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The Pillar and Ground of Truth

“The Church: The Bride of Christ” Revelation 19:7-9

Date:April 14, 2024
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


As we look at the “churches” in the world today, not only are they weak and worldly, but they are also disobedient, and deceived, and therefore, devoid of the Spirit of God. As Jesus wrote to the church of Laodicea, “You say you are rich and wealthy and have need of nothing, when, in fact, you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.”

However, when the Lord Jesus looks at His Church, His Bride, not only does He describe her as beautiful, but “altogether beautiful.” (SOS 4:7) Why? Because she has been washed in His sin-atoning blood and clothed in His righteousness. Wow! What a contrast.

Discouraged saints do not need to become more discouraged by the delinquency of their local assembly, for such is according to the Scriptures in these last days. True believers need to remember, “He chose us in Him” (Eph. 1:4), and because we are in Christ and Christ is in us, that worldwide assembly of believers; our brothers and sisters in Christ, is “altogether lovely.” And very soon, beloved, we will understand the wonderful truth of Matthew 24:34, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father. “

This Sunday, we continue our doctrinal series of sermons under the title: The Church: The Pillar and Ground of Truth. The title of this sermon is: The Church: The Bride of Christ

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Heritage Baptist Church Sermon

“Bride of Christ” by Danny Hahlbohm

Old Testament Reading – Genesis 2:1-25
New Testament Reading – Ephesians 5:1-33

The Pillar and Ground of Truth
“The Church: The Bride of Christ”
Revelation 19:7-9 

Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor

The Church is an assembly of those who have received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.

  • In 1 Peter 2:9, the Apostle described the Church as a “Chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people.”
  • In Romans 12:4-5, the Apostle Paul described the Church as the Body of Christ. “For we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function, so we, being many are one body in Christ.”
  • However, in Ephesians 5:23-32, the Apostle Paul described the Church as the Bride of Christ. “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

   In the Old Testament, God used the marriage relationship to explain His personal affiliation with the nation of Israel.

  • In Exodus 19, God made a covenant with Israel at Mt. Sinai, which was a form of marriage.
  • In Isaiah 54, God defined His role in that covenant as a groom and a husband to His people. “For your Maker is your husband and the Lord Almighty is His name, the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer.”

In the New Testament, Jesus used the marriage relationship to explain His personal affiliation with the Church.

  • In Matthew 9:15, Jesus referred to Himself as the Bridegroom, and we know that Jesus purchased the Church with His own blood. “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

Therefore, using the pattern of the Jewish Wedding, the Church is now in the betrothal period.

  • Jesus returned to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us, and He left the Holy Spirit to take care of the Church until the Father tells Him to “Go get Your Bride!”
  • In Revelation 4:1-3, John said he saw the doors of heaven opened, and he heard a voice like a trumpet saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
  • In 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, the Apostle Paul described that event as the “Rapture of the Church.” “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall always be with the Lord.”
  • First, every believer will stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, to be rewarded for their faithfulness to Him in this life.
  • Just as the Jewish Bride was hidden for seven days after the ceremony, so will the Church be hidden for seven years.
  • Just as the Jewish Groom brought his bride out of the bridal chamber at the end of the seven days, so will Jesus reveal His Bride to the world at the end of the Tribulation, when the Church returns with Christ, to rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years in that new kingdom, and in that new heaven and new earth forever, world without end.

