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Author Topic: How did Christ Love the Church?  (Read 1991 times)

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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2018, 11:36:15 am »
I was hoping for more discussion but we can look at the study I did in Isaiah 53...before we do look at Matthew

 Matthew 11:30 (NIV) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Christ Loved the Church by making her job/burden light...He does the brunt of the work.

Likewise Christ provides sustenance for the Church... scripture is clear that God provides for us, He provides everything we need. (Acts 14:17; I Corinthians 10:13; I Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 4:11)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 11:50:23 am by Lori Bolinger »
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patrick jane

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2018, 02:23:19 pm »
I was hoping for more discussion but we can look at the study I did in Isaiah 53...before we do look at Matthew

 Matthew 11:30 (NIV) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Christ Loved the Church by making her job/burden light...He does the brunt of the work.

Likewise Christ provides sustenance for the Church... scripture is clear that God provides for us, He provides everything we need. (Acts 14:17; I Corinthians 10:13; I Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 4:11)
I have trouble sometimes choosing the right scriptures to show what I mean. I usually don't and the verses come to me like Squeaky, lol, but really they do for any person in the word and in the spirit. Memorizing is not the same. But I've never thought much about the church or the Body Of Christ or I just haven't tried to study it. I accept what scripture says and understand it but I don't focus on that aspect of the good news even though I should because the church is fundamental in the understanding of the mystery of the revelation.

Absolutely God provides us with everything we need to overcome and have the free gift of eternal life. I suppose the simple idea of the Body Of Christ and the church is very hard to comprehend and understand completely. As Paul said :


Ephesians 5 King James Version (KJV)

5 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 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.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.



King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain


Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2018, 08:44:34 am »
I was hoping for more discussion but we can look at the study I did in Isaiah 53...before we do look at Matthew

 Matthew 11:30 (NIV) For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Christ Loved the Church by making her job/burden light...He does the brunt of the work.

Likewise Christ provides sustenance for the Church... scripture is clear that God provides for us, He provides everything we need. (Acts 14:17; I Corinthians 10:13; I Timothy 6:17; Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 4:11)
I have trouble sometimes choosing the right scriptures to show what I mean. I usually don't and the verses come to me like Squeaky, lol, but really they do for any person in the word and in the spirit. Memorizing is not the same. But I've never thought much about the church or the Body Of Christ or I just haven't tried to study it. I accept what scripture says and understand it but I don't focus on that aspect of the good news even though I should because the church is fundamental in the understanding of the mystery of the revelation.

Absolutely God provides us with everything we need to overcome and have the free gift of eternal life. I suppose the simple idea of the Body Of Christ and the church is very hard to comprehend and understand completely. As Paul said :


Ephesians 5 King James Version (KJV)

5 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;

2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints;

4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

31 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.

32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.



King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain
actually, the study came about because of this passage.  There is tons in this passage about how Christ Loved the Church.  For example He Loved her unto purity, without blemish, radiance, etc.  He Loved her with purpose, a goal.

He Loved her with example, with submission, etc.  Amen.

Lori Bolinger

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2018, 08:47:54 am »
Isaiah 53:1  Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?


He Loved us with revelation....the revelation of Christ and how great is His Love...if you all want the full study let me know.

If we compare this to Prov. 31, the wife of noble character which the Church should be, we see something very interesting...this revelation restores to us the value that the world strips of us.

patrick jane

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2018, 05:25:21 pm »
Isaiah 53:1  Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?


He Loved us with revelation....the revelation of Christ and how great is His Love...if you all want the full study let me know.

If we compare this to Prov. 31, the wife of noble character which the Church should be, we see something very interesting...this revelation restores to us the value that the world strips of us.
Yes, I certainly want to join in this study. I love connecting OT scripture with NT scripture. This is how we search the scriptures to see if these things be true. I'm going to be settled in soon with my new computer system and I will have more time soon to explore and learn in the Word. Thank you Lori for being so consistent and reliable and sticking with the studies that you do.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

Lori Bolinger

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2018, 11:45:15 am »
I was just giving the summary if you want the full study I can do that..the full study compares Isaiah 53 how Christ Loves the Church with Prov 31 the wife of noble character which is not only for the marriage relationship but for the Church /individual as well.

Here is the first full part if it is too much let me know.  We are working on getting the study into a book format and video lessons but that will be some time yet to finish.

