Preface of the Lord's Day
To be used on Sundays as appointed, but not on the succeeding weekdays
1. Of God the Father
Creator of the light and source of life, who hast made us in thine image, and called us to new life in Jesus Christ our Lord.
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2. Of God the Son
Through Jesus Christ our Lord; who on the first day of the week overcame death and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life.
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3. Of God the Holy Spirit
Who by water and the Holy Spirit hast made us a new people in Jesus Christ our Lord, to show forth thy glory in all the world.
Grant, we beseech thee, merciful God, that thy Church, being gathered together in unity by thy Holy Spirit, may manifest thy power among all peoples, to the glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen
Preface of the Lord's Day
Old Testament Reading
1Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2And Joshua said to all the people, "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. 14"Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! 15And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." 16So the people answered and said: "Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods; 17for the LORD our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18And the LORD drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the LORD, for He is our God." 19But Joshua said to the people, "You cannot serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good." 21And the people said to Joshua, "No, but we will serve the LORD!" 22So Joshua said to the people, "You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD for yourselves, to serve Him." And they said, "We are witnesses!" 23"Now therefore," he said, "put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel." 24And the people said to Joshua, "The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!" 25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. -- NKJV
A Michtam of David.
1Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
"You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You."
3As for the saints who are on the earth,
"They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight."
4Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.
5O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
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15The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16The face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
20He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22The LORD redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
New Testament Reading
21submitting to one another in the fear of God. 22Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30For 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." 32This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. -- NKJV
60Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" 61When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you? 62What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. 64But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. 65And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father." 66From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" 68But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." -- NKJV
1 God's benefits to their fathers. (1-14) Joshua renews the covenant between the people and God. (15-28) Joshua's death, Joseph's bones buried, The state of Israel. (29-33) 1-14 We must never think our work for God done, till our life is done. If he lengthen out our days beyond what we expected, like those of Joshua, it is because he has some further service for us to do. He who aims at the same mind which was in Christ Jesus, will glory in bearing the last testimony to his Saviour's goodness, and in telling to all around, the obligations with which the unmerited goodness of God has bound him. The assembly came together in a solemn religious manner. Joshua spake to them in God's name, and as from him. His sermon consists of doctrine and application. The doctrinal part is a history of the great things God had done for his people, and for their fathers before them. The application of this history of God's mercies to them, is an exhortation to fear and serve God, in gratitude for his favour, and that it might be continued. 15-28 It is essential that the service of God's people be performed with a willing mind. For LOVE is the only genuine principle whence all acceptable service of God can spring. The Father seeks only such to worship him, as worship him in spirit and in truth. The carnal mind of man is enmity against God, therefore, is not capable of such spiritual worship. Hence the necessity of being born again. But numbers rest in mere forms, as tasks imposed upon them. Joshua puts them to their choice; but not as if it were indifferent whether they served God or not. Choose you whom ye will serve, now the matter is laid plainly before you. He resolves to do this, whatever others did. Those that are bound for heaven, must be willing to swim against the stream. They must not do as the most do, but as the best do. And no one can behave himself as he ought in any station, who does not deeply consider his religious duties in family relations. The Israelites agree with Joshua, being influenced by the example of a man who had been so great a blessing to them; We also will serve the Lord. See how much good great men do, by their influence, if zealous in religion. Joshua brings them to express full purpose of heart to cleave to the Lord. They must come off from all confidence in their own sufficiency, else their purposes would be in vain. The service of God being made their deliberate choice, Joshua binds them to it by a solemn covenant. He set up a monument of it. In this affecting manner Joshua took his last leave of them; if they perished, their blood would be upon their own heads. Though the house of God, the Lord's table, and even the walls and trees before which we have uttered our solemn purposes of serving him, would bear witness against us if we deny him, yet we may trust in him, that he will put his fear into our hearts, that we shall not depart from him. God alone can give grace, yet he blesses our endeavours to engage men to his service. 