A Bride For Christ
Earlene Davis - Pastor - Wichita, KS
It is God’s purpose for Christ to have a bride. This truth is brought out in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. In Genesis chapter 2, the LORD God said it is not good that man should be alone and He caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh thereof; and builded he a woman and brought her unto the man. The first man Adam was a type of Christ as we read in Romans 5:14, it says that Adam was a “figure of him that was to come,” speaking of Christ. Leading us to see a beautiful type of the bride being taking out of the body of Christ.
In I Cor. 12 we learn that all believers are members of Christ’s body, the church - Vs. 12-14,20,27. Now let us read Eph. 5:25-27,29-30,32. It was in God’s purpose for all the church to be Christ’s bride. The provision has been made. Just as Salvation for all mankind has been provided by Christ’s death, yet not all accept God’s free gift that they might be saved. The same is true of this provision to be the bride of Christ.
Paul the chief apostle to the church has espoused (betrothed) or engaged all believers (the whole church) to one Husband (Christ) by his gospel - II Cor. 11:2-3. This espousal was that Paul may have the joy of presenting “a chaste (or pure) virgin to Christ” (without spot, holy and without blemish).
Paul’s Gospel has called the whole Church to this attainment. Christ must have a bride, a mature companion, full grown in every respect. But even though the whole church has been betrothed, not all will qualify as the pure virgin who shall be presented. Many go the way of satisfying their fleshly nature instead of running to win Christ as Bridegroom. There are qualifications to be Christ’s bride. She must be proven and tried. She must hold Christ as her head and absolutely be dependent upon Him.
The purpose in an engagement is to become better acquainted. The relationship we might say is on probation. Of course Christ is not on probation, for His love has already been proven. He left the glory of heaven to win the desire of His heart. He stooped down to the death of the cross and the humiliation of the tomb to deliver her from her former lord, the Old Adam. Therefore it is impossible for Him to fail her.
But this is her day to be proven and found faithful. She has conditions to meet to win Christ, even as He had to win her. She learns obedience by the things she suffers – II Cor. 4:6-10, 15, 17-18. Paul is not making light of the suffering, but making a comparison, in that the afflictions are working a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Paul feared for the Church that some might lose, not their soul, but the opportunity of this attainment. Paul knew the subtilty of Satan, that is why he warned of the danger as we read in II Cor. 11:3. The Church as a whole did not see the trap, because they failed to read and heed the warning. Like Eve who was beguiled and acted independent of her head, her husband. The Church has moved and acted independently, not depending upon Christ, the head of His body, the church. That is being corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ
Let us leave the responsibility upon Him and be subject unto Him. II Cor. 11:4 There are those who preach another Jesus and how to be strong and able in themselves. But that is not Paul’s gospel, he preached a humble Jesus, rejected by the world. His wife must go the same way of suffering, which also let us not forget, brings victory.
Romans 8:16-18 – May we embrace that which has been set before us. This calling is to a service of love that is unknown by many believers. Why is that so? They don’t bother to read God’s Word written to them, where we learn God’s purposes for us. Let us covet this place with our Lord and Savior as His bride.
In Philippians Chapter 3, Paul says “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Vs. 12-14). The Prize is Christ Himself -verse 8, – “that I may win Christ.”
Philippians 3:15 – “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”