If you know anything about God, it is because God himself has revealed that information to you. Without his communication to his bride, we would be like goldfish in a tank trying to figure out what the president of the United States is.
I’d rather be personally insulted or assaulted before I would passively allow my wife to be insulted or assaulted. Page is not a perfect person. Like me, she is a sinner saved by grace. But in spite of her shortcomings, she is my dear wife and I love her with all my heart. I would give my life for her. And, based on her words and actions, I know she feels the same way about me, though I am loaded with my own sinful shortcomings and faults.
This is the way spouses should feel about one another. There should be a glorious oneness and unity between a husband and a wife. I hope you feel this way about your spouse (if you’re married). But if this is the way two sinful human beings in a marriage should feel about each other, how do you think the Lord Jesus Christ feels about his wife?
Revelation 21:9 Then one of the seven angels who held the seven bowls containing the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come with me! I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
In the Old Testament, God and his people were often referred to as being married. They were in a covenantal, intimate, everlasting relationship that was marked by sacrificial love (see Jeremiah 3:24, Isaiah 54:5, and Hosea 2:19).
In the New Testament, the church is called the bride of Christ and the wife of the Lamb. When Paul wanted to teach people about what a marriage between a man and woman should look like, he said this:
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Jesus Christ is married. Not to one individual, but to a collective. If you are a believer, Christ is not married to you alone, but he is married to us, his church. We (plural) are the bride (singular) of Christ.
This means Jesus came to earth as incarnate God in order to find, rescue, and love his wife. His wife is made up of all believers, whether still alive on earth or currently present with him in heaven. His bride is called to collect and congregate into local congregations. My church (Rock Mtn Lakes Baptist Church), therefore, is a local instance of the bride of Christ.
This teaching has enormous implications for us today. It means your love for the church is of critical importance. It means your desire to connect with the church and serve through her and support her is a major part of your spiritual well being. There is no such thing as: “I love Jesus but I hate organized religion.” If Jesus organized his church and calls her his bride, then to love the groom is to be a part of the organized, collected bride.
My Father Has Revealed This to You
In Matthew 16:13-20, we see Jesus intently focused on his bride. He tells the apostle Peter, “I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He loves his church, establishes it, and protects it. And if you belong to him, he very much wants you to be in it.
When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (v.15), Peter spoke up for the Twelve and gave an amazing and true answer: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v.16).
When Peter, representing the bride as a whole, gave him that answer, Jesus responded by saying: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus essentially says, “Peter, no mere mortal taught you this fact. It did not come to you by the means of human reasoning. This truth about me is in your mind in the form of knowledge for one reason, because God the Father has revealed it to you.”
Now, if God revealed it, that means he spoke it. Peter, God spoke to you and revealed to you the true identity of Jesus as the Messiah. You did not get that information from anywhere else.
This means our God is speaking God. He speaks to his bride. He communicates with us. Which is good, because communication is critical to the success of a marriage. If a married couple does not talk to one another, their marriage will suffer and be strained. Communication is a major and critical part of true intimacy.
So God talks to his wife. And he tells us what we need to know about him. He tells us that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, for example. That is information that we would not have if he did not give it to us. Our knowledge of God is not derived by human reasoning, but only comes to us when he talks to us.
Goldfish Brains and the Presidency
Attempting to understand God by human reasoning alone is like a goldfish attempting to figure out what the President of the United States is. It is impossible for goldfish brains to conceive of something like the Oval Office. The only way a goldfish could have any understand at all of a human president is if someone who did understand the presidency got into the tank with him and explained it to him in language he could understand.
It is the same with us. Simon Peter, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. You didn’t come to this knowledge by human ingenuity or reasoning. Instead, your Groom entered your world, took on your flesh, and spoke to you in language you could understand.
Are We Listening?
Are you part of the bride of Christ? Are you connected to the church in such a way that you can be called the wife of the Lamb? If so, are you listening to your husband talk? Do you love sermons, for example, where your Groom’s words are heralded? Do you love reading the long letter he wrote to his wife, called the Bible?
God talks to his wife. Are we listening?