29-33 Joseph died in Egypt, but gave commandment concerning his bones, that they should not rest in their grave till Israel had rest in the land of promise. Notice also the death and burial of Joshua, and of Eleazar the chief priest. The most useful men, having served their generation, according to the will of God, one after another, fall asleep and see corruption. But Jesus, having spent and ended his life on earth more effectually than either Joshua or Joseph, rose from the dead, and saw no corruption. And the redeemed of the Lord shall inherit the kingdom he prepared for them from the foundation of the world. They will say in admiration of the grace of Jesus, Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 2 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
1Five thousand miraculously fed. (1-14) Jesus walks on the sea. (15-21) He directs to spiritual food. (22-27) His discourse with the multitude. (28-65) Many of disciples go back. (66-71) 1-14 John relates the miracle of feeding the multitude, for its reference to the following discourse. Observe the effect this miracle had upon the people. Even the common Jews expected the Messiah to come into the world, and to be a great Prophet. The Pharisees despised them as not knowing the law; but they knew most of Him who is the end of the law. Yet men may acknowledge Christ as that Prophet, and still turn a deaf ear to him. 15-21 Here were Christ's disciples in the way of duty, and Christ was praying for them; yet they were in distress. There may be perils and afflictions of this present time, where there is an interest in Christ. Clouds and darkness often surround the children of the light and of the day. They see Jesus walking on the sea. Even the approaches of comfort and deliverance often are so mistaken, as to become the occasions of fear. Nothing is more powerful to convince sinners than that word, "I am Jesus whom thou persecutest;" nothing more powerful to comfort saints than this, "I am Jesus whom thou lovest." If we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, though the night be dark, and the wind high, yet we may comfort ourselves, we shall be at the shore before long. 22-27 Instead of answering the inquiry how he came there, Jesus blamed their asking. The utmost earnestness should be employed in seeking salvation, in the use of appointed means; yet it is to be sought only as the gift of the Son of man. Him the Father has sealed, proved to be God. He declared the Son of man to be the Son of God with power. 28-35 Constant exercise of faith in Christ, is the most important and difficult part of the obedience required from us, as sinners seeking salvation. When by his grace we are enabled to live a life of faith in the Son of God, holy tempers follow, and acceptable services may be done. God, even his Father, who gave their fathers that food from heaven to support their natural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation of their souls. Coming to Jesus, and believing on him, signify the same. Christ shows that he is the true Bread; he is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives, which he has made to be the food of our souls. Bread nourishes only by the powers of a living body; but Christ is himself living Bread, and nourishes by his own power. The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was. He is the Bread which came down from heaven. It denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and his authority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flows to us through him. May we with understanding and earnestness say, Lord, evermore give us this Bread. 36-46 The discovery of their guilt, danger, and remedy, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, makes men willing and glad to come, and to give up every thing which hinders applying to him for salvation. The Father's will is, that not one of those who were given to the Son, should be rejected or lost by him. No one will come, till Divine grace has subdued, and in part changed his heart; therefore no one who comes will ever be cast out. The gospel finds none willing to be saved in the humbling, holy manner, made known therein; but God draws with his word and the Holy Ghost; and man's duty is to hear and learn; that is to say, to receive the grace offered, and consent to the promise. None had seen the Father but his beloved Son; and the Jews must expect to be taught by his inward power upon their minds, and by his word, and the ministers whom he sent among them. 47-51 The advantage of the manna was small, it only referred to this life; but the living Bread is so excellent, that the man who feedeth on it shall never die. This bread is Christ's human nature, which he took to present to the Fat
