Preparing Christ’s Bride – The Living of His Overcomers
Have you ever realized that believing in Jesus has a goal beyond your personal salvation? God has a goal and the Lord has a direction. It’s preparing Christ’s bride for His wedding (Rev. 19:7-9).
For example, the most familiar chapter on salvation, John 3, not only speaks of our receiving eternal life to be born again (3:16, 3, 6) but of Christ obtaining His bride as His increase (3:29-30).
In fact, this is how the Bible ends. Revelation 21:2 says,
I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
But, I’m afraid many Christians only see the personal benefit they receive from believing in the Lord Jesus, without seeing God’s goal–preparing Christ’s bride.
This is why the Lord is seeking a group of His lovers to overcome the trend of this age and rise up to take the direction of His move. Preparing Christ’s bride is the living of Christ’s overcomers.
We need to respond to the Lord and advance from our need to God’s goal.
Let’s consider how we can live as overcoming believers preparing Christ’s bride.
The direction of the Lord’s move today is preparing Christ’s bride
First, as believers we need to realize the Lord’s direction. That’s because we may do many things for Him, even scriptural things, yet lacking His direction.
For example, we may preach the gospel to save sinners. But for what? Are we preaching merely to save perishing people from eternal perdition, from God’s condemnation?
If so, many sinners may be saved, yet the Lord’s goal may not be reached. In this case, Christ will still have no way to come back because He does not have His bride to match Him.
When we see that the direction of the Lord’s move is preparing Christ’s bride, we still need to save sinners. But our labor is with a higher direction—meeting Christ’s need for a bride. How we preach and how we care for the result of our preaching will be entirely different.
This same consideration would apply to caring for younger believers and for teaching and equipping growing believers to serve the Lord.
We may gain a large increase in numbers, care for and improve the spiritual condition of many believers, and accurately teach the Bible. However, we may fail to satisfy our Lord’s desire because Christ’s bride is not made ready.
We need to be enlightened to not only live and labor on the right things, but to do so according to the direction of the Lord’s move today, that is, to prepare Christ’s bride for Him.
How then can we live our Christian life for preparing Christ’s bride?
There are at least three crucial matters that directly affect the readiness of the bride:
First, Christ’s bride must be mature, so we need to grow to maturity in His life…and help others to do so also.
Ephesians 4:13 says,
“Until we all arrive at a full-grown man at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Christ will not return for a “child-bride.” That would be a shame to Him. He would rather delay His return until “His bride has made herself ready.” This requires His believers normal growth to maturity (Heb. 6:1).
Hence, we must daily give ourselves to grow in the life of Christ until we are matured to match Him. Ephesians 4:15 continues,
“But holding to truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all things who is the Head, Christ.”
Every day, we need to come to the Lord, to love Him and to deal with every hindrance to His growing in us. We need to continue to grow until, as verse 13 says, “we arrive at a full-grown man, at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
In order to grow we need to spend personal time with our Lord Jesus every day, starting first thing each morning. We need to cultivate, a personal, intimate, private, and spiritual relationship with Him and tell Him,
“Lord Jesus, I love You. Be my first and best love.”
Second, Christ’s bride is corporate, so we need to be built together with fellow believers.
We need to realize that personal, spiritual growth is not enough to prepare Christ’s bride. The bride of Christ is His built up, corporate Body.
Since Christ’s bride is corporate, preparing Christ’s bride must also be something corporate.
Ask the Lord, “Am I built up with other believers in Your life to be Your one bride?” or… “Am I merely a separate individual–individualistic and independent from my fellow believers?”
In our self we can never be built together with others. As the Lord told Peter, “If anyone wants to come after me let him deny himself and take up His cross and follow Me.” (Matt. 16:24)
Without the growing of Christ’s life and the denying of our individualistic self, we could never be properly built up with our fellow believers.
Being built up with fellow believers is the Lord’s highest requirement.
Ephesians 4:16 says,
“Out from whom all the Body, being joined together and being knit together through every joint of the rich supply and through the operation in the measure of each one part, causes the growth of the Body unto the building up of itself in love.”
We need to ask the Lord to make us “buildable,” to deal with our independence, and join us together with others in His divine life that we may be built up in oneness.
Such a oneness with other believers is not merely some social connection. It is a building according to God’s divine attribute—His divine oneness. This oneness is something the Lord Jesus prayed for us all to participate in. In John 17 He said,
“That they all may be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me. ” (John 17:21)
Third, Christ’s bride must be beautiful, so we need to be beautified by having Christ wrought into us.
Day by day, personally and corporately, we need to come to Christ in His living word. The water of life in His word will wash away all our “spots and wrinkles”—all the foreign things of our natural life and our oldness. At the same time His word will saturate us with Christ’s element to beautify us for Him.
In this way we will be so attractive to Christ and He will come to present us to Himself glorious. Ephesians 5:26-27 say,
“That He 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.”
By the daily, continuous washing of the water in Christ’s living word we’re cleansed and renewed that we may become so beautiful to Christ, our Bridegroom.
We need to be normal, overcoming believers who make preparing Christ’s bride our daily living.
Preparing Christ’s bride is not something “super.” It is the living of normal Christians. However, since few see this vision and take this direction, it becomes the living and work of overcoming Christians.
May we be the normal, overcoming believers who take preparing Christ’s bride as the direction of our Christian living today. May we see this vision and daily give ourselves to this bride-preparing process. Then one day the Lord may say, “My bride has made herself ready. Come to My wedding feast!”
We need to tell the Lord:
“Lord Jesus, make Your heart’s desire for a bride the direction of my living. Grow in me to maturity and equip Me to help others grow in You. Build me up with other believers in Your divine attribute of oneness. Daily beautify us by the washing of water in Your word. May preparing Your bride be my daily living and work until I meet You in Your soon return.”
If you were helped by something in this article, please take a moment to share what touched you in a brief comment.
References and Hymns on this Topic:
- My inspiration for this post came from a conference on The Direction of the Lord’s Move, Message 3, On “The Readiness of the Bride” based on the ministry of Witness Lee. It is published in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Direction of the Lord’s Move, msg. 3 (week 3), To Prepare the Bride as the Counterpart of the Bridegroom (1) – The Readiness of the Bride.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Freed from self and Adam’s nature, / Lord I would be built by Thee (Hymns #840)
- # Deeper, deeper, in the cross of Jesus / Deeper let me go (Hymns #1240)
- # Lord, how long, dear Bridegroom, / ’Til You come, Lord, how soon? (Music)
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!