Q. I have been following where you are saying that the “Church” is the “bride” of Yeshua. But isn’t the church supposed to be pure, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish as Ephes, 5:25-27 says? In my experience the Church is anything but pure, and many don’t even seem to care. Are we not supposed to be working on ourselves? I am in a Messianic bible study where they teach us that the Lord could not bring a Church like this to himself. What do you think?
A. If you read Ephesians 5:25-27 carefully, you’ll see that Jesus gave His life to make the Church holy. It’s something He did, not something we do. If you are in Christ you already are a new creation. As far as God is concerned the old you has gone and the new you has come (2 Cor. 5:17). At the cross Jesus took upon Himself all your sins and in return gave you all of His righteousness (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore all the sins of your life are forgiven (Colossians 2:13-14).
Many Messianic believers confuse the old and new covenants. In the old covenant people had to work to achieve and maintain their righteousness. In the new covenant righteousness is imputed to us by faith (Romans 3:21-22). The Church was made free of stain, wrinkle or any other blemish at the cross. Not because of what we do, but because of our faith in what the Lord did.
Teaching us to live holy lives is commendable, but making our inclusion in the rapture dependent upon meeting an impossible standard is inconsistent with New Covenant theology. For by His one sacrifice the Lord has made us perfect forever. (Hebr. 10:12-14) Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condoning sin. But over and over again, the New Testament tells us our salvation is not about how we behave, it’s about what we believe (John 3:16, John 6:28-29, Romans 10:9, Titus 3:4-7).