Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #47
Posted: June 3, 2005

IN CHRIST
A Study of Positional Truths

Our hearts are turned again this week to another ‘In Christ’ truth in II Corinthians 11:1-3.  Paul says, “Would to God you could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.  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.  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 

Paul pleads with the people to ‘bear with him in his folly’.  The ‘folly’ he speaks of is the folly of defending himself.  Paul is not one to defend himself much.  He has taken several hits from the legalistic Jews.  In fear of the sheep being scattered he stands up to defend himself.  We know that legalism has been the issue from statements made in Chapter 10.  Paul asks in Chapter 10, verse 7, “Do you look on things after the outward appearance?”  Those who are prone to legalism put great emphasis on the outward man.  The length of the hair and the types of clothes to be worn are their issue.  They are an authority on what is too short, too long, or the pleasing style in the eyes of the Lord.  Paul said in Chapter 10, “For we dare not compare ourselves with ourselves…” Let us not be the standard.  There is a much higher standard that we must align with.  Christ is the higher standard.  Oh, to be like Him! Oh, how short I fall from the standard.

Paul has a holy jealousy over the converts that God has allowed him to see become part of the Bride of Christ. (11:2) He desires for them to be faithful until they are presented as the ‘chaste virgin bride to Christ’.  (11:2) 

I am reminded of Abraham’s servant who went to choose out a bride for Isaac.  Once the covenant was closed with Rebecca there was the long trip back for the marriage.  While on the way back I am sure there was a time of learning about Isaac.  The trip of our lives should be spent in learning of Christ.  I feel the learning about Isaac produced in Rebecca a longing for Isaac.  The more we know of Christ our husband to be it will create a longing for Him.  This longing produced in her a looking for Isaac.  We have no time to spend on thoughts of judging the outward appearance of another.  Comparing our standard with their standard is futile.  May we spend our time learning, longing, and looking for our bridegroom to be. 

Paul was concerned with the deceptive work of Satan.  He reminds his readers of how Eve was tricked.  Satan’s attack on Eve was to get her to question the Word of God and then to add to the Word of God with her own thoughts.  One of the master deceptions of Satan is legalism.  The plan is to get us to take the focus off the inward Spiritual man and put our sights on the outward man.  There can only be growth from the inside to the outside.  If Satan can convince us that it can be done from the outside to the inside we are bound.  The legalist will say he doesn’t believe it is from outward to inward but often their message is addressed solely to the outward man. 

The word ‘subtilty’ means craftiness.  Satan is such a sneak.  He can take the little things, even a good thing, and get our minds diverted from the simplicity of being ‘In Christ’

There is a wedding being planned in the heavens for the bride of Christ.  We have no time to spend in comparing ourselves and focusing on the outward man.  The wedding preparation will concern itself with the inward man being robed in the wedding garment of righteousness.  The outward man as we know it will return to the dirt.  The outward, old body will be glorified into the likeness of Christ, and will be a new body like His.  Let us be spending our valuable time learning, longing, and looking for Him.  Shhh.  I thought I heard wedding bells, and someone singing, ‘Here comes the Bridegroom’. 

 

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