Ephesians 5:25b -27 …even as Christ also loved… 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.
‘Sanctify’ [Greek: hagiazo] set apart or consecrate, referring to the new birth (John 3:5). Not the natural birth, but to be born again of both water and Spirit. Not water baptism; all Old Testament saints were saved and born again without water baptism (Heb. 9:15; 11:1-40; Rom. 3:23-25; 4:1-25; Gal. 4:29; Jas. 2:23). Water baptism is a mere figure (1Pet. 3:21) and a witness (1Jn. 5:6-10), but not held as essential to salvation (2:8-9; 1Cor. 1:13-24; 15:1-5; Rom. 1:16; 10:9-14; Acts 10:43; 13:38-39; 16:31; John 3:14-18, 3:36; 5:24; 1Jn. 5:1). It is only for men who have repented (Matt. 3:2-6; 28:19; Acts 2:38-41; 8:12, 37; 10:43-48; 18:8; 19:4).
‘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.’ This is the 9th and last New Testament prophecy in Ephesians (5:27) and is unfulfilled.
‘Glorious Church’ – the glorious gathering of reborn individual Christians. Please remember that the word church should have been congregation or assembly and doesn’t refer to today’s business-like churches. The Greek word endoxos is used here and we, as the body of Christ, are now glorious because of the glorious gospel (1Cor. 4:4; 1Tim. 1:11), the glorious power of God working in it (Col. 1:11) to make it pure, holy, spotless, and without blemish. It will be presented to Christ as a glorious body because of the glorious liberty of all children of God (Rom. 8:21), and the glorious bodies that saints will receive (Php. 3:21). Please remember that not everyone calling themselves Christians necessarily qualifies as a true saint except those who obey His Word and live accordingly (Jas. 1:19-26; Rom. 6; 1Pet.2:21-23; 1Jn. 1-3).
‘Spot’ [Greek: spilos] blemish (2Pet. 2:13). ‘Wrinkle’ [Greek: rhutis] wrinkle, no mark of age.
‘Holy… without blemish’ – God’s choice: This is what God chose before the overthrow of Lucifer’s world – that all of the new race of Adam who accepts Jesus Christ should be holy and without blame before Him in love. It is this plan that is chosen for all believers, not the individual conformity of any one person to that plan. The final choice is left up to the individual, not God. All are called and chosen to become holy before God in love if they want to accept this plan and choice of God, but only those who meet the conditions will be so blessed (John 3:16-20; Mark 16:15-16; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9; Rev. 22:17). This is the true meaning of election and predestination wherever found in Scripture (1:5; Rom. 8:29). In other words, the plan is predestined and foreknown, not the individual conformity to the plan.