Community Group Study Notes
Have someone in your group provide a 2-minute summary of Sunday’s teaching.
What was one thing that God was showing you through Sunday’s message?
What does it mean for Jesus to be our bridegroom and for us to be his bride? Why is this reality important for us to understand?
In what ways is submission and faithfulness to Jesus lacking in your life? Have you allowed anyone or anything to become a substitute in place of Jesus? How can you make Jesus your priority love?
What is one action step you can take in light of this message and our conversation?
Hey, good morning, everybody. Whatever campus you might be on whether that is at the CrossPoint Campus or our Lockport Campus or our Cheektowaga Campus or maybe test running in our Niagara Falls Campus or maybe you're watching online, I just wanna say a big good morning to you and I'm thankful to be with you this morning. Now, in our family, we have some exciting news, some exciting happenings that are going on with our family. In September our oldest son Trace is going to be getting married. Now, some of you may have known this already either our friends or our family, but we're really excited. So his fiance is named Caitlin and we're thrilled. We love Caitlin. She is a wonderful young lady. We thank God for her, her love for the Lord, her love for our son and we look forward to welcoming her into the family. Here's what I'm sure of with Caitlin. Is that we will not be in September experiencing any bridezilla moments. And I'm really grateful for that. The drama will not be high. Now, I've done plenty of weddings myself but I haven't really experienced any of those bridezilla moments. And I'm grateful for that. But I have read about some that were concerning to me. In fact, I was reading a compilation of, it was kind of online submissions that were given by wedding coordinators and videographers and photographers and all of the folks that work with brides, and man, they had some interesting stories to tell. Let me give you a sample of a few of those real quickly. The first is this. There was a bride that refused to allow anyone to get married that entire year. So in other words, she said to her entire bridesmaids, nobody is allowed to get married the same year that I'm getting married. Yeah, that's a little bit overboard. Let me give you another one. A bride was upset that her maid of honor was pregnant. Now here's how this went. The maid of honor was actually her sister. And from the time that the woman that was getting married, got engaged, to the time of the wedding, her sister had gotten pregnant. She was already married and she got pregnant and the bride did not like it that her sister was so pregnant as her maid of honor. She felt like it took all the attention away from her. Wonderfully selfless. Way to go for that. Here's the third one, a bride nearby airport to cancel all flights during her ceremony. True story. She was upset that there were planes flying overhead when she was going through a rehearsal. So she called the airport and asked them to stop flying planes. I don't know what planet this bride was from, but there was no chance that was working. Let me give you a last one. There was a bride that ignored her brother's heat stroke. So, here's what happened with this bride. She was inside, it was scalding hot outside, she was an hour late just getting her makeup done. Everybody was waiting on her outside, the groomsmen, everybody. And then by the time the service started, her brother who was out there forever dressed in all of his tucks or whatever, he ends up passing out and she tells the pastor who says, "Should we take a moment and see if we can tend to him?" And she says, "No, he'll be fine. Let's get on with it." I think with any of these, anybody who was actually thinking that this is a good thing is out of their mind, and any of us that are looking at stuff like this we're thinking to ourselves, you've got to be kidding me. Well, I'm hopeful that in truth it's not a scenario where the world looks at us as the church in this way. Because as the church, we are actually pictured as a bride. Now, I'm gonna talk about this in just a few moments. And I want us to be able to pay close enough attention to this particular picture of the church as bride. But I don't want you to get worried. This can be kind of one of those odd pictures if we think about it for too long. Because we think about, well, seems kind of weird to be called the bride of Jesus. Like I'm a man, that just seems like confusing to me. Right? Well, it shouldn't be confusing. This picture should not be confusing. It's actually quite a beautiful picture. But where we get confused is when we start making this picture an individual picture, instead of a corporate picture. Let me see if I can explain. I have heard from time to time, some single women who have, if asked, are you married or whatever, "No, I'm not married, Jesus is my husband." He's not actually. And I hate to break it to you, but he's not your husband. If he were your husband, there would be a problem because that would mean that any single woman could have him as a husband which would ultimately make him a polygamist, married to many brides. You see, this isn't an individual picture. When the Bible talks about the church as a bride, it's not an individual picture, it's a corporate picture. And here's what I do know. Jesus is not a polygamist. He has one bride and that's the church. So what that does is it takes the pressure off of us of thinking about this in some weird individualistic way. And