The Bride’s Wedding Garment, Pt. 2

Colossians 3:7-17 (TPT) says, “7–8 That’s how you once behaved, characterized by your evil deeds. But now it’s time to eliminate them from your lives once and for all—anger, fits of rage, all forms of hatred, cursing, filthy speech, 9 and lying. Lay aside your old Adam-self with its masquerade and disguise.
10 For you have acquired new creation life which is continually being renewed into the likeness of the One who created you; giving you the full revelation of God. 11 In this new creation life, your nationality makes no difference, or your ethnicity, education, or economic status—they matter nothing. For it is Christ that means everything as he lives in every one of us!

12 You are always and dearly loved by God! So robe yourself with virtues of God, since you have been divinely chosen to be holy. Be merciful as you endeavor to understand others, and be compassionate, showing kindness toward all. Be gentle and humble, unoffendable in your patience with others. 13 Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith, forgiving one another in the same way you have been graciously forgiven by Jesus Christ. If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them. 14 For love is supreme and must flow through each of these virtues. Love becomes the mark of true maturity.

15 Let your heart be always guided by the peace of the Anointed One, who called you to peace as part of his one body. And always be thankful.

16 Let the word of Christ live in you richly, flooding you with all wisdom. Apply the Scriptures as you teach and instruct one another with the Psalms, and with festive praises, and with prophetic songs given to you spontaneously by the Spirit, so sing to God with all your hearts!

17 Let every activity of your lives and every word that comes from your lips be drenched with the beauty of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One. And bring your constant praise to God the Father because of what Christ has done for you!

In continuance from our last devotion, we as the bride of Christ must put on:

5) patience. TPT reads, “Unoffendable in your patience towards others”, while KJV says, “longsuffering”. What would happen in the church when we refuse to be offended at anyone for any reason? This would be the belt the bride would wear during this time period. It correlates with belt of truth on the armor of God as it held everything together and the shield of faith and Sword of the Spirit could rest upon it. In the same sense, patience holds everything together for the bride. The trying of faith builds patience (Romans 5:3; James 1:3), but when patience completes its perfect work, you experience the presence and mercy of the LORD (James 5:11), want nothing else but Him (James 5:4), transition into godliness (2 Peter 1:6), look upon and follow the example of Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2), and do His will while receiving the hope of your inheritance (Hebrews 6:12; 10:36; Romans 8:25). 
6) forbearance. It means “to hold up, sustain, bear and endure” (Thayer’s Greek Definitions). TPT says, “Tolerate the weaknesses of those in the family of faith”. This does not mean to overlook their sins, but to help them through their weaknesses until they become stronger in their walk with God. On the armor of God, this would be the lance of prayer. A lance, or spear, was part of Roman armor. While it is not mentioned literally in Ephesians 6, it can be referred to in v. 18 where we are commissioned to be praying always. For the bride, this would be her perfume as our prayers are to be as incense before the LORD, a fragrance that He accepts (Revelation 8:3-4; Psalm 141:2) Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” We fulfill the law of Christ in loving our neighbor as ourselves when we bear their burdens. This comes through praying and fasting for one another, holding each other accountable, being able to listen to someone when they need to confide in you, and providing for needs within reach. It is called being the church!

7) forgiveness. TPT says, “If you find fault with someone, release this same gift of forgiveness to them”. We must be willing to forgive just as Christ has forgiven us (Matthew 6:14-15). This is even part of the LORD’s prayer (Matthew 6:12). Jesus even told Peter to forgive 70×7 when he asked Jesus if he should just forgive his brother 7x (Matthew 18:21-22). In other words, we must forgive limitlessly! We cannot afford to die with bitterness and be eternally separated from the presence of the LORD. When John the Baptist questioned if Jesus was really the Son of God, even after years prior to saying He was the Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the world, Jesus responded by saying, “Blessed is he who is not offended in me” (Matthew 11:6). While on the cross, Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34) because Jesus could die with bitterness or He would have sinned when He was truly holy and spotless. On the armor of God, this would be the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The reason is because forgiveness is an act of obedience to God’s Word and cuts through those bondages of bitterness in people’s lives. By telling people you forgive them and release them before the LORD, you give access to God’s healing for both you and them. With the bride, it would be the fine linen, which is the righteousness of the saints (Revelation 19:8). It is through Christ’s forgiveness that we are able to be part of the church! We are washed with the washing of the Word because of His grace to forgive us.

8) love. Love is the true mark of maturity, and every other virtue flows from this place. Agape love is spiritual, for God is love (1 John 4:8), and love is a fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). It cannot be taught in a classroom, but flows from a true relationship and is shown through example. It is the bond of perfection, meaning the “ligament of completeness”. Just as ligaments hold the body together, love completes the body of Christ, making us one in the spirit. Love is what holds everything together! in Ephesians 6:16, it says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith”, because it is the most importance piece of armor. Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Salvation hinges on faith (Romans 10:9, 13). In Roman times, shields could be large-door shaped shields that covered the whole body to protect it, or small, circular shields that would unite with other soldiers to protect themselves from an invading army because linking up your faith with your brothers and sisters will withstand an attack of an invading army. Above all, the bride must put on love. For the bride, love is the gown because love must cover the entire body as it holds everything together! Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). It is more than words, but it is action!

Either church looks like a bride or a prostitute. A church that appears as a prostitute would be clothed with bowels of condemnation, hatefulness, pride/immodesty, disobedience, impatience, agitation, bitterness and lust. Romans 13:14 says, “14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” We must put on the bridal garment and reflect the true love and nature of Jesus Christ!