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(07-11-25) The Bride of Christ - John 3.22-30

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The Bride of Christ

·        Prospect of sermon on Ephesians 5:21-33!

o   Joke?

·        Come to the end of the series:

o   the Church as the Bride of Christ

·        The image is first fully used by Paul, but the idea is much older…

o   in the OT, God and his people

§  Song of Songs, Hosea

o   in the NT

§  Gospels (allusion – Matt. 9, 22, 25), Revelation 19 & 21

·        What is the image?

o   developing relationship

o   betrothal (courting!) and promise

o   anticipated union

·        Let’s not take the image too far (heavenly ‘stag-do’…!)

o   focus on the point, instead:

§  the Church is preparing / being prepared for the groom

·        images of preparation

§  the groom is preparing for us (John 14:1-4)

o   Ephesians and Revelation – purity and holiness

o   the betrothal ceremony in Judaism came to be called ‘the sanctification of the bride,’ setting her apart for her husband

·        Chosen, committed to, loved perfectly and unconditionally

o   Season of Singing inspired by Song of Songs

o   the temptation to ignore romance!

·        How do we identify and embrace (co-operate with) preparation?

·        Corporately

o   being what the Church is meant to be

§  one, identifiable by love and good works, the Gospel…

·        Individually

o   getting to know ‘one another’

§  personal holiness/character

·        What kind of preparation?

o   outward?

§  Revelation 19:6-8

o   inward?

§  1 Samuel 16:7

·        In the preparation for purity and perfection…

o   “it’s all about the groom…”

o   “He must become greater, I must become less”

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