1Exhortation to brotherly love. (1,2) Cautions against several sins. (3-14) Directions to a contrary behaviour, and to relative duties. (15-21) The duties of wives and husbands are enforced by the spiritual relation between Christ and the church. (22-33) 1,2 Because God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you, therefore be ye followers of God, imitators of God. Resemble him especially in his love and pardoning goodness, as becomes those beloved by their heavenly Father. In Christ's sacrifice his love triumphs, and we are to consider it fully. 3-14 Filthy lusts must be rooted out. These sins must be dreaded and detested. Here are not only cautions against gross acts of sin, but against what some may make light of. But these things are so far from being profitable. that they pollute and poison the hearers. Our cheerfulness should show itself as becomes Christians, in what may tend to God's glory. A covetous man makes a god of his money; places that hope, confidence, and delight, in worldly good, which should be in God only. Those who allow themselves, either in the lusts of the flesh or the love of the world, belong not to the kingdom of grace, nor shall they come to the kingdom of glory. When the vilest transgressors repent and believe the gospel, they become children of obedience, from whom God's wrath is turned away. Dare we make light of that which brings down the wrath of God? Sinners, like men in the dark, are going they know not whither, and doing they know not what. But the grace of God wrought a mighty change in the souls of many. Walk as children of light, as having knowledge and holiness. These works of darkness are unfruitful, whatever profit they may boast; for they end in the destruction of the impenitent sinner. There are many ways of abetting, or taking part in the sins of others; by commendation, counsel, consent, or concealment. And if we share with others in their sins, we must expect to share in their plagues. If we do not reprove the sins of others, we have fellowship with them. A good man will be ashamed to speak of what many wicked men are not ashamed to do. We must have not only a sight and a knowledge that sin is sin, and in some measure shameful, but see it as a breach of God's holy law. After the example of prophets and apostles, we should call on those asleep and dead in sin, to awake and arise, that Christ may give them light. 15-21 Another remedy against sin, is care, or caution, it being impossible else to maintain purity of heart and life. Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must double our diligence for the future. Of that time which thousands on a dying bed would gladly redeem at the price of the whole world, how little do men think, and to what trifles they daily sacrifice it! People are very apt to complain of bad times; it were well if that stirred them more to redeem time. Be not unwise. Ignorance of our duty, and neglect of our souls, show the greatest folly. Drunkenness is a sin that never goes alone, but carries men into other evils; it is a sin very provoking to God. The drunkard holds out to his family and to the world the sad spectacle of a sinner hardened beyond what is common, and hastening to perdition. When afflicted or weary, let us not seek to raise our spirits by strong drink, which is hateful and hurtful, and only ends in making sorrows more felt. But by fervent prayer let us seek to be filled with the Spirit, and to avoid whatever may grieve our gracious Comforter. All God's people have reason to sing for joy. Though we are not always singing, we should be always giving thanks; we should never want disposition for this duty, as we never want matter for it, through the whole course of our lives. Always, even in trials and afflictions, and for all things; being satisfied of their loving intent, and good tendency. God keeps believers from sinning against him, and engages them to submit one to another in all he has commanded, to promote
124:1 All Israel - Namely, their representatives. Shechem - To the city of Shechem, a place convenient for the purpose, not only because it was a Levitical city, and a city of refuge, and a place near Joshua's city, but especially for the two main ends for which he summoned them thither. For the solemn burial of the bones of Joseph, and the rest of the patriarchs, for which this place was designed. For the solemn renewing of their covenant with God; which in this place was first made between God and Abraham, #Gen 12:6|,7, and afterwards renewed by the Israelites at their first entrance into the land of Canaan, between the two mountains of Ebal and Gerizzim, #Jos 8:30|, &c. which were very near Shechem: and therefore this place was most proper, both to remind them of their former obligations to God, and to engage them to a farther ratification of them. Before God - As in God's presence, to hear what Joshua was to speak to them in God's name, and to receive God's commands from his mouth. He had taken a solemn farewell before: but as God renewed his strength, he desired to improve it for their good. We must never think our work for God done, 'till our life is done. 224:2 The people - To the elders, by whom it was to be imparted to all the rest, and to as many of the people as came thither. He spake to them in God's name, and as from him, in the language of a prophet, Thus saith the Lord. Jehovah, the great God, and the God of Israel, whom you are peculiarly engaged to hear. The flood - Or, the river, namely, Euphrates, so called by way of eminency. They served - That is, Both Abraham and Nahor were no less idolaters than the rest of mankind. This is said to prevent their vain boasting in their worthy ancestors, and to assure them that whatsoever good was in, or had been done by their progenitors, was wholly from God's free grace, and not for their own merit or righteousness. 1424:14 The gods - Whereby it appears, that although Joshua had doubtless prevented and purged out all public idolatry, yet there were some of them who practised it in their private houses and retirements. Your fathers - Terah, and Nahor, and Abraham, as ver.#2|, and other of your ancestors. In Egypt - See #Ezek 23:3|,8,19,21,27. Under these particulars, no doubt he comprehends all other false gods, which were served by the nations amongst whom they were, but only mentions these, as the idols which they were in more danger of worshipping than those in Canaan; partly because those of Canaan had been now lately and palpably disgraced by their inability to preserve their worshippers from total ruin; and partly, because the other idols came recommended to them by the venerable name of antiquity, and the custom of their forefathers. 