Question: For years I have been taught and believed that the Church is “the bride of Christ,” based upon Ephesians:5:23-32. Recently, however, I was asked how the church could be the “bride of Christ” when Revelation:21:9-10 specifically states “that great city, the holy Jerusalem” is “the bride, the Lamb’s wife”? In addition, Deuteronomy:7:3-11 forbids the Jews to marry people from other nations (Gentiles). How could Jesus, then, “the king of the Jews” who came “to fulfill the law,” possibly marry the “church” which is made up of Gentiles? In so doing it would seem He would be breaking the very law He came to fulfill. I have searched the Scriptures and haven’t been able to answer this question. Can you explain this for me?
Response: First of all, no city could be the bride of Christ. It could only be the redeemed who will inhabit it who are Christ’s bride. These are seen at their marriage collectively to the Lamb in Revelation:19:7-8 and in their triumphal return to reign over the earth with Christ in verse 14. If these are not the church, then who are they? Nor would the fact that Gentiles can be saved and thus become part thereof mean that for Christ to be married to the church “would be breaking the very law He came to fulfill.” Christ would not be marrying Gentiles because one who is saved has ceased to be a Gentile and is “in Christ...a new creature” (2 Cor:5:17). In the church there is “neither Greek [Gentile] nor Jew” (Col:3:11), for he “hath made both [Jew and Gentile] one” (Eph:2:14).