The Bible—A Romance of a Universal Couple, Life-Study of Romans, Message One, pp. 1-6
A. The Bible—A Romance
Of A Universal Couple
Scripture Reading: Isa. 54:5; 62:5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 14; 31:32; Eze. 16:8; 23:5; Hosea 2:7, 19; Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34; John 3:29-30; Rev. 19:7, 21:2, 9
The Bible is a romance. Have you ever heard this before? It may sound secular and unreligious. However, if you have entered into the deep thought of the Bible, you will realize that the Bible is a romance, in the most pure and the most holy sense, of a universal couple.
1. God in Christ as the Bridegroom
The male of this couple is God Himself. Although He is a divine Person, He desires to be the male of this universal couple. This very God, after a long process, has resulted in Christ as the Bridegroom.
2. God's Redeemed People as the Bride
The female of this couple is a corporate human being, God's redeemed people, including all the saints of the Old Testament and the New Testament. After a long process this corporate person results in the New Jerusalem as the Bride.
3. This Romance in the Old Testament
This holy romance is repeatedly revealed throughout the Old Testament...
Several times in the Old Testament God referred to Himself as the Husband and to His people as His wife (Isa. 54:5; 62:5; Jer. 2:2; 3:1, 14; 31:32; Eze. 16:8; 23:5; Hosea 2:7, 19). God was desirous of being a husband and of having His people as His wife. Many times the prophets spoke of God as the Husband and of His people as His wife. Humanly speaking, we always think of God in a religious way as the Almighty, feeling compelled to worship Him. But do you married brothers expect this from your wives? Suppose your wife thought of you as a big body, as a giant, approaching you adoringly, bowing herself, and kneeling down to worship you. What would you say? You would say, "Silly wife, I don't need such a worshipper. I need a dear wife to embrace me and kiss me. If you will simply give me a little kiss, I will soar in the air." Our God certainly is the Almighty God, and, as His creatures, we must worship Him. Many verses speak about worshipping God in this way. However, have you never read in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea that God desires to be a husband? In ancient times God's people built the temple and established a system of worship complete with priesthood and sacrifices. One day God intervened and spoke through Isaiah saying, "I am tired of this. I am weary with your sacrifices. I want you to love Me. I am your Husband, and you must be My wife. I want to have a marriage life. I am lonely. I need you. I need you, My chosen people, to be My wife..."
4. This Romance in the New Testament
Now we need to consider this romance as it is portrayed in the New Testament.
a. Christ as the Bridegroom in the Gospels
There is no doubt that the gospels give us a full record of Christ as our Savior. However, have you noticed that the four gospels also tell us that Christ has come as the Bridegroom (Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:19; Luke 5:34; John 3:29)? He has come for His bride. When the disciples of John the Baptist saw many people forsaking John to follow the Lord Jesus, John told them not to be troubled, that Christ is the Bridegroom, and that all the increase belongs to Him (John 3:30). The Bridegroom has come for the bride. What is the bride? The bride is the increase of Christ. Each of the four gospels presents Christ as the Bridegroom coming for the bride...
c. The Marriage of Christ and His People in Revelation
In the book of Revelation Christ is unveiled as having a wedding (Rev. 19:7) and the New Jerusalem is presented as His wife (Rev. 21:2, 9). In chapter 19 of Revelation we see that Christ will enjoy a wedding feast, and in chapter 21 we see that the New Jerusalem will be His wife. In Revelation 21 and 22, the last two chapters of the Bible, we see that the ultimate consummation of the whole Bible is this universal couple—the husband and the wife.