instead allows us to understand the picture for what it is. You see, when we think about this picture of the church as a bride, and we think about it in an individualistic way, we're actually thinking about it backwards. What marriage is, is marriage is actually a picture of what we already know is true about Christ and his faithfulness to his church. Not the other way around where we look at marriage and then we try to import that on Jesus and the church. That's not how we do it. We look at Jesus and the church and realize that marriage was meant to be a picture of that reality. So I hope that that helps to clarify at least for a moment a little bit about this picture because this is a beautiful picture, a picture of the church of Jesus. Every single believer in Christ, all corporate lead together that we are the bride of Christ. We are going to be wedded to the bride groom. Now, the picture of the bride is actually a dependent picture. So when you see this metaphor in scripture, it's actually a dependent metaphor. What I mean by that is, that we really only understand the nature of the bride because we understand the nature of the groom. We have a picture of Jesus as the bridegroom. And so one of the more clarifying ways that we can see this picture is looking into the scripture in the Book of Ephesians. Now, in the first few chapters of the Book of Ephesians we've got these towering beautiful thoughts related to the theology of the church. But then when we get to kind of chapter four and chapter five and chapter six, it's a lot more pragmatic. It's a lot more direct. In fact, when we get to chapter five of the Book of Ephesians, where we're going to be today, what we see is we see some household codes that are talked about. We see about relationships with parents to children. We even see relationships about employers and employees. But what kind of takes the most account in Ephesians chapter five is the relationship of the husband and the wife or the groom and the bride. And it's in that context that we see Paul talking about that. And we might think, oh, this is really just good practical advice for husbands and wives, and it certainly is, but Paul's actually saying something much richer. He's saying something much more mysterious and theological. And we'll see it as we look into this text. Let's take a look at Ephesians chapter number five beginning in verse number 22. It says, "Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 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.' This is a profound mystery- but I am talking about Christ and the church." Now, I don't want you to miss this, after all of this conversation that he's having about husbands and wives, and then he quotes Genesis chapter two, verse number 24, where it says a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become flesh. Then Paul says, "This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church." You see, ultimately when we begin to read this passage we're not just reading it as a practical how to in terms of marriage, we're actually reading it so that we begin to understand the profound mystery. And that is, that Paul, while talking about husbands and wives or grooms and brides, he's talking about Christ and the church. Now, when we look at this, what we realized very quickly is that because Paul referenced Genesis chapter two, verse 24, he saying that I see this mystery beginning all the way back in the very beginning with Adam and Eve. In other words, what we see with Adam and Eve is the first union, the first marriage but Paul saying, I can actually see in that, that was created to be a picture or a parable, so to speak, of Christ and the church, the bride groom and the bride. And so when we understand it that way, what we can do is we can now join Paul in saying as we look into this text in Ephesians chapter five, we can start to understand a little bit about the nature of the bridegroom and what he does. And then from that, because this picture of the church as a bride is a dependent picture, it depends on the bridegroom. Once we understand some characteristics about the bride groom, Jesus, then we can begin to understand the role and the behavior of the bride, his church. So I want us to do for just a few moments here together is I want us to look in Ephesians five where we just looked a moment ago, and I want us to look at some characteristics of the bridegroom. The first one that I would point your attention to is this, is that the bridegroom is pledged to his bride. All right, the bridegroom is pledged to his bride. Now we're gonna see that in verse number 25 in Ephesians chapter five, it says this, "Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church." Now I want you to miss this because when we talk about the idea of Jesus loving the church and in fact it says Christ loved the church, this is a picture of a pledge or a vow. In other words, when we are reading this in context, what we see is this, is that Jesus is making a very clear statement in the fact that he has loved the church. It's as if this is a wedding commitment, a vow commitment, a pledge that's been made. I have loved you, the bride of Christ, the church. Now you may be thinking to yourself, well, I mean every groom loves every bride on their wedding day or else they wouldn't be getting married. And that's certainly true to an extent particularly in Western culture. But if you're reading this in the ancient world what you and I to remember is that most of the marriages that occurred in the ancient world were arranged. And