CHRIST AND THE CHURCH RELATIONSHIP
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus,
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” Ephesians 5:31-32.
Think about the timeless wedding vows, which have survived the ages. The groom says to the bride, and the bride says to the groom, the following pledge:
I take thee______to be my wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish (forever).
The Word of God tells us,
“For if you live after the flesh, you shall die (eternally), but if you, through the Spirit, mortify (kill) the deeds of the body, you shall live (eternally)” Romans 8:13.
“He who takes not his cross and follows after Me is not worthy of Me” Matthew 10:38.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” Matthew 16:24.
The message is clear, folks. If we want a relationship with Christ, which is compared exactly to a marital relationship, as explained by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:31-32, we must die to our own fleshly desires, “die” to one’s self, and take up our own cross in this manner, as Christ did, and follow Him; following His teachings, His example and even His persecution.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Timothy, his spiritual son in Christ, and he said to him,
“Yes, all who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” 2 Timothy 3:12.
The Word of God is true.
Absolutely, in some way or another, if God’s people truly live their lives fashioned after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will indeed suffer persecution.
All of us need to ask ourselves these questions:
- Have I surrendered my whole heart, mind, soul, body and strength to God daily?
- Am I suffering in some way(s) for the cause of Christ? (If not, consider your level of commitment to the Lord).
- Does the world’s population living around me have communion with me, or do they find me strange? (If we get along too well with the wicked, that could be indicative of a problematic relationship with the Lord – John 15:18.)
The Word of God tells us,
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” I Peter 2:9.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” 1 Peter 2:11.
“Wherefore, come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing, and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18.
There is a doctrine that rose up from the pits of hell fire, and that is the doctrine of Calvinism – once saved, always saved, no matter what you do, no matter how you live, no matter how sinful you become. This is contrary to the teachings of Christ and the entire Word of God “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15).
The Bible tells us that no scripture is of private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20). Anyone can isolate a scripture here and there throughout the Bible, which tells us about the love of God and eternal salvation. It is crucial to understand scripture in the proper context, as it was written.
If you know the Word of God intimately, if you have read it in its entirety and you understand the correlation of the scriptures, you will also understand through the Holy Ghost (who gives us the interpretation – 1 Corinthians 2:14) that God has called us unto holiness, even as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16; Hebrews 12:14; 1 Thessalonians 4:7).
“Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the Kingdom of God” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
With this calling, the Lord has also given to us very specific promises:
“There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it” 1 Corinthians 10:13.
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” 1 John 2:1.
Finally, please understand this:
“Know you not that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” Romans 6:16.
God richly bless you with the fullness of His Holy Word and an abundant life in Christ Jesus.
Are you prepared to stand before God and give an account of the life you have lived on this earth? If not, salvation is only a prayer away. Please visit the How Can I Be Saved page – your eternal destiny depends on it. God bless you.