Monday, November 30, 2015

THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. 1. WHO CHOOSES?



Did you know that the Baby in the Manger was your Bridegroom? Jesus came to save us, and also to make us His bride – the Bride of Christ!

In order to understand Jesus in this role of Bridegroom, and our role as His bride, we need to learn something about the ancient customs of the Jewish people in His day. We will discover the most beautiful love story of a Bridegroom on a quest for His bride!

WHO CHOOSES?

Did you know that in ancient Jewish families it was the responsibility of the groom’s father to choose a suitable bride for his son? The father would send the groom or a representative to the home of the potential bride to ask for her hand in marriage. 

2000 years ago, even though Scripture doesn’t say so, we can assume that it was Joseph’s father who chose Mary to be Joseph’s wife as the custom was.

In similar manner, it was the Heavenly Father who sent Jesus to earth – our home – to get the bride that He had chosen for His only begotten Son. When Jesus returned to heaven it became the job of the Holy Spirit to continue the work of acquiring the bride of Christ.

Unlike the natural Jewish marriage, Christ’s bride is not one individual, but rather a company of believers called the Church, and also called the Body of Christ. Let us look at Ephesians 5:25-32 from the perspective of Christ as our Bridegroom…
...husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.   
In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.  No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church.  And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.
Remember that the church – Christ’s Bride – is a many-membered body, made up of male and female. It may be difficult for men to relate to this female attribution, but it might help if we can think of the fact that in heaven there is no male or female. The bride of Christ, as with the natural bride, is the weaker vessel…totally dependent on her Perfect Bridegroom and completely devoted to Him!

Although the bride of Christ is a group of believers, Christ still comes to each of us individually to ask us to be His bride. We can see this in Jesus’ conversation with His disciples before He went to the Cross.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16
We will see it more clearly in future posts in this series.


You and I, the potential bride, have been chosen by Almighty God. Yet we ourselves have a choice....to accept the Bridegroom's proposal or to reject it.

Next: 
Part 23 things the groom brought to the potential bride’s home.

To be continued…

Thursday, November 5, 2015

WE CAN DO ALL THINGS


Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are familiar with the verse of Scripture which says
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Phillipians 4:13
Yet, I am sure that most of us could attest to the fact that even while we quote that Scripture, we fail at our endeavours at times.  Mind boggling isn’t it?

It is my belief that the Lord allows us, His children, to fail at times in order to prove to us that we are nothing in ourselves. The failure is designed to remind us of how much we need Him to guide us in every step that we propose to take. Sometimes we may go ahead of God’s leading and stumble or we may even fall. The failures experienced are tailor made to bring us back in line with God’s will for us … if we would only seek Him in order to discern His guidance.


Some persons put their confidence in their own strengths and abilities to achieve. This should not be so.  Others put their trust in their own hearts and minds, and when they get brutally disappointed there is a tendency to blame God for their failure, forgetting that God is indeed Sovereign.  He is always right and never makes a mistake.

The following verse of Scripture cautions us, against our choice to place confidence in our own selves.
For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 1 Peter 1:24
When we were born again we are expected by the Father to live IN Christ, therefore our confidence must be cemented in God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8
The Word of God states this about our hearts...
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9
These are extremely strong adjectives used to describe the condition of the human heart, yet so many persons are guided by what their heart tells them to do. God says that man shall live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!

When we ponder the facts in the Scriptures, we should ask ourselves whether it is then wise to put our confidence in what our hearts tell us to do as opposed to following what God's Word guides us to do.  Our hearts can deceive, but His Word is true.  I surmise therefore that it would be wise to put our confidence in the Spirit of God who would always guide us to the truth which is in God’s Word.

Some of us believers act on whatever our mind tells us to do.  This is dangerous however, because there is always a war taking place in our minds.  Paul discovered this as he wrote the following verse of Scripture.
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:23
Thoughts of the enemy, satan, mix with our own thoughts and create the illusion that the enemy’s thoughts are our own.  Therefore, it would not be wise for us to put our trust in the dictates of our own mind.

Other persons choose to put their confidence in their own resilience to resist falling into temptation.  The great apostle Paul discovered that even with his most earnest desire to walk with God, he failed in his human attempt to so do. He needed to depend upon the Grace of God to be with him in order to walk right. Our flesh profits nothing good.  The apostle Peter, even though his intention was never to deny Christ, actually did the very thing that he said that he would not do.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Romans 7:18-19
Paul got the revelation that in order to root our confidence in God, we should allow ourselves to be transformed by the renewing of our minds through the very Word of God.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.  Rom 12:2  
Jesus is likened in the Scriptures as unto a Rock.
He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. Deut 32:4
And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 1 Cor 10:4
This Rock is incapable of failure – this Rock is Perfect - this Rock is the Son of God!  There is a guarantee that if we place our confidence upon the Rock that is Jesus Christ, we shall not be easily moved.  He is the One that holds the blue print of our lives in His hands and we should strive, in Him, to be victorious in bringing it to pass.

People of God, we have been given the capacity to do all things but it will only be accomplished through Christ Jesus!


Copyright © 2015 AudreyCharles. All rights reserved.