The Bible calls the church is the “Bride of Christ” (Rev 21:2, 9-10; John 3:29; Mark 2:19). But what are the points of comparison between a husband and wife and the Church and Jesus?
First, there is a deep love between the two. This love is self-giving, and self-sacrificing. This is true love, not merely affection. Just as a good spouse is willing to lay down their life for their partner, Jesus gave his life for the church and the church is to be willing to give her life for Jesus. As a member of the church, does your love for Christ extend this far?
Revelation 2:4 records the words of Jesus to the church at Ephesus who had abandoned the love they had at first for Jesus. As Christians, we’re not only to be followers and imitators of Jesus. We’re not only to live in the light of the truth of the gospel, but we are also to love Jesus passionately.
Matthew 22:37 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Did you catch that? This is the most important commandment! Is it important to obey Jesus? Yes! Is it important to believe in right doctrine (orthodoxy)? Yes! But what is most important is to have an undying love for Jesus. Obedience and right doctrine without love doesn’t get anyone into the Kingdom of God.
If you’re not there already, the Holy Spirit can help you get there. Don’t think you can do it alone because you can’t. Only the Holy Sprit, by the grace of Jesus, can help people come to this place of love for Jesus.
The second point of comparison between a husband and wife and the Church and Jesus is faithfulness. These are committed to one another and they are completely faithful to one another.
Many people, I’m afraid, often miss the importance of marriage as a symbol and a sacrament. Along with this, they miss the importance of the command not to commit adultery. The purpose of these commands is to testify that God is a faithful God, and so his people too should be faithful. We must mean what we say and say what we mean. Jesus says, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ’No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” What he means is that we must be people who take commitment and faithfulness seriously because God takes faithfulness seriously.
Are you committed to Jesus? Does your checkbook reflect your commitment to Jesus? How about your language? The way you spend your time and other resources?
God intended it that when people see a married couple, who are deeply in love and committed to one another, they would get a glimpse into the life of God.
Let the love of Jesus drive your faithfulness to him, with the help of the Holy Spirit.