1524:15 Seem evil - Unjust, unreasonable or inconvenient. Choose ye - Not that he leaves them to their liberty, whether they would serve God or idols; for Joshua had no such power himself, nor could give it to any other; and both he and they were obliged by the law of Moses, to give their worship to God only, and to forbear all idolatry in themselves, and severely to punish it in others; but it is a powerful insinuation, whereby he both implies, that the worship of God is so highly reasonable, necessary and beneficial; and the service of idols so absurd, and vain, and pernicious, that if it were left free for all men to take their choice, every man in his right wits must needs chuse the service of God, before that of idols; and provokes them to bind themselves faster to God by their own choice. He will - But know this, if you should all be so base and brutish, as to prefer senseless and impotent idols, before the true and living God, it is my firm purpose, that I will, and my children, and servants (as far as I can influence them) shall be constant and faithful to the Lord. And that, whatever others do. They that resolve to serve God, must not start at being singular in it. They that are bound for heaven must be willing to swim against the stream, and must do, not as most do, but as the best do. 1924:19 Ye cannot - He speaks not of an absolute impossibility, (for then both his resolution to serve God himself, and his exhortation to them had been vain) but of a moral impossibility, or a very great difficulty, which he alledgeth not to discourage them from God's service, but to make them more considerate in obliging themselves; and more resolved in answering their obligations. The meaning is, God's service is not, as you seem to fancy, a slight and easy thing, but it is a work of great difficulty, and requires great care, and courage and resolution; and when I consider the infinite purity of God, that he will not be mocked or abused; and withal your proneness to superstition and idolatry, even during the life of Moses, and in some of you, while I live, and while the obligations which God had laid upon you in this land, are fresh in remembrance; I cannot but fear that after my decease you will think the service of God burdensome, and therefore will cast it off and revolt from him, if you do not carefully avoid all occasions of idolatry. A jealous God - In the Hebrew, He is the holy Gods, holy Father, holy Son, holy Spirit. He will not endure a partner in his worship; you can not serve him and idols together. Will not forgive - If you who own yourselves his people and servants, shall wilfully transgress his laws, he will not let this go unpunished in you, as he doth in other nations; therefore consider what you do, when you take the Lord for your God; weigh your advantages and inconveniences together; for as if you be sincere and faithful in God's service, you will have admirable benefits by it; so if you be false to your professions, and forsake him whom you have so solemnly avouched to be your God, he will deal more severely with you than with any people in the world. 2024:20 Will turn - That is, he will alter his course and the manner of his dealing with you, and will be as severe as ever he was kind and gracious. He will repent of his former kindnesses, and his goodness abused will be turned into fury. 2124:21 The Lord - Namely, him only, and not strange gods. 2224:22 Against yourselves - This solemn profession will be a swift witness against you, if hereafter you apostatize from God. 2324:23 Strange gods - Those idols which you either brought out of Egypt, or have taken in Canaan, which some of you keep contrary to God's command, whether for the preciousness of the matter, or rather for some secret inclination to superstition and idolatry. 2524:25 A statute - He set or established that covenant with them, that is, the people, for a statute or an ordinance, to bind themselves and their posterity unto God for ever.
606:60 This is a hard saying - Hard to the children of the world, but sweet to the children of God. Scarce ever did our Lord speak more sublimely, even to the apostles in private. Who can hear - Endure it? 626:62 What if ye shall see the Son of man ascend where he was before? - How much more incredible will it then appear to you, that he should give you his flesh to eat? 636:63 It is the Spirit - The spiritual meaning of these words, by which God giveth life. The flesh - The bare, carnal, literal meaning, profiteth nothing. The words which I have spoken, they are spirit - Are to be taken in a spiritual sense and, when they are so understood, they are life - That is, a means of spiritual life to the hearers. 646:64 But there are some of you who believe not - And so receive no life by them, because you take them in a gross literal sense. For Jesus knew from the beginning - Of his ministry: who would betray him - Therefore it is plain, God does foresee future contingencies: But his foreknowledge causes not the fault, Which had no less proved certain unforeknown. 656:65 Unless it be given - And it is given to those only who will receive it on God's own terms. 666:66 From this time many of his disciples went back - So our Lord now began to purge his floor: the proud and careless were driven away, and those remained who were meet for the Master's use. 686:68 Thou hast the words of eternal life - Thou, and thou alone, speakest the words which show the way to life everlasting. 696:69 And we - Who have been with thee from the beginning, whatever others do, have known - Are absolutely assured, that thou art the Christ.
