The Bride of Christ
The church is known by many names in the New Testament, including “the kingdom,” “the house of God,” “the body of Christ,” “the whole family,” “the flock of God,” “the fold,” and “the general assembly and church of the firstborn.” Each of these titles is important, because it helps us to understand the special relationship between Christ and His followers.
One of the most interesting titles for the church is “the bride of Christ.” Jesus never married while He was on Earth, but He does have a wife. Notice Christ’s “bride” in Revelation 21:2: “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” In Ephesians 5:22-25, Paul told husbands to love their wives, just as Christ loves the church. Jesus loved the church so much that He died for her.
Why did Christ refer to His church as His bride? Most boys grow up to be husbands, and most girls become wives. If you are a husband, your wife (bride) has specific characteristics that make her different from all other women. Similarly, the Bible lists qualities that people must have in order to be a part of Christ’s bride, the church. These characteristics make Christ’s bride unique—different from all other churches and religious groups.
A husband does not confuse his bride with any other women, because he married only one woman. While there are many other women, he knows for certain which one is his wife. Only one woman belongs to him, and he belongs to only one wife. Christ definitely knows how to identify His bride, and on the Judgment Day, it will be easy for Him to recognize His bride from among many false religious groups. On that day, only those who compose the body that is identified as the bride of Christ will be saved, because only those who have become members of His church will have had their names written in the book of life (Revelation 20:12-15; 21:27). Everyone should want to be part of the bride of Christ, and can, by becoming a Christian.