so what you had to do is grow to love them actually, it wasn't that you were just automatic like gaga over this person when you were actually going to be married to them, because this was actually a family business engagement that happened. So be that as it may, what we can't imagine is this: We cannot imagine a groom who is at the alter with the bride and the groom actually knows everything the bride is going to do in the future. Let's say for instance that there's a groom who knew that his bride, his wife to be was going to be unfaithful to him, not once, not twice but hundreds of times with dozens of different other men. Do you think that he would go through with that wedding? No. My guess is, is that every single one of us are going, "Ah, no, that's not what he would do. He would punch out real quickly if he knew all of this." Think about that in the context of Jesus. Jesus when he says that he loves the church, he already knows that there's going to be times where the church is going to be unfaithful, where the church is gonna follow after other lovers so to speak. And yet still he persists in his pledge to love the church. The bride groom also, secondly, the bridegroom also pursued his bride. I don't want you to miss either, because when we see in Ephesians chapter five, verse number 25, it says simply this, "Christ loved the church." Now what's interesting about this, is that when we see this we have to understand that it was the church that he loved and the church isn't a place that he wasn't in initially. The church is full of people that are here on earth. People that have put their faith in Christ and have been transformed the gospel. But where was Jesus? Jesus was in heaven. Jesus has always existed. And so what did Jesus do? Jesus actually took on flesh and came and dwelt among us. Do you know what he ultimately did for his church? He pursued his church. He came where his bride was. What's beautiful about this picture, is that Jesus did not love us from a distance. He didn't just sit with his arms crossed and sit back on his throne and say, let's see what happens. No. Jesus, the bridegroom, actually pursued his bride. Came into the world that we inhabit. The bride that was in all of her mess and in all of her stuff, and Jesus pursues her even then in the midst of it. A third pickup that we can get from Ephesians 5:25 is this, is that the bride groom purchased his bride. I want you to note again in Ephesians 5:25 and we'll show you this more clearly here, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Now, this is a reminder that what the bride groom did, is that he purchased his bride. Why do I tell you that? Why do I use those terms? Because in the ancient world, if you knew anything about marriage, there was a dowry that was paid. The husband paid a dowery to the wife's family. Oftentimes those women were working in the family field or the family business. And for them to be gone, could be costly to the family. So the husband would pay a dowery, a payment, to the wife's family when he was proposing marriage and was getting married. Interestingly enough, Paul uses that language here but Jesus doesn't actually just give money. In fact, he doesn't give money at all when he pursues the church. It says that he gave himself up for her. Now, functionally, what that means is that Jesus went beyond the commitment because that's what a dowery would be. A dowery would be an establishment that this bridegroom was committed to making sure that he knew and that family knew that he was committed to this bride. He was paid the money. That was a demonstration of commitment. Jesus went far beyond that as the bridegroom. And Jesus actually gave his life. In other words, you could call it a blood dowery. He shed his own blood for the sake of his bride. But he also did this, when we see in Ephesians five. The bridegroom purified his bride. Let me show it to you in verses 26 and 27. He said he did all of this "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." You see, when we read about Jesus purifying his church, what we recognize is that it's Jesus himself who does the purifying. That he's the one who washes them with water, the church. He washes his church, his bride, with water. The picture there is a picture of baptism, but it's this greater picture of the regeneration that we receive when Jesus Christ saves us. In other words, we are baptized into the family of God. We are baptized by the spirit. Our sins are washed away and it's this purification that happens in our lives. That purification also prepares us. It's a part of what it means to be wed to Christ, to be connected to him so deeply. In fact, when we go all the way to the end of the book, in the Book of revelation, we actually see this come full circle all the way. It says this in Revelation chapter number 19. It says, "Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: 'Hallelujah! For our Lord God almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.'" And fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people. So we have this great picture here that the bridegroom pledged to his bride, he pursued his bride, he purchased his bride, and he purified his bride. Now, Paul says all of these things and he says the great mystery history of all of this, is that I'm talking about Christ and the church. And so Paul actually argues, you can see that all the way back from the very beginning in the Book of Genesis, that the first marriage and that theme holds through all the way through scripture. In fact, in the life of one of the