Nobody’s Perfect Unless They are in Christ
Read Song of Solomon 4:1-5:1
In this portion of the Song of Solomon, Jesus is the Bridegroom who prepares His bride for the wedding. Solomon and Jesus see their bride as flawless and perfect in every way. How does Jesus possibly see us as excellent? Consider a one-hundred-dollar bill. It is crisp and clean when first printed and put into circulation. It has passed through many hands after being in circulation for several years. It might have been used in a drug deal, paid for the affections of a lady of the night, and bought an alcoholic drink after five years of sobriety. In all that time, it became tattered, wrinkled, and torn. What is the one-hundred-dollar bill worth? One-hundred dollars. Its value has stayed the same.
God sees us just as we see the one-hundred-dollar bill. Our value has not changed. How can Jesus look at His bride and the church and see her as excellent? He sees her value through His eyes, covered in His righteousness. The blood of Christ was the payment for the church, and His blood purifies her, making her worthy to be the bride of Christ.
Akin explains, “In our Song, we see a bride whose groom views her as perfect, flawless, with no imperfections” (4:7).[i] Jesus is the Bridegroom that this song depicts, and the Church is portrayed by the Shulamite. God the Father considers the Church perfect, without stain, spot, or wrinkle, because He sees her through the shed blood of Jesus. God Himself sent His Son to redeem us for His bride. She knows He is committed to “making His bride holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the Word.” And that He is doing this “to present the church to Himself in splendor, without blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:26-27). Akin tells us,
This is how our bridegroom sees us through His imputed righteousness, and this is whom we are predestined to be when our marriage is consummated at the marriage feast of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9; Romans 8:30).[ii]
Those who follow Jesus are the bride of Christ, His church because we are in Him.
What does being “in Him” or “in Christ” mean? Is it a location or a membership to a club? “In Christ” is Paul’s shorthand expression for being united to Christ. One of Paul’s favorite expressions is following “in Him” or “in the Lord.” If we are in Christ, we are united to Christ. In I Corinthians 15:22 (NIV), Paul states, “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.” Note the two expressions “in Adam” and “in Christ.”
Paul says that according to God, Adam and Christ are the only two types of men. Again, in I Corinthians 15:45, Paul refers to “the first man Adam” and “the last Adam,” who is Christ. All of mankind, throughout time, is represented by one of these two men. This could cause one to wonder what it means to be united to Christ.
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[i] Daniel L. Akin, Christ-Centered Exposition, Exalting Jesus in Song of Songs (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2015). Pg. 127.
[ii] Ibid, Pg. 127.