“Runaway Bride” by Rich Wilkerson, Jr. (Mosaic Conference)
Here are notes from Rich’s message:
God didn’t call us to hard stuff but impossible stuff.
The enemy isn’t afraid of a big church but he is afraid of a united Church.
Rich grew up in the church – 4th generation of pastors on both sides. First slow dance was to “Our God Is An Awesome God.”
As a result, he lost sight of doing church rather being the Church.
Ecclesia – an assembly or a gathering
The Church is not a place but a people. The Church is not a where but a who.
The Church is a gathering of God’s people coming together to minister to Him, ministering to each other through the preaching of the word, and then ministering to the world.
The Church is never to retreat but rescue people from the gates of hell.
In the Scriptures, the Church is referred to as a building, the Body of Christ, an Army, and the Bride of Christ.
Too many Christians say they love Jesus but cannot stand His Bride.
We are the Church. We have to be the thing we want to see.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” – Ephesians 5:25-31
Christ sacrificed Himself for the Church. Jesus and the Church are one.
Why do so many run so far and fast away from being the Bride of the Christ?
Three of the privileges of being the Bride of Christ:
1. Intimacy with God.
We confuse a deeper level of trust and intimacy with sexual intimacy. God knows us in a way no one else does and we can know Him more than we could have imagined.
Intimacy- “into me, see”
Take the mask off and be real about where you are.
2. Protected by Jesus.
Being a part of the Church is for our protection. Jesus will protect His Bride by any means necessary.
Jesus died on a cross so we wouldn’t have to. His righteousness covers us. He took upon Himself God’s wrath that we deserved.
We are the ugly bride, yet He loves us!
3. We have rights.
We are heirs! We have privilege! We carry His name!
We have died with Him so now we can share in His glory!