225:22 In the following directions concerning relative duties, the inferiors are all along placed before the superiors, because the general proposition is concerning submission; and inferiors ought to do their duty, whatever their superiors do. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands - Unless where God forbids. Otherwise, in all indifferent things, the will of the husband is a law to the wife. As unto the Lord - The obedience a wife pays to her husband is at the same time paid to Christ himself; he being head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church. 235:23 The head - The governor, guide, and guardian of the wife. And he is the Saviour of the body - The church, from all sin and misery. 245:24 In everything - Which is not contrary to any command of God. 255:25 Even as Christ loved the church - Here is the true model of conjugal affection. With this kind of affection, with this degree of it, and to this end, should husbands love their wives. 265:26 That he might sanctify it through the word - The ordinary channel of all blessings. Having cleansed it - From the guilt and power of sin. By the washing of water - In baptism; if, with the outward and visible sign, we receive the inward and spiritual grace. 275:27 That he might present it - Even in this world. To himself - As his spouse. A glorious church - All glorious within. Not having spot - Of impurity from any sin. Or wrinkle - Of deformity from any decay. 285:28 As their own bodies - That is, as themselves. He that loveth his wife loveth himself - Which is not a sin, but an indisputable duty. 295:29 His own flesh - That is, himself. Nourisheth and cherisheth - That is, feeds and clothes it. 305:30 For we - The reason why Christ nourishes and cherishes the church is, that close connexion between them which is here expressed in the words of Moses, originally spoken concerning Eve. Are members - Are as intimately united to Christ, in a spiritual sense, as if we were literally flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone. 315:31 For this cause - Because of this intimate union. Gen 2:24|.
60Joh 6:60 This is an hard saying. About eating and drinking his flesh and blood. They could not comprehend. 62Joh 6:62 [What] if ye shall see the Son of man ascend? He points forward to a greater marvel than the one that now staggered before them, the Ascension of the Son of man. 63Joh 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth. We may paraphrase this verse thus: I shall ascend to heaven so that my body cannot be literally eaten; the flesh literally profits nothing. It is the spirit that makes alive. The spirits of men must feed upon me by faith, that they may be made alive. My words are spirit and life. He who feeds upon them will be made alive. 65Joh 6:65 No man can come unto me. See note Joh 6:44,45. 66Joh 6:66 Many of his disciples went back. They stumbled over the remarkable declarations of this chapter. They had no genuine faith. 68Joh 6:68,69 To whom shall we go? If we should turn from Christ, to whom should we go? Peter's confession here is of the same purport as that a Caesarea Philippi.
21Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another. Filled with the Spirit, we "speak in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" (Eph 5:19), "give thanks", (Eph 5:20), and submit ourselves to each other in the fear of God. This last duty belongs to the relations of life. One of these relations is of "husbands and wives" (Eph 5:22-32); another of "children and parents" (Eph 6:1-4); another still of "servants and masters" (Eph 6:5-9). 22Eph 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands. Mutual duties are named. The husband should "love his wife as Christ loved the church" (Eph 5:23), and the wife should submit to this loving husband "as unto the Lord". 23Eph 5:23 The husband is the head of the wife. Every organization must have a head. The husband is the "head" of the family, but must be willing to give himself for it. The head of the family can only rule the wife in the most devoted love (Eph 5:25,33). 24Eph 5:24 As the church is subject unto Christ. The relation of the wife to the husband is like that of the church in Christ, a close, tender relations, in which there is no bondage, but freedom, because the service is that of the heart. 25Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives. We have here not only the duty, but the measure of the duty. Even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Loved so well as to be willing to give all things, even life, for her welfare. The union of husband and wife were here described is ideally perfect. The tenderest love on one side, and loving obedience on the other. 26Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify . . . it. The great love of Christ for the church, his bride, is shown as an example to Christian husbands. Christ gave himself for the church. His object was to "sanctify it", make it holy. In order to do this it was needful to cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. All commentators of repute in all bodies refer this to baptism. All in the church pass through the waters of baptism. But the washing of the water would be of no avail without the word. The power is in the word of the Lord which offers the gospel and commands baptism. 27Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church. A church cleansed from sin; a bride without a blemish. 28Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. The church is the Bride of the Lamb (Re 21:9), but it is also Christ's body (1Co 10:16 12:27 Eph 4:12). He that loveth his wife loveth himself. As he loved his body, so every husband ought to love her who by the mystery of the marriage tie has become "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh" (Ge 2:23). 29Eph 5:29 No man ever yet hated his own flesh. Or his own body. Yet, wife and husband are "one flesh" (Eph 5:31). 30Eph 5:30 We are members of his body. We are all members of Christ's body, the church. But the church is his Bride. Of his flesh, and of his bones. The language of Ge 2:23, where Adam declares that his wife "is bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh", applies to our relation to Christ. 31Eph 5:31 For this cause, etc. This verse is quoted from Ge 2:24. It speaks not only a fact of the marriage state, but also implies that Christ left the Father for the sake of his mystical Bride. 32Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery. The wonders of this marriage tie, but especially that the marriage of the first Adam should prefigure the relation between the second Adam and the church. 33Eph 5:33 Nevertheless. Without regard to the mystery, let every one, etc. The rest of the verse states the mutual duties already so tenderly explained.
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