A Scriptural Study Newsletter edited by Elder Vernon Johnson

How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

 

 

Jesus, the Church's Husband

In Is. 54:5 we read, "For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called." As we have before shown Jesus is our Maker, our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, and the God of the whole earth. Thus he is our husband. In Ephesians chapter 5 we are taught that the relationship between a husband and wife is to be patterned after the relationship between Jesus and his bride, the church: "Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it."

According to the scriptures, the Lord's ways are not our ways, nor his thoughts our thoughts, but as the heavens are high above the earth so are his ways above our ways and his thoughts above our thoughts. According to man's ways, man seeks out the most beautiful and desirable woman he can find who will have him and selects her to be his bride. When the Lord selected his bride (church) he did not select one that was perfect, but rather as Israel of old when the Lord entered into the law covenant with her, she was polluted in her own blood, so also the church and her members are sinners which have no righteousness of their own.

According to Rom. 3:9 18 God describes the whole mass of humanity as having no righteousness, no understanding, no profitableness, no goodness, no fear of God, as none seeking after God and not knowing the way of peace. Out of this mass of humanity, the Lord chose his bride. Furthermore, we did not choose the Lord to enter into covenant with him, but rather he chose us.

According to Eph. 1:4 he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world and according to Rom. 9:11 this choice of a people is according to the "election of grace." In addition the Lord's people were under a curse as stated in Gal. 3:10, "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them."

In the next few essays we will explore the covenant the Lord entered into with the church, how the Lord groomed his bride, the wedding feast, and the daily marriage relationship he has with the church. We will examine this, not so much on a subject matter basis, but by examining several passages of scripture that speak specifically to the Lord as the Church's bridegroom.


The Lord's Marriage Covenant

In the sixteenth chapter of Ezekiel, the Lord spoke of his marriage to Israel thusly: "Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea I sware unto thee, and I entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine." Thus we see that the Lord entered into a marriage covenant with Israel. The description in Ezek. 16:9 13 identifies the time of that marriage covenant as the time of the making of the law covenant with Israel. Thus the "marriage covenant" was the "law covenant."

The following passages show that Israel willingly entered into that "marriage" or "law" covenant with God:

1. Ex. 19:5, 6, 8, "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation...And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do."

2. Ex. 24:3, "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do."

3. Ex. 24:7, "And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient."

4. Deut. 5:27 29, "Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it. And the Lord heard the voice of your words, when he spake unto me; and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken. O that there was such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!"

Next, we see that this marriage covenant was sealed with blood: Ex. 24:6 8, "And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words." Subsequently, we read in Ezek. 16:15 59 of the harlotry, fornications, and adulteries that Israel committed with the nations of the world and their false idol gods.

Notwithstanding, we read in verses 60 62, "Nevertheless, I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant. Then thou shalt remember thy ways, and be ashamed...and I will give unto thee for daughters, but not by thy covenant. And I will establish my covenant with thee; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord."

Jeremiah spoke of this new covenant in Jer. 31:31 34 which is quoted in Heb. 8:8 12 as follows: "For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."

Under this new covenant we find that the Gentiles are brought as prophesied in Is. 60:3, 5, 11, "And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising...Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee...Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought."

In this new covenant age the bride is known as the Lord's church and is known as the house of God: 1 Tim. 3:15, "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth."  Isaiah prophesied of this time and of the bride as follows: Is. 62:3 5, "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of they God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shalt thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah and thy land Beulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as a bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee."

Finally, this second or new covenant was also sealed with blood as we read in Heb. 9:11, 12, "But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."

Primitive Baptist