In today’s world, what titles do we consider to be the most highly acclaimed?
CEO, Doctor, President, Beauty Queen, Founder, MVP, Award Winning, Producer.
In today’s church, what titles do we consider to be the most well respected and important?
Pastor, Director, Teacher, Minister, Charter Member, Deacon.
All of those titles are definitely important and needed in both our culture and our church. However, there is one title that is absolutely necessary for our lives and it is one that we can all bear.
The Bride of Christ.
The Bride of Christ refers to the church. Not the building, but her people. Therefore, you and I individually are the Bride of Christ as well as all Christians collectively.
I would like to take a few minutes and explore the topic of The Bride of Christ with you. This is so exciting!
Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her 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.
If you are a Christian, you are the Bride of Christ. Jesus expects an earthy husband to love his wife even to the point of giving his own life for her. Likewise, Jesus willingly gave His own life for our lives. Jesus loves you and I so much that He sacrificed His very life for us. That is huge!
The verses go on to say that Jesus gave Himself up to sanctify us and cleanse us by the washing of water of the Word.
The word sanctify is one of those big church words that we use, but may not truly understand it’s meaning.
Behold Your God is a Bible study written by John Snyder and is based in the writings of A.W. Tozer. I am going to detour for a quick second and say that this Bible study is made a huge impact on my life. If you are looking for a study with some real depth, this is your answer! Anyway, this study has a glossary that breaks down all of the “church words” that we use but may not fully understand. It defines sanctification like this:
Sanctification has two parts. First, the believer is set apart to God by the purchasing work of Jesus and regeneration. Thus, the believer belongs solely to God and no longer to the world. Second, the believer is daily being set apart in heart and life by the work of the Spirit, making the believer holy in his practice.
Basically, Ephesians 5:26 is saying that Jesus gave His life for us in order to purchase us from this world. He wants to set us apart to belong solely to Him. All we have to do is accept Him in our hearts and make Him the Lord of our lives. We then become the Bride of Christ.
Jesus then goes a step further by sanctifying us daily. He cleans us. He has provided us with His Holy Word and it has the power to restore, perfect and make whole. Jesus wants to clean His Bride by washing her with the water of the Word. Sister, you and I can not experience the clean, perfect and beauty of wholeness of being a Bride of Christ without spending time in The Bible and allowing it to wash over you. Jesus wants a clean Bride both inside and out.
Why do you think that Jeus wants a clean bride? This is so interesting to me! Verse 27 says that Jesus wants to present His bride to Himself in splendor. Now Jesus is part of the Trinity. Therefore, if He presents His bride to Himself, He is also presenting His bride to His Father.
Can we take a quick second and look at this verse from a worldly standpoint? Take this thought in to perspective. When you attend a wedding, the beauty of the bride is absolutely stunning. She has gone to great efforts to perfect herself and her looks in every way. She wants to present herself as flawless to her groom and his family. We would never attend a wedding and expect to find a bride looking any other way but her absolute best.
This same practice is true for Jesus, too. He wants to present His bride, those who have surrendered their lives to Him, with the upmost beauty to Himself and His Father. He loves His bride, is proud of His bride and wants to introduce her as indescribably incredible.
I can not tell you how that moves me. Jesus wants me to be beautiful for Himself from the inside out. The truth is, I have always wanted to be beautiful. Not only externally, but in my heart and spirit. I have always wanted others to look at me and see beauty….the best of me. Through the sanctification of Jesus, all of me can be the best of me. All of you can be the best of you!
You see, Jesus wants to cleanse us. He wants to get rid of any spot of scandal, any wrinkle of hidden behavior, or anything that does not make us a perfectly beauty in His eyes. He knows that sin in our lives will only pull us away from being like Him….perfect and blameless.
Sin will destroy us. Jesus is faithful to forgive us of our past sins as well as any sin that we commit after surrendering our heart to Him. He knows that even though we have surrendered our lives, we are still sinful people and we are going to mess up. However, once we give our hearts to Him and become His bride, Jesus wants to start cleaning our hearts. He wants the Bible to take root in our lives and start to grow. He knows that the more of Himself we have in our hearts the less likely we are to sin against Him.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Sister, let’s be beautiful Brides for Jesus. He so badly wants to make us holy and without blemish if we will only let Him. Jesus is a gentleman and allows us to have a free will even after salvation. Even though He could, He will not make us do anything. He allows us to choose whether or not we will be sanctified completely and daily.
One day, we are going to meet Him and His Father. We need to make sure that our hearts and our lives are preparing for that day. You do not want your Bridegroom to present you as any less than your absolute best. Honor Jesus by allowing Him to conform you to the beauty of Himself. We want to reflect our Bridegroom and make Him proud in front of His Father!
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