Original Artwork: SOLD, Graphite, 36 cm x 28 cm (14″ x 11″)
True Christianity is having a loving, personal Relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning death on the cross. False Christianity is practicing a Religion about Jesus while lacking a Relationship with Jesus. It often emphasizes an outward adherence to rules, obedience to rituals and/or mental assent to a body of doctrines instead of a living faith in the actual Person of Jesus Christ. We must always hold true to our first love, Jesus Christ, and forsake all the earthly treasures Religion offers us. Religion will persecute Relationship and try to tear us away from Christ, but he saves his Bride.
This quick sketch is an image that came to me as I was very deep in worship.
Jesus loves his bride so much that he laid down his life for her. She cannot help but to respond in love poured out to him! Oh, how her passionate love burns like a fire for him, as his does for her! (Song of Songs).
There is a violent battle being waged by the world and the devil against the Bride of Christ, the true believers and worshipers of Jesus. The enemy fights with violent rage to tear Christ’s bride away from a lifestyle of love and pure devotion and passionate worship to him (2 Corinthians 11:2-4). He tries to deceive us believers away from the truth, from our passionate, loving, worshipful relationship with God in Jesus Christ. He masquerades as an angel of light and comes in the deceptive form of many things (2 Corinthians 11:13-15), especially a religious spirit–empty religiosity devoid of passion and heart and worship for God (John 5:37-40, Mark 7:6-8). He tries to stomp out the fire of passionate love for Christ in our hearts and silence our souls from crying out in praise in worship to our Beloved (Revelation 4-5). He often cloaks his fiery arrows with sheep’s wool (Matthew 7:15; 23).
But praise be to God!!!! He loves his bride and he rescues her! His passion for her burns like a blazing fire. His jealousy for the pure love and devotion and his bride burns (Song of Songs 8:6-7). His heart burns for her. His heart burns for her love.
His bride responds by opening up her heart, receiving his love and throwing her arms around her Beloved, who saves her from every evil attack (2 Timothy 4:17-18). He saves her from the jaws of the lion, the deception of the wolf and all of the snares and hooks of the world that would try to drag her away from him and to extinguish her worship. She lays in his embrace, the heartbeat of his love for her touching her heart (Song of Songs 2:4-6). She is fully safe in his arms as he fends off the attack and saves her. She rests in the arms of her Beloved, like a helpless child trusting in her strong Father who is fully capable of saving her from everything that would ever harm her (John 10:27-30).
The wolf, despite his attempts to seduce and beguile her, cannot claim her; he cannot harm her; he cannot touch her. The wolf comes in a deceptive guise of empty religiosity, offering her a great, big, beautiful, stone-cold palace and kingdom (Matthew 4:8-11, Matthew 23:5-12, 16-22)—a different and counterfeit kingdom to the one which she knows and belongs (Philippians 3:18-20).
She belongs to a kingdom that is alive with the life, light and love of God (1 Peter 2:4-10, Hebrews 12:18-24, Revelation 21-22). The wolf’s kingdom is a stone-cold kingdom of counterfeit religion—the heart lusts of men dead to God (Revelation 17-18)—an empty veneer with no heart, no pulsation of the heartbeat of God inside, whitewashed tombs full of dead man’s bones (Matthew 23:27-28), the glory and praise of men, envy, competition, dead orthodoxy, knowledge without love, selfish and built by the hands of men (John 5:37-44, 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Psalm 127:1).
But with one authoritative glance of Jesus the wolf trembles in terror and turns around defeated. And one outstretched, nail-scarred hand reminds the enemy his bride has been bought and purchased with his own blood (1 Peter 1:18-19) and that the wolf, throughout all eternity, cannot harm her (Revelation 17-19:9). He cannot touch the bride of Christ.
Over the bridegroom Christ’s heart is a single white rose, the symbol of his pure, passionate love for his bride.