Faithlife Sermons

The Bride of Christ

It was December of 2000, Christmas Eve. This was a night I had been looking forward to!
Before we went to church that evening I gave Lisa Thompson a GIFT… The gift extended an offer, an invitation to be my bride…
“Will You Marry Me Dec 24, 2000”
I dropped to one knee and presented her with a ring… She said yes and took the ring!
That evening was the first time I had ever kissed a woman… I held up a mistletoe and asked to kiss my “Wife To Be
On January 19th of 2002 Lisa and I entered into a covenant relationship of Marriage, where she took my name as we became one.
Today we are looking at the church and we are looking at her as the Bride of Christ.
Church Doctrine on this subject… what we believe
We believe that the Church, which is the body and the espoused bride of Christ, is a spiritual organism made up of all born-again persons of this present age.
Espoused/betrothed: to promise a person for marriage—‘to be engaged, to be promised in marriage. It may be important to note in the margin of a text that in biblical times the act of betrothal was regarded as binding, so that the breaking of a betrothal was legally equivalent to divorce.

Where in scripture do we see the church addressed as the bride of Christ?

This was a concept the Apostles and early disciples held to as common knowledge… It was an understanding that “of course” we are!
Paul addresses it with the context of teaching of marriage in Ephesians 5:25-33
Ephesians 5:25–33 NASB95
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that 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. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Paul also is found teaching the church in Corinth about this commitment to Christ as one betrothed… 2 Corinthians 11:2
2 Corinthians 11:2 NASB95
For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
We also see the Apostle John in his revelation of Jesus Christ as he addresses the church state… Revelation 19:7
Revelation 19:7 NASB95
“Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”

Why This Picture of a Bride?

What happened, what occured to give this picture or illustration of the church as the bride of Jesus Christ?
For this answer we look back to the last supper…
Luke records for us that Jesus had looked forward to this time with them with great anticipation… earnestly desiring this moment
The Gospel of Matthew records that evening’s events like this… Matthew 26:26-29
Matthew 26:26–29 NASB95
While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. “But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”
We address this remembrance of the last supper as the ordinance of COMMUNION
COMMUNION= Common Union
“What is in you, is in me”
A becoming of ONE! This all begins to make better sense as we go back in time 2000 years ago to Galilee…

A Galilean Wedding!

The Shiddukhin
Shiddukhin refers to the first step in the marriage process - the arraignments preliminary to the legal betrothal. It was common in ancient Israel of the father of the groom to select a bride for his son.
The Bride Price… a dowry was not only part of this process of acquiring the bride, it was also given to care for the bride in the absence of the groom… this was the betrothal not the wedding yet this would come later.
God the Father chose His Son’s Bride John 3:16 (He chose all humanity!!!)
John 3:16 NASB95
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
Christ paid with His own blood We are also told that our bride's price is not just silver and gold but His own life (I Pet. 1:18-19)
1 Peter 1:18–19 NASB95
knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.
John 14:16-17 shares what the Father has given for our care in the grooms absence… The Holy Spirit
John 14:16–17 NASB95
“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

A Covenant

We also have a legal contract - which is the New Covenant: Ray Vander Laan explains it this way…
When they’d arrived at the price that was to be paid for this young girl, … , the young man would then ask her to marry him, but he did it in a very Jewish way.
The young man’s father would take a flask of wine. He would pour a cup of wine and hand it to his son The son would then turn to the young woman, and with all the solemnity of an oath before Almighty God Himself, that young man would take that cup of wine and say to that young woman, “This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you.” In other words, “I love you. I’ll be your faithful husband. Will you be my bride?”
Jesus offers this to His followers and thus the proposal to the church to be His bride.
In a Galilean wedding betrothal ceremony the woman here holds the full power at this stage… she alone chooses whether or not she would drink from the cup or push it away. The CHOICE was hers alone.
- Rich Traver had this to say concerning this custom…
In presenting the cup, if the young girl accepted the young man’s proposal of marriage, she would take the cup from him and drink of it. To seal their betrothal, the young man would then take back the cup from her and he would drink of it himself!
Jesus Christ, our Passover, formally presented the New Covenant to His Bride, at Passover, in the format of a first century Jewish marriage proposal. But, He pointedly declined to drink of that cup just then, as the Biblical narrative specifically states! At that point in the ceremony where He, as the prospective bridegroom, would have partaken of the cup Himself, He made a rather startling statement, that He would not drink of it from that day onward, until He drank of it new, with them, in the Kingdom!
This proposal not only included them… but many to follow! You and Me!
This is the betrothal period
As a custom was the young man would go back to His father’s home and prepare a place for them to live,
As he got close the bride would ready herself for his coming for her…
At his coming there would be a wedding and a feast!!!
Christ says in John 14:1-3 We are to be ready for His return which could be any time!
John 14:1–3 NASB95
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

The Betrothal Period

We have NOT entered into a religion as Christians… we have entered into a relationship
We have taken His Name
We are the espoused bride of Jesus Christ!
My FEAR is that we as His bride are having an AFFAIR with the world.
Rather than going around showing that we are engaged to the Son of God we hide it in shame
We so graciously give him and hour or two on Sunday morning then can’t wait to run off with the world
We fornicate with her
We cheat on Him knowing He is watching, asking Him to approve even!
All the while we are to be preparing ourselves for Him and His return
Excited that it could be any day
clothing ourselves in such a way that those around us ask… “who is he”???!!!
A Galilean wedding was a surprise… the Father chose the day and time while the groom and bride readily waited with excitement and eagerness!


Every December 24th we remember and celebrate with a kiss
Every January 19th we remember our vows and celebrate
Every time we gather for communion we remember and celebrate...
BREAD- Remembering the sacrifice and price paid
CUP- His extended offer of love… a gift to be chosen to receive or push away
LOOK AHEAD- He is coming for His Bride
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