Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Bride of Christ? #JesusIsLord #GodIsMyHope

Ok.  Some have had a hard time understanding the metaphor of a believer as the bride of Christ.  I thought I should take a moment to explain where that idea comes from.  First, in the book of Hosea, God instructs Hosea to marry a prostitute.  He tells him to do this, because God says that the nation of Israel has acted like an unfaithful wife.  In this case the Lord is referring to all of the Jews in the northern Kingdom, who by this time were referred to as Israel.  If you are not familiar with the history, after the time of Solomon the Kingdom of Israel broke into the northern kingdom of Israel, and the southern kingdom of Judah.  Hosea is called as a prophet to warn the people of the northern kingdom to stop acting like an unfaithful spouse.  Actually, if you read the prophets many of them use the same metaphor to illustrate the behavior to God.

When John the Baptist ministry is beginning to fade, and many of his followers are beginning to follow after Christ, he refers to himself as the best man.  He says that the best man is happy to stand with the bridegroom and hear his vows.  In this particular reference, he is referring to Christ as the bridegroom.  Jesus also uses the metaphor of a marriage many times in his teaching, when he is talking about his kingdom.

John the Evangelist in his book of Revelation makes reference to the wedding feast of the Lamb.  After the return of Christ, we are told that the church will be presented as the bride of Christ.  There are at least 4 references to the bride of Christ in the book of Revelation.

As a member of the body of Christ, and the church it is not a stretch to think of yourself as the bride of Christ.  The idea of the church becoming the bride of Christ is one of the amazing things about the gospel.  When I think about the type of bride that I have been, I am astonished that I am still worthy to be called the bride of Christ.  The idea that God has called me to be his bride, whether collectively or individually, is astonishing.  There is nothing that I have done that has earned me such an honor.  When I am honest with myself I have been more like the unfaithful spouse from the book of Hosea, than I have been the spotless bride of Christ that will be presented to the lamb in glory.  This metaphor is by no means creepy.  This is what the word of God says.  Some may mock it, but it is important to remember that the Bible says that the truth of God is foolishness to the perishing.  That means that unless you are an insider, then none of this will make a bit of sense to you.  The Word has also said that God has chosen the simple things of this world to put to shame the wise.

I just thought I should take a moment to explain the metaphor I had used in an earlier post.  I hope that helps to enlighten anyone that may have been confused.

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