From Rags to Riches

The Bride of Christ: Radiant

In the Autism with a Purpose post, I wrote about how we are all created equally in Gods’ eyes.  Regardless of abilities, we all have the same promises from God and we were all made exactly as he intended to make us for the good purposes he creates us for.

The even better news is that all of us that are a part of the body of Christ (through accepting Jesus as our Savior), the church, are also called the Bride of Christ.

Ephesians 5:25b-27 says “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.”

God is making us holy and blameless and radiant.  Pure.  But to see the beauty of this more clearly, we need to contrast it with what we are now.

When people are sick with cancer or another life threatening illness, or when someone has a physical disability they long for their new body they’ll have in heaven, one with out pain, one that will work the way it is supposed to.

I am sure that all of us long to see our children with autism in a body that works right, that doesn’t fight against them.  As perfectly crafted as that body is for their life on earth, and for fulfilling their God-given purposes, it does bring struggles. There are often food and environmental allergies and intolerances, gastrointestinal problems, sensory processing issues, speech and language disorders. Struggles communicating and relating…. all this will be transformed when we are in heaven, and there will be no more sorrow or struggle!  (Revelation 21:3-5)

Though some of us seem more obviously “disabled”, in reality, we are all disabled.  Disabled because of our own sin.  Disabled because of our sinful world.

When we look at our disability of not being holy, of having a sinful nature, of falling short of the glory of God, we are again, all in the same boat.  Sin is like filthy rags:

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” Isaiah 64:6

For some, seeing how we are but filthy rags is easy. Some of us are very aware of how we fall short of all that God requires of us, of what we have done that harms ourself, others and God.  Of how we have sinned.  Some of us don’t like to look at that side of us.  We’d rather not think about our uncleanliness, our filthy rags.  But we know that all of us are in the same boat.  We have all fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23)

But God equalized us all–regardless of disability or ability, and those in the church are called His Bride.  We are washed with water through the word, made holy and blameless, radiant.  We go from being imperfect, sinful, wicked people to being transformed and molded by God.  He purifies us, turning us into the holy and blameless church, that Jesus is so passionate for.

Because of Gods’ love for us, and what Jesus did on the cross, we ultimately go from the filthiest rags to the most glamorous riches.

Thinking about the depths of all God has done, and the passion of Jesus for us, brings an overwhelming gratitude for this gift.  This treasure that will last forever.

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2 Comments

  1. June 22, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    This is worth meditating on. Thanks. It’s so hard to overcome the way the wold looks at things, but it really is a decision of the will–whose report will I believe? You’ve given me much food for thought.

  2. Merri Lewis said,

    June 22, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    You are welcome Kathleen! It is hard, but oh so worth it…


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