Hebrew Scriptures, aka the Old Testament, are rich with references to
the people of God being, collectively, His bride or wife, especially in
Ezekiel and Hosea.
The most well-known New Testament affirmation
of this is probably in Ephesians 5, when Paul compares marriage to the
relationship between Christ and the ecclesia, with the husband being
compared to Christ and the wife being compared to the ecclesia..
is another instance of the ecclesia being referred to in a feminine
way, but most Bibles do not indicate it. In one of his most famous
teachings, Jesus says, "On this rock, I will build my ecclesia, and the
gates of hell shall not prevail..." - and here most Bibles say,
But the Greek says, "against her."
as a baby is in the womb and invisible, we may refer to that baby as an
"it." But as soon as we get so much as a glimpse, whether by ultrasound
or at birth, our language changes: "It's a girl!" We never refer to the
child as an "it" again.
The moment we get a glimpse of the ecclesia, we can no longer refer to her as an "it."
this a minor detail? Read Ephesians 5, and ask yourself, "Does Jesus
love an it or a her? Did he die for an it, or for a her?"
you aren't up to doing theology, just strike up a conversation with any
man who loves his wife. Refer to her as an "it," and see what happens.