Let’s look at these verses from their primary perspective, that of Christ and the Church.

31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”. Eph 5:31-32 ESV

There are other places in scripture where the Church is called the “Bride of Christ” such as
2 Corinthians 11:2-4. “2 I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough.”

In these verses here, Paul quotes Genesis 2. So let’s take a quick look at that in context to see the correlation Paul is making.

22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,”This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:22-25 NKJV)

And the Holy Spirit is saying through Paul the this is a type of Christ and the Church.

In what way?
1. Christ preceded us, and yet we are part of his body. We are his flesh and bones, working together in unity to carry out his commands.
2. We are called “Christians” because we are in Christ.
3. We are called to be help meats, or helpers to Christ in preaching the Gospel message.
4. Christ loves each of us, just as he loves his own body, and cares for us.
5. As with the original marriage, there is nothing hidden from the view of our spiritual husband, Jesus Christ.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. (Hebrews 4:12, 13 NKJV)
6. As his bride, it is spiritual adultery when we follow after the things of this world instead of Christ.

Application for us?

A. To truly have a close relationship with Christ, we must, as John wrote, “believe the love” he has for us. (1 John 4:16)
B. take the time to communicate with the one we love. Prayer should not be a chore.
C. Read the letters he has written to us, because we love him and want to know him more deeply.
D. Live lives of undivided love and loyalty to Christ. How would you respond at the altar if your fiancé responded to the question with, instead of “I do”, saying “for the most part”, or “when it’s convenient”! Be totally sold out for Christ.
E. Don’t believe lies about your spiritual husband (false teachings).
F. We should not deceive ourselves into thinking we can keep secret, unconfessed sin and that Jesus will not know about it or discipline us for it.
G. And for those who love attacking his church and speaking ill of her, I would be careful. I would guess that Jesus will deal harshly with those who spend their time insulting his bride!

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