prophets named Hosea, we can actually see these characteristics of the bride groom playing out in the story of this prophet and what God told this prophet to do. So what we learned out of Ephesians five, we can see if we look backwards into the Old Testament, we can see this actually play out in the life of the prophet Hosea. Now you may know the story of Hosea, you may not know the story of Hosea, but right at the very beginning of the book, in Hosea chapter one, you kind of come into this and go, "Whoa, wait a minute, what did I just read?" Notice what it says. It says, "When the Lord began to speak through Hosea, the Lord said to him, 'Go marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the Lord.' So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son." Okay. So could you imagine that you are Hosea and you're bringing home the woman that God told you to marry and you're introducing her to family. "Hi, this is Gomer." Family; "Hi, Gomer, what do you do?" "I'm a prostitute. That's what I do." Oh, now the conversation just got extremely uncomfortable. I can't imagine what this is. When we read it, we're like, wait a minute, "Did I read that right?" God told Hosea to marry a prostitute? Well, he did. And the reason is because Israel was living in spiritual idolatry and what we could call spiritual adultery. They had other lovers rather than Yahweh, God. And so ultimately what God did is he took one of his prophets and he was going to demonstrate this in front of Israel so that they could see a tangible expression of all of this. Now Hosea knew that his wife was going to be unfaithful. He had to know that. But still pledged himself to her. We just read in the text, he did what God said. He pledged himself to her. And then they have kids. Now the first one, the first child we know from the text of scripture itself, that it was actually Hosea's child. But then she had two more children. The text doesn't say explicitly whether those were Hosea's or whether he was not sure if they were his or not. What we do know is this, is that Gomer, his wife, goes back to her sinful lifestyle, her prostituting ways, her adulterous ways. We know that because of what God ended up telling Hosea. Now, Hosea married her and then they've had kids. And then she goes out and starts living the way she wants to live. And then what happens? Well, Hosea chapter three says this; "The Lord said to me, 'Go show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulterous. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.'" Those were kind of used as sacrifices in what they did in kind of the pagan rituals. "So I bought her for 15 shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, 'You were to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.'" This is a remarkable thing, isn't it? Because what we see God telling Hosea initially is, I want you to pledge to this woman that you're gonna be married to her. I know that she's unfaithful. I know she's gonna be unfaithful. I want you to pledge yourself to her. And he does. Then when she ends up having some children and then going her own way and living as an adulterous, you know what God says, "I want you to pursue her. I want you to go find her right in the midst of her mess, right in the midst of the adultery. I know there's another person involved now, another man that's involved, and I want you to go get her." Then you know what he does? When he finds her, he finds that she's fallen on such hard times, that she's actually on the slave block and she's being sold as a slave. And so this woman that he had married is now a woman that he's going to have to buy. And so he offers 15 shackles, but the cost of buying a servant or buying a slave in that day was approximately 30 shekels. Hosea only had 15. And so he used barley to be able to compensate for the rest. Basically what he did, is he had to pay with all that he had to be able to buy her back. And then when he did, he told her that he expected her to live with him in purity and that he was going to do the same thing. Now, you read that story and you see the exact things that we pulled out of Ephesians chapter five. We see the same things. We see that Hosea pledged to his bride, that he pursued her even in the midst of her sin, that he purchased her and that functionally he was helping to purify her. Exactly what we see with the bridegroom. Now, we're not told how all of this turned out. We're not told completely what Gomer's response to all of this was or how that actually played out. But if we look closely at Ephesians chapter five, what we can see is what our response should be as the bride of Christ. We can see that in Ephesians chapter five. I'm actually just gonna give you two words that it's gonna summarize what our response should be as the bride of Christ. The first one is pretty straightforward, submission. That's the word that we would use. The bride's response should be submission. Let me show you to you in our text again, remembering that when Paul talked about this text, he said there's a great mystery here that I'm speaking about Christ and the church. So notice what you see in this text. "Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife," listen to this, "As Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior." Now as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their own husbands in everything. Did you catch this? As the church submits to Christ. You see, this is what we have to remember that our response is to Jesus, our bridegroom. This is our response. Is a willing submission.
