In my last post I showed that not all believers are residents of the New Jerusalem, and therefore, are not part of the Bride of Christ. The understanding of all this is found in the characteristics of the Bride.
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
This verse shows us the relationship between the Holy Spirit and the Bride of Christ. The first thing I notice is that the Bride is listening to the voice of the Spirit. Do all Christians listen to the Spirit of God? Absolutely not. But the Bride hears the voice of the Holy Spirit.
And more than that, the Bride speaks what the Holy Spirit is speaking. What I find amazing is that there’s no lag time. Their words are totally in sync with each other.
When the Spirit says, “Come,” the Bride is proclaiming the exact same thing. There’s a connection between the Spirit and the Bride.
He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Let’s talk for a moment about our spiritual birth. We know that we were given birth – born again – by the Word of God. Christ, Himself, is the Living Word. Obviously He’s the Father. But for a birth to occur there has to be a mother. Spiritually speaking, who’s our mother?
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul talks about the difference between self-righteousness and the salvation of God. As he explains this, he makes a surprising statement.
But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.
I’ll try to not be too graphic. We were given birth by the seed of the Word, planted in the Bride. These two must be combined for a birth to take place. The Spirit is calling, “Come!” The Bride is calling, “Come!” We have been given birth by the Holy Spirit and the Word operating through the Bride.
The Bride is made up of the overcomers in Christ. It’s the Bride that’s manifesting the Kingdom of God. That should make it abundantly clear to us that it’s the Bride that’s producing the fruit of the Kingdom. If you’re saved, it’s because the Bride of Christ declared the Word of God to you. That’s how you entered the Kingdom.
Then the choice is up to you. You can join the Bride or remain one of the attendants. But there’s one more characteristic of the Bride that’s important to us.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
The Bride prepares herself for the wedding day. Why? Because it’s important to her. She wants to give herself to the Groom. She wants to be pleasing to her husband. So she dresses up in the finest clothing available to her.
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear. (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
It’s not her clothing. She could never present herself to her husband dressed in the filthy rags of her own righteousness. This wedding gown had to be given to her. It was a work of God. The bottom line is that even though she was given this treasure – she had to prepare herself by putting it on.
Question: What does it take for the church to make herself ready?
© Nick Zaccardi 2015