From the beginning to the end of the Bible we can see that God desires to gain a bride – He wants to gain a counterpart that would match Him and complete Him.
In Himself God is eternally perfect, but He is not complete; therefore, He created man and He is working on and with man to regenerate man, transform man, and glorify man so that He would build up the Body of Christ and the bride of Christ would be prepared to match Him for their eternal marriage life.
On His side, God passed through a process: He was incarnated, lived a perfect human life, died on the cross, was resurrected on the third day, and now He is a God-man ascended in the heavens to be the Bridegroom waiting for His bride to be prepared.
On our side, the Lord captures us and draws us with His loveliness, and we fall in love with Him; this triggers a lifelong process of regeneration, renewing, sanctification, transformation, glorification and building up, so that we may be prepared as the bride of Christ.
The completion of God’s New Testament economy is the marriage of the Lamb; in His economy God wants to obtain a bride for Christ, and He does so through Christ’s judicial redemption and by His organic salvation in His divine life.
We are born in sin and constituted sinners and enemies of God, but when we are born again of God with His life, we enter into the process of God’s organic salvation.
The more we enjoy the Lord in His word, contact Him in our spirit, pray and fellowship with Him, and have communion and joint fellowship with the saints, the more the divine life of Christ in us grows unto maturity in life for the building up of the Body of Christ and the preparation of the bride of Christ.
How we thank the Lord that today we are in His recovery, which recovery is for the preparation of the bride of Christ! Hallelujah! May we all aspire to be the overcomers, the components of the bride, so that we may enter the wedding feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9)!
The Readiness of the Bride Depends on the Maturity in Life of the Overcomers
In order for a girl to get married, she needs to grow in life and attain a certain level of maturity; in order for the bride of Christ to match Christ for their wedding day, she needs to grow in life and reach a certain level of maturity, which the Bible calls the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).
The readiness of the bride of Christ depends on the maturity in life of the overcomers (Rev. 19:7; Heb. 6:1; Phil. 3:12-15). The bride of Christ needs to match Him in stature and maturity. The reason the bride of Christ is not yet prepared is not being mature in the divine life.
In the maturity of the divine life, we as lovers of Christ become the reproduction and duplication of Christ to match Him for our wedding, just as the loving seeker in Song of Songs became the Shulammite (the feminine form of Solomon) to match the king for their marriage life (see Song og Songs 6:13; Rev. 21:9-10).
We need to go through the growth in life stage by stage until we are mature in life. First we are attracted by Him to pursue Him, and His attracting power is our pursuing power. Second, we need to experience the cross to deal with the self. Third, we need to live in the heavenlies to be God’s new creation in resurrection. Finally, we need to live in the sanctuary with no veil so that we may be one with the Triune God who is our sanctuary.
This is the direction of the divine romance we are involved in, and it is normal for us to grow in life unto maturity, from regeneration to knowing the Body and spiritual warfare, to be full of the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
We shouldn’t be subjective and introspective, looking at our situation and thinking we can never be matured in life; rather, we should realize that, at whatever stage in life we’re in, we experience the same principles.
The governing principles of our experience of life is Christ’s death, His resurrection, and being heavenly, divine, and a new creation. Since the day we were regenerated, we had the things of the highest stage to live in God.
We can attain the highest stages of growth in life because we are in the process of growth. The divine life in us grows, and this life has a direction: maturity in life. Just as the human life, if taken care of properly, grows unto maturity in a normal way, so we as believers should have a normal growth in life reaching maturity to be prepared as the bride.
This is not extraordinary but normal; we should expect growth unto maturity in life, pray for it, and focus on it.
We must be people caring for the building up of the Body of Christ and paying attention to the growth in life, so that we may be the overcomers who constitute the bride of Christ. We need to open to the Lord and tell Him,
Lord, give us today’s normal growth in life. Grow in us today for the building up of the Body and the preparation of Your bride. Lord, we want to become mature in the divine life in time to contribute something to the building up of Your organic Body and to the preparation of the Bride! We don’t want to be matured on our deathbed but much earlier, so that we may be part of Your bride, be an overcomer, and even cooperate with You to produce some overcomers in the churches!
We should be concerned for our growth in life, and we should also help others to grow in life. Before we can function in the Body, we first need to grow in life. The gifts the Head gave to the Body perfect us to grow in life and no longer be children but grown men, even a full-grown man, built together as one.