Isaiah 53:1  Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
   April 1, 1987, we were traveling back from Florida.  We were traveling with my now brother in law and sister in law.  April fools day, no one knows whether to believe you or not.  It is a holiday set aside for the purpose of deceptions and lies all for the sake of having a good laugh.   Yet it was this day of the year, that my dear husband chose to ask me to marry him. I wasn't sure what to say, he seemed sincere but it was April Fools Day after all.  If I said yes, and it was all just a joke, I would be hurt and be left wondering why he would play such a cruel joke.  If I said no, thinking it was just a joke, I wouldn't be revealing my own hearts desire for him.   Brian and I had only been dating about 1 ½ months, that could be my saving grace, so I said yes.  That was 26 years, and five children ago, and we are still counting.  For some, believing that there could be a “fairy tale” romance for them, a Christ who loves them with unfailing Love, is a very difficult thing to believe could possibly be true, a story too good to believe, the stuff of fantasy and idealism.  Especially when it comes to the church, I talk to many people, that just can't bring themselves to believe that God could or would love them with the Love of the Christ for sinful man, for His very enemies.  As if it were April Fools Day, they spend all their time wondering if it could possibly be true that this one really loves me enough to commit Himself to my good, to love with a love that never fades, that this one could possibly Love me with an unfailing, unconditional Love.  For others, the allure of such a fairytale, draws them in, they give themselves whole heartedly to the illusion of Love but then, they are crushed beneath the weight of images that were not quite right, ideas that they were taught to believe but in reality weren't really love at all. (Matthew 13) Christ revealed to the world that this is not just a fairy tale romance between God and the Church, but a real life, everyday occurrence, steeped with truth, and images to wonderful to be imagined, God gave us an opportunity to show the world the truth of Him every moment of every day, it's called marriage.  That April Fools day, as we traveled, I took a chance, and said yes...just like I took a chance over 40 years ago, on the marriage proposal of the Lamb of God, for me, a lost lamb.  The day my husband chose may have been an unfortunate choice, maybe not even a thought in his head about what day of the year it was, but, in that day, he revealed to me a desire to love me more than all other woman in the world.  That day, he revealed to me the desire of his heart, to covenant to love me even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. 
   I try when I study love, to  not read into things what is not there, I strive to see only what God reveals through the consistency of His word.  To such an end, I came to a very confusing passage of truth, one that had to be explored to it's fullest.  But to it's fullest, is not something I am capable of in this lifetime, so here is what I have been able to currently uncover The mystery revealed in I Timothy 3:16, is the same mystery that is revealed in our marriages according to Ephesians 5.  The mystery that is Christ, I Timothy 3:16  (NIV) Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great:  He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.  (KJV)  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (I provided two different versions because both help different parts of our understanding)
BEYONE ALL QUESTION, THE MYSTERY FROM WHICH TRUE GODLINESS SPRINGS       “Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great”  there are two aspects to the beginning of this passage, first remember, that according to Ephesians 5, the goal or purpose of marriage is righteousness, or true godliness.  That makes this passage important to our study, because in it, we will discover the mystery that has been revealed to the world, the mystery of how to be godly in the midst of a world and enemy that will use anything to tear us from our beloved, (Matthew 13:24-30) from our goal.  Secondly, mystery revealed in scripture, always refers to Christ, thus the gospel.  Ephesians 5 is no different, the mystery that is Christ and the Church, the marriage lamb of God, is one that reveals to the world that Christ's love is not just a fairytale, that it is indeed real.  When we live out our marriages in the truth of Christ, when the world sees the power of the living God working in our marriages in ways the world cannot fathom, we are testifying to the world the truth of the gospel, the truth that is Christ revealed.  Because of these two truths, we should expect marriage as God presents it, to reveal all the truths that we find in this I Timothy 3 passage.  The question, is, does it?  Does marriage as God ordains it, really testify to us the mystery that is Christ?
   In context, Paul is teaching about the qualifications of an overseer.  Husbands, you are to be the overseer of your household, you are to be the example, the building stone for your marriage.  Christ is the cornerstone, the head of the man, but the cornerstone of your marriage, the head of your home, is you, the husband, the head of the wife. (We already talked about how this should, in proper context mean God is the head of your household, so we won't return to that discussion at the moment, only take a brief moment to remind you of this most beautiful of truths, when we interpret headship/submission to be about authority and military commands.) Thus, the qualifications of overseer apply to you on two levels, first that you are the overseer of your household and secondly that as the overseer, you are the cornerstone of that union, the example that is to be followed, as directed through Christ your head.  To that end, Paul then reveals the mystery of Godliness, that is to say, Christ. 
HE APPEARED IN THE FLESH
   First, He appeared in the flesh.  As I read Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible entry, it began to dawn on me, that marriage really is a picture of Christ's love and this is our first indication of that.  In coming to earth, Christ married the man with the Spirit, to become the God-man.  Both fully God and  fully man.  The Spirit and the flesh became one.  Did you catch that?  Both the spirit and flesh became one, just like in marriage, we are told that the two, that is man and woman become one flesh, Christ, showed us through example, that the spirit and the flesh were united to become one.  For those who think this is only about children, let me remind you of  Malachi 2:15 (NIV) Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring. So be on your guard, and do not be unfaithful to the wife of your youth.  If you belong to God in body and spirit, the offspring are not just the children that result from your sexual relationship, but also the children that result from sharing the gospel.  Marriage reveals to us the truth of unity, the truth of Christ being fully man and fully God.  (John 1:14; John 5:18; John 10:33; John 14:9; Philippians 2:5-8; II Corinthians 4:4; Hebrews 2:17) Thus, it is only natural that God would reveal Himself not just in Christ, but in the works of Christ, (John 2:11; John 9:3) but also, that He would be made visible in us, and through us. (II Corinthians 4:10-12; Romans 6:5; II Corinthians 1:5; II Corinthians 3:3)  For this revealing of who Christ is, to be complete in our lives, we must allow Him to reveal all that is hidden, we must allow Him to be our all in all, our example and our power, our light and the revelation that is lived out in our lives.  (Mark 4:22; John 3:21; John 7:4; Romans 1:19; I Corinthian 4:5; II Corinthian 2:14; II Corinthians 5:10) When our lives, our marriages are righteous, there is nothing that needs to be hidden, when our lives, our marriages reflect the living God, we want to be known and seen by the world, so that they too might see the light.  (Ephesians 5:13)  We become a light to the world, a candle in the darkness, and no candle is meant to be hidden. (Mark 4:22)  When we allow our marriages to build the unity that Christ talks about in marriage, a unity in which the two become one, we are testifying to the world that Christ was both fully man and fully God.   Before we look at the next part of the passage, look back at Isaiah 53:1...who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed.  Christ revealed Himself to the Church as part of His love for her.  He not only reveal what the problem was...sin, and the solution...Christ, but He revealed Himself, opened Himself up to the bride, so that she knew Him in all of His glory.  (I John 3:5; I John 3:8; Romans 16:26; John 21:1-14)  When we reveal ourselves to our bride, when we reveal the Christ in our lives, we are beginning to Love with the Love Christ had for the Church.  When we love unto a unity in which the two cannot be torn apart, in which we cleave to one another, so that the world sees the oneness of two, we testify to the world of the truth of Christ, in which the flesh and spirit were united into one body, that of the Christ.
