Christ gave himself to make her holy, having cleansed her through the baptism of His word - to make her an altogether glorious Church in his eyes. She is to be free from spots, wrinkles or any other disfigurement - a Church holy and perfect. Ephesians 5:26-27 J.B. Phillips paraphrase.
We find in the midst of Pauls comments to husbands and wives this standard of Christ. We use Ephesians 5 to teach on marriage but verse 32 reminds us that “the marriage relationship is doubtless a great mystery, but I am speaking of something deeper still - the marriage of Christ and his Church. We understand the marriage union is designed on earth to teach and train us for something far greater, two becoming one, holy and perfectly joined.
It is in this union we are to learn how to express the nature of Christ in every situation. We are to learn how to live vitally united without allowing any schism to divide and conqueror the union. We learn selflessness. We learn to die daily. We learn to adapt and conform for the wellbeing of oneness. We have an earthly institution to live out and practice something far greater ~ our divine, eternal relationship with the Father and Son expressing the very image and nature of Him. This is His glory.
All working together so that Christ is able to present to himself a glorious church not having spot, wrinkle or any other blemish. His church will be holy and without fault and in this ~ she is glorious. Romans reminds us that we have been predestined to be conformed to the image of the son. Again, Hebrews tells us Christ was the express image of the Father, thus His church, His body will be the same.
As this new man in Christ, we are learning who and what we ought to be according to the plan of God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
From the Discovery Bible HELPS Word-studies perfect means ~ Cognate: 5046 téleios (an adjective, derived from 5056 /télos, "consummated goal") – mature (consummated) from going through the necessary stages to reach the end-goal, i.e. developed into a consummating completion by fulfilling the necessary process (spiritual journey). See 5056 (telos). [This root (tel-) means "reaching the end (aim)." It is well-illustrated with the old pirate's telescope, unfolding (extending out) one stage at a time to function at full-strength (capacity effectiveness).]
2 Peter reminds us we have qualities preventing us from becoming ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In practicing these qualities we will never fail. Peter wrote “I intend always to remind you of these qualities. To stir up the body so they, at any time, are able to recall. We are the body of Christ called to live pure and holy. No spot, no wrinkle, no blemish.
Peter describe these “spots, wrinkles and blemishes asfalse teachers with destructive heresies who follow their own sensuality. They are greedy, bold and willful, indulging in defiling lusts and despising authority. Peter declares, blots and blemishes! Full of adultery, insatiable for sins. Enticing unsteady souls, hearts trained in greed, forsaking the way.
These blots and blemishes rise up among us and feast with us but Peter assures usthese things will dissolve and, as we wait on His return, we are to be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish and at peace.
As we live in the light as He is the light we shine. Adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father desires that we might learn and understand that through the cost of his son’s own blood, we have been redeemed, freely forgiven through His full and generous grace which abounds to us daily. Now to him, who by his power within us, is able to do infinitely more than we could ever ask or imagine - to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever, Amen!
We live in the days of abounding grace from the Father which enables us to live righteously and display His glory. A Church holy and perfect, she is to be free from spots, wrinkles or any other disfigurement.