Archive for January 2015

No Man Hates His Own Flesh

January 14, 2015

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We may, with delightful delectation, dwell upon the fact that no man ever hated his own flesh. No exhortation is needed there. It is instinctive, inevitable. So is Christ’s love to us. We are joined by bonds unbreakable. In loving us, He loves Himself. We need not implore Him to favor us, nor must we merit His affection. Within our own breasts we have a continual reminder of the love of God’s Anointed for the members of His body. We do not ask our members to earn our regard. Indeed, if an arm is hurt, we give it added concern. If a foot is lame, we do not discard it, but favor it all the more. So is the love of Christ. Let us not imagine that our weakness, our unworthiness, will make Him weary of us. That can never be.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 23
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The Servant Leader

January 14, 2015

You are aware that the chiefs of the nations are lording it over them, and the great are coercing them. Not thus is it to be among you. But whosoever may be wanting to become great among you, let him be your servant, and whoever may be wanting to be foremost among you, let him be your slave, even as the Son of Mankind came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His soul a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28).

If anyone is wanting to be first, he will be last of all, and servant of all (Mark 9:35).

In these passages Christ laid before His apostles the divine principle of spiritual leadership, concerning which A.E. Knoch (1874-1965) wrote,

While the Son of God was in sad contemplation of the deep humiliation of the cross, His disciples were puffed up with pride, arguing about their own greatness. They could hardly have been further removed from Him in spirit. He Who had been above all was now sinking beneath all. Higher than the archangels was His primeval position; lower than the lowest of sinners is the appalling place to which His path is winding. Higher! is the selfish shout of man, intent on his own exaltation, though he tread his fellows under foot to reach his proud pinnacle. Lower! was the cry of Christ, intent on the weal of others, though He be trodden in the mire to serve them. True greatness can never be attained by striving for self. It lies only in service for others.” (Concordant Commentary on the New Testament, Mark 9).

Likewise the servant role of husbands is about a man living for his wife and family. The husband is the foremost servant of his family. In the home, as in the Body of Christ, service starts at the top and works its way down: Christ Himself being the premiere example of self-sacrificing service.

Self-serving men will pursue creative ways to circumvent the servant-nature of leadership while attempting to hold on to its “position.” In no place is this more prevalent than in the home. Such actions bring shame, disgrace and mockery to the benevolent role of headship. Little wonder that patriarchy has become such a despised word in our society.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

The Husband’s Love: Back to the Very Beginning

January 13, 2015

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Thus, the husbands also ought to be loving their own wives as their own bodies. He who is loving his own wife is loving himself. For no one at any time hates his own flesh, but is nurturing and cherishing it, according as Christ also the Ecclesia, for we are members of His body. For this a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. This secret is great; yet I am saying this as to Christ and as to the ecclesia (Ephesians 5:28-32).

By loving his wife, a husband is following the example of Christ, Whose love for the ecclesia is so intense that He is continuously giving Himself up for its sake. …

This is truly showing us the depth of love which should exist between husbands and wives. The two are to be regarded as one, and no one hates his own body, but does his best to care for it. The inspiration for the husbands’ love for their wives should be the love which Christ has for the ecclesia, for we are members of His body. Then the apostle goes back to the very beginnings of humanity, and quotes from Genesis 2:24 to prove his point that “the two shall be one flesh.”

John H. Essex
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 79
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A Wife: The Gift of God’s Favor

January 11, 2015

Whoever finds a wife finds good, and obtains favor of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).

Without any qualification, a wife is declared to be a “good” find, and is a direct result of Divine favor. Wisdom acknowledges this great truth.

God often has chosen to give some of His greatest servants the most challenging of wives (such as Jobs’ wife); still they are among the “all” that God is working for “good.” A man at odds with His Creator may become accusatory toward his wife and her role in his life, thus ultimately blaming even the nature of his circumstance on God Himself, “The woman whom You gave me …” (Genesis 3:12).

We are all broken; we’re all groaning and subjected to vanity – all of us: men and women, husbands and wives alike. This is the nature of the beginning of God’s work that will end in glory for all of His creatures. For some husbands it will take the realization of faith to perceive and appreciate their wives genuinely as a favor from God.

