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2 Corinthians 11:2-3

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2 Corinthians 11:2-3, ‘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 may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.’

Paul is doing a lot in these two verses. First, note that he draws upon the rich OT imagery of God’s people as His Bride and applies this same nuptial relationship to the Church and Christ (as He does in Eph.5:25, etc.). Through the Gospel, all nations are being prepared as a virgin Bride for the risen Jesus Christ, a people who are and will become His own Body.

Secondly, see how Paul connects the Church as the virginal Bride together with Eve. Eve too was a bride, and she anticipated the Church in that she was wedded to Adam, the original Man, who was himself a template and image of Christ. Yet, Eve was drawn away from her original commitments through the cunning of the serpent, and Paul is concerned that the Church, the New Eve, the Bride of Christ, may also now be drawn away from her True Husband to give herself to another.

This leads to a third intriguing element, namely that Paul sees the beginnings of spiritual adultery in the *thoughts.* The Church’s ‘sincere and pure devotion to Christ’ as His virginal Bride is violated as her *thoughts* are led astray…as her *thoughts* are turned in other directions…as her *thoughts* are drawn off and occupied with the things of the world. And what is the evidence that her thoughts are being led astray? Verse 4 tells us: she will be willing to entertain and receive a ‘different Christ’ from the one preached by the Apostles.

How many ‘different Christs’ fill our world right now? How many ‘different Christs’ are lifted up from pulpits and declared through videos and heralded in books and blogs and tweets? How can we discern the true from the false? One answer from this text is that we must guard our *thoughts*. Some ideas—like the Serpent—are adulterous suitors who would infiltrate our mind and lead us away from our Husband…May we hold fast to the Jesus of the Apostles such that our minds are guarded from serpentine thoughts and adulterous ‘other Christs.’