Church: the bride of Christ

“That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph.5:27).

While the Spirit presents the creation we have the first mention of man and it is revealing in itself. In the preceding days  it was sovereign will of God that created whatever He had in mind. For example the first day commences  thus: ‘And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”  On the sixth day He is indicated in plural form when He says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..(Ge.1:30)”The Spirit in setting down the narrative gives us a clue.  Creative calendar of God is first thought in divine Mind and it is now placed in direct context of you. What is your body but a tripartite entity having body, spirit and soul? It is carnal since it is created out of dust. But God in setting forth ‘after our likeness’ is setting the Trinity as a point of reference. Just as we move as one, (soul, spirit and body) so does the triune God in the Godhead. (All controversy of monotheistic God versus Trinity owes to man’s lack of understanding). Heaven and the earth are as one by the same token. The Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Mt.6:9)”.

The Spirit in organizing the Father-Son relationship has set down guide posts for man. When you read the word of God it is imperative that you receive it as God is communicating as one on one. When God commanded Moses to build Him a sanctuary after the manner shown to him what does He say,” That I may dwell among them.. (Ex.25:8-9)”. This fellowship existing in heaven was the pattern and not any temple per se. Tabernacle in the wilderness and Temple of Solomon are all emblems of it (and it is set in God’s Time).  When the Holy Spirit records “male and female created he them (Ge.27) we can understand the narrative is in terms of God the Father. The same idea when the Spirit approaches as coming from God the Son we have the first direct hint about the church as the body of Christ. Creating man in our image is therefore the direction such a fellowship in heaven entails on mankind. (Ge.2:21-24) The woman was created after Adam fell in a deep sleep, which in the lexicon of the Spirit is death. Adam is here set as an emblem of Fellowship that Almighty God has in mind. All such symbols serve as guideposts for man so he might have a point of reference to heavenly realities.

The Bride of Christ is one. For this reason when the Spirit while comparing Leah and Rachel speaks of Leah having a blemish (Ge.29:17) But Rachel was beautiful and well favored. Beauty in the sense  what we read in the key verse, ‘not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Eph.5:27).  Leah was buried in the field Abraham had bought as burial place for his family (Ge.49:31). Also significant is that Jacob charged his sons to bury him ‘with my fathers in the cave…(49:29)’. Whereas Rachel was buried elsewhere. Does this not sound odd? Jacob loved Rachel so dearly that even seven year’s stint in the House of Laban was as though ‘a few days’ (Ge.29:20). In this connection let us turn our attention to the conversation Jesus had with the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s Well, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband.. (Jn.4:16-18)” In terms of carnal union between man woman there is only one sanctified by God as a token of Christ’s union with the church. So where does Rachel stand in the eyes of God?

Rachel is an emblem of the Church since Jacob proved he was substitutionary symbol for Jesus Christ. The deceitful son of Isaac wrestled with God at Peniel. His faith was so great that the angel could not worst him before he touched hollow of his thigh (Ge.32:25).  He would not however leave without blessing from God. Therefore he had a good testimony that he prevailed over God and man. He is the antitype for Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane, “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Lk.22:44-NIV)”

Jesus defined an altogether different basis for discipleship which gives an insight into the quality of the Church: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even their own life–such a person cannot be my disciple (Lk.14:26-NIV) Also: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption (1 Cor.15:50).” While Leah as wife of Jacob belonged to the family burial site Rachel would have her rest place outside the camp’ to use a Biblical explanation. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach (He.13:13)”. In order to be worthy of the Family of Special Relationship existing in the heaven we need bear the reproach of our Savior Lord.

Benny

 

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About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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