2 Corinthians 11:1-4 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. 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.”
When we trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, two main things take place. First of all we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Simultaneously we also enter into a covenant of marriage with Jesus Christ, which parallels the Jewish marriage of the Scriptures. We are married to Christ, but our marriage to him will not be consummated until he returns for us, his bride, to take us to be with him for eternity, which is when and only when our salvation will be complete.
Salvation, Progressive Sanctification
[Matt 7:21-23; Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 1 Pet 2:24; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25; Eph 4:17-24; Jude 1:1-25; Lu 9:23-26]
Marriage to Christ, Jesus the bridegroom, the church the bride
[Matthew 9:14-17; Mark 2:18-22; Matthew 25:1-13; John 3:25-30; John 14:1-3; Ephesians 5:22-33; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4; Revelation 19:6-8; Revelation 21:2-4,9-11; Revelation 22:16-17]
(*If you know of other Scriptures which describe our relationship with Jesus Christ as bride and groom, please share them with me. Thank you.)
So, when Paul said here that he betrothed the believers in Jesus to one husband, to present them as pure virgins to Christ, he is speaking of this marriage covenant to Christ which parallels the Jewish marriage of the Scriptures. For look how he describes this marriage to Christ. He is not speaking just of the initial step of faith to believe in Jesus Christ, but he is speaking of their walk of faith in Christ. For he fears that their thoughts will be led astray from their sincere and pure devotion to Christ, for they were tolerating the teachings of a false gospel.
So, this presenting of the believers as pure virgins to Christ goes beyond just the initial step of faith to believe in Jesus but it has to do with how the believers in Christ conduct their lives throughout their lives on this earth while they wait for the Lord’s (their husband’s) return. And this parallels the Jewish marriage covenant, for the bride had to keep herself pure while she waited for her husband to prepare a place for them and to then bring her to that place which is when their marriage was consummated. And if she did not keep herself pure, he could discontinue the marriage covenant.
And it also agrees with the Scriptures noted above, and many more, which describe our salvation as continuous and something that won’t be completed until our Lord returns for his bride and he takes us to be with him for eternity. And there are conditions to be met for us to be able to go to be with him for eternity. We must die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, and we must walk in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, and not in sin. For if sin is what we practice, and if obedience to our Lord is not what we practice, we will not have eternal life with God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
So all of this above plays into Paul’s words to the Corinthian Christians. And when we come to this understanding of what our salvation and our relationships with Christ are all about it helps us to grasp the teachings of the Scriptures so much better, for it forms more of a complete picture of our salvation, and of our walks of faith, and of the importance of us walking in holiness and in righteousness and not in sin.
For there are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there lying to the people, telling them that a one-time in their life decision to believe (usually not defined) in Jesus Christ is enough to secure them forgiveness of their sins and heaven as their eternal destiny. That is not the gospel Jesus taught, and it is not the gospel that the apostles taught. They taught that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) in obedience to our Lord, in walks of holiness and righteousness, and sin must not be our practice, if we are to anticipate that heaven is our eternal destiny (see noted Scriptures above).
Seek the Lord
An Original Work / July 20, 2012
Based off Isaiah 55
“Come to Me all you who thirst; come to waters.
Listen to Me, and eat what’s good today,
And your soul will delight in richest of fare.
Give ear to Me, and you will live.
I have made an eternal covenant with you.
Wash in the blood of the Lamb.”
Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him.
Let the wicked forsake his way, in truth.
Let him turn to the Lord, and he will receive mercy.
Freely, God pardons him.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord, our God.
“My word that goes out of My mouth is truthful.
It will not return to Me unfulfilled.
My word will accomplish all that I desire,
And achieve the goal I intend.
You will go in joy and be led forth in peace.
The mountains will burst into song… before you,
And all of the trees clap their hands.”