What impact did the previous lesson make on your life?
In what ways can you be of help to the needy?
Main Text: Ephesians 5:18-20, 25-27.
Memory Verse: And to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:27.
We have established in last year’s Bible studies that the church is not the physical building in which believers gather to worship. Rather, the church is made up of men and women and children of all tribes, languages, nations and generations who have responded to the call of God by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In today’s passage, Paul presents us with the illustration of the church as the bride of Christ, which has been made glorious by the Lord Jesus himself. Using this illustration, we shall discuss how Paul’s illustration helps us to understand the church as a glorious institution and a radiant body for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Questions for Discussion
What makes a church glorious? Verse 18-19. 23
How did Jesus make the church glorious? Verse 25-27.
Why do you think Jesus had to cleanse the church? Verse 26.
How can we maintain the church as a glorious institution?
For a church to be glorious, the individual members of the church need to keep themselves from all forms of impurity, including drunkenness which leads to many other vices. Instead, the members of the church must be filled with the Holy Spirit, expressing the glory of the Lord through their lifestyle. Their spirituality must also manifest from the songs they sing and how they pray, giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:18-20).
Paul specifically explains that out of love for the church, Christ gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word (Eph. 5:25-26). Jesus had to cleanse the church because sin takes away the church’s glory and renders it dirty and unacceptable before God. In order to present her as a glorious church, there was the need to purge it from all sins and uncleanliness. It is our corporate and individual responsibility to live in holiness in order to maintain the church as a glorious institution just as the Lord made her to be.