“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2 (NKJV)
We often hear reference to the term, The Bride of Christ. I have heard differing opinions of what it means, and have heard some say they have no idea. But to be sure, there is nothing mysterious, nothing hidden about who and what the Bride really is.
In Matthew 16:18, Peter receives His restoration from Jesus, for the 3 times he betrayed Him. Jesus speaks to him, telling him who he is, and likens him to a rock. He then goes on to state that on that very same rock, He will build His church.
Jesus loves His church. He loved it then, He loves it now. So who and what is the church? Is it the big white building on the corner of our street? Is it the cathedral in the center of town? No, it is not. While we name these buildings as The Church of Christ, or The Baptist Church, or whichever denomination it may be, the buildings are not the church. They are the places where the churches congregate and the base from which they perform their work. But the true church is a body, and it is comprised of the souls Jesus holds in His hands; it is the disciples who follow Him; it is those who have proclaimed Him as their Lord and Savior. These are the redeemed.
Jesus created the church to be Him in this fallen and dying world. The church body represents Jesus, and continues the ministry He was doing during His three year ministry on earth. The church creates unity among believers, and those who become tired and worn in the ministry will received edification and rest. The church educates and instructs in the things of God. The church worships the Lord, and is a center of praise. The church lives in unity, serving the Lord, one another, and the people who are in need of a Savior.
This church is not a building, and it is not a place. It is a group of those who love the Lord, and whose purpose is to serve Him. One thing we must understand about the church–the saints who are a part of the church cannot claim ownership of it. It belongs to Jesus. It is His Bride.
There it is. The Bride of Christ is THE CHURCH. If you have salvation, you are the church. It is a living, breathing, body of believers whose sole purpose is to serve Jesus. When the church is operating in God’s will, and is working for His purposes and not the purposes of the individual members, it is an effective witness for the Lord.
Jesus is Our Hope. And because He is, we can trust that as the church, He will one day take us all to heaven, to live forever with Him, with the entire, perfected, white as snow Bride of Christ. We will meet at the marriage table, and enjoy a celebration that will last into eternity. Glory!
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5: 25-27
How do you feel about the church–the Bride of Christ?