Summary: A look that exactly what the Bride of Christ is. Who is the Bride of Christ? The institution of human marriage is a perfect picture of man's union with God through our 'husband' Jesus Christ. Both are a relationship (union) of faith.

The Bride of Christ

I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 2 Corinthians 11:2 (NIV)

It is not an accident that God made us male and female. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

God could have made us any old way. Biologically it is not at all necessary to have male and female. Only the female is necessary. God could have made the animals sexless and procreation accomplished through the maturation of a genetically complete egg. Procreation by cloning as it were. God could have made the world that way, but he didn't.

It is extremely valuable to understand that the world is exactly what God planned for--exactly. Nothing is left to chance. God is not operating in a Damage Control Mode.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,Ephesians 1:11 (NIV). This scripture does not say, as some suppose, that your individual destiny is predetermined, no, it is the plan that is predetermined.

God made us male and female, so that we could understand, through experience, the intimate pleasures of a personal relationship. Virtually every difference of our bodies from the other primates was brought about for this end. But it is the spiritual relationship that God is most concerned with. The intimate marital relationship between husband and wife is 'right,' because it conforms to the spiritual relationship of Christ, our Husband, and us, his bride.

Marriage-Symbolic of Our Union with God

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh . Genesis 2:24 (NIV). This passage from Genesis describes the marriage union of a man and his wife. Now I have also said that this marriage describes our union with God. Did I make this up, or do the scriptures concur?

Ephesians 5:31-32

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery -- but I am talking about Christ and the church. (NIV)

It is this 'profound mystery' that I am writing about today. Let us explore for a moment the nature of a biblical marriage. A daughter would live in her fathers house until she got married. If she never married she never left. If her father died she would live with her brother or uncle. A woman did not live alone. The only way for her to leave was through marriage.

The Price of Marriage

Now if a man wanted to marry her he had to ask her father. If the father was agreeable he would set the bride price. This bride price was whatever the father set and had to be paid by the prospective husband before the marriage would take place.

The Betrothal

The father had complete authority in this matter. He could either give his daughter's hand in marriage or not.

Now if the father accepted the bride price from the prospective husband and chose to give his daughter in marriage, the couple, after a formal ceremony, entered into a state of marriage called a betrothal. After the betrothal ceremony, with a heavy heart the bride would watch her husband leave her to remain in her father's house as he returned to his home to prepare a place for her. Her sadness of heart was mixed with joyful expectation, for she had received from her husband a pledge; promising that he would come back to get her, and bring her to her new home. Matthew 9:15.

The Consummation

After the time of separation had run its course the bride would make herself ready for her husband by donning her wedding gown and her finest jewelry. Her husband, accompanied by his friends, would make a joyful procession from his house to hers as he came to get his bride. He would gather his beautiful virgin bride and take her back to his house where they would consummate the marriage.

It is important to note that during the one year betrothal period they were legally married, but had no sexual contact.

God put it into the hearts of the Israeli people to establish these customs, in this exact way, because it perfectly points to our union with God through our 'husband' Jesus Christ.

Let us examine the scriptures and see how this is true. We can think of the Israeli marriage custom as a parable. Let us identify all of the players and places.

First we see that the unmarried daughter is mankind, and the prospective husband is Jesus Christ. The opening scripture, 2 Corinthians 11:2, is all the authority we need to establish this for now.

The unmarried daughter's father is Satan, and his house is the Earth. To establish this look at Luke 4:5-6. The earth belonged to him and he had authority over all who lived in it. See also 2 Corinthians 4:4, and John 8:41-44.

The prospective husband, Jesus Christ, came from his Father's house, Heaven, to Earth to get his bride. See John 3:13, John 16:28, and John 17:8.

Now the unmarried daughter's father is not at all kind. The price set for his daughter is death. When God originally made the first man and woman they were alive, spiritually as well as physically. See Genesis 2:7, (living being.) To paraphrase the fall of man, we can say that God said: "I have made you living beings, but in the day that you rebel against me, my justice will force my Spirit out of you and you will be dead spiritually." Satan, the devil, who's name literally means, 'the Accuser,' always points out your guilt to God and points out the fact that since you are guilty God can't have you and still be just.

