I have great Baptist coworker whom I am able to bounce religion off of and this is a question I gave her for her bible study.
25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That 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.
Who What When Where is “the Church”?
The reply… The church is refering to all christians.
In our verbal conversation regarding the underlines phrases, you mentioned that “the church” is a reference to all Christians.
With that in mind please read the following (I included the two verses previous to put the passages in context)
Matthew 18:15-18 (King James Version)
15Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
In Matthew Jesus is telling the disciples how to settle a dispute. However, at the end if the two or three witnesses cannot come up with a resolution they are to go to “the church”. If by your definition from Ephesians “the church” is other Christians. Then, why would someone in a dispute go to two or three people for a resolution and (for argument sake) not come up with a resolution. Then be referred to “the church” i.e. other Christians for consult?
It appears that Jesus is referring the people in dispute to an authority…. “the church”. Which begs an answer to the first question from Ephesians 5. Who What When Where is “the Church”
What do you think?