WAS VINDICATED BY THE SPIRIT
   Now on to the third part of the passage, vindicated or justified by the Spirit.  Justify means to consider or render righteous, to declare or pronounce righteous.  Romans 3:26 (NIV)  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:25; Psalms 98:2; Romans 5:18; II Corinthians 5:21) Christ is our righteousness.  Through faith, we are justified, so that when God looks upon us, He sees Christ's righteousness placed on our account.  (Acts 13:39; Romans 3:20-30; Romans 5:1-9; Romans 8:30-33; Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:7; I Corinthians 4:4) This justification through faith has three applications to our marital relationships as a witness to the truth of God, the first is the goal of marriage.  In Ephesians 5, we discover that the goal of marriage is righteousness, or Christ likeness.  It is this same goal of righteousness, that is vindicated or justified upon Christ.  So the very goal of marriage testifies to the world of the mystery that is Christ.  Secondly, we see, that this justification took place by the power and authority of the Spirit of God.  That is to say, that the very same Spirit that empowered Christ, the very same Spirit that had the authority to declare Christ righteous, is the same power and authority that is to be lived out in your marriage.  It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that you can endure, love, and become righteous in Christ, it is also the same Holy Spirit that demonstrates the true headship of the marriage, that is God the Father, through Christ, through the husband.  Many husbands like to think they have some wonderful authority over the wife, when in reality, God alone is the authority in the marriage that is based on scriptures/Christ's model of headship.  That is the exact same Spirit that gives us the power and might to love with the Love of Christ, and to submit as unto the Lord.  In other words, the same Spirit that justified, or vindicated Christ, is the same Spirit that equips you to do what is by all accounts impossible for man alone to do.  Without this power, you will fail. (I Corinthians 2:3-5; II Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 3:16; Philippians 4:13; Colossians 1:11; I Timothy 1:12)   Romans 8:3 (NIV)   For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, Christ became our high priest.  Now the husband cannot become the high priest that Christ is for the wife, but he does take on the role of priest as we will soon see.  As priest, the husband loves the wife with purity in that he first cleanses himself, and then by advocating on her behalf, by being the witness and caretaker of the spiritual health of the family.  Basically, to love with the love of Christ, the husband is willing to take the bride's sin upon his shoulders, and plead on her behalf while gently encouraging her to remain righteous. (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 5:2; Hebrews 4:15; II Corinthians 5:21)  The husband becomes the caretaker of the gospel for his family, sharing the good news with all he meets.  Now look at Hebrews 7:26 (NIV) He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.  He is a priest that restores gently, because He has been down that road, because He has experienced the struggle and pain of being righteous. It is not the correction of a judge, but the correction of a priest, of one who loves with purity, gentleness, kindness, and mercy.  Never does Christ react harshly to the bride, always with a gentle and quiet (peaceable) spirit because He understands from experience.  Thus, when we live out our marriages in the power of the Holy Spirit, with gentleness, understanding, peaceable, priestly like care, we are demonstrating to the world, the truth of the revealed Christ that was justified or vindicated by the Spirit.  When the husband becomes the head of the household, a head that serves with gentleness, quietness of spirit (submission), a head that leads by example, in the righteousness of Christ, as the point in which all truth is based on, we are testifying to the world the truth of Christ's headship, a headship that is justified by the power of the Holy Spirit within.  It is proper headship, not warped headship, that testifies to the truth of Christ's headship, a headship that was only possible through the righteousness that is Christ.
SEEN BY ANGELS
   Maybe the most famous of incidents in which Christ was ministered to by Angels, occurs in the gospel accounts of the temptations of Christ.  In fact, there are several recorded references to the angels care over Christ as found in Psalms 91:11.  This got me to wondering what it was about being seen by angels that was so important to our understanding of who Christ is, and the mystery of godliness that is Christ.  We know that our power is in the Holy Spirit as seen above, so what of the angels?  Upon further study, there are two jobs of the angels that are significant here.  The first, is that angels are the one's that will be sent out to separate the elect from the lost, it is the angels according to Matthew 13:36-52 that will be casting the lost into the lake of fire. (Matthew 24:31)  Thus, living a righteous life before the angels, or in full view of the angels becomes of great importance to us.  The angels role at the end times is a significant and powerful one, thus living a righteous life in view of the angels becomes a witness not only to man, but to the angels as well as to who we belong to, whom we serve.  Christ's life was as I Timothy says, seen by the angels, likewise we should live our lives as if even the angels see who we serve, angels that are not of this world, not seeing with the fleshly eyes of man.  It's a lifestyle in which nothing is hidden.  If we are loved unto holiness, cleansing, radiance, without spot of blemish, blameless, there is no reason to hide who we are, our marriages, our lives, because there is no guilt, no shame in who we are, no reason to create an illusion of perfection, because we are the perfection of Christ, the bridegroom, revealed in the radiance of the bride, the Church.  Once again, the goal of righteousness becomes important, as we strive to testify to the world the truth of the gospel that is Christ, through our marriages.  Christ wanted His life to be seen, to be witnessed, He wanted the world to know, not only who He was, not only whom He loved, but how honestly and passionately He loved.  He wanted to be seen, to be witnessed, to be an open book for all the world to see and know that He had come to love the Church/His bride, unto righteousness.  His opened honesty, became in part, His testimony to the world of who He is and what He came to do.  When we understand this truth, we must ask ourselves why we spend so much time trying to hide our sins, our shortcomings, our weaknesses from one another.  When we understand that our lives are on display, James 5:16 takes on a new importance (NIV) Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (Acts 19:18) We are often taught that God knows our hearts, but our witness isn't just to God, isn't just to the people who we preform in front of, it is also to the angels that surround us.  They testify to who we are.  In our pride and guilt we try to hide the sins of our life, the times we abandon the power of the Holy Spirit, thus pretending to be a righteousness that we are not.  How liberating it became when we began to openly talk about our own sins, our own weaknesses, our own shortcomings, not in a way of exposing evil, but rather in a way that was consistent with exposing the wonders of a God whose love is beyond compare.  (Matthew 5:14; Matthew 10:26; Mark 4:22; Luke 8:17; Luke 11:33; Luke 12:2; I Corinthians 4:5; I Timothy 5:25; Hebrews 4:13)  Just as the angels witnessed the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, they watch over us, witnessing our lives, as lived before God and man.
