Why in Eph 5:27 is the Church said to be with spot or blemish?



Readers Question / Comment -  Why in Eph 5:27 is the Church said to be with spot or blemish? 


Hi,

Have you thought why Paul used these words when describing the church in Ephesians 5:27? What context was he thinking about? 

Eph 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

These are very particular words: stain/spot, wrinkle, blemish/defect

We don´t normally use these words when a bride is finally ready after 6 hours of preparation and steps out of the dressing room....Can you imagine the bridesmaids saying, "Wow, Rebekah, you look great!, no spots! Yes, let me see your face, yes, no blemishes!  Ahh, and the dress,,,,mmmhhh....no stains!  Great!" Why o why those kind of words, what context is Paul thinking about????

Yes, I do know, but not telling....not yet. Maybe you will get it......

in Him,

Rick 


JPN Reply:


Hi Rick,

most of the time I have read Eph 5:27 I've gone forward in my mind to the time when the perfected radiant bride, after the bema seat of Christ, is presented to her groom at the Wedding (Rev 19:7-8) - a fulfilment of the promise given in Jude 1:24 and 1 Thes 5:23. 

But your emphasis on the particular words takes me back to the sacrificial types of Christ, especially in Leviticus which were repeatedly said to be without blemish or defect (Lev 1:3, Lev 1:10, Lev 3:1; Lev 4:3; Lev 4:23; Lev 5:15; Lev 6:6 etc) - so in that regard it is speaking of the bride being as Christ is, being like Him, without spot or any blemish... in His perfection. 

It is amazing that the sacrifices always point to One person who was without any blemish... and only One - Jesus Christ. Yet Ephesians points to the entire Church, all in Him, that will be without any stain or blemish as well (because of Him!) 

I like the thought of that! : )

Let me know your thoughts on it. 


Readers Reply


Hi, it is not easy to write about these things in a few words.  There is a very interesting line of thought concerning the Bride of the Lamb and the significance of the pearl. If we consider Adam and Eve as a type of Christ and the Church, we see several important things: 

  • Adam was not satisfied with anything to be his bride, nothing was suitable 
  • Adam was put to sleep and from the rib that was taken from his side.
  • God made, actually, "built" a woman from the rib that came out of Adam´s side and presented her to himNow something was suitable, something that came out of him matched him....."this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh....out of man she was taken" 

In the same way, 

  • not just anything can satisify Christ, not just anything can qualify to be His bride.
  • Christ was "put to sleep" on the cross and from His side flowed out blood and water. The blood is for redmeption, the water is for regeneration, washing, sanctifying and transformation. 
  • The church is built as the bride through the effectivenes of the blood and athe operation of the water that came out of Christ´s side and then the prepared bride is presented to Him. 
  • Now Christ has something that is suitable, that matches Him, that came out of Him, .  "to sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a glorious church, without stain or wrinkle or any such blemish, but holy and blameless"

Now let´s consider the pearl, 

In Matthew 13, "Again, the kingdom of the heavens is like a merchant seeking fine pearls. And having found one very precious pearl, having gone away, he has sold all things as many as he had, and bought it." So Christ is like a merchant, seeking something of value, something fine that would satisfy Him. ...He found one very precious pearl, so He went to the cross, sold all and purchased us, to be His church, His fine pearl, very precious. 

How is a pearl formed in nature?  A grain of sand injures the oyster and out of the oyster flows a secretion that covers the grain, time and time again, until the pearl is formed. We sinners are the grain of sand that "injured" Christ, He suffered because of us. But out of Him flows something that covers us, He flows out a secretion, a "life juice" that covers us, washes, sanctifies and transforms us from a grain of sand, from an earthen vessel, from clay to a precious pearl. As we behold Him with an unveiled face, we are transformed into His image. We become a precious pearl, in His image, bone of His bone, now we match Him, so He can marry us as His bride. 


in Him , 

Rick  

JPN Reply :


Thanks Rick. Great thoughts!

Like you say, it's not possible to definitely say that the pearl is what Paul had in mind when he spoke of 'without spot', 'without blemish' - I tend to think he was drawing more on scripture use of those words pointing back to the O.T sacrifices.

But you could be right and I LOVE the imagery and types both in Eve and in the pearl as you have pointed out. I've written similar studies on them. The parable of the pearl of great price comes after a similar parable about hidden treasure. One (the treasure) is in the field/land. One (the pearl) is from the sea. The land in scripture, in contrast to the sea, speaks of Israel and the sea speaks of the Gentile nations (Rev 17:15). Both were worth such great value to the man (Christ) that he gave up all he had to get them!  


I also really liked also what you said about the development of the pearl! Looking forward to that day when we see Him face to face! : ) 


God Bless!


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