Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We Are the Bride of Christ

Part 3 of We Are the Church

Text: Revelation 19:6-8

You can listen to this sermon here.

“Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7). 

The Big Day! 

We call a wedding day “the big day,” and Canadians spend a lot of money to celebrate the big day.

  • The average cost of a Canadian wedding (including the honeymoon) is $31,110. 
  • The average cost of a bridal gown is $1,716. 
  • The average cost of being a bridesmaid is $1,695. 
  • A destination wedding costs guests $1,500…and that doesn’t include the gift. 
  • The average cost of a wedding gift is $109; however, if the couple is close family, the price almost doubles to $200. [1]

There’s a wedding day coming for the church: “The marriage of the Lamb has come” (Rev. 19:7). The “Lamb” is Christ, and “his Bride” is the church. Why is the church called the bride of Christ?

Here Comes the Bride

Sometimes a metaphor can be taken too far. The church is not like a bride in every way. We are called the bride of Christ for two reasons.

1. The church is loved by Christ. 

Christ is “the Lamb who was slain” (Rev. 5:12). When a man loves a woman, he is willing to make sacrifices for her (e.g., time, comfort). The sacrifice that Christ made for the church was his life. The apostle Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25; cf. 5:2). There is no word that adequately describes the degree to which Christ loves his bride.

2. The church is to bring joy to Christ. 

The church is to be like a beautiful bride. One of the greatest joys in a man’s life is seeing his beautiful bride on their wedding day. Revelation 19:8 says, “It was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.” The fine line is interpreted for us: “the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” Paul states that Christ died for the church so “that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:26-27). [2] The beauty of the church is her righteousness and holiness.

Is Your Life Bringing Joy to Christ?

Paul writes to the church in Corinth, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2-3). We desire to have “a sincere and pure devotion to Christ,” but we are often more devoted to other people or things. Thankfully, Christ doesn’t abandon us. He will keep his marriage covenant. But how can we be unfaithful to the one who died for us?

Is your life bringing joy to Christ?

[1] http://www.slice.ca/weddings/photos/canadian-wedding-facts/#!aaf4a67218ebe47626fbc7eb67064a67
[2] There is probably a link between Ephesians 5:27-27 and Ezekiel 16:1-14.

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