Tuesday, December 16, 2014

THE BRIDE OF THE LAMB by Hamilton Smith (Intro)

INTRODUCTION
Every instructed believer is aware that the Church — or Assembly of God — is composed of all believers united to Christ in the glory by the Holy Spirit on earth. Further, that the Church came into being at the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and will be completed at the coming of the Lord, at the rapture.

We know too that the Church is viewed in different aspects, and presented under various figures, in the New Testament. It is viewed as the one flock (John 10:16); as the House of God (1 Tim. 3:15); as the one Body (1 Cor. 12:12, 13); and lastly as the Bride of the Lamb (2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 21:9).

In each case it is the same company of people but viewed in different ways to present different truths. As the one flock the Assembly is viewed as composed of all believers held together by the attractive power of Christ as the one Shepherd, who leads His people through this wilderness world, saving them from the enemy, protecting them from every danger, and leading them into green pastures. As the House of God the Assembly is viewed as the dwelling place on earth of God the Holy Spirit, where the truth is maintained, and a witness borne to the world of the grace of God. As the one Body, of which Christ is the Head, the Assembly is viewed as a company of people nourished by the Head, and in whom all the fulness of Christ is set forth.

As the Bride of the Lamb, the Church is viewed as wholly for Christ the object of His love, and care, and delight. It is this aspect of the Church that we desire briefly to consider. It is an aspect of the Church that, in a special way, brings into display the love of Christ, and for this reason appeals very directly to our hearts.

There is no more intimate relationship than that of a bridegroom and a bride. Hence the perfect suitability of these figures to set forth the love of Christ for His Church. Briefly we may say that the Spirit of God has used this most intimate of all relationships to set forth,

First, the Church as the object of Christ's love, care, and delight.

Second, that in the Church there will be an object suited for Christ to love.

Third, that in the Church there will be found a companion suited to share with Christ the coming glories of His reign. All that the Bridegroom inherits the Bride will inherit. The sharer of His sufferings in the day of His rejection, she will be the sharer of His throne in the day of His glory. When Christ reigns over the wide earth she will reign with Him.

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