She is black, white, brown, caramel, albino and every shade in between. She speaks Swahili, Tamil, English, Italian, Hebrew, Pidgin, Mandarin and a countless number of other languages, past and present. Her eyes are brown, green, blue, black, hazel and any colour that eyes can be. She lives anywhere from shanty towns to royal palaces, from rice paddies to middle-class suburbia. She is the corporate Bride of Christ and she can be found in an endless variety of skin tones, languages, shapes, sizes and cultural backgrounds. When Father scans His eyes across the face of the earth in search of His Son’s Bride, this is what He sees. This is what the Bride looks like….on the outside.
But what about the inside? What is she like in character? Jesus gave us some insightful clues about how His Bride would look on the inside and these are recorded in Matthew 5:3-11. This passage is often called the Beatitudes, but as character forms attitude I am calling them the Bride-Atudes. You may up to now have understood these as moral principles to which Jesus wanted His disciples to individually aspire. Fine, but I think if we scratch a little deeper we may glimpse a whole new dimension. Could it be that Jesus was describing the inner beauty and essence of His corporate Bridal company? I believe so and I hope by the end of this short series you will also have caught a glimpse of the Lamb’s Bride.
You are therefore invited to come with me on a journey through the Bride-atudes, (with a little help from Paul’s letter to the Galatians), as we explore the Bride’s character.
First a brief word on fruitfulness. Spiritual fruit is a desire of the Son and glorifies the Father (John 15:8, 16). Bearing spiritual fruit is something that comes naturally to Christ’s Bride. In Romans 7:4 we read: Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another–to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
In Galatians 5:22-24 the Holy Spirit illuminates for us precisely what this fruit looks like at maturity. There are nine spiritual fruits: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (I’m using the New King James version by the way).
There are also nine characteristics, or blessings, of the Bride.
Stay tuned for the Bride-Atudes.