Monday, September 22, 2014

We Are Christ's Bride - Do You Believe It?

The Church is the bride of Christ. This biblical metaphor is pregnant with implications for us. We considered a few of those implications yesterday in our "Faith in the Local Church" series.

As you continue to ponder these truths this week, I encourage you to read Ezekiel 16 and the book of Hosea. We didn't have time to consider those passages, but they are powerful revelations of the husband/wife dynamic between God and his people.

Here are a few more quotes that are well-worth pondering:

Ray Ortlund, Jr., in Whoredom: God's Unfaithful Wife in Biblical Theology:
To sum up, human marriage is premised in the making of the woman out of the very flesh of the man, so that the bond of marriage reunites what was originally and literally one flesh. All other relational claims must yield to the primacy of marital union. It requires an exclusive, life-long bonding of one man with one woman in one life fully shared. It erects barriers around the man and the woman, and it destroys all barriers between the man and the woman.” (23, emphasis mine)
From The Enduring Community: Embracing the Priority of the Church, by Brian Habig & Les Newsom: 
Christ did not love the Church because He came to her and found her beautiful.  He loved her despite her obvious foulness and, in His love, has achieved her beautification.  He did not do so for an abstract, imaginary bride.  He did so for real, earthy believers—the same people that are to be found, and should be found, in the local church. (77, emphasis mine)
Donald Whitney, in 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health
Because of love, a fiancé will often go to great lengths to be with his bride-to-be. (See Gen. 29:20) On an infinitely grander scale, Jesus made an incomparable journey from Heaven and worked for more than thirty years for the delight of His eyes, the church (Eph. 5:25-27). (82)

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