(07-11-25) The Bride of Christ - John 3.22-30
The Bride of Christ
· Prospect of sermon on Ephesians 5:21-33!
· 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?
o being what the Church is meant to be
§ one, identifiable by love and good works, the Gospel…
o getting to know ‘one another’
§ personal holiness/character
· What kind of preparation?
§ Revelation 19:6-8
§ 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”