“For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2
Last week, we considered God, whose name is Jealous, and His jealousy. If you recall, when we talk about jealousy, we do so considering two kinds: 1) The jealousy that comes from self love. This jealousy is wicked and perverse. 2) The other is a godly jealousy. Last week, we specifically considered God’s protective and watchful zeal, His jealousy for His own honor, glory and worship. Today, I would like to draw your attention to God’s jealousy over His people.
As the Apostle Paul told the saints in Corinth of his divine jealousy for them, he did so for good reason. He desired to protect and preserve the saints there from the corruption of the accusations made by false teachers. He was concerned that their faith would be weakened by their listening to their claims that the saints needed to have low regard for Paul’s ministry. However, God used Paul’s ministry and preaching of the Gospel to bring them to the Christian faith.
In verse 2, Paul points the saints to their covenant relationship, to the church’s marriage to the Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ. When God saves us, He welcomes us into the Beloved. We become part of the Bride of Christ. “For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul’s zeal was for the protection of the saints, that he could present them pure, spotless, and faithful to Christ, free from the corruption of the lies of those who sought to draw them away.
Charles Spurgeon spoke about God’s jealousy and this marriage covenant well when he said, “The Lord has been graciously pleased to say of his people, “I am married unto you.” The covenant of grace is a marriage-covenant, and Christ’s Church has become his spouse. It is here that God’s jealousy is peculiarly liable to take fire. Men cannot be God’s favourites without being the subjects of his watchfulness and jealousy: that which might be looked over in another will be chastened in a member of Christ. As a husband is jealous of his honor, so is the Lord Jesus much concerned for the purity of his Church.” (from Spurgeon’s sermon- A Jealous God)
Think about this today- How lovely is the bride of Christ! How beautiful and precious she is to Him. He has made her to be so. How pure and untainted she must remain. Consider how wonderful it is we have been chosen to be His, a part of His bride. As a husband is for his wife, God is jealous over His people. How wonderful this is as well! He has great zeal for us in many ways- to love and protect us, to lead and chasten us, to feed and grow us in His grace. Indeed, He does so perfectly. He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture (Psalm 95:7), His covenant people. God has washed us from our sins and has made us pure and spotless in Christ. His Spirit works in us that we would be faithful (Matthew 5:8, Psalm 24:3-4, Ephesians 5:27, Matthew 25:21), not treacherously wooed to another.
We are His precious lambs, those whom Christ gave Himself for. Jesus loves us with a deep and everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3, Ephesians 5:25, Song of Solomon 4) Further, He desires that we love Him with all our being (Matthew 22:37, 1 John 4:19). There is much more that could be said about the marriage covenant and relationship between Christ and His church. As we walk through this week, may we be mindful of His jealousy and covenant love for us. May we thank and love our Bridegroom with all of our hearts, being diligent, by His grace, to be faithful to Him.