In other words, we ought to be so in tune with what the groom has done for us as the church. That he has loved us and he's pledged himself to us. That he's actually pursued us. That he has left heaven and he has come and entered into our time and space. That the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Jesus moved into the neighborhood and came to meet us. In all of our mess, in all of our sin, in all of our rebellion, he came. And by his death on the cross, he purchased us with a blood dowery. That he made this purchase, he gave everything that he had to be able to rescue us, to buy us back. As Paul says, in another place when he writes to the Corinthian church, he says, "You've been bought with a price." And that price is the very blood of the son of God. And that he begins this process of purifying us by his spirit. What should our response be to one who has loved us like that, one who has been our rescuer, our savior, our redeemer, our head, our leader, our forgiver? Submission. That should be our response. That we willingly and lovingly submit to the leadership of Jesus as our head, as our groom. That's what the church's response should be. Now I know that the church, the full body of believers, that we still have a rebellious streak in us. I realized that. Sometimes we think that we're submitting ourselves to God, but the truth is, is that we were not really because we don't even know word of God so that we know what we're submitting to, so that we know who we're submitting to. We might just think that because we show up on a Sunday or we throw a couple of bucks in an offering or whatever, that somehow we're submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus. The truth is if we don't really know the word then we don't really know what we're submitting to. We don't recognize that. And so sometimes I think we can fool ourselves. And maybe it's, we think we're submitting ourselves to the Lordship of Christ, but we really don't allow the gospel of Christ to actually have full sway in everything about our lives, in every decision that we make in the behaviors that we embrace. We don't really let the gospel that. We don't remember it. It as if sometimes we remember in church and we say, amen and we say, yes, Lord, you know we're your bride, and yes we submit to you as our head and all of that, but then when the rubber hits the road and we have to make real decisions in our lives lives, we just forget all about the gospel. We forget all about what Jesus has done on our behalf. We're just gonna be angry and hateful and mean and unforgiving. We've lost sight of what God has done for us through Jesus Christ. How he has gone to great lengths to love us so much that he actually pursued us and purchased us with his own blood and is now purifying us. We've lost sight of it. And so we at times are not as submissive as we should be. But that should be the response of the church; submission to the Lord Jesus Christ. But there's a second truth that we see in Ephesians chapter five, and that's that our response should be faithfulness. Faithfulness. And what do I mean when I say that? Well, very simply, I I'll tell you from the text of scripture itself if we look in verse number 26, it says that the groom he did all of these things to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water, listen to this phrase, through the word. Now, what is that saying? It seems like that's a little bit dense for us when we read it. What does that mean when it talks about that he's cleansing her by the washing with water through the word? Well, washing with water we've already talked about. There's this picture of baptism so to speak, this regeneration of our spirit as we are baptized by Jesus, through the spirit into the body of Christ. That our sins are forgiven, that they're washed away and that we're purified as a result of that. But then it uses this phrase, the washing with water through the word. Now, typically when we read the phrase through the word we think of the word, the word of God, the scripture. But I don't think that's what's being referred to here in this text. I'm not alone by the way, there's loads of scholars who feel the same way. What I think that is being talked about here is a pledge. In other words, when people were baptized in the ancient world, they made a confession of their faith, their word of confession, where they were pledging their faithfulness to the Lord, Jesus Christ. They were demonstrating their submission and their obedience through being baptized and having surrendered to the Lordship of who Christ is, confessing that he is Lord, that he went to a cross to die for their sins, that he rose from the grave on the third day, that he's the only way that we can be reconciled to the father. All of those things that ultimately what these baptismal candidates did, that were being brought into the family of God, is they made an open confession with their mouths of their own faithfulness, their own belief in Jesus Christ. I believe that's what's going on here. Just as the bride groom has pledged his love to the bride so too the bride has an opportunity to also pledge faithfulness to the groom. In fact, I think that you actually see this play out because in another passage of scripture, Peter is talking about this idea of baptism and he uses this same phrase. It's in first Peter chapter three. He says, "And this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also- not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." It's this