Below is given two different interpretations of the verses Ephesians 5:25-27. When a question lies on my heart I tend to be like a Berean (Acts 17:11), searching the Word and inquiring of the Lord for His explanation. Today I asked Him what He meant by the Spotless Bride that Paul spoke of in Ephesians. Not getting an immediate answer I just jotted down the question and went on with my day. In the evening as I got ready for bed thoughts started spilling into my mind. Rushing to my computer it felt as if a river of revelation was gushing out waiting to be pondered. Suddenly it became clear to me by reading these verses, one from the King James Version and the other from The Passion Translation, how easily we can take scripture out of context. As someone whom God is pulling the legalism out of (me), it became clear that He was shedding a new way of looking at His spotless bride.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 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.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (TPT) And to the husbands, you are to demonstrate love for your wives with the same tender devotion that Christ demonstrated to us, his bride. For he died for us, sacrificing himself to make us holy and pure, cleansing us through the showering of the pure water of the Word of God. All that he does in us is designed to make us a mature church for his pleasure, until we become a source of praise to Him – glorious and radiant, beautiful and holy, without fault or flaw, a bride fully prepared for Him.
Could it be that the spotless bride is ‘liken’ the virgins with their lamps full (Matthew 25:1-7)? A bride who understands that their righteousness has already been fulfilled through Christ Jesus (Romans 5:17)? A bride who knows that worship ushers in His presence? (John 4:24) A bride who has learned to abide in Him? Because once we realize our position in Christ Jesus we become an object of His affection.
The virgins whose lamps ran low and they left to go buy more ran out into the world and were not prepared. Realizing they were not able to ‘ride on the coattails of another’, they ran out and their destiny went unclaimed when their season came, and missed out on the fact that they themselves carried the glory of the Lord.
Jesus IS the kingdom of heaven. He now lives and reigns within us believers. Therefore when we speak that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven we are speaking in the same authority that Jesus walked in. (Matthew 16:19; Luke 11:2)
The five virgins who ran out worked for their oil, but came up only tired and empty. Becoming a pure and spotless bride was never meant to be about works. Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross so we could be pardoned of our sins. Nothing we could ever do can change that. He made us holy and pure in his sight. Our maturity in Him grows through our acceptance of His love for us and our willingness to change our minds and live a life that glorifies Him. This is how we keep our lamps full. No self-effort can ever measure up to this. We glorify Him with our bodies by operating in the gifts and abilities he has given each one of us as we equip others to do the same. Surely He sees us without spot or wrinkle as we mature into the fullness and stature of Jesus Christ in this way. What He saw the Father doing, He did (John 14:10). What we hear Jesus telling us to do, we do (v.12). We become a bride that brings Him glory and a sweet smelling aroma to Him as He praises us for adoring Him. All of this unfolds into an array of light that glorifies Him (v. 13); and NOTHING can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39).
Rev 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Galatians 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”