"Local not Universal" Church Series #2
(22) ''Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their husbands in everything. (25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by thc word, (27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated tis own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it; even as the Lord the church: (30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. (33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
By comparing v. 23 with v. 22 it is apparent that the reference in v. 23 is to local churches. In v. 22 is stressed the attitude and relationship of every individual wife toward her husband. So in v. 23 the church referred to is every individual church. It is not an aggregate body referred to anymore than the sum of all wives might be an aggregate wife.
Let it be remembered that this passage has the purpose of teaching conerning the proper husband relationship and is not placed there intended to be a doctrirnal treatise on the nature of the church.
By substituting in v. 23 and 24 the correct translation of "eccesia" as "congregation" the true meaning becomes apparent. It is speaking of a local church. Verse twenty-four indicates a congregation that can be subject to Christ. An invisable, universal thing cannot bc as a unit, as an entity, in active subjection to Christ.
In verse twenty-five the institutional, generic sense of the word church is used.
Verse twenty-seven is speaking futuristically of the consummation of the Saviour's work through local New Testament churches individually and collectively when in Heaven He will have a final assembly (visible) and local). The job of loca1 churches now is to win converts and propagate the Gospel through multiplying churches in order to bring to consummation as many as possible to be part of that final assembly or congregation in Heaven.
Go to: The Church - The Body of Christ
"Local not Universal" Church Series #3