Saturday, April 14, 2012

Waiting for Jesus

Waiting for Jesus

by Patte Smith on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 8:36am ·

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:

for I have espoused you to one Husband,

that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 11:21
The Greek phrase for 'godly jealousy' is; Θεοῦ ζήλῳ Theou zēlō. It means literally "the zeal of God". This is a passionate, intense, burning, white-hot, emotional, vehement zeal. It is a protective zeal. Paul's desire is to serve to sanctify & preserve the Bride, the Lamb's wife.

The apostle Paul was a good shepherd. An extraordinary shepherd. He was inspired by God, with the Holy Spirit, to, first & foremost, protect the honor and glory of Jesus Christ. He was also truly zealous for the real good and spiritual welfare of the professing believers. I love to consider how Paul sees himself as a friend of the Bridegroom, concerned as he was in the betrothing of the sons & daughters of men to Christ. And, also, Paul served as the 'Friend of the Bridegroom' announcing His coming ♥

How kind of God to provide Himself, the Great Shepherd, to born-again believers, whom He has loved even before they loved Him. Even if a believer has a corrupt, unfaithful under-shepherd (pastor, elders) & worldly friends, the Holy Spirit provides a strong & affectionate soul-abiding presence which ever commends us to our Betrothed, our Husband, Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul had holy jealousy for the people whom the Lord had gathered in the church in Corinth through his gospel outreach in that city. Paul's desire is that the saints should be kept pure & chaste for the Savior, Who had gone to prepare a place for them in heaven. Paul's earnest hope is that the believers would keep & live lives of holiness by the Spirit, keeping themselves pure for their Espoused Husband, Who was coming to take them to Himself forever.

How beautiful is that?

He speaks as one who woos them,
but yet as one that seeks them not for himself,
but for God.
~ Geneva Study Bible

Beloved, beware of so-called shepherds (& others) who seek you for themselves and their 'church' (or 'ministry'), rather than for Christ.

Paul was a faithful shepherd. He was keenly aware that the Lord had used him to espouse His people to Christ, not to 'church'. Jesus is the Bridegroom of whom the Church is the Bride (Re 21:2). Lest you be led astray, remember, if you are born-again you are a 'member' of the Body of Jesus, the universal Church.

You are not the 'wife' of the church,
you are the bride of Christ.

Together with all the redeemed people of God,
from all time, until the end of time,
you are the Bride of Messiah.

The apostle desired to preserve the Corinthians from being corrupted by the false apostles. There is but one Jesus, one Spirit, and one gospel, to be preached to them, and received by them...They should not listen to men, who, without cause, would draw them away ...
~ Matthew Henry

Husbands, love your wives
as Christ loved the Church
and gave Himself up for her,
to make her holy,
cleansing her by the washing with water
through the Word,
and to present her to Himself
as a radiant Church,
without stain or wrinkle
or any other blemish,
but holy and blameless.

~ Ephesians 5:25-27

I will betroth you to Me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
~ Hosea 2:19

These are those who did not defile themselves...
for they kept themselves pure.
They follow the Lamb wherever He goes.
They were purchased from among men
and offered as firstfruits to God
and the Lamb.
~ Revelation 14:4

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