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Motivation


This blog was created to bring greater understanding and healing to the Body of Christ, the Church (i.e., “Bride of Christ.”) You see, unity is Jesus’ secret strategy for truly successful world evangelism (see John 17:21-23). In order to make the Bride spotless for Christ’s return, we need to understand what lies at the heart of disunity.

Original Motivation

Initially, this blog was simply a response to the horrible way Christians treated one another online. I never knew how nasty modern-day Christians could be toward their own brothers and sisters. Their fangs really seem to come out when they can hide their identities behind login names! What a terrible witness to the world!

I was truly horrified because I knew thousands upon thousands, if not millions of unbelievers would eventually read those hateful words and make the determination not to have any part of Christ… NOT if this was the way His people treated one another! When people see that, they assume Jesus is not real because He failed to help them become loving like Him.

Do you know anyone who would want to join a community like that? This is the reason Jesus prayed the following prayer…

My prayer is not for [the twelve disciples] alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23, emphasis mine)

Translation: Jesus was basically saying that the world will not be able to recognize Him as the one sent by God to save them if His followers are not able to unite and love one another. Love, and only love, is what will draw the world to Christ for Christ IS love.

After several decades ministering in the Church, I have finally gotten a grasp on what is at work in the heart when people exhibit the sort of behavior I was witnessing online. You see, in public and at church, some people wear masks. They have not fully grasped the grace of God and truly been transformed. In other words, lacking full knowledge of grace will keep our growth in Christ stunted. So, people will try to appear holy and Christ like in public. But for some, as soon as they are online they realize they can take their frustrations out on others by telling them everything they’d like to tell the friends and family who have rejected them and their religion. While others are nasty in public too. They tend to use their religion to prop up their low self-worth in front of people. They also use it to beat others up. Then again, others are more authentic and don’t wear a mask. They lose control online simply because they are ill equipped with adequate knowledge to answer challenges intelligently. If you are in the last category, start studying Christian apologetics. Listen to leaders on Youtube like Lee Strobel, Dr. John Lennox, and Dr. Chuck Missler to help you get started. My Youtube channels will start having video compilations of the best of these speakers soon. I have already got one up as of this date in Oct. 2014. Go here to check that out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1JogqBAY5Vg7rgfU6dZBAQ

Now, here’s how to solve the first two of these issues…

Do you view your God like the Muslims view theirs?

We all want to be loved. But not everyone recognizes the fact that God truly loves them. Our image of God is the single most important determinant of our own behavior toward others. Even many Christians have the wrong idea. They feel that God is an angry, blood-thirsty tyrant. Sadly, this image of God is reflected by their hateful and judgmental actions towards others because they, themselves are under the bondage of fear; the fear to perform, the fear to make it into Heaven on their own righteousness rather than Christ’s Blood much like the Muslims do.

Muslims don’t get into Heaven unless 51% of their works in life are good. So that is why many of them “opt out” of living in this sort of fear by going on a Jihad. It is a bit easier than worrying about whether they will get into Heaven or not. The really cruel thing of it is, their god didn’t equip them with an automatic counter that lets them know when they reach 51% so they can finally rest and have peace. No. They will continually have to live in fear of hell their whole lives. Going on a Jihad, on the other hand, guarantees them a place in Heaven; a bit of peace on earth before they die. Can you see why terrorism is so popular among Muslims? Do you think it will ever get better? Their life on earth has to be miserable.

That is why when Jesus was born, it was heralded by the angels in this way, “Glory to God in the Highest. Peace on earth, good will towards men” (Luke 2:14). Jesus was bringing peace to men’s souls. His message would be one of grace and love. The gift He bestowed upon us through His Blood was took the pressure off of us to be 51% “good” for fear of going to Hell because God knew we could never be good enough to make into Heaven in the first place. One sin merits a life spent in hell. The only way we can make it in is to have the penalty paid for us by His perfect Son. His Blood washes us clean. Next, His Holy Spirit gives us a brand new spirit man; one that is incorruptible. A spirit which helps us to interface with Heaven… which installs the equipment for us to connect with God Almighty so that we may commune with Him through His Son Jesus. Then He begins the supernatural work of transforming our memories and behaviors (i.e., our old self) into His Holy Image.

