Christ And His Bride
(The Church)

  1. INTRODUCTION:
    1. SCRIPTURE READING: Eph. 5:22-33 = "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
    2. CHRIST AND THE CHURCH ARE ONE:
      1. They are one in the same sense as husband and wife are one:
        Matt 19:5-6 = "And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one fles"Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
        Eph 5:25-32 = "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."
      2. In this relationship they Christ and the Church -- are one in spiritual wedlock.
        1. This is a very strong intimate relationship.
        2. Christ is the church's lover.
        3. The Church is married to Christ.
          Rom 7:4 = "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God."
      3. Consider with me for a few minutes:
        1. What Christ does for His bride.
        2. What The Church (His Bride) should do for Him.
  2. DISCUSSION:
    1. WHAT CHRIST DOES FOR HIS BRIDE:
      1. He gave himself for her.
        Gen 2:21-23 = "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
        Acts 20:28 = "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
        Titus 2:14 = "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
      2. Upon her He bestows His tender affections.
        1 John 3:1 = "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
        Comment: Christ left His Father's bosom to woo her. Gen 2:24 = "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."
      3. He sanctifies her.
        Eph. 5:26 = " That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,"
        1 Cor 6:11 = "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
        Comment: Before the marriage, the bride passed through the bath of purification.
      4. He provides for His bride.
        Comment: He nourisheth and cherisheth her. He shares with her His heavenly treasures. The Lord is saying: "All that is mine is thine."
        1. He provides food.
          John 6:48 = "I am that bread of life."
        2. He provides raiment.
          Isa 61:10 = "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels."
          Gal 3:27 = "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
          Comment: Christ found her when she was unlovely and adorned her loveliness.
        3. He provides shelter in the storm.
          Ps 46:1 = "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
          Psa. 91:1 = "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
        4. Christ is faithful and true to His bride.
          Heb 13:5-7 = "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Remember them which have."
          Comment: He will allows nothing to severe the tie that binds them as one but the unfaithfulness of the bride.
          Matt 19:6 = "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder."
          John 10:28-29 = "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."
        5. Christ will lead His bride before the Father and present her to Him.
          Eph 5:27 = "That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
          Comment: Then she shall eat with Him the marriage supper of the Lamb.
          Rev 19:1 = "And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:"
    2. WHAT THE CHURCH (HIS BRIDE) SHOULD DO FOR HIM:
      1. She should respond unto His tender affection - Love should meet love.
        1 John 4:19 = "We love him, because he first loved us."
      2. She should make herself attractive for Him "…Not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; …" = Eph. 5:27.
      3. She should array herself in fine linen, bright and pure.
        Rev 19:8 = "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints."
      4. She should honor Him by wearing His name.
        1. The name Christian honors Christ.
          1 Peter 4:16 = "Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."
          Rom 16:16 = "Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you."
        2. When the bride refuses to wear the name of the bridegroom, and desires to wear the name of another, she dishonors the bridegroom.
      5. She should keep herself for Him alone.
        Comment: The bride should be true to the marriage vow, keeing herself free from spiritual adultery.
        Hos 4:15 = "Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Beth-aven, nor swear, The LORD liveth."
        1 John 5:21 = "Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen."
      6. She should render loving obedience unto Him.
        Eph 5:22-23 = "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body."
        1. The woman was made of man and for man; hence her subjection to him.
        2. The church was made of Christ and for Christ; hence her subjection to Him.
        3. Obedience is the test of love and loyalty.
          John 14:15 = "If ye love me, keep my commandments."
  3. CONCLUSION:
    1. CONSIDER WELL WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE AND IS DOING FOR THE CHURCH.
      1. Is the church responsive?
      2. Is the church a loyal loving bride?
    2. WHAT ARE WE, AS INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS, DOING TO MAKE THE CHURCH ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD?

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