So we see the daughter is spiritually dead, or cutoff from God, that is, life. The only way to unite with her is to give up your spiritual life.

The "Catch 22"

Satan probably thought that this was a pretty funny joke. If God wanted his beloved back he would have to die, and Satan had the power over death. See Hebrews 2:14-15. A 'catch 22,' Jesus could have the bride, if he paid the bride price, but then he would be dead and thus under Satan's power.

The Secret Plan

Let me explain this another way. This is a matter of divine proportions--divine justice. Satan is forever standing before God pointing out the fact that mankind is guilty of sin, and therefore, because God is just, that God can't have them. In this Satan is right. God can't overlook our guilt and still be just, at least as things stood then. If God wanted mankind back he would have to devise a plan.

This scripture describes the situation perfectly. Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.2 Samuel 14:14 (NIV)

God did devise a plan, a secret plan. A plan so wonderful and incredible that Satan wouldn't see it coming. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (NIV)

So we see the prospective husband came down from heaven and paid the bride price, by offering his life to God on the cross.

Jesus' Demonstration of His Love

What we see is Jesus demonstrating his love for God through his complete submission and obedience. Obedience to the point of suffering is something that Satan would never understand. Jesus allowed God to orchestrate events that bought him before the ruling bodies and saw him condemned to death by crucifixion. See Isaiah 53:7.

Tricking Satan

While Jesus was on the cross God covered him with our sin. Jesus became sin. Jesus died spiritually on the cross and cried out: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?Matthew 27:46 (NIV). Just like with mankind, God was forced to turn his face from him. Jesus was God's bait and Satan swallowed him up in death.

And then the Just Judge asked Satan: "Why did you cover my servant in death? You who point your finger at me and accuse my beloved mankind. You now tell me, what sin Jesus has committed!"

Satan, the Accuser of the Brethren, was speechless. He never saw it coming.

The Successful Outcome

As the scriptures say: Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19 (NIV)

God stripped Satan of the keys to death and gave them to Jesus. See Revelation 1:18.

So we see in all this, Jesus paying the bride price of death, with the unexpected resurrection from the dead, unexpected by Satan that is.

Again this is a matter of divine proportions--divine justice. God demonstrated through all this, to the powers and principalities in the heavenly realms, his awesome wisdom. See Ephesians 3:10-11.

1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)

What this is saying is that so long as our freedom from death was dependent upon our perfection we were condemned. But thank God Jesus defeated death and provided a path to life through a union with him, who was resurrected from death.

The Faithful Marriage

A marriage is based on faith. A man and a woman have faith in one another and make a verbal profession of that faith before God and man. This union results in the creation of a new being, the husband/wife, and lasts until death separates them.

Our union with Jesus Christ is exactly the same. We come to know him, we believe his proposal and we make a verbal profession of our faith before God and man. We enter into a new creation that lasts forever, because death will never separate us because he who has entered into life is free from death. See John 5:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17.

A Relationship of Faith

A relationship with God is based on faith. This is true now and has always been true. See Hebrews 13:8. The first man and the first woman had a faith of innocence. Through rebellion they gained the knowledge of their own evil desires, and contrasted with their knowledge of God's just requirements, faith was broken. They became separated, spiritually dead. And as the scripture above said: Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.2 Samuel 14:14 (NIV) The man and the woman couldn't fix the fact that they rebelled. But God, through Jesus Christ, paid the price of rebellion, and provided a way that through faith in what Jesus did, and faith in his promised union with us, we can once again stand before God in holiness and righteousness. See Luke 1:74-75.

Our Husband's House

Looking back to the description of the biblical marriage we can see that Jesus paid the bride price and he has gone back to his Father's house to prepare a place for us.

John 14:1-4

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (NIV)

The Church is Betrothed to God

It is not coincidental that it was during the betrothal phase of their marriage that the Holy Spirit conceived in Mary the Holy Child. It is during the present age, the betrothal age, the Church age, that the Holy Spirit enters into the heart of the believers marking them as the Lord's betrothed. The Holy Spirit is a pledge sent from God promising and guaranteeing that he will return for us and receive us as his own. See Ephesians 1:13-14, and 2 Corinthians 1:22.

