Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

Why read the Bible? To be Christ’s bride!

Why Read the Bible?

Why read the Bible?

If you are like many of us, you might say that you read the Bible to find comfort in trials, answers to life’s problems, or the will of God concerning certain matters in your life…

However, it is doubtful that many of us would say, “I read the Bible to participate in the fulfilling of God’s heart’s desire.”

Yet, from the Scriptures’ own speaking, we can see that the Word is not primarily for our benefit but for revealing and carrying out God’s eternal plan. This can be seen from the following passage:

“That He [Christ] might sanctify her, cleansing her by the washing of the water in the word, that He might present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things, but that she would be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:26-27)

Beautified by the Word to be Christ’s bride

Paul’s speaking in Ephesians 5 is apparently addressing the matter of husbands and wives, but in a deeper sense, he is addressing Christ’s heart’s desire to enjoy an eternal married life with the church as His bride.

In this chapter, Paul even points out that Christ’s death was His giving Himself up in His love for the church, His wife (v. 25). He did not merely love us as the Savior of pitiful sinners needing salvation from God’s condemnation. In a much deeper sense, He loved us with the love of the Bridegroom over the bride.

But how can a group of fallen, yet redeemed, sinners match Christ for His marriage?

Christ’s finished work of redemption is surely sufficient to save us from eternal judgment, but not adequate to make us Christ’s bride. For this, we must be the same as He is in life and nature, that we may match Him as His counterpart. This requires something additional—the sanctifying water of life in God’s word (v. 26).

Christ’s counterpart produced with the flow from His side

In Genesis 2, before the fall of man, we have a wonderful picture of a rib taken from Adam’s (typifying Christ’s) side and being the unique substance used by God to build the woman, Eve,  as the counterpart, the wife for the man (Genesis 2:18-22).

However, in the fulfillment, in order to gain Christ’s bride from fallen humanity, there was the need for both the blood and the water that flowed from His pierced side (John 19:34). The blood of Christ purchased the church (Acts 20:28) but it is only the life of Christ, the water of life that produces the church.

It is with such fallen, yet redeemed, humanity, that Christ is now preparing a suitable counterpart for Himself. It is by continually saturating us with the life element embodied in His word that He is beautifying us to be His bride for our eternal marriage.

Receiving the flowing water in the word of Christ

Today, this water of life is not just the substance which flowed from the pierced side of the crucified Christ. It is now the flowing of the resurrected Christ as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45b) embodied in His word. As such a Spirit, Christ is now sanctifying us with the water of life in His spoken words.

Jesus said in John 6:63,

It is the Spirit who gives life…the words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

His life-giving words are the element with which Christ is transforming us into His beautiful bride for His wedding (Rev. 19:7).

But how can we practically be beautified by Christ’s word to be His bride?

The Way to Enjoy the bride-beautifying function of Christ’s word

By daily soaking ourselves in the laver of water in Christ’s living word, we will be inwardly cleansed of all our “spots, wrinkles and any such things” so that Christ can present us to Himself as a glorious church (Eph. 5:27).

Our daily exercise to enjoy the bride-beautifying function of the Word should be to lovingly contact our Beloved Lord each morning, beginning each day by immersing ourselves in His words. Praying over, or pray-reading, a few verses each day can be a great help in touching the water of life in the Word.

The following hymn on coming to the Lord in His Word, “I Come to Thee Dear Lord” by Witness Lee, has been a great help to me in preparing my heart to contact the Lord in His word. If you would make the lyrics your personal prayer it will surely usher you into fellowship with the Lord also.

By beholding and reflecting the glory of the Lord in His word, we are being transformed into His image, from glory to glory, even as from the Lord Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).

If we come to the Scriptures, looking for something other than our Beloved, our heart will be veiled as the Jewish religionists were who read the law of Moses (v. 15). But if we turn our heart to the Lord, calling on His dear name, and praying over His living words, even musing upon them so as to further digest and assimilate them, we will experience the washing water of life and gradually become Christ’s spotless bride.

If you’ve been touched about the bride-preparing function of God’s word, I hope you’ll confirm it in a brief comment.

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

3 Replies

  1. kiran

    Hi Tom, These are some ‘must know’ Truths every Christian should know that you have posted. Personally i’m blessed to come across this site, but i regret that it took 5.5 years. You’ve helped me to see a new dimension of why to read the word of God. Thank you & God Bless You!

    1. Tom Smith

      Kiran, Glad you found the blog and a deeper benefit in reading God’s word. Based on your appreciation, I updated the post. I hope you’ll take the time to review it again to appreciate these updates. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

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