Who is the BRIDE of CHRIST?
The definition of ‘BRIDE’ is a woman who is about to get married or just got married.
Before moving to who let’s see what are the characteristics of a BRIDE as per the BIBLE?
1. Pure and Holy– Traditions require that the bride should be innocent and pure and the same goes for the bride of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:2 says For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Matthew 5:8 says Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
To be pure in our heart means to love God alone and no one else. Not being defiled by seeking the idols of the world. Whatever takes away more of your time is an idol to you. So examine yourself where do you spend most of your time.
Ephesians 5:25-27 says Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.
Jesus has sanctified and cleansed his bride and made it pure and holy by his BLOOD.
2. Righteousness: We are not righteous because of what we do but because Jesus died for us and has given us his righteousness. But how willing are we to walk on that path of righteousness post we are saved, is the question? Are we walking right?
Revelation 19:8 says She has been permitted to dress in fine linen, dazzling white and clean—for the fine linen signifies the righteous acts of the saints [the ethical conduct, personal integrity, moral courage, and godly character of believers].
3. Steadfast: We have to be patient and steadfast on the promises God has given us not wavering in times of difficult circumstances.
James 1:4 says But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
4. Willing to Submit/Surrender: The Holy Spirit is working within us, trying to make us better day by day, but we need to allow, we need to make that choice to surrender, to be used by GOD for the plans and purpose he has for us.
Hebrews 12.9 says Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]?
5. Love: Keeping the 2 commandments of GOD. Love is the basis of it and without LOVE the bride cannot be complete. Love the Lord with all your heart and love one another are the 2 important commandments to be kept and one has to abide by them (1 John3:24, Matthew 22:37-39).
Obedience should be out of love and not out of fear. Out of respect and not out of getting something in return.
1 Peter 1:14 says So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then.
We need to be vigilant and wait upon the Lord’s coming to take us home. And Jesus is coming to take his bride that has all the above characteristics.
So now we know the characteristics of the Bride as per the bible. The list goes on, but these are the important ones.
So who according to the Bible is the Bride of Christ? And everyone without a doubt will say it is ‘The Church’.
So Is it the building that you and I go to the BRIDE? No its not the building but the PEOPLE.
Jesus is building his Church and I do not belong to the church of a certain denomination I go to, but to this Church that Jesus is building. Are you part of this Church? Are you, his bride? Now this is the question, we need to ask ourselves.
So why do I say I am part of this Church that Jesus is building?
Lets see what the bible talks about. Matthew 16:18 As per the NKJV translation says…
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”.
Many understand this verse as Jesus is implying this to Peter that he is the rock and on him he will build his Church which is not what this verse really means and for this lets read the earlier verses.
Matthew 16: 15-17 says 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
This is what was revealed to me when I prayed and I wanted to share the same. I would urge that you too pray to God and the same spirit will reveal this to you. Thank you Jesus, for this revelation.
When Jesus asks his disciples, who do you think I am Peter says you are the Christ, the SON of the living GOD. And Jesus says Blessed are you Peter because flesh and blood i.e. people have not disclosed this to him but GOD himself has revealed this to Peter.
The Holy Spirit living within us testifies about Jesus and reveals Jesus to us, that Jesus is the SON of GOD, our Messiah. So Jesus is not speaking the next verse to Peter alone but to each and everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God and that Jesus is our Messiah.
So lets read this verse again Matthew 16:18 as per the New living translation says..
“Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
Peter-means Rock… means stone. So Jesus meant you are the living stone which I will use to build my church. Peter cannot be the foundation upon which Jesus is building the church, because Jesus is the corner stone/the foundation upon which the Church is being build. The Church is built on the foundation of Truth which is Jesus and he has given us the promise that the powers of hell will not conquer it. We are safe with Jesus. (Matthew 21:42)
So If I believe in Jesus… I become that stone in the Church that Jesus is building. So Peter, the 12 disciples, you, me and everyone who believes in Jesus is that living stone being used to build the Church of Jesus. Isn’t that amazing!
So when we read 1 Peter 2:5, this it confirms what Jesus was trying to say to Peter and to us. Now if we are those living stones then what does it entails for us.
Matthew 16:18 says And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
So giving keys represent giving AUTHORITY. How wonderful is our God to give us AUTHORITY.
So when he has given us the Authority. It means its already done he already finished his work, he already overcame everything for us and we need to take and claim things with Authority.
Romans 4:20-25 says 20Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. 22And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
Abraham believed in the promised God gave him that it will be done. He believed that God would set him right. But Jesus because he died for us, he already made us right with God. All we need to do is BELIEVE.
Are we doing that? What are we believing in?
We know he died on the cross to free us, we are free of sin, no longer slaves to sin… But are we believing that?
By his stripes we are healed. Are we believing that?
He bore our shame and curse when he died on that tree. Are we believing that we are free from every bondage and every curse?
How many times have we confessed that Jesus by your blood we are free, free from sin, bondage and curse? We are healed for you took our punishment. How many times do we confess and believe it?
Today the world is going through a crisis but the answer is not the WORLD but JESUS. Are you praying for your neighbour? Have you testified to your neighbour? Do you believe that Jesus has conquered everything? And if you believe he has, then what is stopping you from taking authority and claiming what is rightfully yours. We cannot see Believers being afraid of what will happen next… We need believers to take AUTHORITY AND CLAIM.
This promise that whatever you will bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you let loose on earth will be let loose in heaven. This is not a promise only to Peter, it is a promise to every child of God who believes in Jesus and is a part of the Church he is building.
Pray … Pray for your Loved ones…Pray for your Neighbour…Pray for your Neighbourhood …Pray for your Country. Take Authority because Jesus has given YOU the Authority. You have a purpose and Plan in life because you are chosen, hand-picked just as Moses was, Just as Mary was, Just as Abraham was, Just as David was, Just as Joseph was.
John 15:19 says If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Be glad that you are chosen…
Now If we have authority what do we do with it?
So If your boss is going on a vacation and says you will be in-charge of the company till I return and gives you authority to make decisions what will you do?
Wait for him to return or ensure that you take authority in managing and ensuring the work in the company goes smoothly. There may be decisions to take, important deals to be signed, people to be corrected, people to be trained, meetings to be conducted… Will you wait for your boss to return and take charge or because you now have the authority make the decisions on your own.
Well I am sure that you will take the charge since you are being paid for it too right and will not let go of this opportunity to show your capabilities.
Well Jesus has given you and me the same Authority to ensure that we are the ones who heal people, free people from their bondages, curses, bringing them to the saving grace of Jesus.
Luke 4:18-19 says 18“THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, 19TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
This verse is not only for Jesus but for everyone who believes in Jesus and has the Holy Spirit working in them.
What will you do? wait for him to return or continue to walk on the path he has carved out for you? We all need to wait for the lord’s return as we are his church, his bride. But we need to continue the work he has kept us in charge of and given authority to do. It’s not only to Pastors and Preachers and Evangelist but the authority is given to everyone who believes in Jesus. The holy spirt will help you, will teach you, all you need to do is just surrender to the holy spirt and see how things change around you.
Can you confidently say that you are that LIVING STONE Jesus is using to build his Church?
I am because I know that God is using me because, I am chosen by GOD, he is working through me and I am Praying and Claiming with Authority in the name of Jesus… Are you?