In Matthew 25:1-12 we are described as wise virgins having oil in our lamps, which symbolizes the Holy Spirit, waiting for the Bridegroom to return.

The Lord will soon come for us and so we will be with the Lord forever.

The Big Picture

I have heard it said that the Church is the bride of Christ and while this is true, it is not completely accurate. The Church is not the exclusive bride of Christ. If this were true then those who lived before, and those who will live after, will not be united to God in Christ.

New Jerusalem, as recorded in the twenty first chapter of Revelation, is a symbolic picture of the complete bride of Christ. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. Revelation 21:2 (NIV) And: Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb." And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:9-10 (NIV) The gates to the city are named for the twelve tribes of Israel and the foundations are named for the twelve apostles of the Church. The city symbolizes  the place in which God and all believers live together in peace and love.

Jesus is Wooing Us Now

At this time, Jesus, with open arms, is reaching out to any that will accept his proposal of 'marriage.' He has paid the bride price. He had redeemed us from the power of Satan. He cries out to us: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

So we see the God of all beauty reaching out to us. Proposing a union with us. Think about this. Who could grasp the fullness of this? This proposed relationship between God and man is incredible. Utterly incredible.

God is Asking You to Marry Him

God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth is offering himself to you. His desire is to receive you as one who is one with him. But understand this, his bride must be holy and pure. I am not saying we have to be good enough to be accepted by God, no, Jesus washes us and makes us pure, then we must live thereafter as pure virgin before him.

We must not be unfaithful to him and seek after other providers and protectors, and so be guilty of adultery. We must not be enamored by wealth which would make us guilty of prostitution. We must allow our 'Husband' to be head over us, and always follow his lead.

God's word is the water that we must bathe in daily. We wash away everything that does not conform to the image of Christ.

As God's 'wife' it is my earnest desire for him to see me as beautiful and pleasing. O that I could be his delight.

Revelation 19:6-7
For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready." (NIV)
Matthew 9:15
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom
mourn while he is with them? The time will come when
the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will
fast. (NIV)
Luke 4:5-6
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an
instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him,
"I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been
given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 4:4
The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers,
so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory
of Christ, who is the image of God. (NIV)

John 8:41-44
You are doing the things your own father does."
"We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only
Father we have is God himself." Jesus said to them, "If God
were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God
and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable
to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you
want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from
the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and
the father of lies. (NIV)
John 3:13
No one has ever gone into heaven except the one
who came from heaven -- the Son of Man. (NIV)

John 16:28
I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am
leaving the world and going back to the Father." (NIV)

John 17:8
For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them.
They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed
that you sent me. (NIV)
Genesis 2:7
... the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became
a living being. (NIV)
Hebrews 2:14-15
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their
humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the
power of death -- that is, the devil -- and free those who all their
lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (NIV)
Isaiah 53:7
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before
her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (NIV)
Revelation 1:18
I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever
and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. (NIV)
Ephesians 3:10-11
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom
of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the
heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he
accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
John 5:24
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who
sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed
over from death to life. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come! (NIV)
Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday
and today and forever. (NIV)
Luke 1:74-75
...(Jesus) enable(s) us to serve him without fear in holiness
and righteousness before him all our days. (NIV)
Ephesians 1:13-14
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word
of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were
marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a
deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those
who are God's possession -- to the praise of his glory. (NIV)

2 Corinthians 1:22
...set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our
hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (NIV)
Matthew 25:1-12
"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who
took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them
were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps
but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in
jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming,
and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
"At midnight the cry rang out: "Here's the bridegroom! Come out
to meet him!'
"Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish
ones said to the wise, "Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
""No,' they replied, "there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead,
go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom
arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.
And the door was shut.
"Later the others also came. "Sir! Sir!' they said. "Open the door for us!' (NIV)
The Afterlife Man is a spirit being first
and a physical being second. The spirit
exists forever; the flesh is only temporary.
Man was created to be united to
God in a bond of faith, and to live in
in heaven forever.