Your view of God will dictate your outlook and actions in life. You may say, I got all that. I am a Christian and understand grace. But do you, really? You may have a mental grasp of the concept. You may even be an expert at teaching it. I was. But I learned there are levels of true understanding of grace that we cannot access until we are rid of, for example, all self-righteousness, defensiveness, and the religious spirit that covers over our sin with works and appearances rather than true transformation. I could not get set free until I was completely healed of all that satanic programming. That is why when I counsel pastors who have had decades in Christ, they are experts on teaching grace, but when it comes right down to it, they can’t apply it to their lives because the programming in their “old self” doesn’t get it at all.

So to find out how much you truly grasp grace, you will need to do a few things. First, ask yourself, what is your view of God? Write it down or better yet, share it with me and other brothers and sisters here in the comments, below. Next, ask yourself:

  • Do I have a good self-esteem?
  • How are my relationships with others?
  • Why do I seem to have conflicts with people?
  • Am I judgmental?
  • Am I short tempered?
  • Am I intolerant of other’s weaknesses, faults, or lack of understanding?
  • Do I walk in the fruits of the Holy Spirit?
  • Am I able to walk a holy life?

Then consider the problems and sins you struggle with.

  • Why are they still there?
  • Is it a simple issue of making the choice to give them up or have you struggled to defeat them to no avail? That is one indicator are not able to fully receive God’s grace yet.

I want you to pray before you read the rest of this article (or others in the blog). Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you who God is as you read. Share anything you get in the comments, below, or put it in a journal or put it on a piece of paper for you to have something to compare to as you get stronger in grace and have more victory over your issues. But it helps if you share. First of all, you get to see where you are. This is something easy to forget. So it helps to come back to it again and again to remind yourself to keep working on it until you are transformed and your mind renewed. Plus, it starts the conversation up with others and makes it less likely you will forget to attend to this task because you will probably want to come back and check to see what I and others have said. The sharing and receiving encouragement helps in the process because the wounds that formed from the lies that hold you back from receiving grace and having victory over your issue.

Then go through your week and ponder everything daily. Come back and share with me if reading all of this has helped you any. Or write it in your journal. Mark it on your calendar to come back in a week.

If putting this blog up only accomplishes one, single thing to help people, I hope it is to correct their distorted concept about God (as a tyrant). That will go a long way to healing the heart of disunity, pride, and immaturity in the Church, not to mention going a long way to dealing with unbelief, as discussed below.

Who is God? Scripture tells us that God is Love

As they say, trust is the bridge that we must all walk across to start any new relationship. But they also say, “Trust has to be earned!” I bet most of you never realized that the Cross of Jesus Christ was to become that Bridge of Trust between us and God. Christ’s sacrifice was to provide proof of God’s Love for us.  It was this proof of love that was needed to reconnect our fearful and suspicious hearts to Him. He earned our trust.

I asked Jesus, “How much do you love me?” And Jesus said, “This much.” Then He stretched out His arms and died. ~Unknown

This was why it merely takes one step of faith across the Bridge of Trust for us to be “saved,” as follows..

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

Jesus’ death didn’t just save us from judgment when it comes time for us to part ways with this earth. It is through our long-term relationship with Him that we are able to find and heal our true selves.  Not only do we find out who we really are (made in His Image) but we find our way back to our long, lost home and Father.

It is through God’s transforming love that we are able to rise up from the ashes of abuse and rejection that have tried to distort who we are. It is in His acceptance, grace, mercy, and love for us that we are able to be healed and set free from the coping behaviors and devices we use to deal with our pain that have kept us bound to self-destructive and unloving acts.

