What does Ephesians 5:27 mean?
ESV: so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
NIV: and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
NASB: that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
CSB: He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless.
NLT: He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
KJV: 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.
NKJV: that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Verse Commentary:
Focusing on Christ's relationship to the church, Paul notes that Christ's goal as the church's husband is to "present the church to himself in splendor." Christ desires the church to stand before Him in brilliance and triumph. His desire is for believers to one day appear before Him without any flaws or marks or imperfections. Particularly on the wedding day, a bride seeks to look her absolute best for her husband, and Christ wants the church to look its best for Him when that day comes.

The purpose for Christ's relationship with the church is to bring on greater holiness. The reference to blemishes is not about physical appearance, but about the church being pure before the Lord. To be holy is to be set apart. To be "without blemish" is to be without a mark or problem. This is the same standard the Old Testament required of animals used in sacrificial offerings. They could not have any "blemish." God desires we come before Him with a clean heart (Psalm 24:4).
Verse Context:
Ephesians 5:22–33 is an often-cited but frequently misunderstood passage. Here, Paul explains how Christian husbands and wives should apply their understanding of salvation within their marriage. Wives are commanded to ''submit'' to their husbands as they would to Christ, and to show them respect. Often overlooked, however, is that men are equally obligated. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church: with humility and sacrifice, as if caring for their own bodies. Despite popular myth, the Bible does not permit either sex to be abusive or unloving within a marriage.
Chapter Summary:
Chapter 5 begins with an admonition to imitate Christ. In order to do so, Christians must avoid sexual immorality, vulgar language, foolishness, and other inappropriate attitudes. Paul warns that those who persist in these behaviors are not part of the kingdom of God. The passage then transitions to an explanation of mutual submission, including that between husbands and wives. Wives are to submit to their husbands, and respect them. Husbands are to love their wives in a Christ-like, sacrificial, and humble way.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 5 continues the very practical second half of the book of Ephesians. Chapter 4 encouraged Christians not to live as unbelievers do, but worthy of the gift we have been given. Chapter 5 gives even more direct application of these principles. Paul details impure attitudes and habits which Christians ought to put aside. He then details the proper approach to marriage, rooted in a Christian understanding of the gospel. This style of advice will continue through chapter 6. Paul's advice will culminate in a famous analogy about applying Christian principles to all of life, using the symbolism of a suit of armor.
Book Summary:
Ephesians follows a theme common in Paul's writings: connecting theory with practice. In this book, however, he goes into greater depth before making the transition. As a letter meant to be read by more than just the believers at Ephesus, this is an important look at how Christian belief should translate into Christian action. The first three chapters lay out spiritual ideas, the last three chapters show how these truths should be applied in the life of a mature believer. Paul focuses heavily on love, the unity of the Christian church, and the incredible value of our salvation through Christ.
Accessed 7/18/2024 10:28:07 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.
www.BibleRef.com