If we want to be ready as the bride of Christ, we need to pay attention to the growth and maturity in life. We can’t make ourselves grow; we can’t be anxious about it and add a cubit to our stature. What we can do is cooperate with the Lord again and again by our prayer.
Our Christian experience as described in the New Testament is high, but when we experience it, it is common and normal – it is the growth in life. We need to daily open to the Lord, take Him in as our nourishment, and ask Him to give us the growth in life.
Out of the growth in life comes the function; first we grow up into Him in all things, and then out of Him there’s a function that builds up the Body and prepares the Bride.
We need to Grow and Mature unto Perfection in the Divine Life to be the Bride of Christ
In the New Testament the word “mature” is used to refer to the believers’ being full-grown and perfected in the life of God; this means that we need to grow and mature unto perfection in the divine life so that we may be perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matt. 5:48).
The Greek word for mature is “at the end point”, and it refers to being full-grown, mature, and perfected in the life of God which we received at our regeneration. When we were regenerated, the divine life entered into our spirit; now we need to grow in life, be built up, established, and shaped in God’s organic salvation.
We need to furthermore be transformed to be shaped into the image of Christ, and we need to continue to grow until we are matured in the divine life to become a full-grown man, until we arrive at the stature of Christ and be conformed to the image of Christ, the firstborn Son of God.
We need to be brought on to maturity in life, to perfection (Heb. 6:1); to be matured in the divine life is to be perfect. The higher law of the kingdom of the heavens, in which we not only love our friends but also our enemies without any discrimination, can be fulfilled only by the divine life in us.
The Lord tells us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect; this is both a commandment and a promise, for we are able to attain such a high level and have such a living by means of the perfect divine life in us and the perfect love of the Father.
We need to continue to grow until we are matured in the divine life to become a full-grown man, arriving at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).
The fullness of Christ is the Body of Christ. Christ’s Body is not something empty or formless; rather, it is an organism with a measure of the stature of its fullness in its breadth, length, height, and depth. Thank the Lord that God has regenerated us that we may begin to have His divine element. Following this, we still need to be built up, established, and shaped in God’s organic salvation. However, after we have been shaped through transformation, it is still not enough. We need to continue to grow until we are matured in the divine life to become a full-grown man. Then we can arrive at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ and be conformed to the image of Christ, the firstborn Son of God. (The Experience of God’s Organic Salvation Equaling Reigning in Christ’s Life, p. 36, by W. Lee)
The more we grow in the divine life and are perfected unto maturity in life, the more we are prepared to be the bride of Christ. The preparation of the bride depends on the maturity in life of the overcomers, those who cooperate with the Lord to ripen and mature earlier.
May we be those who give the Lord our best cooperation today, eating Him and being daily open to Him for Him to grow in us, so that we may be produced as the overcomers who are ripened earlier, matured in time, for the preparation of the bride.
Lord Jesus, bring us on to maturity by growing in us day by day. We want to continue to grow in the divine life until we are matured in life to become a full-grown man, arriving at the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Amen, Lord, grow in us for the building up of the Body and bring us on to maturity for the preparation of Your bride. We want to focus on cooperating with You to be full-grown and perfected in the life of God, so that we may grow and mature unto perfection in the divine life!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by brother Mark R. for this week, and portions from, The Experience of God’s Organic Salvation Equaling Reigning in Christ’s Life, p. 36 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Direction of the Lord’s Move (2016 Thanksgiving Conference), msg. 3 (week 3), To Prepare the Bride as the Counterpart of the Bridegroom (1) The Readiness of the Bride.
- Hymns on this topic:
# The Lord, the seed of life, / Has sown Himself into our heart / To grow up into fullness / And become His counterpart. / The seed requires no rules or forms, / For water is its need— / By this the all-inclusive seed / Will grow in us indeed! (Hymns #1242)
# As a stream of love, how His life flows in! / Motivating us to just love Him. / So we give ourselves; Lord, do grow in us / May we know You in Your preciousness. / O Lord, do make us one as we run toward You, / Pursuing corporately in everything we do / With the saints until full maturity / As Your loving counterpart eternally. (Song on growing in life)
# The virgins are mature in life, / They grow so normally. / They daily eat and drink the Lord, / Their lot eternally. / Our need today is growth in life, / Christ’s inward work indeed; / Not knowledge, teachings, gifts, nor pow’r— / But life is all we need. (Hymns #1212)