BECOMING THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
As children of light walking in love and light, we will be prepared to be the bride of Christ. Christ is the Head of the church in authority and the Savior of the Body in love (Eph. 5:23). Christ’s being the Head is a matter of authority, while His being the Savior is a matter of love. The church is subject to Christ as wives are to their husbands in everything (v. 24).
Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (v. 25). Because He loved the church, Christ gave Himself up for her for the purpose of sanctifying her, not only positionally but also dispositionally, from without and from within. He sanctifies us by entering into us to be the sanctifying life and the holy nature that saturates us, cleansing us every day, even every moment, by the washing of the water in the Word (v. 26). In the Word, the Bible, there is the water. We know this by our experience. When we get into the water, it washes us. Every morning we need to wash in the Bible.
Christ sanctifies the church that He might present the church to Himself not only holy but also glorious for expressing God (v. 27). Glory is God expressed. A holy church is to express God, the holy One. A glorious church is to glorify God, to show God to others. Christ will present the church to Himself glorious, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things. Wrinkles are a sign of oldness. To have no wrinkles is a sign of youth. Spots represent wounds. Only the life from within can wash away the wrinkles, spots, and any such things. Verse 27 says that the church should be holy and without blemish, as a gem which bears a beautiful expression and has no foreign particles, or blemishes.
Christ nourishes and cherishes the church as His Body of which we are members (vv. 29-30). To nourish is to feed, and to cherish is to nurture with tender love and foster with tender care. When a baby is in the bosom of its mother, it is cherished. The baby enjoys the nurturing with tender love and the fostering with tender care. Christ is nourishing and cherishing us in the same way.
Christ and the church are one spirit (1 Cor. 6:17) as husband and wife are one flesh (Eph. 5:31). That Christ and the church are one is a great mystery (v. 32). The church came out of Christ, as Eve came out of Adam (Gen. 2:21-22). Eve was the very issue, the enlargement, of Adam. The church has the same one life and nature as Christ and has become one with Him, as Eve became one flesh with Adam as his counterpart (Gen. 2:24), having the same life and nature as Adam had. According to life and nature, Adam and Eve were one. It is the same with Christ and us.
As we have seen, the church as the Body of Christ needs Christ as its life, and the new man needs Christ as his person. Moreover, the bride of Christ needs Christ as her love in the oneness of the two. Two can only become one in love. If there were no love between the two, they could never be one.
WRESTLING FOR THE CHURCH AND
LOVING CHRIST IN INCORRUPTIBILITY
Chapter six of Ephesians shows us that we need not only to wrestle for the church, but also to love Christ in incorruptibility (Eph. 6:11-18, 24). In the last chapter of Ephesians is the spiritual warfare. The church not only has to fight but also has to wrestle. If I did not wrestle, I would not be free to minister to you. We have to wrestle for the church. As the church we have to wrestle, to fight the good fight (2 Tim. 4:7). We must also love Christ in incorruptibility. The Triune God, God’s dispensing, and the issue of this dispensing—the church, the Body of Christ, the new man, and the bride—are in incorruptibility. All other things in the universe will be corrupted. We must fight for the church and love Christ in this incorruptibility.
(The Body of Christ, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)