Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
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Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Bride vs. Harlot
For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior (Eph. 5:23).
Divorce Rates Among Christians
I was shocked to hear that the divorce rate among Christians is no different than non-Christians, according to the Barna Group. In a recent conversation, I was told that the divorce rate of Christians is actually higher than that of non-Christians because non-Christians are simply no longer getting married, but rather choose to date indefinitely, cohabitate, or remain single.
The Unfaithful Bride
In the Old Testament, Israel is referred to as God's bride (Is. 50:1, 54:6, Jer. 3:1,8-9, 20, 5:7, Ez. 16:32, Hos. 3:1). Sadly, the language is often in the context of Israel's unfaithfulness to God. Rather than maintain the pure covenant relationship, God's people "play the whore with many lovers" (Jer. 3:1). Paul uses marriage imagery in the New Testament to describe the church (Eph. 5:22-33). The beauty of this marriage language in the New Testament is that it depicts Christ as the rescuer of an unfaithful bride, saving her from whorish pursuits. Christ restores the bride to the beauty God so desires for her, and there is a great feast of celebration (Rev. 19:7-9). Even in church work, various pursuits distract us from the Christward orientation we are to have. Under the guise of ministry, other agendas and idols compete for our love and attention. A fellow pastor once referred to these idols and commented, "Stop dating the harlot and marry the bride!"
Marriage Is a Statement About the Groom
- Christ loves his bride (Eph. 5:25)
- Christ is the savior of his bride (Eph. 5:23)
- Christ purifies his bride (Eph. 5:26)
Marriage Is a Statement About the Bride
- The bride submits to the groom (Eph. 5:24)
- The bride is in union with the groom (Eph. 5:31)
- The bride respects the groom (Eph. 5:33)
Although there are many applications to marriage for men and women, there is a profound statement to the corporate church. Our identity as a people is found in the person and work of Christ. Our orientation and direction is toward him. As pastors, we understand the great love we must have for the bride. Indeed, if we love Christ we must love his bride. To be continued.