Lord's Day Liturgy

Premarital Beautification

John’s vision in Revelation 12 saw Israel as a woman who brought forth the Messiah. It is a great picture of the relationship and the heritage from which Christ came.

In the New Testament, including later in Revelation, there is another corporate analogy, another great picture of our relationship and our future with Christ. The Church is His Bride.

We are in an ongoing state of premarital sanctification, of premarital beautification. Queen Vashti’s potential replacements (Esther 2:12) had nothing compared to what Jesus is doing for His Bride. He is washing us by the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26-27). He sent His Spirit to make us blameless. There is coming a glorious marriage day.

For the Lord God almighty reigns!
Let us rejoice and exult and give Him glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready.
(Revelation 19:6-7)

So “blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).

All of this has been paid for by the Groom. He chose us. He loved first. He sacrificed. He gave Himself (Ephesians 5:25), and we are His.

We eat and drink at the Lord’s Supper in remembrance of Him. It is not a rehearsal dinner, but it is getting us ready for that supper. “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!'” (Revelation 22:17)

Lord's Day Liturgy

Not Losing Our Head

We are citizens of Christ’s kingdom, which is a heavenly citizenship at the moment (Philippians 3:20), with implications for our time on earth, while we pray for His kingdom to come (Matthew 6:10) and for Him to reign and to reward His saints (Revelation 11:18).

There is a remaining battle, but the outcome is secure. “They will make war on the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful” (Revelation 17:14). By His blood He ransomed us as a people for God, and has made us “a kingdom and priests to our God, and [we] shall reign on earth” with Him (Revelation 5:10).

Jesus is our King, and we anticipate the establishment of His reign at the right time. And Jesus is also our Head, which means we already are under Him, guided by Him, and connected to Him.

Our relationship to Him as King means that His authority has dignity and dominion. Our relationship to Him as Head means that His authority is natural and unforced, and also permanently attached. “The Head automatically belongs to the congregation as the mystical body. It is inseparable from it” (Kuyper, Pro Rege, 291).

God’s power was on display:

in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:20–23)

We are citizens, we are members. There is no body without a head. We could not function without being joined to our Head. We remember what brought us into that supernatural and inseparable fellowship around the Lord’s Table.

Lord's Day Liturgy

Important Elections

It’s exciting that it’s almost time for elections. Our state’s primary voting is due Tuesday, and there’s a sense of optimism that maybe enough of “the people” are exasperated enough to vote for change.

Our republic system of government, wherein we have the opportunity (in most cases) to elect our leaders, is a fruit of freedom, and that freedom is a fruit of free men, and free men are a fruit of the gospel. It’s not that voting is a Christian principle per se, but representative authority is God’s own idea.

Plus, to be able to participate in the election of those representatives, and persuading others to vote, may feel a little less futile. There is a sense of possibility for better among us on the cusp of elections. Of course, it seems likely that some of the reason why it’s so crazy is because some powerful people are trying to mess with the elections. Apart from repentance, we certainly deserve more judgment, no matter how we vote.

But the two most important elections occurred before our lifetimes. If you are a believer, God elected You to salvation. Who can bring a charge against you now (Romans 8:33)? The governor can only ruin your business, and your breathing, but he can’t ruin your eternal reward and inheritance. The most important election is when God elected His Son to the throne. Loud voices declare the reality in Revelation 11:15, and God’s people have been singing about it ever since Psalm 2.

Kiss the Son lest He be angry. He will inherit the nations. God elects everything that happens, and this is good news. Worship Him in His sovereignty, and continue to put your hope in Him, even as you put the marks on your ballot.