The Lord's Church...
The Bride of Christ
By Charles Law
The church is pictured as a bride espoused to Christ in 2 Cor 11:2. "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ." In this picture we see the need for the church to be pure. Just as a young lady or a young man should keep themselves pure from fornication for their prospective husband or wife, so the church should not be guilty of spiritual fornication.
2 Cor 11: 3, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." The devil is busy in the world. Trying to corrupt the church. Trying to lead us away from Christ and the truth. Trying to cause us to be unfaithful.The devil appeals to us to follow after the world and the things of the world. James 4: 4, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." The devil tries to get us to be worldly. He does not want us to live up to Gods expectations for us.
Rom 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
As members of the body we have the responsibility to keep ourselves pure and to hold fast to the faith of the gospel. Phil 1:27, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;" We must not allow ourselves to be lured away by the devil. There are those who would entice us to embrace ideas that are not taught in the gospel. This is not a new problem, it was in the early church. 2 Cor 11:4, "For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him."
Gal. 1:6, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:" We must resist the advances of the devil and hold to the faith revealed in the gospel. Jude 3, "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. 4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Gal 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
The husband and wife relationship is compared to the relationship between Christ and the church. Just as Christ is the head of the church, so the husband is to be the head of the wife. Therefore the church is to be in subjection to the will of Christ. His word must be respected and followed in obedience. Eph.5:23, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 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, 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. 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. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
The church is to be one with Christ as his own body. Allowing him and only him through his word to direct our course Eph 1:22, "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." 1Cor 6:15, "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid."
We may become unfaithful to our husband and head if we become careless. We may become careless by not studying to know what his wishes for us are.We may ignore our duties that he has assigned to us and thus become unfaithful.We may become rebelious and stop our ears to certain commandments that dont fit into the way we want to live.We may become unfit and the Lord will not have us. Rev 3:15, "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." Let us take up the admonition of Paul. Phil. 2:12, "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
[Editors Note: Many thanks to Charles Law for good article written above! I m thankful of the number of passages of Scripture used. We look forward to reading more written by him in the future. Charles can be reached via email at email@example.com ]
Email the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
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