In the second installment of images of the church found in the New Testament, we come upon the bride of Christ. This phrase is used a lot, but how often do we really look into what it means? While we are servants and laborers to Christ, he is also chosen to call the universal church his one and only bride. He loves us something fierce.
The Bride of Christ
Another image utilized to describe the church in the New Testament is the bride of Christ. When the Apostle Paul described a healthy, godly perspective on the relationship between a husband and a wife, he referenced the loving relationship between Christ and the church. Paul called husbands to love their wives sacrificially in the same manner in which Christ loved the church, his bride. In writing to the Corinthian church, Paul described an intense love of Christ for the church as he actually is depicted as betrothing the church as his personal bride.
Paul’s claim that the church functions as the bride of Christ should cause believers to desire a passionate love and a staunch desire for personal and corporate holiness. More than just reluctant obedience, as the bride of Christ, Jesus expected his church to passionately desire to obey his commands in order to please him. The love of God is evident in the life of a believer when he or she obeys Christ’s commands and those commandments are no longer deemed as burdensome. As Christ’s very own bride, the church is to be found faithful only to him and never swerving in allegiance and devotion.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.