Lesson Sixteen • Devotion #4: Betrothal, Purity, False Teachers

I had the privilege of witnessing a purity ring ceremony at our church many years ago. It was a sweet time for the families wherein the teenage girls vowed to remain pure for marriage. The father gave the daughter a purity ring to wear on her left ring finger until the day of her wedding. I later witnessed one of these girls on her wedding day, when she came down the aisle, as her father gave her over to her groom, she removed the ring and returned it to her father. Of course, at the wedding ceremony, that ring was replaced with a ring from her groom.

The idea behind such a ceremony is for the ring to be a reminder of a promise, or covenant, that has been made to remain pure and undefiled, in anticipation of the groom she would someday marry.

This is what Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 11:2-4. “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.” The church is the bride, Jesus is the bridegroom. We, as the church, are to remain pure and undefiled until the bridegroom (Jesus) returns for us. 

In Jewish culture, the bride-to-be and the groom-to-be are betrothed in marriage. We would say they became engaged. However, unlike our engagements which are sometimes called off, the Jewish betrothal was a binding covenant. The betrothal was a time for the bride to dedicate herself to her groom. She spends a year preparing to be taken home with her groom. During this time, the groom is preparing their home. The father of the groom decides when the time is right for the groom to return and get his bride, and the marriage ceremony occurs.

Paul is comparing remaining pure during the betrothal to remaining pure while we await Christ’s return. To remain pure, we must stay true to the Gospel, not listening to false teachers. These false teachers will teach of “another Jesus,” “a different spirit,” and “a different gospel.” We must always be alert to ensure that what we read and hear lines up with Scripture. Being in the Word is the only way to know the truth. Compare for yourself and be aware when something does not line up to Scripture.

The world is full of false teachers. The evil one wants nothing more than to lead you astray with what sounds like the truth but is sprinkled with a bit of untruth. As Paul referenced in 2 Corinthians 11:3, in Genesis chapter 3 the serpent used his cunning to deceive Eve and make it sound like truth, with a slight twist!

Once you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are betrothed to Him.  You are to remain pure to Him and Him alone. Do not stray off to false teachers.  Stay alert and in the Word, in preparation for the day that the Father will send His Son to return to take His bride. On that day, you will hypothetically remove the “purity ring” and replace it with the “marriage ring” of the groom. What a glorious day that will be for those that have been betrothed (saved)!

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