Life-Study of Ephesiansby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In his exhortation in chapter five, the apostle presents the church as the Bride of Christ. This aspect of the church reveals that the church comes out of Christ as Eve came out of Adam (Gen. 2:21-22), that she has the same life and nature as Christ, and that she, as His counterpart, becomes one with Him as Eve became one flesh with Adam (Gen. 2:24). The church as the new man is a matter of grace and truth, whereas the church as the Bride of Christ is a matter of love and light. The apostle’s exhortation in chapter four is focused on the new man with grace and truth as its basic elements, but his exhortation in chapter five is focused on the Bride of Christ with love and light as its basic substances. In grace and truth we should live as the new man, and in love and light we should conduct ourselves as the Bride of Christ.
Many Christians know that husband and wife are a type of Christ and the church. However, most know this type only in a superficial way. Their knowledge of this mysterious type does not touch their being or affect their living. We need to get into the depths of this type in order that our being and our life may be changed by it.
The first couple in the Bible, Adam and Eve, present a significant and complete picture of Christ and the church. According to the book of Genesis, God did not create man and woman at the same time and in the same way. Firstly, God formed man’s body from the dust of the ground. Then He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). After God created man, He said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him” (Gen. 2:18). The animals and the fowl were brought to Adam, and Adam named them. But for Adam “there was not found a help meet for him” (Gen. 2:20). Within Adam there was the desire to have a counterpart, to have someone to match him. Among the cattle, the beasts, and the fowl, there was no counterpart to Adam. In order to produce such a counterpart, “the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam” (Gen. 2:21). While Adam slept, the Lord took one of Adam’s ribs and used it for the building of a woman (Gen. 2:22, Heb.). In life, nature, and form the woman was the same as the man. Therefore, when God brought the woman to Adam, Adam exclaimed, “This time it is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” (Gen. 2:23, Heb.). Adam knew that at last he had found his counterpart.
Genesis 2:24 indicates that a man and his wife are one flesh. We should regard a husband and wife not as two separate persons, but as one complete person, as two halves of a whole unit. A husband and a wife as a complete unit are a marvelous picture of Christ and the church as one entity.
Because there was no counterpart for Christ in the created universe, God caused Christ to die on the cross. As He slept there, His side was opened, and blood and water came forth (John 19:34). Because in Genesis 2 the problem of sin had not come in, that chapter mentions only the rib that was taken out of Adam; it says nothing about blood. But John 19 speaks of blood, which solves the problem of sin. The water signifies the flowing life of Christ, the eternal life, which produces the church. This life is also typified by the rib. According to John 19, not one of the Lord’s bones was broken when He was on the cross. This was a fulfillment of the Scripture which said, “Not a bone of him shall be broken” (Psa. 34:20). The unbroken bone of Christ signifies Christ’s unbreakable eternal life. Hence, Adam’s rib typifies the unbreakable eternal life of Christ. It is with this eternal life that the church is built up as the Bride, the counterpart prepared for Christ. In this building up of the Bride, Christ gains the church as a match for Himself.
We have pointed out that Eve had the same life and nature that Adam had. This signifies that the church has the same life and nature that Christ has. Furthermore, just as Eve had virtually the same image as Adam, so the church bears the same image as Christ. Moreover, in stature Eve was very nearly the same as Adam. This indicates that the church has the same stature as Christ.
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