(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
(26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Sanctify - (NT:37 hagiazo ) from NT:40; to make holy, i.e. (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; (mentally) to venerate:
Cleanse - (NT:2511 katharizo) from NT:2513; to cleanse (literally or figuratively):
Washing - (NT:3067 loutron) from NT:3068; a bath, i.e. (figuratively), immersion, baptism:
Word - (NT:4487 rhema) from NT:4483; an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically); by implication, a matter or topic (especially of narration, command or dispute); with a negative naught whatever:
The sanctifying and cleansing process came not just by Christ giving Himself for us. That was merely the beginning. Now that Christ has us because of His loving gift of salvation, He is working in us to sanctify and wash us. How? Not by physical baptism, but by spiritual baptism - total immersion in God's Word. We will not be cleansed and sanctified just by trying to live uprightly; we will not even be cleansed and sanctified by praying only. Biblically, sanctification comes through Christ -and more specifically, by means of His Word.
"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17)
"And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)
Does a believer wish to be sanctified? Let them submerge themselves in God's Word.
(27) 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.
The purpose of sanctification and cleansing: not merely so that we could live "moral, upright lives," but so that Jesus Christ Himself could present us - His bride, His church - as holy and without blemish. Only the washing of water by the Word can make sinful humans in a holy, pure, spotless church!
God faithfully gave us His Son, the means by which we can even begin sanctification, and then He faithfully gave us His Word, the means by which we can continue sanctification until Christ returns for His bride.
(28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
(29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
(30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Christ is the head of the body (Colossians 1:18, "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.") by whom all the joints have nourishment and are increased (Colossians 2:19, "And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God."). As believers, we are members of Him. This means that no longer should we do like we want, but rather, like He would have us to (2 Corinthians 5:14-15, "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.").
(32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Even though we are given human comparison, we still can never fully understand the mystery of Christ and His church.