Wives need to be reminded and encouraged of their divine placement as “good.” Husbands must foster in their wives an understanding and acceptance of her ordained “goodness.” Just like the husband, she’s God’s grand and valuable work. She doesn’t need to struggle to be who God has already made her. It is God who has made her “good.” She only needs to be – be who she already is. This is her divine calling and placement. As husbands we are trustees and guardians of this “good.” Remind them of it often. Demonstrate it to them daily.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

A Divine Kind of Love

January 10, 2015

As we have seen, it is the husband’s responsibility to love his wife. The Greek word here for love is ἀγαπάω (agapaō), which is the base of the word ἀγάπη (agapē). The Concordant Greek-English Keyword Concordance defines ἀγάπη as:

A complex emotion arousing appreciation or delight in and desire for the pleasure of its object, as well as to please and promote its welfare; to be distinguished from affection, fondness, which is aroused by the qualities of its object, while love may go out to the utterly unworthy, and also from passion [eros] (not found in the Scriptures) between the sexes.

There is nothing wrong with a husband having affection, fondness and even passion (eros) toward his wife. These are not bad or sinful; but the love to which the husband has been called is divine and is not that which “is aroused by the qualities of its object,” but is that which – like Christ has for us – “may go out to the utterly unworthy.”

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving.)

The Scripture Usage of “Give”

January 9, 2015

Husbands, be loving your wives according as Christ also loves the ecclesia, and gives Himself up for its sake (Ephesians 5:25).

As we have already learned, the Greek word used for “gives” in the phrase “gives Himself up” is παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi). Here are its definitions:

  • To surrender, that is, yield up (James Strong, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, G3860).
  • To give or hand over to another (E.W. Bullinger, A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament).
  • To give over to (Robert Young, Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible).
  • To give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use (Joseph Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament).
  • To give or hand over (W.E. Vine, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
  • To deliver over or up to the power of someone (Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary).
  • BESIDE-GIVE – give up, give over, give way (A.E. Knoch, Greek-English Keyword Concordance).

To help us appropriately apply the Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), here are four other examples of the way the word “give” (as in Ephesians 5:2, 25) is translated in the King James Version, with the Concordant Literal Version translation in parenthesis:

Matthew 4:12 – “cast into prison” (“given up”)

Matthew 5:25 – “deliver to the judge” (“giving you up”)

Matthew 10:4 – “betrayed him” (“gives Him up”)

Acts 15:26 – “hazarded their lives” (“give up their souls”)

These words speak of sacrifice and loss of liberty. Husbands are no longer their own; like Christ, by choice, they have sacrificially “given themselves up” as an approach present to their wives. For husbands, Christ, Who forwent his “rights” in Gethsemane and proceeded to Calvary as a sacrifice and an approach present for us, is our preeminent example as to how we are to love our wives.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

What it Means to “Give Yourself Up”

January 8, 2015

… gave Himself … (Ephesians 5:25; KJV).

… gives Himself up … (CV).

Women in our society understandably reject headship and patriarchy, because they undoubtedly have never seen the Pauline model in action. Shamefully, what they have seen is an abundant example of self-absorbed, self-centered, self-serving men deceitfully professing these ideals and roles.

Paul instructs the husband to model Christ Who “gave Himself up.” Exactly what did that phrase mean to Paul? The context of this “giving up” goes back to :2 where he defines it for us:

Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God …

The Greek word translated “gave” from :25 is παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), the same word translated “given” in :2. Paul tells us directly in :2 what that “giving” of Christ’s love for us was: (1) an offering, and (2) a sacrifice. The Concordant Literal Version translates “offering” as “approach present.” An approach present was a gift offered to win another’s favor. It was a humble, sacrificial act to enable the giver to draw near to the recipient. An approach present was not chocolates and flowers. It represented a most significant sacrifice on the part of the giver. (A detailed study of the approach present can be seen in Bible Student’s Notebook #436.)

According to Paul’s own context, the husband’s love is to be an “approach present” and “offering” up of himself to his wife.

We’ll look more at this Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi) in tomorrow’s Daily Email Goodie.

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
(Excerpted from his upcoming book, Wife Loving)

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