A Pure Virgin to Christ

2 Corinthians 11:1-3 ESV

“I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to be those who care about our brothers and sisters in Christ. And this means that we should be concerned, not only about their physical needs, or their emotional health, but we should be concerned about their spiritual health. It should grieve us when a brother or a sister in Christ falls away from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ.

It should grieve us when we see a fellow Christian living in unrepentant sin, in sinful rebellion against the Lord, in addiction to sexual immorality, adultery, pornography, drunkenness, thievery, lying, gossiping, lusting, slandering, idolatry, witchcraft, and the like. We should be crying out to God for their deliverance and not be placating their sin.

And we should be praying for their loved ones, too, who are being injured by their adulteries, their lying, their stealing, and their meanness, etc. For sin is not something you do alone. Sin hurts other people. And we are supposed to be those who love other people, and love does no harm to its neighbor, for love is from God, and therefore it prefers what God prefers.

And please understand this here. It is loving, it is kind, it is thoughtful, it is caring to confront a brother or a sister in his or her sinful practices, to tell them to repent of their sins and to turn their hearts to Christ, or back to Christ, and to tell them to follow him in obedience to his ways and to stop hurting one another. This is not being judgmental. This is divine love!

And it is loving, and it is kind to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, i.e. the innocent and the vulnerable, and to do all that is within our power to do to look out for them and for their welfare, and to rescue them from situations where they are in danger, even if it means standing up to a brother or a sister in Christ and confronting them in their sin.

So, don’t buy into the lies that tell you that love means you say nothing, and that you do nothing, and that you “stay in your own lane” so that you don’t offend anyone, or so that you don’t appear judgmental. We are supposed to rescue the perishing and care for the dying. And we are supposed to snatch people from the fire and save them. So, tell them the truth.

2 Corinthians 11:4 ESV

“For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

And one of the big reasons today that so many people who claim to be followers of Jesus are living in sin is because the church is teaching them that they can believe in Jesus, have their sins forgiven, be on their way to heaven, but that they can remain in their sins, continuing in their sinful practices, only now without guilt and without remorse.

And it is because the true gospel, the one that teaches that we must repent of sin, obey the Lord, and honor God with our lives, is under condemnation in the majority of what is called “church” today. They are calling it “works-based salvation” or “Lordship salvation,” and they are telling their people to reject it in favor of what they falsely call “grace,” i.e. permission to sin.

And it is because they are telling their congregants to “stay in your own lane” and to not talk with anyone about his sin, or at least not until you have been close friends for at least two years (they used to tell us). They are telling them they are being judgmental if they say anything to anyone about their sin, and that they should mind their own business.

But the spiritual health of our brothers and sisters in Christ is our business. God has made it our business. We are to be those who are encouraging (exhorting, urging, counseling) one another daily so that none of us may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. And if a brother or sister is caught in sin, those of us who are spiritual are to restore them to God.

So, don’t believe the lies, either the lies which are telling you to mind your own business and to not talk to anyone about his or her sin, or the lies that tell you that you can be saved from your sin, be on your way to heaven, but that you can continue in habitual and deliberate and often premeditated sin against God and against other people, hurting and injuring them.

And don’t believe the lies that tell you that God can’t see when you sin or that he will not judge you for your sins. For we are all going to reap what we sow in this life. If we sow to please the flesh, we will reap destruction, but if we sow to please the Spirit, we will reap eternal life. If we walk in sin, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God.

And don’t shut this out because you are being told to. Listen to the truth. Get into the Scriptures yourselves. Read them in context, comparing Scripture with Scripture. See what they say. And don’t interpret them out of context or in light of some theology you were taught. Go into the Scriptures with a pure heart ready to hear from the Lord what he has for you.

2 Corinthians 11:5-6 ESV

“Indeed, I consider that I am not in the least inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so in knowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.”

Also, don’t ignore people like me or other people who are considered lay people just because we don’t have a seminary degree or because we are female or because we don’t have some official title to go with our names like pastor or missionary. A title or a college degree does not give you any more authority to teach the Scriptures than us who don’t have that.

Yes, women are not to have authority over men in the church. I agree. Women are not to teach men in an authoritative way in which they can actually exercise church discipline over men. I agree. But women are gifted equally with men with regard to spiritual gifts. Both men and women are to prophesy, i.e. to bring forth the Scriptures in practical ways that can be applied to our world and to the church and to our lives today.

If we are bringing forth the word of God in truth, especially at a time when so many people are lying to you, then you should listen, not because you have to, but because we are telling the truth and not many people are doing that now, and because we are mandated of God to be exhorting one another daily so that we are not hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

The Prayer

Written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager,
Alberto Testa and Tony Renis

I pray you’ll be our eyes
And watch us where we go
And help us to be wise
In times when we don’t know

Let this be our prayer
When we lose our way
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

I pray we’ll find your light
And hold it in our hearts
When the stars go out each night
Remind us where you are.

Let this be our prayer
When shadows fill our day
Lead us to a place
Guide us with your grace
To a place where we’ll be safe.

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