   The second aspect of being seen by angels and thus found to be humble and guilt free, is that the angels minister to us as well.  In Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4, we see that when tempted, angels ministered to Christ.  But this is not a unique thing reserved for Christ alone, angels also minister to us. (Hebrews 1:14, Psalms 91:11; Psalms 34:7-8; Daniel 6:22)  Notice in Psalms 34:7 (NIV) where the angels are...The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  The angels encamp around those who fear Him, a fear that is the beginning of wisdom and a fear that produces the reverent lifestyle we see in I Peter 3 (NIV) when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. A  reverence, gentleness, and quietness that are the marks of a life in submission.  We as believers who have learned to fear the Lord, need to allow the angels to guard us, to minister to us.  This is not something that happens because we are praying to or worshiping angels, which we are warned not to do in Colossians 2:18, but rather it should bring us a calm, a quiet rest, a trusting in the Lord of hosts, that there are so many servants of the Living God who are attending to us on behalf of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  With thousands upon thousands upon thousands of witnessing angels, an open and honest marriage, the submission of marriage that we are called to live out, demonstrates to the world that nothing can be hidden from God (Daniel 7:10; Revelation 5:11), with truth and trust, we testify to the world the truth of God's angels, for we rest assured that we are well protected from the storms of life, not just with the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but with legions of angels guarding over us.  With submission we testify to the world the truth that angels saw Christ, and that they also have seen us. With so great an army ministering to us, if God is before us, we have nothing to fear.  (Job 41:10)
PREACHED AMONG NATIONS
   Christ is preached among the nations.  At first glimpse this might not sound impressive, but consider  Acts 14:17 (NIV) Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."  Christ is not without a testimony and again, Luke 19:40 (NIV) “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” All the world knows that Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the living God made flesh.  All the world will cry out that Christ is Lord.  God doesn't need man to praise Him, to testify of His wonders, to proclaim His truth through all the land. (I Chronicles 16:33; Psalms 65:12-13; Psalms 69:34; Psalms 96:12; Psalms 98:8; Isaiah 44:23) but He chooses to use man to spread the gospel to all of mankind. (Colossians 1:21-23; Matthew 24:14; Romans 10:18; Colossians 1:5-6)  The gospel is a living and growing word according to Colossians 1:5-6, a living and growing word that seeks to bring all mankind to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  With a passion, God desires all to come to the saving knowledge of Christ, the one whose very life, brings redemption to all who believe with their hearts. (II Peter 3:9; Isaiah 30:18; Ezekiel 33:11; I Timothy 2:4) It is this very same message, this very same gospel that you are called to preach to the world.  (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 3:5; Ephesians 3:7; Colossians 1:25; Mark 13:9-11)  It is when we are living in the power and might of the Holy Spirit that the truth of God is preached to the world.  It isn't just words, but actions as we already saw, that testify to who Christ is.  In fact, Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. It is the very spirit of God that testifies to the world.  A spirit that you are called to live in and through.  A spirit that accomplishes what you cannot in your flesh alone.  It is this spirit that enables you to have a marriage that is based on the love of Christ for the Church and it is this marriage relationship that tells the world that Jesus is the Christ, the author and finisher of our salvation.  When we live a Christ like marriage before the world and in the presence of each other as well as the angels, we are in fact, testifying to the message, the revelation of Christ to the world.  When we live a life that is preaching Christ to the world, we are in fact, being the holy bride, that Christ wants us to be.  The bride that is set apart for something special.  Through provision and kindness, the bridegroom, Christ, is revealed in our marriage relationships when we live out Christ, when we live a life that is holy before the witnesses of this world.
BELIEVED IN THE WORLD
   “Believed in the world” seems way too easy for the believer, we already believe, that is why we are called believers, right?!  So, I went to God in prayer, and asked Him to show me what I needed to know here.  Here is the result of that search.  When we talk about belief, we can talk about it all day and night, you can even become convinced that what I am saying is true, that is not the belief that brings salvation.  Belief unto salvation is not the mental consent that something is or probably is truth.  A rather common passage about salvation is Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.  What we seldom are taught, is that this includes but is not limited to the head knowledge of knowing and understanding Christ with the logic, wisdom, and/or grace of our mental understanding.  In other words, belief unto salvation is not an act of the mind saying, “I believe” or else it would be something that we do or can do, we can study and gain knowledge.  Just like this study of Love, will net you knowledge, it would be within you to gain this truth, not God's grace alone that saves.  Consider  I Corinthians 1:21-31 (NIV) For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.  Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”  It is God's wisdom, that brings Christ's righteousness, His holiness, His redemption into our lives.  So if a head knowledge is not enough to bring us salvation, what belief is enough?  Romans 10:9 (NIV)  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Belief is with the heart.  This is a belief that spurs us into acting upon our mental consent.  For example, look at the first part of the verse.  The belief of the heart spurs us to declare with our mouth the Lordship of Christ in our lives.   Romans 10:10 (NIV)  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  Heart belief spurs us to do something more, it compels us, consumes us, drives us into something deeper.  With head knowledge, we might say the sinners prayer, maybe go to church on Sunday, might even tell someone about Christ and try to live a good life in line with the principles laid out in scripture or the sermons we hear preached.  But with heart knowledge, we are consumed to seek God more, (Hebrews 11:6) in John 5:41-44 we are asked the question, how we can believe when we are seeking the things of man, not the things of God.  Belief unto salvation is a belief that drives us to seek God, not man's praise, wisdom, or acceptance, not even from our spouse.  Time and time again, I hear people talk about leaving their spouse, or thinking about leaving their spouse, because their spouse didn't appreciate them, didn't return the love, didn't respond to the efforts.  Christ's love for the Church, Christ's love for you, didn't depend on a reciprocated love, it was free standing, it desired reciprocation, but the love itself did not require it. This is a very difficult thing for most of us, in that in our pride we want to be accepted, thought well of, considered worthy in the eyes of man.  We seek to protect our reputations, our status in the community, even our friends and family, over the Christ.  But true belief of the heart, prompts us to put away the things of the flesh, including but not limited to the approval of men, whether that be our reputation or their favor.  Belief of the heart, is a belief that compels us to receive Him, (Matthew 21:22) belief with the heart (Luke 8:12) is a receiving of all of Christ, no room left for self.  It is an abandoning of my desires, my wants, my selfish pride, and a receiving of the new man, new desires, humility that marks all true believers with the mark of Love (remember the core of Love is humility~Images of Love).  With belief of the heart, we receive into our beings repentance, (Matthew 21:32; Mark 1:15) the humility of understanding just how far from the mark we really are, just how much belief and faith we lack, (Mark 9:24) it will spur us to the outward demonstrations to the world of the inward change of putting off the old man with the desires that were held there, and putting on the new man, with God like desires. (Mark 16:16)  It is a belief that takes us into a life of faith.  