Love places great value on its object. For example, let’s say you’ve seen a new car that you just love. You tell yourself you really need that car. You test drive it. You examine it from bumper to bumper. You wheel and deal with the salesman. Finally, you sign your life away. You pay a great price because you LOVE that car! Love places great value on its object.
This is really a poor illustration because you buy a car because you love yourself. That’s self-love, not sacrificial love. What would you do if one of your children had a terminal disease and you found out there was a cure but it was very expensive? You would literally give up everything, your savings, your home, all your possessions, your total net worth to save the life of your child. You would go into great debt. Why? Because the life of your child is more valuable than anything else on earth.
Love places great value on its subject. However, true love, God’s love, described in Greek as “agape” love places no limits on its object. It gives and gives and gives and gives all there is to give. There is no limit to Christ’s love for the church and neither should there be for ours.
The object of Christ’s love and the love of a growing Christian is the church. The Greek word for church is ekklesia. In its most basic sense, ekklesia means “the called out.” The New Testament uses ekklesia in two ways.
First, there is the general sense, referring to all believers of this age, all the redeemed. This is seen in today’s verse in Ephesians 5:25.
However, most of the time the New Testament uses the word “church” in a local sense, referring to a particular fellowship of believers in one locality. For example, there is the church of Antioch or even Tucson Baptist Church in Tucson.
Are you a member of a strong Bible-preaching, missionary-sending church?