Text: 2 Corinthians 11:2

Herein is another example of godly human jealousy. This time it involves the jealousy of a minister over the congregation. “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 11:2)

In this verse, Paul adopts a striking imagery where he is pictured as the father of a bride who is betrothed to a groom. In those days, a time inter-val between the betrothal and the consummation of the marriage was usu-ally present. Moreover, both parties were expected to honour the betrothal until the time of the wedding festive. This is unlike modern engagements where the agreement can be broken anytime. The father was expected to do his part to keep his daughter pure until she was presented as a chaste virgin to the groom.

As the church of God (1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1), the Corinthian church was the bride of Christ. Paul being the founding pastor was like the adopted father of the Corinthian church. Paul’s duty was to ensure that the church was pure and unadulterated until the coming of Christ when He would take up His bride.

Based on this responsibility, Paul had every right to be jealous over the Corinthian Christians. We must not understand this jealousy to be one where Paul was jealous of others snatching followers from him. Rather, we must understand that the Corinthian Christians belong to Christ. Christ had purchased them with His precious blood and redeemed them to be His bride. The bride was entrusted to the care of Paul. Therefore, Paul was in the position to give the bride away to another. She must be presented as a chaste virgin unto Christ.

In the case of the Corinthian Christians, the godly jealousy of Paul was provoked because they were being drawn away from the simplicity of the gospel in Christ Jesus by the deceitfulness of false teachers (2 Cor. 11:3). As a result, Paul had no choice but to rebuke the Corinthian Christians firmly so that they may remain in the pathway of righteousness. Just as Christ is jealous over His bride, Paul as the pastor must also be jealous over the church to guard her from being adulterated by falsehood and wickedness.

The heart of the Apostle Paul must also be the heart of any who is called to be a leader in the church today. He must not have any accommodating attitude towards sin in the congregation, nor be satisfied with the spiritual state of the flock until they grow unto spiritual maturity. Alas, many leaders in Christendom seem to treat it lightly when the congregation commit spiritual adultery. Where is the godly jealousy?

Similarly, any of us who is called by God to certain leadership responsibilities must also have godly jealousy over those who are placed under our care. To fellowship group leaders – are you concerned when those in the fellowship group have been snared by the world? To parents – are you jealous over the spiritual state of your children? To all church members – are you zealous over the purity of the church that you will labour in prayer for her? Why not come for the prayer meeting and labour together with God’s people in prayer that the church may remain pure from all forms of spiritual adultery?

The jealousy of God requires us to be jealous over the faithfulness of God’s people, especially those who have been placed under our care. In light of the coming church elections, our prayer is that the Lord will raise up men who have godly jealousy over the church of God. They must love God and His flock, and be prepared to lay down their lives to defend God’s honour and truth. May the Lord grant us the same heart as that of the Apostle Paul, who was jealous over the bride of Christ. Amen.


In the past year, I was given the privilege to read or hear a few testimonies of those who are struggling with mental illnesses. Their afflictions are challenging and may not be fully understood by the common man. We need to pray that Christ will help such brethren with their debilitating conditions.

Nevertheless, many of them who knew Christ also testified how the Lord helped them tremendously with their conditions. One brother who is con-tending with bipolar disorder testified that Christ is far greater than any medicine. He also recognises that many of the issues he faced are spiritual in nature rather than medical. He confessed that without Christ, he would not have coped with his mental condition.

n addition, I know of another man who used to struggle with hearing voices. This affected his behaviour and he became unkempt in appearance. However, once he fully embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ, his problem vanished. Today, he walks and talks like the common man, and is extremely neat in his dressing. No need for medicine too! The source of his problems was spiritual rather than mental.

Those with mental illness can take great heart in the witness of these two brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ and His Word is the solution to all issues. In times of depression, read the Scriptures and pray.

At the same time, one should NEVER use mental illness as an entitlement to justify ungodly conduct. The Bible makes it clear that one who has no concern for sin and constantly engaged in evil will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10) All Christians must be committed to holy living, and the pursuit of godliness. There is simply no excuse for sin.

The following verse is useful to all who may be suffering from mental illness. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, wha-soever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me (i.e. the Apostle Paul), do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” (Phil. 4:8-9)

We are praying for you. May God’s grace be with you.

Lovingly in Christ,
Pr Clement Chew