OceanSide church of Christ

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Married to Christ
by: Dalton Gilreath

I.              Intro: The omniscient mind of God is incredible. God uses shadows, figurative language, and many illustrations to help us understand His will for our lives. One of these is found in the way God compares the customs of marriage to our marriage with Christ.

II.            The Selection

a.    The first part of the marriage process was the selection.

                                          i.    The father of the groom would choose his son’s bride or assign the decision to someone he trusted.

1.    Abraham assigned this duty to his eldest servant on behalf of his son, Isaac (Gen 24:2-4).

b.    God selected Christians to be the bride for His Son.

                                          i.    Jesus says, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (John 15:16).

1.    Peter calls us a “chosen generation” (1 Pet 2:9).

                                        ii.    Paul says he “espoused” the Corinthians to Christ (2 Cor 11:2).

1.    He did it through teaching the Gospel (Acts 18:8)

III.           The next step was the price

a.    The groom would offer a monetary price to show how much he cared for the bride.

b.    Jesus paid the highest price possible (1 Cor 6:20, John 15:13)

1.    That price was His blood (1 Pet 1:18-19).

IV.          Along with the price was the contract.

a.    This stated the groom’s promises to the bride and included the bride’s responsibilities to the groom and her dowry.

b.    God has always had a contract, or covenant, with his people (Jer 31:31-33).

                                          i.    He reiterated this prophecy in Hebrews 8:10-13.

c.    Jesus’ contract came into effect when He paid the price (Heb 9:15-17).

V.           The it was time for the bride’s decision.

a.    Rebekah was asked if she would go marry Isaac and she said yes (Gen 24:58).

                                          i.    It is significant that she had never seen Isaac

b.    We must decide to say yes to Jesus’ price and contract without seeing Him (1 Peter 1:7-8).

VI.          The next step was to drink a cup of wine together.

a.    This symbolized the decision to accept the contract of marriage.

b.    Jesus has us drink the fruit of the vine to remember not only His death, but His covenant as well (Luke 22:20).

VII.         Interestingly, many times the bride would then be immersed.

a.    This represented a purification for her husband.

                                          i.    Her old life was gone and her new life dependent upon her husband was to begin.

b.    Baptism is our immersion to be purified from sin (1 Pet 1:22-23).

                                          i.    Our old man of sin is gone and we are born again (Rom 6, John 3:3-5)

VIII.       Next came the departure of the groom.

a.    He would leave her for months to go prepare a bridal chamber in his father’s house.

b.    Jesus ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:9)

                                          i.    This betrothal period is where we are now in our marriage process with the Lord.

                                        ii.    He references the bridegroom leaving in Matthew 9:15.

                                       iii.    He ascended in order to prepare a place for us in His Father’s house (John 14:1-3).

IX.          While the groom was gone this was the consecration period for the bride.

a.    She would be tested to see if she stayed faithful to him and uphold her part of the contract.

                                          i.    If she was not a virgin and got pregnant this would give time to see the evidence.

                                        ii.    This is why Joseph was going to put away Mary (Matthew 1:18).

b.    We must remain faithful to Christ until he comes again for us (Matt 10:22).

                                          i.    We must be prepared for Him (Rev 21:2).

X.           The next step was his return to receive his bride.

a.    This procession started when the father said so.

                                          i.    Not even the groom knew when this would happen.

b.    The best man would shout “behold the bridegroom cometh” (Matt 25:6).

c.    Jesus, while on earth, did not even know when He would return (Mark 13:32-37).

d.    When He comes it will be with the shout and procession as well (1 Thes 4:16-18).

XI.          The final step was the supper and they would be together until death.

a.    During the feast the marriage would be consummated and announced to the best man who would receive the information with joy (John 3:29).

b.    Jesus desires us to be at His marriage feast and spiritually be married to Him in eternity (Rev 19:6-9).