When we are finally able to grasp that we are truly accepted, we are totally set free from the fear of man that has caused us to establish our identities based on self-righteousness and pride… the very things that turn Christians against their brother. However, when Christians turn the Church into an exclusive club of like-minded people sharing a common creed rather than based upon an intimate, personal relationship with God, then they are in danger. They are not going to the Source of their identity for large doses of His healing and transformative love, they are living an insecure life of judgment, focusing on the speck in their brother’s eye rather than upon the face of Jesus.

The Transformative Power of a Divine Relationship

Understanding the bridal paradigm (i.e., the spotless bride) found in the Bible is not so hard to understand once you see this connection to the healing power of a relationship with God. This reflects the purpose of the name of this blog… to heal and transforms wounded hearts of disunity, pride, and immaturity through greater intimacy with Christ.

The authors of the Bible always emphasized that we are to have a deeply intimate relationship with God. Just look at the intimate language used in the Bible to refer to this relationship between God and Man. Jesus referred to us as His children, brothers, and friends, and He referred to God as our Father. The apostles referred to the Church as Christ’s Bride! Similarly, before Jesus came to earth, God also referred to the people of Israel as His children and the nation of Israel as His bride.

Why refer to the Church as the Bride of Christ?

The Bride awaiting Her Bridegroom, Jesus

There are multiple reasons for the bridal paradigm found throughout Scripture. For one, it helps human beings understand that God isn’t simply interested in just being a distant god on a throne for everyone to fear and obey. He created us to have a deeply personal and loving relationship with Him! It is in our intimacy with Him that we are healed and transformed into true a reflection of Christ.

The imagery that is to be created by a bride dressed in white is one of purity. Why is this significant? Major problems develop when Christians are not able to grasp God’s transforming Love or His Grace deep within their wounded hearts. Our wounds have left most of us with impure soil in our hearts. It is full of the rocks and weeds of bitterness, injustice, insecurity, and wrong thinking patterns. As a result, some people will use religion as a cover up like a mask or to prop their self-esteems on… making them self-righteous and judgmental, all the while keeping them in bondage to vices and other sins.

When we can relinquish control to our heart’s Gardener and learn to trust Him, our hearts can be weeded and cultivated as we learn to be washed in the cleansing waters of His Word. But we cannot stop there. It is while we meet face to face with Him in the garden during the cool of the day that we are changed from glory to glory (1 Corinthians 3:18).

It is as we flow in the River of His Glorious Presence that our oil lamps are filled (Matthew 25). And had you ever noticed? Oil is what is able to help keep gears and wheels of a machine turning? Think of those wheels and gears as the other members of Christ’s Body (and Bride) working together to bring healing to the nations. But if we don’t spend time in God’s intimate Presence getting filled back up, we will soon place all of our focus upon precepts and doctrine and lose sight of loving God’s children. Pretty soon, we will start to resemble the only people Jesus ever openly rebuked, those stiff-necked religious leaders who ended up killing Him and His followers (Matthew 23)!

Since the time is soon approaching for the Wedding Supper of the Lamb, the Father is releasing revelation to us that will prepare for His Son a pure Bride. It is in greater intimacy with Him that our hearts and lives will finally be able to grasp the righteousness already given to each of us by Christ’s loving sacrifice. Hence, the name for this blog is The Spotless Bride. It is in our intimacy with Him that we will be transformed and made pure so we may produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, see Galatians 5:22).

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© Tracey Nelson, M.Ed.

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by The Spotless Bride Ministries.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: Written by Tracey Nelson, M.Ed., author of Accelerated Transformation, © Feb. 6, 2009 from: The Spotless Bride Blog, a blog to “Heal the Heart of Disunity” (Some material on blog such as shared articles, images, songs, & videos not owned by author).


2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2012 10:31 pm

    695281 535927Great artical, I unfortunately had some problems printing this artcle out, The print formating looks a little screwed over, something you might want to look into. 504913

    • October 14, 2012 7:18 am

      Thank you! I will. Hope to hear from you again. God bless you.

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