The Bride of Christ A look at exactly what the
Bride of Christ is. Who is the
Bride of Christ? The institution of
human marriage is a perfect picture of
man's union with God through our
'husband' Jesus Christ. Both are a
relationship (union) of faith.

The Christian Walk What is required of a Christian after
he or she enters into a relationship with God?

The Christian Walk II The is the second of my articles on the
Christian walk. I have learned more
over the years and I felt that it would
be a good idea if I wrote a bit more
on the subject.
Do You Love God? A relationship with God is a relationship
of love. God desires a love relationship
with you. Are you willing?
Love Eternal A look at the love that is God.
Love is forever. God's love sustains
Evolution Vs. Creationism
and the Atomic Bomb
Does the Bible really disagree with the
idea of an old earth? Does the Bible
really say that man's body was created
new six thousand years ago? This article
looks at what the Bible does say about this.
Faith What is faith? Is it really the 'believing'
in something that is unbelievable?
The Genealogy of Jesus Christ The genealogical record of Jesus Christ
found in the Gospels of Matthew and
Luke contains some very interesting,
but hidden information.
Holiness Are we required to be holy? Is holiness
important? What does the Bible say?
This article talks about what the Bible
says about holiness.
Biblical Hope There are three things that are eternal;
love, faith and hope. This paper takes
a look at what biblical hope is.
Is Jesus The God? Who exactly is Jesus Christ? He is
God in human form. Jesus Christ
and Jehovah are one and the same.
God emptied himself of all of his
glory so that we could see, and
fall in love with, the real him.
A Look at Job What really was going on with Job
in the Bible? Does God really cause
trouble to come our way just because
he can? This paper takes a look at
what was going on with Job and
why it happened to him.
The Modern Church Is what calls itself the 'church'
really the church?
One Spirit With God Did you know that a marriage is
a picture of our union with God?
Do you know what physical act
consummates a marriage? Do
you know what spiritual act
consummates our union with God?
Why is Jesus Christ, the Son of
God, called the Bridegroom?
Why are we called the Bride
of Christ? Is our union with God
a union of fear or a union of love?
Our union with God is a spiritual
union and not a physical union.
This paper examines exactly how
a spirit union is created and
Predestination Are we predestined to live the
life we live? What does the Bible
say about our predetermined
destiny? This paper looks at
what is and what is not predestined.
The Reason Why Why are women treated differently
than men in the Bible? Why does
she take her new identity from him?
Is God really a male? The reason
why things are depicted the way
they are in the Bible is talked about
in this paper.
Revelation Knowledge What is revealed knowledge? Does
God reveal knowledge to just anyone?
This paper takes a look at what
revelation knowledge is and how
one might gain it.
Sin Safety Belt This paper looks at what the Bible
says about Once Saved Always Saved,
OSAS. Many people teach that
once a person comes to Jesus Christ
for salvation then they need never worry
of losing that salvation. Is this true?
This paper looks at this topic.
The Sun, Moon & Stars This paper looks at the symbolic meaning
of some of the Bible's images. The Sun,
Moon, and Stars are literal in the Bible,
but they are also frequently symbolic of
the size and relationship of spiritual being.
The True Worshippers of God What does it mean to worship God? Who
are the true worshippers of God? What is
worship? This paper looks at worship
and how it relates to God and man.
What is the Bible? The Bible is a physical manifestation of
God Almighty. To fellowship with the
Bible is to fellowship with God. The
Bible is mostly the same as Jesus
Christ in the flesh.
What is Sin? This article examines exactly what sin is.
Sin is definitely our enemy and someone
once said that we should know our enemy.
Why Has God Hidden Himself? God has hidden himself so that you will
see and come to love the person that he
is and not all of his power and wealth.
The Words of Christ Jesus' words are not to be ignored or
taken lightly. Jesus came from heaven
to the earth to tell us the truth about life
and death. Our very existence depends
upon our hearing his words and our
obeying them.