Faith meaning a trust in the Lord to be our everything. (Luke 8) It is belief with the heart that spurs us to attempt to be righteous and to live in the righteousness of Christ. (Romans 3:22) We no longer are afraid to suffer with Him, because suffering on account of the Christ seems like a small price to pay for the beauty and wonder that we find in His presence. (Philippians 1:29; James 1:2-4)  As living evidence, eye witness testimony to the truth that we believe, we are compelled to live out Christ, to become His witnesses to all the world. (I Thessalonians 1:7; I Thessalonians 2:10-13) Belief compels to show mercy because we have received God's mercy, (I Timothy 1:16) to labor and strive for the gospel, (I Timothy 4:10) to be an example in speech, conduct, Love, faith, and purity. (I Timothy 4:12)  We loose the desire for favoritism because we have know that we are no more deserving than anyone else. (James 2:1) We are compelled to obey, (I John 2:3) and to love. (I John 3:23; I John 5:1)  Belief with the heart, is to leave the world, the sinful desires, our old man, and cleave to the giver of life, to the righteousness that is Christ.  When we leave our family behind, to cleave to our spouse, we are demonstrating to the world, the belief in the world that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior and the belief that is necessary unto salvation.
   What a powerful thing belief is, when we allow ourselves to move from a knowledge belief of who God is, into a heart belief of who He is.  But, who is He, what exactly must we believe in order to obtain the salvation promised?  We believe in the light of the world, that is that Jesus is the light that exposes all darkness, He is the light of the world.  A light that is reflected in the radiance of His bride.  (John 1:7)  We believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This doesn't mean that we believe He has a name and His name is Jesus, but rather that His name testifies to the world who He really is, that all that is testified of Him in scripture is truth. That He was the blameless Lamb of God. (John 1:12; John 3:18; I John 3:23; I John 5:13)  Believing in the name of Jesus is to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, (John 8:24; John 20:31) the son of man, (John 9:35-38) the Christ. (John 10: 24-26; Acts 10:43; Acts 11:17; Acts 16: 34) Belief in the name of Jesus is to accept with your heart that Jesus and God are one, (John 10:38) that there is really a resurrection and a life, (John 11:25) that Jesus was sent to us by God Himself. (John 11:42; I John 5:1)  The belief unto salvation is a belief not only in Christ, but in God as well, (John 12:44; John 14:1; Acts 16:34) as well as the unity, the oneness, the God-man relationship of the Christ. (John 14:10; John 17:21)  It is to believe in the evidence of Christ (John 14:11) that Christ came to us from God, (John 16:27; John 17:8) it is to believe the good news of the Kingdom, the heaven that awaits for us. (Acts 8:12)  In belief that saves us, we discover that we believe in the Lord of hosts, (Acts 9:42) and that Jesus is given to us by the Lords very own hand. (Acts 11:21)  We believe the message of the gospel, the truth of the reason for Christ's coming, that all the world might be saved from the sin that leads to death, that He is our ransom from the sin that separates us from God. (Acts 15:7; Romans 1:16)  We believe in the man Jesus and the redemption that He brought, (Acts 19:4) we believe that the law and the prophets had it right, that the law and prophets speak of truth. (Acts 24:14) It is a belief that we can have the righteousness of Christ applied to our account and thus be made righteous in the eyes of God, (Romans 4:11), that Christ died and was raised from the dead, (Romans 4:24 I Thessalonians 4:14) that God/Christ exists and rewards those who seek Him, bestowing upon them faith to trust in the one they believe. (Hebrews 11:6) It is the testimony of Christ that we also believe in, so that all that Christ witnessed to man, is applied the the belief of our hearts, (I John 5:10) resulting in our salvation.
   Salvation, we throw the word around as if it were something we really understood, but we seldom live in the full revelation of what it means.  According to scripture, salvation is not just our get out of hell free card, salvation is the forgiveness of sins, (Luke 1:77) it is the light of the world, (Acts 13:47) it is about repentance that results in no regrets (II Corinthians 7:10).  Salvation is that gift of grace (Titus 2:11) that leads us to obedience, (Philippians 2:12) bringing wisdom, (II Timothy 3:15) it is eternal, (Hebrews 5:9) it is our inheritance, (Hebrews 1:14) and it is God's patience with us. (I Peter 3:15) Our salvation is perfected in suffering, (Hebrews 2:10) in it, we grow, (I Peter 2:2)  it provides us with ministering angels. (Hebrews 1:14) Salvation belongs to God, not man (Revelations 19:1), and it is through our salvation that the world will be cleansed from Satan's reign. (Revelations 12:10)  Yet, belief grants us more than merely salvation.  Belief also brings to us, bravery, a lack of fear, or at least a reason not to fear. (Mark 5:36) Power is also granted to us with belief, a power to overcome sin, the world, a power to live in the righteousness of Christ, (Mark 9:23; Mark 11:24;Ephesians 1:13; I John 5:5) it is a power that is flowing though the Holy Spirit that is sent to every believer. (Ephesians 1:13)  With belief, we not only have salvation, bravery, and power, but we also have an understanding of who we really are compared to our example in Christ. (Mark 9:24) It is the assurance of our inheritance of eternal life, (John 3:15-16; John 6:47) in which the river of life flows in us, we do not need to wait for life, because life is given at the moment of belief. (John 7:38)  In belief, we are justified, that is to say, Christ's righteousness is credited to us, (Acts 13:39) in Christ's righteousness, all shame is gone. (Romans 10:11) In the belief of the heart, we become a model for other believers, a witness to the power of the living God, evidence of the working of God in our lives. (I Thessalonians 1:7; I Thessalonians 2:10-13; I Timothy 4:12) It reveals to us and to the world the mercy of God, (I Timothy 1:16) as we discover something for us to strive and labor for. (I Timothy 4:10)  It is a belief that brings to us purity, (Titus 1:15) rest, (Hebrews 4:3) and a new station in life. (James 1:9) We are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy. (I Peter 1:8)  Belief in the Lord Jesus Christ is more than just a head knowledge of what we assent to, but it is a heart knowledge of something to wonderful for us to describe, to majestic for us to know, and to full for us to fathom all that it holds for us, in us, and through us.  And it is this very belief that we testify to the world when our marriage relationships reflect the power of the living God to endure in the face of all obstacle, rather than giving up like our world teaches us to do. 
TAKEN UP IN GLORY
   When you hear the phrase, “taken up in glory”, what do you think of?  Most of us think of and in fact, we are taught that this means to be ascended up to heaven.  We find the ascension of Christ into heaven in  Acts 1:9-11, Luke 24:50-53, and Mark 16:19.  What a wonderful and beautiful testimony of the resurrection of Christ and the heaven that await us as promised by God.  There are two important parts to this phrase, the first is the resurrection and the importance of that resurrection to us as believers.  If Christ had not risen and ascended into heaven, we would have no hope of our own resurrection from the dead.  I Corinthians 15:13 (NIV)  If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  Our hope is in Christ's resurrection, that is why it is so well documented in scripture.  John 11:23-26 proclaims to us that Christ is not only the resurrection but also the life.  We aren't just raised, we are also given life, consider Matthew 22:32 (HCSB)  I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”  It is not just death we are raised from, but life we are raised to. It is when we unite ourselves with Christ in death, that is to die to self, be crucified with Christ, that we are also united in His resurrection. (Romans 6:5)  We are warned to not believe those that claim the resurrection has already come (II Timothy 2:18) for our resurrection, like Christ's will be to glory not to this earthly dwelling.  (Luke 14:13-15; Luke 20:36; John 11:23-26; Acts 2:31-32; Acts 4:2; Acts 4:33; Acts 17:18; Acts 23:6; Acts 24:15; Romans 1:4-6; I Corinthians 15:21; I Corinthians 15:42-44; Philippians 3:7-11; I Peter 1:3; Revelations 20:6) 
