THE WALK APPLIED: The Bride of Christ: Why?
Jesus desires His bride (His church) to share an eternal and intimate relationship with Him (Isa 62:5, Rev 19:7-9, Rev 21:2). Scripture doesn’t tell us why or how the notion of the bride came about, but it does tell us that Jesus will indeed rejoice over His church (those who are saved constitute His church) as His bride. Scripture reveals that there are two fundamental conditions that the bride must meet: The bride must be declared perfectly righteous, and the bride must be faithful.
When we experience salvation whereby we come to know and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are then declared perfect and righteous. Matthew 5:48 says “Be perfect as your Father in Heaven is perfect”. To be saved means that righteousness is imputed to us and we are judged to be perfect. Thus, the first of the two conditions are met via salvation.
The second condition for the bride is faithfulness. Scripture confirms in several places that the bride must be faithful (Ps 37:28; Ps 97:10; Pro 2:8). Isaiah 1:26 says: “I will restore your judges as in days of old, your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward, you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City." Psalm 101:6 tells us “…My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.”
To demonstrate faithfulness, however, is not nearly as straightforward as salvation. However, faithfulness is not imputed into us; faithfulness must be demonstrated:
“but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matt 24:13)
“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matt 10:22)
In other words, those who are faithful to the end are the ones who are saved. Now, in order for the bride to prove faithful, you must have an environment for the bride to prove to be faithful. In other words, there must be an environment that allows for free will and choice. There has to be a place and time to choose between God and something else. To demonstrate faithfulness, God must be chosen from at least one other alternative.
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N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog on a regular basis. He has been the Director of Godly Training Ministries since 1993. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the new book: "The Walk Applied". He has been married to Kathy since 1985. They have 2 adult daughters and an extraordinary son-in-law.
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