And the Lord Added
Any bride beginning a new marriage would have trouble if she only spent 1-3 hours with her husband, spoke to him only when she needed something, made excuses to not study him, and never wanted to spend time with his family. Yet, that’s often how we treat our relationship with our Bridegroom, Christ (Acts 2:42-47).
I. Ephesians 5:21-24. Our work in our relationship with Christ is to devote ourselves to Him. One of the words used to describe how we are to work in 1 Corinthians 15:58 is ‘steadfast,’ which is the way that the KJV translates how early Christians approached their new relationship with their Bridegroom. Other translations use ‘devoted,’ which Paul and James say is to wholeheartedly submit to our Husband (James 4:7-10).
II. Ephesians 5:25-27. There’s mutual benefit when both work in a relationship. Jesus sanctifies His bride, the church, so that it can glorify Him. He died for us to give us life, so we set our hearts and minds on things above (Colossians 3:1-4). When someone’s hobby, such as fishing or cars, is his life, it’s obvious. Christ is our life now, and so this ought to be obvious in what is important to us and how we live. This was obvious with the early Christians.
III. Ephesians 5:28-30. Faithfulness and steadfast love being the foundation of God’s character (Psalm 89:14), He never changes in our relationship with Him (2 Timothy 2:11-13). He equips us out of love with what we need, but our job is to grow in Him (Ephesians 4:15-16). In the ‘Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20, we can see the dating phase that with our Bridegroom’s authority, we are to make disciples. The wedding occurs as they are baptized and the Lord adds them to His bride, the church.
Then, the marriage begins as we work to keep them as disciples with Jesus’ help. Any relationship takes much work to maintain. How are you growing in yours?