WHO IS THE BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST?
The Bible utilizes the most Precious Relationships and their Concepts in the Gospel of the Kingdom of GOD/Heaven. The Metaphors Transcend and Elevate each Relationship Scenario into the Realm of the Spiritual as they extend them from the Mundane and the Profane to the Exalted and the Sacred.
This article is in response to a question for cites of Scriptures stating that the Church is the Bride of JESUS CHRIST. To begin with, it is commonly said that “the Church is the Bride of CHRIST”, but to my knowledge, there are no actual Scriptures actually stating that phrase without Interpretation. Typically, when Scriptures are “Interpreted” it is performed under the Auspices of one Religion or another and according to the Tenets of that particular Religion.
Although the Metaphor of the CHURCH as the BRIDE of CHRIST is used widely across Church Dogma Platforms and Scriptures are “Interpreted” to Accommodate the Phrase (such as the ones stated below) I find “no exact” Scripture Identifying the Church as the Bride of CHRIST according to the paraphrased question submitted.
There are Allusions, Similes, Metaphors and Inferences that could easily lead to the Conclusion that the Church is the Bride of CHRIST, and it does sound Endearing, but is it True?
The following statements do not not mean anything to the contrary of what is commonly Believed and I have placed somewhat of a third option at the end of this article. This is simply my findings according to my Premise regarding the Interpretation of Bible Scriptures which is:
the >> HOLY GHOST/SPIRIT << is the only Teacher one needs to study the Scriptures and the only Book needed is the Holy Bible. This does not Negate the use of other Teachers or other Scripture based Bible Books or Materials. This statement was mostly for those who see the beginning of studying the Word of GOD (the Bible) as an impossibility because of Preparatory Obstacles which are self imposed. As one studies and grows Spiritually, they will find themselves needing more and find that need being met.
I don’t know if I should qualify this question under the Category as “Religious Dogma” of any particular Religion which would qualify the question as one to consider under my self Imposed Restrictions.
However, there are Scriptures that Identify the Church as the Body of CHRIST so, I will make my response under the Premise of Identifying the Church and identifying the Bride of JESUS CHRIST according to the Bible Scriptures.
The definition of the word “Church” is “those called out”. This was the definition as far back as when Israel was enslaved in Egypt and was “called out” of Bondage to Slavery in Egypt by GOD. They were a people “called out” to serve GOD. Today, it carries the same meaning. It is a people “called out of Bondage”; the Bondage of Sin and Believers are “called out to serve GOD”. Another word used then and now is Congregation.
We must be careful not to use Scripture for our Private Interpretation or to use them to Accommodate our Thoughts or Beliefs (which is the same thing). When people hold on to Statements they have heard instead of “knowing” what they have read in the Bible or Learned through Scripture, it causes what appears as “Contradictions” in the Bible.
2Pe_1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
2Pe 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
The Church – The Body of CHRIST
1Co_12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Col_1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Col_1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
The Spiritual Church, as used by this Series, is the Body of CHRIST – a Collective of Believers of JESUS CHRIST and the Sons of GOD (male and female). This is the Identity of the Spiritual Church according to Scripture. However, there are those who do state that the Church is the Bride of CHRIST. The most common Scriptures used as a reference for this Phraseology is taken from the statements made in a discourse by the Apostle Paul in Ephesian 5:23 – 25, where Paul, in a Analogy, compares the Subjectivity which Wives should observe towards their Husbands, as their Head, as/like the Subjectivity of the Body of CHRIST, the Church, is in Subjection to the Head of the Body which is CHRIST JESUS. In like manner the Husband is to Love the Wife as CHRIST Loved the Church and gave HIMSELF (died) for it..
Eph_5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Eph_5:24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
The Love of the Body of the Church (Believers) by CHRIST JESUS is the Symbol or Symbolic Love Husbands should have towards their Wives as the weaker vessel. JESUS CHRIST Loves Believers as the Church, the Body of CHRIST.
Eph_5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
1Pe_3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Paul was illustrating how Wives should be in Subjection/Obedience to their Husbands utilizing the Body of the Church as an example of the accepted Hierarchy in Marriage and the Holy Love of CHRIST as an example of the Integrity of the Holy Love Husbands should Possess and Exhibit for/toward the Wives.