   The account of Paul's conversion in Acts 9:1-19 gives us another clue to the mystery that was hidden in I Timothy 3:16, especially when Christ was taken up in glory.  Paul did a complete turn around, he was totally sold out to God, but why?  What changed Paul so much that he would endure all kinds of suffering, all manner of discomfort and abuse for the sake of the Christ.  The answer is in the end of our phrase, taken up in “glory”.  Paul suddenly saw a light from heaven, the Christ, the Christ revealed in His glory.  We in the western church like to put our focus on heaven, the streets of gold, the pearly gates, but it was not heaven that the writer chose, nor heaven that God inspired to be written here, rather, it is the word glory.  In fact, the very glory of heaven, is God/Christ.  In fact, it isn't even heaven that is paved with gold, but the New Jerusalem, in the new heaven and new earth, (Revelation 21) and it is the glory of God in that new temple that lights the place, so that there is no night.  It is the lamb of God, the Christ, that holds the glory of God's light. (Revelations 21:23)  Paul received just a glimpse of that glory and it changed him from the man he was to the man he became in Christ. 
   So since Christ was raised to glory, not to heaven let's look at bit deeper into the glory of the Lord.  One of the most exciting aspects of Christ's glory, is found in a string much like we find in I Corinthians 11:3, where we see that the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the man, and God is the head of Christ.  Christ's glory is God the Father's glory. (Matthew 16:27; Matthew 8:38)  But something amazing happens in John 17:22-24 (NIV)  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.  Christ shares His glory with us, so that we can become one with Him.  It is the glory of God that builds unity within us with Him.  Is it any wonder then, that we see in I Corinthians 11:7 that in the marriage, the woman, the bride, the one who is to reflect the man, that is a Godly man whose radiance comes from Christ, who reflects a radiance that comes from God.  What then is this radiance, this glory, how does it produce unity with Christ?  I John 4:17 (NIV) This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. It is a reflection of the Christ, we are becoming more and more like Him, through our unity with Him.  As we learn to be united with our spouse, reflecting the glory of God, through Christ, through the husband, we testify to the world the truth of our Christ that was “taken in glory”.  In this growing to be like Christ, we share in His glory, are lifted up, and in that exalted state, we will inherit the treasures that await for us in I Peter 1:4-12, a treasure that is Jesus, the Christ (Philippians 3:14)  Like Paul, it is to be in the presence of Christ, to be in the presence of His glory that should call to us, rather than the allure of fleshly desires like gold and pearls.  The very reward we are promised, is not heaven itself, but rather is held for us, on our account in heaven.  Since we are talking about heaven and the glory that is enthroned there, let us pause briefly to look at what heaven is like.  In scripture, heaven is compared to a man who sows seed in his field, (Matthew 13:24) a mustard seed, (Matthew 13:31) and yeast. (Matthew 13:33)  Heaven is said to be like a hidden treasure, (Matthew 13:44) a merchant looking for pearls, (Matthew 13:45) a net that is thrown over for catching fish, (Matthew 13:47), and a landowner. (Matthew 20:1) A king who prepares a wedding banquet for his son, (Matthew 22:2) and the famous story of the 10 virgins, (Matthew 25:1) are also said to be like heaven.  Take a moment and look with me at one particular comparison to heaven, found in Matthew 18:23, where heaven is compared to a king who wants to settle accounts with his servants.  Heaven, is God's final act of justification on the account of those who believe.  Matthew 16:27 (NIV) For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.  This is not a works salvation, but rather an understanding that our reward is Christ, thus the closer we are to Christ, the more like Him we become, the greater our reward.  To be in the presence of His glory, to be in His dwelling, is the reward, is the treasure, is the glory of Christ that we should seek and that should be evidenced in our lives and our marriages.  (John 7:18; John 8:50; John 11:40; John 17:5; John 1:14; Romans 8:30; II Corinthians 3:18; John 17:22; Romans 9:22-26; I Corinthians 2:7; Romans 8:21; Matthew 25:34; I Peter 1:21; I John 4:17)  Just a glimpse of Him was enough to change Paul's life forever, just a glimpse of Him changed my life, as He reveals Himself to you through this study, may you receive a glimpse of His glory that will drive you to be more and more like Him.
   Every marriage suffers from some dilemma something along the way, that threatens the relationship.  In the story of Romeo and Juliet, it was family, and today we often see family threatening the marriage relationship.  For our marriage, it was a porn addiction that threatened the unity of our lives of covenant, for some it's adultery, or other addictions that take away the unity that God intends.  For the Church, sin was the dilemma that threatened to destroy the unity of oneness and Love.  In Isaiah 53, we see that Christ revealed the dilemma to us, He identified the problem that would keep  us  apart.  But more than that, He also revealed to us the solution.  A solution that was His very nature, the nature of an unfailing Love of a God for His bride, His chosen, His hearts desire.  He became the solution to the dilemma.  His answer, was Himself, He took responsibility rather than passing blame, took upon Himself at great cost the solution to the problem that separate true love, a complete and utterly yielded humble love that presented her, His bride as righteous, pure, and blameless.  In Christ's plan, the bride took none of the blame, He took it all, He was the solution, the thing that needed to change, and in that change, the bride also would be changed.
   The revelation of Christ to the Church was there with purpose and the purpose was to  build a complete unity that would lead to righteousness.  Christ's Love should spur us to a sexual purity, not just in our flesh with one another, but also in our spiritual walk.  We dare not cheat on our Christ with the adultery of other gods, sin, or even from the things that can draw our attentions away from our relationship and the unity we are called to have.  This call to the purity of our spiritual lives, was part of the revelation God gave man, when He commanded us to have no other gods' before Him. (Exodus 20:3)  When we look at the jealousy of the God that lives for His bride and her purity, we see a revelation of sexual purity both in the flesh and in the spirit. (Exodus 20:5)
   As we move onward into the revelation of God to the Church, we discover that the revelation was not just the answer to the dilemma that kept the Church and Christ apart, but it was also a revelation of plan, the purpose, the shared goal.  Christ revealed Himself, in purity, in life, in spirit, in function, in peace, in faith, in Love, in mind and thought, in knowledge, it was a revelation of God's purpose for life, and His plan for all things.  God laid Himself bare for the Church, so that the Church would be free to be united with Him.  Christ revealed every part of Himself to the Church as an act of Love, and in doing so, He opened the door for unity to exist, and put forth a plan in which the dilemma would be ended.  A unity that began with a humility that man is not even capable of understanding, much less living.  This is how Christ loved the Church!  This is how husbands are commanded to Love their wife!
   Sin destroys us, destroys our unity, removes from us the bond created by Love.  Revelation is one of the first steps to restoring what sin destroyed.  It is one of the first steps toward healing, toward restoration, toward reconciliation, toward the unity of Love we are called to in our marriages, our relationship with God, our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and our Churches relationship with the Christ.  Christ loved the Church by revealing to that Church, the dilemma and the solution to that dilemma, by revealing Himself to the world, by humbling Himself enough to be the solution to the problem, so that His bride would be without blame.


