In certain circles, there is a discontinuity about whether the Body of Christ today should be called he Church, the self-same Body that Scripture calls the Bride, or whether we should more correctly be termed simply the Children of that Union. Aside from the question of whether this is even worthy of serious consideration, we might ask ourselves if the sort of language used in the Scriptures should be understood in the same sense that we are prone, with our Western mind-set, to interpret them. When the Scriptures call the People of God, or the Body of Christ the Bride of Christ, should we understand in the same sense as when Jane becomes the bride of Dick? Should we expect the same result?
The phrase 'sons of God' in Scriptural use DOES connote one who has entered into Covenant with their Creator! Speaking of discontinuity, there is some disagreement concerning this phrase, as to whether it is inclusive now, in this New Age, of all of God's creatures, or if just because one is a creation of our Heavenly Father, that one should be considered a child of God! Although one must, according to Scripture, be united to Christ ( by Covenant ) in order to be considered a 'child' or 'son of God', is this still a prerequisite under the New Covenant! Most would immediately respond with, 'yes', definitely so! However, we must consider that when these words were spoken, in the first century, they were spoken in relation to those who first were presented its their Messiah; those who either became 'sons of God' or were found to be children of the 'devil'!
Jesus told those same Pharisees, 'you are of your father the devil'! He did mean to say that they were creations, or products the devil we call 'Satan', for He clarified this statement by saying, 'the deeds of your father you want to do'. By doing wickedly, as had their forbears, these Pharisees had proven themselves to be of their father the devil! By following Jesus & emulating Him, those who accepted their Messiah were given the privilege of being called the 'sons of God', in the New Covenant, which Jesus Himself personified, those who accepted their Messiah were in direct opposition to those who clung to the elements of that first covenant & rejected Him. With the Scriptural fulfillment of all prophecy, some have made the case that, though that first covenant, what might be called a betrothal covenant, was exclusive of Israel according to the flesh ( there's that pesky term again )' the New Covenant, in all its Glory, is inclusive of the entire creation!
This is not to say either that, simply by virtue of physical generation, all individual human beings are in Christ, for this speaks of a spiritual, not a physical union! Just as Dick & Jane do not physically become one in the bonds of holy matrimony, or marriage' so we, as the Body or Bride of Christ do not physically become one with Him, but spiritually, as with our spouse, we become one in purpose. Some have called this a 'mystical union' in almost the same vein as the so-called Trinity, & while this is debatable, when it comes down to it, just as man & woman become one by ascribing to the same purpose? As the Church became the Bride by following in the footsteps of Jesus. Even today, people are shown to be Children of their Heavenly Father when they do what He did, when they continue His work on earth!
It is certain & true that only male ( seed ) & female ( egg ) can produce, at least physically speaking! However, we might ask ourselves if that's what it's all about; are we here merely to procreate in order to expand the Kingdom or is there such a thing as Spiritual Procreation! The apostle Paul, we know, called Timothy his spiritual son & John wrote several letters to his spiritual children. Is it possible that we are called to be fruitful & multiply spiritual, not just by procreation? As we ponder these & other questions, let us determine, whether in a physical or spiritual manner, to emulate Him with whom we have Union!
Charles Haddon Shank