God's Greatest Masterpiece: The Bride

Posted by David MacAdam

"Then the LORD God made (literally in the Hebrew the word is 'banah'- built) a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman', for she was taken out of man.'" (Genesis 2:22-23)

Only three times in the Bible is the Lord said to build anything. He said He would build his church (Matthew 16:18) which is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22,23). He would build a house through the seed of David and establish an eternal kingdom (2Samuel 7:12-13; 1Chronicles 17:10-14, Psalm 127:1) and in Genesis 2:22, the Lord builds a bride for the first man, Adam.

In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul takes us through these same images of God's great construction program. In Ephesians 1 he prays that the church at Ephesus would have the spirit of wisdom and revelation to discern the significance of what they were participating in. The church is Christ's inheritance, the rewards of His suffering, identified with His substantial victory over sin, death and the dominion of Satan. It is designed to take back territory from the dominion of darkness. In Ephesians 2, the church is also a spiritual house.

(Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV) Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, {20} built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. {21} In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. {22} And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

In Ephesians 3 we have a further clarification of the purpose of what God is building. In Ephesians 4 we are shown how each member of the church plays a vital part in His construction program and in Ephesians 5 we have the unveiling of what the Apostle Paul calls 'a profound mystery': The church is the bride of Christ. She is constructed 'bone of his bone'. (Compare Genesis 2:23-24 with Ephesians 5:28-31). The Hebrew word for bone is 'etsem' from which we get the English word 'essence'. The life of the bride was derived from the substance or essence of the man. The church is constructed only of that which derives from Christ. Her essential being emerges from the wounded side of the bridegroom. So the church, the bride of Christ was purchased by the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28) which poured from the pierced side of the Savior who was put into a deep sleep (death) on the Cross (John 19:34).

The church is the bride of Christ! Love her! Cherish her! The church is God's workmanship, God's masterpiece. The Greek word for 'workmanship' is 'poema' from which we get the word 'poem'. The church is a carefully crafted expression of God's thought. Appreciate her! These are the affections of the bridegroom for the bride, the affections of Christ for His church. Paul brings this spectacular vision down to the practical reality of our daily living. We can be involved in building what God builds and loving what God loves. The words we speak, the efforts we take to preserve our essential unity in Christ, the honor we give to our brother and sister, the Adamic practices of sin we repudiate, the relationships we build, the strength we appropriate by faith from our true source, the kingdom life we mirror in our homes, all play a part in the building of the bride.

On the construction site,

David MacAdam, Pastor/Teacher
New Life Community Church