 
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2018, 11:46:14 am »
The wife/church/our response....

Proverbs 31:10-12  A wife of noble character who can find?  She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.


A WIFE OF NOBLE CHARACTER WHO CAN FIND?  SHE IS WORTH FAR MORE THAN RUBIES.
   The wife of noble character is a gift from God.  The man who finds a noble wife, is said to have gained God's favor.  A wife of noble character who is not cherished as a gift from God, as a favor bestowed upon the husband, is not being shown her true worth. (Genesis 2:18; Proverbs 8:35; Proverbs 18:22; Proverbs 19:14) Maybe one of if not the hardest things to get women to understand, is their true value.  From the moment of birth, woman are taught that their value is found in their sex appeal, their outward beauty, or worse yet, their monetary value, or work value.  We see the stereotypical husband who refuses to do “woman's” work, or expects his meal piping hot on the table the moment he walks through the door.  We are confronted daily by images of the perfect figure and the flawless face, airbrushing keeping a tidy little secret so as not to destroy the appeal.  Diets and diet aids to help us achieve what is not possible, clothes that are revealing beyond our comfort zones.  Even the overly criticized church goer who sees everyone as violating the law of God but themselves, assaults the image the woman has of herself.  We further destroy her self image, by proclaiming the authoritarian headship of the husband, the inferiority of a woman in submission, the demand for silence in church and her inability to be “smart” enough to teach men who are of course far superior to woman. Whether boldly claimed, or whether objecting to the subtle messages sent but proclaiming the them as truth none the else, there is a huge assault on woman's image of themselves. More times than not, she not only carries that image throughout the days of her life, but also she carries them into the marriage. She is told to be this or that, to do this or that, to be X or Y, but seldom is she told how precious she really is.  She may, if one of the lucky ones, be told she is beautiful, but as my own dear daughter reminded me, that beauty is fading, of no real value, even though we are told to aspire to it.  A wife with a wonderful husband, might tell her she is loved, might even show her that love, but how often is she shown the value of being a chosen gift of God, the favor of God bestowed upon those who have been privileged to know her intimately?  Proverbs 31:10 b   She is worth far more than rubies. Very few things in scripture are said to be of this great of value, among those that are is Christ Himself, (I Peter 1:19; I Peter 2:4-7)  wisdom that is the real wisdom, the wisdom from God, the wisdom that leads to salvation, (Job 28:18; Proverbs 8:11; Proverbs 3:15) and the wife of noble character. (Proverbs 12:4)  Wife: that is a very exclusive club to belong to, and should spur us to Godliness, to be the woman of virtue that is talked about in this passage.  Individual and Church: understanding how great our value is to God is not just an honor but a responsibility of enormous magnitude.  Husband: if you don't really understand how precious the gift God granted to you in your wife, or how great a favor He showed you when He gave her to you, you are dishonoring both God and your wife. 
   As I studied exactly what noble or virtuous meant in this passage, something became clear.  The word means strength, might, efficiency, wealth, the force of like an army.  Throughout scripture, the word is usually used for men, in fact, this is the only incident where it is used specifically for woman.  But what was especially interesting and will turn many men inside out, is that the men that are virtuous, or of noble character, are time and time again, in scripture, upheld as being worthy, or having earned honor (Exodus 14:4; Exodus 14:17) and the headship. (Genesis 47:6; Exodus 18:21-25; I Kings 11:28; I Chronicles 5:24; I Chronicles 7:9-11)  The wife of noble character, has earned the right to headship, however, in the humility of submission, she willingly yields that headship to her husband, not because he has earned headship, but because it is his birthright by being created first. (Genesis 1 & 2; Colossians 1:18; I Corinthians 11:7-12; I Timothy 2:11-15)  The real significance of this understanding, belongs to the wife whose husband is not a Godly man, for yielding headship to the husband has nothing to do with earning it, whether the husband has earned respect, headship, honor or not, the wife of noble character yields that position, that role, to the husband, simply because by God's design, it is his.  The power to be this humble, this yielding is like so many of the things we are commanded to do and be, possible only in the power of the living God. (II Samuel 22:33; Psalms 60:12; Psalms 108:13; Hebrews 3:19; Zechariah 4:6...word for strength, power, might, same word used for virtuous in Prov. 31)
HER HUSBAND HAS FULL CONFIDENCE IN HER AND LACKS NOTHING OF VALUE.
   This gift from God, this virtuous wife, is not only of great worth, but has the confidence of her husband, because in her, he lacks nothing.  Colossians 1:24 (NIV) Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. What could possibly still be lacking in Christ's affliction, His afflictions are what brings us salvation and it is a salvation that is complete in Him.  But when we look deeper into scripture, we see that what is lacking in the suffering, is a unity with us, the believer, it is the sharing with one another, the sharing of pain, sorrows, joys, treasured moments, that help to build within us, the unity that is lacking in Christ's suffering.  All the suffering in the world, could not bring us to the point of being one with Christ, unless, we are willing to share also in His sufferings, sufferings that are there to bring about the same goal, the goal of marriage, the goal of a righteous bride.  (Romans 8:17; I Corinthians 12:27; II Corinthians 1:5; II Corinthians 6:10; Ephesians 1:23; II Timothy 2:10)  In Christ, the husband lacks nothing of value from the wife of virtue, because what is of value, is the wife and the unity that she strives to build through righteousness.
SHE BRINGS HIM GOOD, NOT HARM, ALL THE DAYS OF HER LIFE.
   Romans 13:10 (NIV) Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. One of the things we learn very quickly when studying love, is that it does not harm.  In Proverbs 31:12 we see that the wife loves the husband, in that she does him no harm. (Matthew 7:12; Matthew 22:39; John 13:34; John 13:8) Before we too quickly dismiss this small kernel, consider God's command to His people.  If love was assumed, if it was a given, then God would not have commanded us to Love Him. (Deuteronomy 4:29; Deuteronomy 6:5; Deuteronomy 10:12; Deuteronomy 11:1; Deuteronomy 13:3; Deuteronomy 30:6; Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30-33; Luke 10:27)  Love in marriage is not just something we can assume, it is something that we learn, it is something we choose.  Remember back in Ephesians 5, where we talked about love being a choice, here it is again.  We choose whether or not we will love.  In the beginning we may feel the warm fuzzies of being “in love” but real love develops over time, is given to us by the Holy Spirit, and becomes the center, or core of not only our relationship, but our righteousness before God, the angels, and one another.
   Through revelation, the bridegroom reveals Himself as someone the bride can trust, as we see in Isaiah 53, someone whose sole purpose, entire goal is the righteousness of the bride.  Not a false righteousness that He is not able to achieve, or a demanding righteousness where every little thing is criticized, but rather a genuine righteousness that flows from example, equipping, and a value, a treasuring of the wife, that the husband discovered when he sought out on this adventure we call marriage.  Likewise, earthly husbands, are to love their wife with example (headship) and equipping (provision and care), and cherishing (understanding of who the wife is to him) in order to fulfill the command of loving the wife as Christ loved the Church.  In Christ, there is no such thing as a no win situation, because in Christ, it is God Himself that provides all the tools necessary to succeed, the tools of the Holy Spirit, instruction through example and written word, purpose or goals that are clearly laid out, and the Love that is without end, without condition, enduring, everlasting. In Christ, the church is found innocent of wrong doing, the bride is indeed, presented blameless because it is the righteousness of Christ, His very life lived in humility that cleanses her of wrongs in the marriage. In response to this revelation by the Bridegroom, the wife of noble character responds by being someone that the husband can put His trust in, a trust that she will bring Him good things.  Many people have questioned, if we can give anything to God.  If God provides all things good, what can we return to Him that has value?  The good things we can bring to Christ, the good things the wife of noble character can bring to the husband, begins with her own righteousness through the blood of Christ.  The husband cannot love his wife unto righteousness unless he is himself righteous in Christ.  Nor can the husband reveal through example the righteousness of headship unless the husband is righteous in Christ.  Likewise, the wife of noble character, the wife that is responding to her husbands righteousness, cannot bring only good to her husband unless she also is righteous. (Matthew 12:34)  Her own righteousness in Christ is one of the good things she brings to her husband.  It is from the righteousness that over flows her heart, that her words, her gentle, quiet (peaceable), and reverent life bring good to her husband.  This good that overflows from her heart, is that glory, that treasure, that beauty that is stored for her in in heaven.  It is a revelation of her own of who she serves, who she is reflecting in her own life.  The wife of noble character must, have stored on her account, the wealth of Christ that is her's to share. (Matthew 12:35; Luke 6:45)  Because Christ is the provider that gives only good gifts, because our treasure that is stored in heaven is that of Christ, it is the overflow of Christ in her life, into her works, that will be evidenced to the world of the good things she brings to her husband.  By doing good, she brings good to her bridegroom. (John 5:29; II Corinthians 5:10; II Corinthians 9:8) As head of the wife, the husband is to share in the teaching of scripture with the wife, but her reciprocating that good teaching, is also part of the good that she brings to her husband.  (Galatians 6:6) As we previously touched upon, the woman is not instructed by Paul to do no teaching of men, we see that again here in Galatians, rather she is not to usurp her authority to teach over a man.  She is to instead, teach only in the authority of God as given to her by God, and nothing more.  As a woman of noble character, the wife tests all things, to see if they are good.  (I Thessalonians 5:21)   The witness of the Holy Spirit and the lining up of that spirit with the scriptures, is our measure of what is tested to be good. (Romans 12:9; I Corinthians 14:29; I Thessalonians 5:15-22; I John 4:1-6) The wife who is responding to the revelation of Christ, that we need to be righteous, does so through the training of herself in Godliness, (I Timothy 4:6-10) and by running toward the righteousness that the Husband desires for her. (I Timothy 6:11)  It is with a soft heart, a reverent spirit for the things of God, that mark her response to the revelation of Christ.  The things that identify her as a woman in submission.  The wife of noble character, responds to her husbands revelation, by submitting herself to him, as she would unto the Lord.  I Peter 3:2 & 4 (NIV)  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives...Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  Sometimes we look at our lives, focus on all the bad things the world says we should not like, and forget that the truly good things in life, are the things that come from God, the things that we are to bring to our Bridegroom, in the form of a submissive heart that reveals the righteousness of Christ.
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patrick jane

