The Body of Christ Is NOT the Bride of Christ!

By Brother Eric Nelson

 

 

Golden Street of New Jerusalem

 

I’ve never heard of one person being both the bridegroom and the bride, yet that is exactly what the modern day Body of Christ does by referring to itself as the bride of Christ. In the book of Genesis Adam proclaimed that Eve was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:23), yet Adam and Eve were still two separate entities----and since that time that’s how it has always been in relation to the bridegroom and the bride.

We are currently in the Age of Grace; therefore, EVERYONE who gets saved during this dispensation is a member of the BODY OF CHRIST not the bride of Christ. It is impossible to be a member of the Bride of Christ during this current dispensation.

The bible tells us exactly who the bride of Christ is. The earthly kingdom gospel message has always proclaimed that the nation of Israel along with the cities of old and New Jerusalem are either the bride of Christ (New Testament) or the wife of God (Old Testament).

Revelation 21:9-10
New King James Version (NKJV)

The New Jerusalem
9 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me[a] and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:2
New King James Version (NKJV)

2 Then I, John,[a] saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

Jeremiah 2:2
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD,
I remember the devotion of your youth,
your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown.

Jeremiah 2:32
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me
days without number.

So why all the confusion? Why does the modern day church constantly refer to itself as the bride of Christ?

In my humble opinion, most of the confusion stems from the modern day church taking scriptures that are only meant to be analogies and then inappropriately applying those analogies to the modern day Body of Christ-----while yet ignoring the very scriptures that tell us exactly who the bride of Christ is.

In the following passage of scripture Paul uses an analogy to describe his jealousy as being that of a friend of the bridegroom who espoused the Church to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:2
King James Version (KJV)

2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

In Galatians 4:19 Paul describes himself in the analogy of a mother.

Galatians 4:19
King James Version (KJV)

19 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

In 1st Corinthians 4:15 Paul describes himself in the analogy of a father.

1 Corinthians 4:15
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

15 For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

The bible always uses analogies. For example, in Genesis 25:23 God told Rebekah that two nations were in her womb.

Genesis 25:23
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

23 And the LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you[a] shall be divided;
the one shall be stronger than the other,
the older shall serve the younger.”

Ephesians 5:25-33 is one of the main scriptures used today in order to justify calling the Body of Christ the Bride of Christ----yet upon closer observation Ephesians 5: 25-33 says no such thing. (Remember: the bible always describes the bride in the feminine vernacular----while the body is described in gender neutral terms such as IT----that is, unless you are dealing with a funny translation.).

Ephesians 5:25-33
King James Version (KJV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Please take special notice of verse 30----we are members of HIS BODY. As Christ loves His own Body (Himself as (the head) and the Church as (the Body); so ought husbands to love their own wives. Thus THE MYSTERY is employed as an argument as to the reciprocal duties of husbands and wives. In neither case is it said that the church is the wife, or that Christ is the husband----but as Christ loves His Body (Himself and the Body of Christ), so husbands ought to love their own wives (that is, themselves and their wives as part of their own flesh. Please remember, Paul wrote this statement in an extremely male dominated culture where women were treated as second class citizens----and wives were ALWAYS expected to serve and reverence their husbands in silent obedience. Paul’s sudden admonishment for husbands to start treating their wives as spiritual equals was considered to be extremely revolutionary.).

The one thing that is crystal clear is that the modern day church of the MYSTERY is THE BODY OF CHRIST, and that the members of the Body of Christ are IN Christ and part of the brideGROOM. Members of the Body of Christ who are IN Christ cannot possibly be members of the bride----which is a separate and distinct entity from the bridegroom.

The mystery of the modern day church a.k.a. The Body of Christ was NOT revealed in the Old Testament----as was the truth concerning both old and New Jerusalem. The mystery of the church was HID IN GOD and kept SECRET from ages and generations.

Colossians 1:24-27
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

Paul's Ministry to the Church
24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of HIS BODY, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the MYSTERY hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Romans 16:25
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

Doxology
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the MYSTERY that was kept secret for long ages
Ephesians 3:9
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)
9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of THE MYSTERY HIDDEN IN GOD FOR AGES who created all things,

THE MODERN DAY CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST NOT THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!!!!

Romans 12:4-5
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

4 For as in ONE BODY we have many members,[a] and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are ONE BODY IN CHRIST, and individually members one of another.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

16 The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the BODY OF CHRIST? 17 Because there is one bread, we who are many are ONE BODY, for we all partake of the one bread.

1 Corinthians 12:12-14
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

One Body with Many Members

12 For just as THE BODY IS ONE and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are ONE BODY, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into ONE BODY—Jews or Greeks, slaves[a] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.

1 Corinthians 12:20
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

20 As it is, there are many parts,[a] yet ONE BODY.

Ephesians 1:22-23
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is HIS BODY, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 2:16
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

16 and might reconcile us both to God in ONE BODY through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Ephesians 4:4
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

4 There is ONE BODY and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—
Ephesians 4:11-12

English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers,[b] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the BODY OF CHRIST,

Ephesians 5:23
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, HIS BODY, and is himself its Saviour.

Ephesians 5:30
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

30 because we are members of HIS BODY.

Colossians 1:18
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

18 And he is the HEAD OF THE BODY, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.

Colossians 1:24
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

Paul's Ministry to the Church

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of HIS BODY, that is, THE CHURCH,

Colossians 3:15
English Standard Version Anglicised (ESVUK)

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in ONE BODY. And be thankful.

The bible clearly refers to the modern day church as Body of Christ while simultaneously referring to the nation of Israel along with old and New Jerusalem as the Bride of Christ.

One day the Body of Christ will inherit the heavenlies; the Bride of Christ will inherit the New Jerusalem, and Israel----as a nation----will inherit the New Earth. During the Millennial Reign old Jerusalem will be refurbished and Christ will rule planet earth from old Jerusalem for 1000 years. After the Millennial Reign, New Jerusalem will replace old Jerusalem.

For further details, please refer to my article entitled: The Glory of Israel vs. the Glory of the Body of Christ.

 

The Glory of Israel vs the Glory of the Body of Christ