I’m excited to write a new series on ‘The Bride of Christ’ which I recently finished studying. I will be sharing things that the Holy Spirit revealed and taught me, scriptures in the Bible and things I learnt reading ‘His Bride has made herself ready – Debra Webster’ during my study of this topic. This series will be separated into three parts:
- Part 1: Who is the Bride of Christ?
- Part 2: The Church that thinks it is ready vs. The Church that is
- Part 3: The Warrior Bride
Whilst studying this topic, it brought new revelations of God’s character, challenged my role as being Christ’s bride and highlighted the importance of understanding the true meaning of being the Bride of Christ before becoming someone else’s bride (or husband) here, on earth and I hope it will do the same to you and more!
So, let’s begin…
The Bride of Christ is mentioned in the Bible and is symbolic of the relationship between Christ and the Church (the Body of Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:27), this is reflected in Ephesians 5:25-27 ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…’ Christ is presented as the Husband of the Church who gave Himself up through His death to sanctify and cleanse His wife through the washing of the Word. Although this passage sets a standard for husbands to meet, in verses 22-24 it also explains the role of Christ’s Bride, ‘…Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.’ As the Bride of Christ, we are one with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17, Romans 12:4-5) and are required to faithfully submit to Jesus in this period of separation as we wait to be reunited with Him in eternity, where we will be presented to Him as holy, pure and righteous (Revelations 19:7-9, 21:1-2).
John 14:1-3 highlights the death and resurrection of Christ as well as revealing that He is preparing a place for us in eternity. The idea of preparation is common in the Jewish tradition, where the bridegroom prepares the house for himself and his bride before they get married and here we see Jesus fulfilling this role. The place He is preparing for us is the dwelling place of the Father and a place of habitation for us to abide (Hebrews 11:10-16, Revelations 21:2) in the meantime, we are to yield to the Holy Spirit with willing hearts and allow the Lord to do the work in us for His Glory (Philippians 2:13). As we saw in Ephesians 5:25-27, it is the role of the husband (Christ) to wash us with the Word and to sanctify us therefore, we should not step into His role and believe that it is our job to do this ourselves because it is not, rather it is His blood that purifies us (Revelations 7:14). Therefore, I encourage you to surrender everything to the Lord, do not allow condemnation to cripple you from doing what He desires to do in you but rather partner with His Spirit in obedience and allow Him to cleanse you and make you ready for His return.
This unique relationship that Christ desires with the Church can also relate to God’s relationship with Israel mentioned in the Old Testament. In Isaiah 54:5 ‘For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth He is called.’ When we have a deeper understanding of the significance of God identifying Israel as His wife, it gives us a clearer perspective of the Lord’s righteous anger towards their adulterous behaviour when worshipping other gods and the other sins they committed. Nevertheless, His compassion, redemption and mercy towards them (Isaiah 54:7) is similar to Christ’s love displayed on the cross for the Church. Furthermore, in Ezekiel 16:8-14 (SUCH A BEAUTIFUL CHAPTER!) God is addressing Israel as being a faithless bride however, the beauty in this chapter is that God is willing to take them back and cloth, purify and sanctify them with wealth, beauty and status. ‘… I spread the corner of my garment over you and cover your nakedness, I made my vow to you and entered into a covenant with you, declares the Lord God…’ In Israel, this was a symbolic act signifying that one was taking another under his own protection and under a covenant. This is the same with Christ, He covers our nakedness, shame and sin through His blood and now we are part of His family, His Body, under a new covenant and can confidently say that ‘we are His’
The revelation you have of God will determine your character, behaviour and personal relationship with Him. Hence, the Lord wanted the Israelites to address Him as ‘My Husband’, Hosea 2:16 ‘and in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal’, in Hebrew ‘Baal’ means ‘Lord’. In the same way that we, as the Church should understand the importance of our relationship with Christ as our Husband as it empowers us to be faithful, walk in righteousness, submission and honour to Him through the help of the Precious Holy Spirit. However, this is a process of surrendering and dying to our will (Philippians 3:7), accepting the call to deeper intimacy with Abba, desiring to walk in holiness, finding victory over the idols presented to us in this world and understanding that is not about reaching a place of perfection but rather having the revelation that God is our ultimate source in everything.
God bless you for reading this post, I hope that you will continue reading this series and gain deeper insight on the true meaning of the Church being the Bride of Christ.
His Bride has made herself ready – Debra Webster: https://www.amazon.co.uk/His-Bride-Made-Herself-Ready/dp/0997025301/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495576728&sr=8-1&keywords=His+Bride+has+made+herself+ready+-+Debra+Webster%E2%80%99