Recognising the Bridegroom and Functioning as the Bride of Christ

I remember the moment when I first truly experienced the Bridegroom heart of Jesus. I had been studying it for a while, and learning in my mind about who He was as my Bridegroom King, but when my heart experienced the love of the Bridegroom, it was astounding. At the time, we were holding two hour prayer and worship sessions on Saturday mornings. I was playing that day and as I sang about His love, I began to understand in my heart, this bridegroom love of Christ, to really feel it. I wrote a song about it afterwards because this love is similar to, yet completely different to knowing the Father love of God, or to knowing the friendship love of God. Sometime later, having understood more of this bridegroom love, I decided to write some notes about the Bridegroom and the Bride (Jesus and His church). It was a summary of things learnt from His word, from my experience, and from the testimonies and teachings of others – a compilation and foundation for growing in my understanding of this love.

IMG_2666Now, as my wedding draws closer, I remember how so long ago, I told the Lord that when I got married, I wanted Him to show me even more clearly how He loves as a Bridegroom, and how His church, His bride responds. This season of wedding preparation has been for me, perhaps the greatest test of character I have faced yet. Certainly, it has not been what I expected, and I’ve felt so weak and unworthy at times. Yet in all this, I see how the Lord is giving me His strength, teaching me about preparing as His bride, and giving me understanding of His Bridegoom love. He is true to His promise, and with His help, I will be true to mine.

Who is the Bridegroom and who is the Bride?

  • The Bridegroom is Jesus Christ
    • John recognised Jesus as the Bridegroom and called himself a friend of the bridegroom
      (John 3:29-30)
  • The Bride is the Church of Christ
    • All united as one body, to be one with and in Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22, Ephesians 3:6)
    • The New Jerusalem, physical city in which the Lamb lives as one with the resurrected saints (Revelation 21:2-3)

Why a Bridal Paradigm?

  • God created relationship between husband and wife to be in the likeness of His relationship of oneness (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)
    • The two become of one flesh (Genesis 2:24)
  • The wedding of the Lamb (Jesus, Son of the Father) will come when He returns again and sets up His kingdom on earth.
    • Jesus is waiting for His bride to prepare herself. (Revelation 19:7-8)
    • Some will be invited and come to the wedding feast. Some will not be prepared and will not be able to enter (Matthew 25:1-13, Matthew 22:1-14)

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What is the heart of the Bridegroom?

  • Jesus desires to be one with His church
    • He asks the Father that all may be one just as He and the Father are one (John 17:20-26)
  • Jesus is coming to receive His inheritance (the church and the whole earth as His bride and kingdom)
    • (Isaiah 9:7, Psalm 2:6, Ephesians 1:9-10)
  • Jesus desires a mature bride in intimacy, to partner with Him in governing the kingdom
    • (Revelation 21:22)

What is the Calling of the Bride?

  • To make herself ready for her bridegroom
    • Oil of intimacy and relationship (Parable of the Ten Virgins: Matthew 25:1-13)
    • “Fine line stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people” (Revelation 19:7-8, Revelation 3:18)
      • Walk in purity and blamelessness before God through prayer, fasting, keeping in step with the spirit and obeying his word
      • To be stayed in Christ Jesus because He clothes her with a garment of righteousness
        • Isaiah 61:10
        • Remember that in Genesis and Leviticus that a covering of blood was needed for atonement of sins and nakedness – first provided by the blood of an animal, then atoned for completely by the blood of Jesus, the eternal high priest (Genesis 2:21, Romans 3:22, Hebrews 8:1-6
      • Know who she is as the inheritance of Jesus Christ (John 17:20-26)
  • Call for and declare the coming of her bridegroom king
    • “The Spirit and the bride say “Come!”” (Revelation 22:17)
    • Jesus came and quoted from Isaiah 61 as His ministry of earth, but the bride is to partner in fulfilling the second part of this calling (Isaiah 61:2)

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How do we function as the Bride of Christ?

1. Relationship – We need to know Jesus as our bridegroom and lover

  • We require the indwelling Holy Spirit to give revelation of the Son
    • Knowledge of the son through fellowshipping with the spirit of wisdom of understanding (Ephesians 1:17)
  • Meditating on the word of God (the word is Jesus, his mouth)
    • (Song of Songs 1:2, John 1-2)
  • Enter into a place of intimacy, a “secret garden” with the Lord
    • (Song of Songs 1:4, Song of Songs 4:12)

2. Identity –  We know who we are as ones loved by and desired by God, as his bride and his people

  • [Ephesians 1:18] – “…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.”

3. Preparation – We need to invest time and energy into relationship to make ourselves ready

  • Meditation in his word, time devoted to relationship with him, seeking His face, gazing upon His beauty (investment in relationship as above)
  • Living with a mind of “one thing” (Psalm 27:4)
  • Living a pure and blameless life before Him

4. Proclamation – Knowing Christ and knowing our identity in Him, we proclaim His kingship on earth

  • “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10)

 


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