August 1, 2013

The bride of Christ

In studying the Old Testament this summer, the class I’m in has spent considerable time focused on a major theme of the Bible: God desires an intimate relationship with us so left His dwelling place to tabernacle with us with the purpose of wooing and winning a Bride that will live with Him forever.

We are reading Song of Songs, a short but powerful Old Testament book. This love story could be about actual lovers that sing to each other, but it is also about the love of Christ for His church, His bride.

My beloved is mine, and I am his…. (Song of Solomon 2:16)

Song of Songs was written to reveal the incredible desire in the heart of God for His people, and the same desire and love that we should have for Him. Although the book is romantic, even intimately sexual, the love of Christ transcends human love. The words declared His desire for us, the people for whom He died.

The New Testament says we love Him because He first loved us. I’ve often struggled with that, partly because Satan’s initial and historical lie is, “God doesn’t really love you.” If I measure His love by my circumstances, then I get confused.

However, that is not the measurement God intends. Rather, I know the measure of His love because of His Son. That great love is proved in His incarnation — why should God come to live with us? and sealed by His life, death and resurrection. There is no other reason for the Creator of the universe to suffer on a Cross. He could easily have populated another planet with a race of people who didn’t touch that forbidden fruit. But He came. He did it that He might live with me and make His great love real to me…
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17–19)
It seems fairly evident that I belong to Christ. He has forgiven my sin and changed my life. But to say that He belongs to me blows my mind and captures my heart!
Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Gracious Spirit from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
O this full and perfect peace!
O this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.


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