pledge that we're talking about here. And so we can be a people that actually pledge our faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, you and I think to ourselves, maybe you know, I've... I'm faithful to the Lord. I wanna be faithful to the Lord. And we do. I know that you do. I know that we all want to be faithful to the Lord. But I know that Paul, the writer of Ephesians also had some reservations when he was talking to the church at Corinth. And he was actually putting himself in the place of being the one who was betrothing, almost like a dad who was betrothing the church to Jesus Christ. Listen to what he said in second Corinthians, chapter 11 beginning in verse, number two. Paul said, "I'm jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you-the church, I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I'm afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." What Paul's talking about here, his concern ultimately here, is his concern is for spiritual adultery in the lives of the Corinthian church. And he says, "I've pledged you to one husband, and that is Christ. You are a part of his bride and I've pledged you to him. And I wanna present you to him faithful." But unfortunately, what he recognized, is that the merchant Corinth just like the church anywhere, can actually have their loves disordered. That the priority loves that we have in our lives can be all out of whack, and all of the sudden, now we've taken these loves and we've brought them up to this place, and our faithfulness to Jesus starts to decline or even fade a way. For some people they've prioritize love of themselves above faithfulness and love to Jesus. That should not be the case in the church. I know this sounds crazy to here but it's true. I don't recommend you look it up, but you can, you'll go wormhole. There's traction now around people, real people, who really are living right now among us who are involved in self marriage. Yup, they marry themselves. So there was a woman who was in Italy who formally married herself. They actually call this sologamy. You can imagine, right? Solo. It's not monogamy where they're faithful to one other person, it's sologamy and they're faithful to themselves. Why? Because they're the only ones that they can depend on. They're the only ones that they trust. And so what they've done is they actually gone through a formal process of marrying themselves. Now, you hear that in you're like, "That is nuts." I agree. But you know what ultimately it is? It's idolatrous. Because it puts love for ourself above every other love. And for the church, we cannot be a people who are so invested in our own selves that we forget that our priority affection has to be for the Lord Jesus. That's who we are as the church. He's the one who's rescued us, saved us. He's our head. And so we should submit to him and be faithful to him. Maybe it's other things though that have taken the priority love. Maybe it's money. Maybe it's a job. Or maybe it's pleasure. Or maybe it's other human relationships potentially. What we've got to remember is that our life is found in Jesus. And when we seek first him and his kingdom, all these other things can be added to us as well, but they need to be ordered. There's a priority love and a priority affection and in every marriage relationship, when we look at the picture that is human marriage we wouldn't want to say like when we're standing there at the altar, "Hey, I love a lot of people more than you. Like, I've got a whole bunch of other things. I love some inanimate objects more than you. I like cars more than I like you. I would rather marry a car." That just sounds ridiculous, right? But there are people that actually allow their loves to become so disordered that the very priorities that we should have, we don't have. And for us, when we see this picture of the church as bride, we've got to remember that our priority affections have to be for Jesus. He's the savior. He's the one that loved us, that pledged himself to us, that rescued us, that pursued us, that bought us and that purifies us. So this is what we have to remember about this actual picture. Now, what I want us to do for a moment is to reflect but to reflect in worship. And as every one of our bands on all of our campuses are coming to get into place, I wanna remind you of a couple of things. First of all, I'd ask you to ask the Lord, are you really submitting everything about your world and your life to him? Like are you genuinely submitting all that you are, everything to him? 'Cause he's worthy of it. This is what we're called to. And as we submit to him, are we pledging to him our faithfulness? He's demonstrated his faithfulness. When we were unfaithful, he was faithful to us. He's pledged his love. He's demonstrated it. He's given his life. He's paid the highest price. He's purchased us. He's purified us. He's coming back for us. What a groom! This is what the church should be submitting to; this Jesus. And who we should be faithful to in everything about us. Because nothing less than submission and faithfulness is do someone so worthy. So I want us to think about that and I want us to respond by taking a few moments to be able to worship together as we ponder those questions. And as we confess and pledge our submission and our faithfulness to Jesus being everything to us, being the center, being the priority, let's do that together as we worship even now. So on all of our campuses, let's stand to our feet as we take a few moments to worship.