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2019, 10:28:44 am »
The Origin and Foundation


Brand new just posted this today. This is Justin Johnson whom I've been reading, watching and listening to for four years now, among other teachers. |I like him and he is a Pauline Dispensational right division teacher.

Which beginning is the beginning of the church, the Body of Christ? What was the foundation that was laid and who laid it? How can we know? This lesson continues our series covering the beginning of the church. Listen in as we explore the topic further in this lesson, “The Origin and Foundation.”

Find the outline here :
  http://graceambassadors.com/tradition/the-origin-and-foundation

1 hour 20 mins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9TPdH_U7pg















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Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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Bladerunner

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2019, 09:51:32 pm »
The Origin and Foundation


Brand new just posted this today. This is Justin Johnson whom I've been reading, watching and listening to for four years now, among other teachers. |I like him and he is a Pauline Dispensational right division teacher.

Which beginning is the beginning of the church, the Body of Christ? What was the foundation that was laid and who laid it? How can we know? This lesson continues our series covering the beginning of the church. Listen in as we explore the topic further in this lesson, “The Origin and Foundation.”

Find the outline here :
  http://graceambassadors.com/tradition/the-origin-and-foundation

1 hour 20 mins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9TPdH_U7pg















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don't think I have read this one.

Blade
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
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patrick jane

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Re: How did Christ Love the Church?
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2019, 10:58:42 am »
Sad.
Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


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patrick jane

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Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins, the gospel of our salvation, and repenting, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.

 

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Today at 09:27:25 am

JOHN 11:25 THE RESURRECTION by doug
Today at 07:55:09 am

Red Flag Gun Legislation - They Want Your Guns by Sherman
August 22, 2019, 11:28:36 pm

Your Favorite Music, Images and Memes by truthjourney
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MARK 6:3 DID JESUS HAVE BROTHERS AND SISTERS ? by Bladerunner
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MOVED: Revelation - Last Days by Bladerunner
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Transpocalypse Upon Us by Bladerunner
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Abortion Is Murder - Change My Mind by Bladerunner
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Fear and Loathing In The Flat Earth by Bladerunner
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How can we ensure we are rightly dividing the word of truth? by Bladerunner
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Hell's Population Clock by Bladerunner
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Current Events by Bladerunner
August 22, 2019, 09:33:59 pm

Christianity Today Magazine - August 2019 by Bladerunner
August 22, 2019, 09:29:41 pm

Why and what do we fear? by Bladerunner
August 22, 2019, 09:22:49 pm

Re: Politics Today by Bladerunner
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Re: Trump 2020 - Winning !!! by Bladerunner
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Politics Today by Bladerunner
August 22, 2019, 09:13:28 pm