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The Blue Letter Bible

Don Stewart :: How Does the Bible Picture Those Who Have Trusted Christ?

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Don Stewart
The Bible describes the position of the believer in Christ by many different analogies. The following pictures are used to describe our relationship to Christ.

1.Shepherd And Sheep

The Bible says Christ is the shepherd and we are His sheep:

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own . . . My sheep hear my voice; and I know them, and they follow Me (John 10:14,27).

The shepherd protects the sheep. He is the one who leads them to eat and drink and he makes sure they return safely to the sheepfold. We are the flock of Christ and He watches over and protects us.

2.Branch And Vine

Believers are likened to branches attached to a vine. Jesus said:

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing (John 15:5).

A branch is part of the vine and cannot exist without it. It derives nourishment from it. We were created to produce fruit by being nourished by Him. There is no life apart from Christ.

3.Head And Body

The illustration is also given of a human body:

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Ephesians 1:22,23).

The body and the head are one unit but a body cannot function without the head. As we are Christ's body we cannot function without Him.

4.Cornerstone And Building

Scripture also gives us an analogy of a building.

Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets. Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:20,21).

The cornerstone is the one stone that is essential for the building to remain standing. In like manner Christ is essential for our growth.

5.Husband And Wife

Because our relationship to Him is one of love, it is pictured as a husband and wife:

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31,32)

As a husband and wife are united in marriage so are Christ and those who have believed in Him.


The following analogies are used in Scripture to demonstrate the relationship between Christ and His church.

1.Shepherd and sheep

2.Branch and vine

3.Cornerstone and building

4.Head and body

5.Husband and wife

These pictures, or analogies, serve to illustrate our relationship to Christ once we have become believers.

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The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.