The Church, The Bride of Christ

Posted: February 9, 2016 in Basic Training

Woman praying

“The Bible opens and closes with a wedding.”

Selwyn Hughes

In an age when marriage is being redefined, it is a good idea to look back at the original purpose of marriage as defined by God in Scripture. Marriage was instituted by God not primarily for procreation or recreation but as an illustration. It is a living drama meant to portray for us the answers to the most fundamental questions of the human soul: Why am I here? What is God like? How do I relate to Him?  Marriage is a sacrament which was designed by the Creator to picture the very reason for which we were created; to live in relationship with God.

The Church is the Bride of Christ. It is hard to overemphasize the value God places on His Bride. It can be said that the singular reason Jesus went to the cross was so that He could purchase for Himself the Bride whom He loves above all else.

Genesis 2:20-25 – The creation of Eve in the Garden of Eden is a beautiful picture of the creation of Christ’s Bride and the only picture of Christ’s death in the Bible which speaks to something other than the payment of sin’s penalty. In fact, this picture is given before sin ever enters the Garden. In this story Adam is put to sleep and God takes from Adam one of his ribs and from it creates Eve. In the same way that Adam slept and awoke to his bride Eve, Jesus’ Bride was created out of His death and resurrection. Jesus “slept” by dying on a cross so that the Holy Spirit (pictured by Adam’s rib) would now come to live in us. It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which causes us to be born again, and thus joined to Christ our Groom now and for eternity.

It has always been God’s intention that marriage would illustrate for all humanity what a relationship with God is all about. In particular, marriage is the primary means by which God’s precepts and commands, God’s love and character, God’s desires and expectations would be illustrated and passed down from one generation to the next.

“’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”

Ephesians 5:31-32

Bride window

Ephesians 5:21-32 – This passage speaks of the specific roles of a husband and wife and how they mirror the relationship between Christ and the Church. Husbands are to model Christ’s love for His Bride, His commitment to His Bride, and to hold up the standard of God’s Word in the home. The wife is to model the Bride’s response to Christ’s love through both her respect for her husband, and her submission to her husband’s leadership in the home. Finally, the intimacy enjoyed by a husband and wife is a beautiful picture of the spiritual intimacy we enjoy as the Bride of Christ. It is through this intimacy (“and the two shall become one flesh”) that we are transformed into the image of our Heavenly Groom.

Shameless plug alert! For a more detailed study on this subject I invite you to read my book “I Married a Model” available at Amazon.com.

Live inside the circle. Be transformed!

Sample questions:

  1. What is the definition of marriage?
  2. Why did God create people?
  3. What is a sacrament? Why do sacraments exist?
  4. How will you fulfill your Ephesians 5 role in your marriage? In your relationship with God?
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