Skip to comments.Defining Our Relationship (Protestant/Evangelical Caucus & Devotional)
Posted on 05/26/2017 9:45:29 AM PDT by Gamecock
At the heart of Christianity is the doctrine of the mystical union of the believer with Christ. The New Testament does not only call us to believe in Christ, but to believe into Christ. Faith links us directly into Christ. We become in Him and He in us. This mysterious union is carried over into the relationship between Christ and the church. The church is His bride, whom He has brought into a real, profound, and powerful union.
We normally assume that the image of the church as the bride of Christ is a metaphor borrowed from the institution of human marriage. In this case, the earthly serves as the model for the heavenly. Perhaps that is the intent of Scripture. I am not sure. It may well be the other way around. It may be that the earthly estate of marriage is based on the heavenly model of the mystical union of Christ and His bride. Marriage is the reflection of the heavenly reality, not the basis for a heavenly image.
The perfect unity of persons existed in eternity in the nature of the Trinity itself. Though the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not one flesh, they are one being in perfect eternal harmony. In the Godhead, there is no possibility of divorce. It is a union that cannot and will not be broken. It is the eternal pattern of relationship that defines our human relationship. We share with God not only an analogy of being, but also an analogy of relationship. It is found in the mystery of marriage.
Reflect on the mysterious union of Christ and the church as illustrated by the marriage relationship.
Passages for Further Study
Ephesians 5:31 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and pthe two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.
Ephesians 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
1 Lord Jesus, are we one with Thee?
O height, O depth of love!
Thou one with us on Calvary,
We one with Thee above.
2 Such was Thy grace that for our sake
Thou didst from heaven come down,
With us of flesh and blood partake,
In all our misery one.
3 Our sins, our guilt, in love Divine
Confessed and borne by Thee;
The gall, the curse, the wrath were Thine,
To set Thy members free.
4 Ascended now, in glory bright,
Head of the Church Thou art;
Nor life nor death, nor depth nor height,
Thy saints and Thee can part.
5 Oh teach us, Lord, to know and own This wondrous mystery,
That Thou in heaven with us art one,
And we are one with Thee.
6 Soon, soon shall come that glorious day
When, seated on Thy throne,
Thou shalt to wondering worlds display
That Thou with us art one.
Thank you for posting.
This profound union of love between Christ and His bride is based upon UNCONDITIONAL love - it's the kind of ideal love not only between a man and wife but also between parents and their children. I would even say it's the ideal kind of love Jesus told His disciples they were to have with each other. He said:
We were taught before to love our neighbor as ourselves. But we don't always love ourselves, do we? But to love as Christ loves means it is unconditional - it doesn't ebb and flow based on how good we are or what we have done. If we would only start loving each other, our children and our spouse as Christ loves us, we would finally understand the treasure He has given us and we would guard it with all we have.
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