God uncovered the future to John.
Revelation 19:6-8 – Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying out,
For the Lord God
the Almighty reigns.
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;
To her it has been granted to be clothed
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
For the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Jesus chose us to live as his bride for eternity. Paul unpacked the significance of this magnificent gift of God’s grace.
The Mystery of Union with Christ
Paul uses the relationship between husbands and wives to illustrate our relationship with Jesus as his bride.
Ephesians 5.31-32 – “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
This is a great mystery, but I am speaking about Christ and the church.
God made the amazing gift of union with Christ possible at the expense of the crucifixion. The resurrection and gift of the Holy Spirit completed God’s work of this magnificent opportunity.
Early Christian authors frequently wrote about union with Christ. That is not the case today.
We would do well to make union with Christ the ultimate goal of our spiritual life. What will it take for us to get on the pathway to experience this blessed gift?
The Head of the Body
A beginning point toward union with Christ is the realization that we are the bride of Christ.
As the bride of Christ, we acknowledge Jesus’ rightful place as head over our lives.
Ephesians 5.23-24 – For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands.
Jesus is our Savior, who has rescued us from the grave danger of sin, self, and judgment.
He is our head and we gladly yield what is rightfully ours to his direction.
Our heart is the throne room of our lives. We frequently speak of removing “self” from the throne and asking Jesus to rule us. This is another way of describing submitting our lives to Jesus, the head.
For generations, spiritual giants have made the surrender of willfulness paramount in their relationship with Jesus.
The Church and Self-Giving Love
Jesus is the ultimate example of self-giving love. He gave supremely so his church could become a spotless bride.
Ephesians 5.25-27 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word,
So as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind, so that she may be holy and without blemish.
We are cleansed by “the washing of the water by the word.” When we hear the good news of God’s love and respond to it in faith, the transforming power of God is released in us.
Paul wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is God’s saving power for everyone who believes” (Romans 1.16).
These verses picture the sacrificial system. Just as Jesus was sacrificed for us, we willingly sacrifice our lives to him.
Romans 12.1 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, on the basis of God’s mercy, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of worship.
Paul’s Two-for-One Message
Ephesians 5.21-33 packed a two-for-one message. While describing the relationship between husbands and wives, he pictured the church as the bride of Christ.
Spiritual union with Christ as his bride is our future destiny, but it can also be realized in the here-and-now.
We have the opportunity to live in heaven on our way to heaven.
The biggest single obstacle to being united with Christ today is an unwillingness to surrender the throne of our lives to the leadership of Jesus.
Let’s pray this portion of the Lord’s Prayer today and make it a prayer of surrender to our loving Lord.
May your kingdom come.
May your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6.10)
I am recovering from COVID and I hope to join Rudy Ross in a couple of days to produce YouTube videos on the Bible. You can find our videos on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel. I am doing the video by myself today.
Please email your prayer request to email@example.com. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.