified”. This is perfectly righteous and without sin that happens when we enter His physical presence after death. While we cannot make ourselves more sanctified, we can submit to that sanctification by willingly seeking after God’s heart to know Him better. Studying His Word, being connected to a local body of believers, and being willing to live in authentic biblical community are foundational to growing up into mature Christ-followers. Looking for a solid, biblical church in your area? Give us a shout, and we would love to help guide you in the right direction as you search!

3) How does Christ present the church to Himself?
Relationships are messy, harsh, and can make you feel like a train wreck. How incredible it would be to have a perfect relationship! Not only a relationship where the other person was always perfect, but you were too! This is what Jesus does, Loves! If you’ve given your “yes” to Jesus, then you are a vital member of this beautiful, wide, deep, Body of Believers called the Church, and while it gets pretty messy as we still live on earth, our Bridegroom is waiting and preparing us for the wedding day. He has vowed that He will present us to Himself with splendor, without spot, wrinkle, or blemish, but rather entirely holy. The question for right now is, “are we working with Him in that process or are we doing our own thing?” Are you committed to your local church body? Are you giving generously to its work through tithes, time, and talent? Are you reaching out to love on people, to speak the beauty of the gospel over them, to serve with ready hands wherever there’s a need? Are you being the Church?!

Don’t miss today’s other Journey Study, His Church!
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I Can Do That!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read through it (always more than a verse or two).
3) Write down your questions as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God in your everyday!

The Community!

Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Creed Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Tools!

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources.  Just type in the verse you’re looking at and Boom! It’s right in front of you in English and Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament), which are the original languages the Bible was written in.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Find super awesome stuff like “origin”, “definition”, and even all the different ways that single word has been translated into English! If you want to be geeky, you can even click the word and hear its original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want to get more background on a word or phrasing or passage? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

The Why!

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus.
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Looking for other journeys from this theme?
See all past studies in Creed!