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”
Revelation 19:7-9

1. The Magnificent Mystery

  • Genesis 2:24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
  • Ephesians 5:31-32, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
  • The “Magnificent Mystery” is that from the beginning, God’s plan of redemption has been about finding a Bride for Christ. While that mystery was shadowed in many ways throughout the Old Testament, the full revelation was given first to the Apostle Paul.
  • Old Testament Clues to the Magnificent Mystery:
  • The “making” of Eve – Genesis 2:15-24
    • To “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth,” Adam had to have a “helper comparable” to him.
    • The word “comparable” actually meant “compatible,” that which would “fit” or make Adam “complete.”
    • “Deep Sleep” – the sleep of death that Jesus endured, fulfilling the “type” illustrated by Jonah. See Matthew 12:40
    • “Rib from his side” – “not from his head to rule over her, nor from his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side, to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.” (Matthew Henry)
    • When the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, both blood (for our redemption) and water (for our cleansing) poured out.
    • God made Eve out of Adam’s wounded side, and Jesus is building His Bride out of His suffering on the cross.
  • Jacob’s love for Rachel – Genesis 29:17-20
  • “Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.” – having finished His work for us, Jesus now waits for us, and the Church waits for Him, while we finish the work He has assigned us. Because of His love for us, and our love for Him, the moment we see Him, the work will seem as nothing and the years of waiting will seem but a few days.
  • Joseph and the Gentile Bride – Genesis 41-50
    • Joseph was sent by his father to deliver a message of love to his brothers. But rather than welcoming him, they sold him into slavery, and he was taken to Egypt and imprisoned – John 1:11 “Jesus came to His own, but His own received Him not.”
    • God blessed Joseph and gave him the wisdom to advise the King of Egypt regarding a potential famine. In return, the King of Egypt made Joseph the ruler over Egypt, second only to him, and he gave Jospeh a Gentile bride – Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, the second of the Godhead, and He will soon come for the Church – a Gentile Bride.
    • As Joseph was made ruler over Egypt – all authority in heaven and earth now belongs to Jesus.
    • As the people bowed their knee when they saw Joseph, soon everyone will bend their knee and shout “Jesus is Lord,” even when they hear His name.
    • As the name of Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt, so the name of Jesus Christ has been spread all over the world.
  • Finding a Bride for Isaac – Genesis 24:1-67
    • Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer to Israel, to find a bride for his son, Isaac – the Holy Spirit is seeking a bride for Christ.
    • Just as Rebekah had to yield to the pleadings of Eliezer so must every sinner yield to the drawing of the Holy Spirit.
    • Just as Rebekah was willing to separate from her family for Isaac’s sake, so must every sinner be willing to separate from their family for Christ’s sake.
    • Eliezer told Rebekah all about Abraham and Isaac and what was in store for her once she became part of the family – through our study of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is telling us what is in store for us when we meet Jesus and become a part of the family of God.
    • As Rebekah was the Gentile Bride, so is the Bride of Christ.
    • As Rebekah did not pass through any tribulation before she left home to go to Isaac, neither will the Church pass through any tribulation before we meet Christ.
    • As Isaac left his home to receive Rebekah, Jesus will descend from heaven to meet His Bride.
    • As it was evening when Isaac met Rebekah, it will be in the evening of the age when Jesus meets His Church.
    • Just as Rebekah had the freedom to refuse to go with Eliezer and become Isacc’s bride, the Holy Spirit can only draw those to Christ who are willing to be drawn.

2. The Marvelous Message – Ephesians 5:25-33 – “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

  • This verse not only tells us what Jesus did for us – “He gave His life for us,” – it also tells us why He did what He did – “that He might sanctify and cleanse us; that He might present us to Himself as a glorious Church.”
  • At one time, every member of the Church was wicked, wretched, and worthless, bound in their sins and destined for an eternity in hell, and without any hope of redemption.
  • Yet, knowing our sinful condition, Jesus, our Bridegroom, left His home in heaven to give His life to redeem His Bride from her sins.
  • He was rejected by His own brethren and family, seized and mocked by the religious leaders, nailed to a cross by Roman soldiers, and willingly laid down His life for the Bride He loved so dearly.
  • After being raised from the dead, He has now returned to His Father’s House to prepare the room for His Bride.
  • In His absence, the Holy Spirit is protecting His Bride from evil, and preparing her for marriage.
  • Soon, the Bridegroom will return for His Bride and take her to the Bridal Halls of Heaven for seven years.
  • The Church will return to this earth with Christ at His second coming, where we will join the saints of old at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Then Jesus will take His Bride to that Holy City, New Jerusalem, where we will rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years, and then in that New Heaven and New Earth forever, world without end.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also, there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:1-4

Painting by Wanda Smith