From the pulpit/Christians are to be wed as the bride of Christ
Traditionally June has been earmarked as the time of the year for couples to be married. Did you know as Christians, we are the bride of Jesus Christ? Fittingly, the Apostle Paul in his letter to the church of Ephesus, he writes the following words: “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.” — Ephesians 5:27
Jesus Christ is coming back. However, he is not coming back for a church building. He is coming back for the people. Individuals who are seeking Him and have made Him Lord over their lives.
We seek Jesus Christ when we:
¯ Go to church.
¯ Study the Bible.
¯ Communicate with him through prayer.
¯ Love him and your neighbor.
Jesus told his disciples, “How do you call me lord, lord and yet do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46). In order to have Christ reign in our lives, we must be willing to submit our free will to the instructions found in his Word. Jesus Christ also said the following:
“But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.” — Matthew 5:37
God gave us commandments in his word:
The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17)
“I am the lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Mme, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not take the name of the lord your God in vain, for the lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
We all have sinned and broken these commandments. Sin is simply defined as missing the mark. If we are on the earth, we will continue to contend with our own depravity and the temptations the devil presents to us. The good news is we have victory over our sins and Satan through the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our lord. Before the foundation of the world was set, the lamb was slain. This means that God knew man would fail and He provided a way back to him through the sacrifice of his own Son.
How do we become blameless and holy? Repentance. Repentance is more than telling God we are sorry for what we did wrong. The term repent means to do a 180-degree turn. This happens when we with our free will choose to turn from our sin and the wrong direction and turn to God and follow his direction.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; two and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” — Ephesians 5:1-2
Let us continue to imitators of God. Following his commands, walking in his love and see the world transformed.
(Freeman is the pastor of the First Christian Church in Steubenville.)