I read a story recently by a Christian writer who equated the “Church” with the “Bride of Christ.” The writer’s tone assumed this to be the correct identity for all believers in Jesus Christ. It seems a common mistake I’ve heard preached frequently in many churches around the country, denominational and nondenominational alike.
The Apostle Paul introduced the “Body of Christ,” in Romans 7, and further defined the term in 1 Corinthians 10, 12; Ephesians 1, 4, 5; and Colossians 1. Paul never mentioned or discussed the so-called “bride” in any of his writings. The “bride” is a term which appears in the New Testament only in John 3, and Revelation 18, 19, 21, and 22. The references are clearly figurative and apply only to the restored children of Israel, not to Christians.
The Bride of Christ and the Body of Christ cannot be the same group of people!
Who cares and how does this affect our lives today?
Try this on: Why waste time and lives reaching for the wrong goal? “Identity crises” are destabilizing at best; and Paul is clear: “…we are members of His body” (Ephesians 5:30). Looking at what’s in store for the “members of His body,” which Paul explains earlier in Ephesians (and his other letters too), the Body of Christ enjoys an infinitely higher calling and destiny at His return than His “bride.”
If we don’t know who we really are within God’s purpose, we run the risk, perhaps, of missing the best of what God has for us now and later! Identifying ourselves properly as “His body,” keeps us focused on “the prize of God’s calling above in Christ Jesus“ (Philippians 3:14).
Blessings and Joy in the journey.
NOTE: unless otherwise noted, all New Testament quotations will be from the Concordant Literal Version. For more information on this remarkably accurate–and therefore, rich–translation, go to www.Concordant.org.