In addition, in the above Scripture Peter also stipulates the importance of Right Relationship between Husband and Wife. Disharmony in the Marriage can actually keep their Prayers from being answered by GOD as Schisms (Argument and Dissension) in the Body of CHRIST, the Church, have their Prayers hindered when Disharmony is present. See also the article >>The Body of CHRIST <<
There are several more Scriptures used to interpret the Church as the Bride of CHRIST but they all have to be interpreted (including the above Ephesians 5:23 – 25) to Convey that meaning, whereas, there are Scriptures in the Bible that actually state the” Bride of the Lamb” (who is JESUS CHRIST aka the Bridegroom) is the “Holy City – New Jerusalem”.
The Holy City – New Jerusalem – The Bride of CHRIST
Rev_21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife
In Truth, the Scriptures identifies the Bride and the Wife of the Lamb (who is JESUS CHRIST) as “the Holy City, New Jerusalem”. See the Scriptures notes and the actual Scriptures below:
- Revelation 3:12 – refers to the city of GOD which is the New Jerusalem coming down from GOD
- Revelation 21:2 – refers to the Holy city coming down from GOD, prepared and adorned as a Bride (descriptive)
- Revelation 21:9 – refers to the Lamb’s Bride and Wife (identified)
- Revelation 21:10 – refers to the Holy Jerusalem descending out of Heaven from GOD.
* The following Scriptures show the Holy City New Jerusalem always coming down from GOD out of Heaven.
Rev_3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Rev_21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband
Rev_21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
Hereafter, it goes into a very detailed description of the Holy City Jerusalem. So there is no question that John is seeing the Bride of the Lamb, the Bride and Wife of JESUS CHRIST and that it is the Holy City, the New Jerusalem.
JESUS CHRIST can not be Portrayed as having two (2) Wives or Brides even by >> Figures of Speech << such as:
- Allegory etc.
There could be other probable reasons why Paul spoke as he did but that will have to be discussed in the Thinking Out-loud Blog C17, since I could only use Supposition concerning the Mystery of CHRIST and the Church as he is quoted to say:
Eph_5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
However, regarding the Bride of CHRIST, it is spelled out clearly in the Revelation that was given by GOD to CHRIST, who gave it to John, who gave it to the Designated Churches and to the Spiritual Church. The Scriptures in the Book of Revelation do actually state that the Holy Jerusalem is the “Bride and Wife of the “Lamb” who is recognized and acknowledged as JESUS CHRIST throughout the New Testament without Supposition or Interpretation or Figure of Speech.
Now, having said all of the above, I offer a somewhat “third option”. That is that Church interpreters have quoted the New Jerusalem as the Symbol of the Aggregate – the entire Spiritual Church; that is all those who have been Saved in CHRIST JESUS from throughout All Ages. I say somewhat a third option because it could basically “answer” the Phraseology in the question: Is the Bride of JESUS CHRIST the Church? There is an additional element in the equation which is the introduction of the Holy City and the Church being one and the same. This is probably the formula used for the Pronouncement.
You may be interested in the following Series articles:
Scriptures are the Inspired Word of GOD, and Scriptures are not for Private Interpretation. The Scriptures in the Book of Revelation are the correct Scriptures regarding the Bride of CHRIST and I have answered the question accordingly – for a Scripture identifying the Bride of JESUS CHRIST. If there is a conflict between the Interpretation of a Scripture and actual Scripture I vote for Scripture over Interpretation. See also the notes below.
CHRIST’S Special Relationship with Jerusalem
Note: The following Scriptures record JESUS CHRIST as exhibiting a Sorrow so great that he Wept on two (2) occasions:
- The death of Lazarus the brother of Mary and Martha
- When HE beheld the city (Jerusalem) considering all things; her plight and her Future
Joh 11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
Joh 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
Joh 11:34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.
Luk_19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
There will additional information about the New Jerusalem in the Blog, >> The Book of Revelation <<
See also >> Blog C4 – The Eternal Works of the Eternal JESUS CHRIST << where we consider the Relationships between JESUS CHRIST (HIS Appellatives, Appellations and HIS Titles) and the Believer.
See also the article >> Relationship and Relativity <<
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