This letter below was sent to the e-mail list and I thought it would be beneficial to post my response for all to see.
… What I am having difficulty understanding is when I hear statements such as, “wow nice song…I am jealous with Godly jealousy.”
Yes we are commanded to:
1Co 12:31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way
This is from one of your articles on zeal:
Zeal produces “godly jealousy” toward the Christ of Christ.
2Co 11:2 For I am jealous [ Greek – zeloo, zealous, fervent] over you with godly jealousy [ Greek – zelos, zeal]: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
2Co 11:3 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.
Are we careful to be faithful to our espoused husband and to those with whom He identifies Himself, or is it more important to us to please men?
ζῆλος zēlos dzay’-los
From G2204; properly heat, that is, (figuratively) “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, jealousy, as of a husband [figuratively of God], or an enemy, malice): – emulation, envy (-ing), fervent mind, indignation, jealousy, zeal.
It looks like in 2 Co 11:2-3 that Godly jealousy is provoked in the Christ when someone in the body is in danger of having their minds corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
It seems like that scripture is taken out of context when used in those situations I mentioned. I also see it used when people share their fellowship opportunities by posting pictures and the like….and receive responses like “I am jealous with Godly jealousy” ….
There is also matter of provoking jealousy.
1Co 10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
1Co 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?(G3863) are we stronger than he?
Here, G3863 jealousy is used in the context of “exciting a rivalry” by having fellowship with devils.
Παραζηλόω parazēloō par-ad-zay-lo’-o
From G3844 and G2206; to stimulate alongside, that is, excite to rivalry: – provoke to emulation (jealousy).
Romans 11:11 (KJV)
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy (G3863).
What I think people might be expressing instead of “Godly jealousy” is this:
Hebrews 10:24 (KJV+)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto (G1519 G3948) love and to good works:
Here provoke is G3948:
Παροξυσμός paroxusmos par-ox-oos-mos’
From G3947 (“paroxysm”); incitement (to good), or dispute (in anger): – contention, provoke unto.
It is also possible that the beast is expressing ungodly envy, coveting of other people’s gifts, and competitiveness but I can only speak for myself. I have witnessed that phenomenon inside of myself. When I examine myself and The Lord enables me to see that, I ask for cleansing knowing such things promotes unhealthy competition within the body rather than unity. It is all a process and The Lord has been (and is) dealing with me in regards to my carnal competitiveness.
Hi M_____ and Everyone,
You raise some very good points that I had not considered before.
You are very right that this Godly jealousy spoken of is aroused when our bride, the Body of Christ, is being drawn away from the truth.
(2Co 11:2 NKJV) 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.
Paul was sent by Christ to the Corinthians to espouse them to one husband, Christ. Paul is a representative of Christ and therefore speaks on behalf of Christ just as Christ would speak to us.
(1Jn 4:17 NKJV) Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.
(Joh 20:21 NKJV) So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Paul is jealous that his bride, the Church at Corinth, is being led astray and fornicating with false prophets that are not her true husband.
(2Co 11:3 NKJV) But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2Co 11:4 NKJV) For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
So we should all be jealous with Godly jealousy when others in the Body are led astray, and we should go after the lost sheep with great zeal just as Paul did.
(Luk 15:4 NKJV) “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
(Luk 15:5 NKJV) And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
(Luk 15:6 NKJV) And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
It is very important that we hold to a pattern of sound words and I agree with you that “Godly jealousy” is not used in the scriptures to talk about desiring others gifts or their fellowship time. It would be better to praise the work of God in others as they express their gifts, or share their time of fellowship with others.
(2Ti 1:13 NKJV) Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 10:24 is a good verse which you reference, but also notice verse 25.
(Heb 10:24 NKJV) And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works
(Heb 10:25 NKJV) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
It is certainly a good thing to desire fellowship and to be provoked to good works by others. As Mike said, not everyone has the ability to travel and visit others, so in that case it should provoke us to fellowship in any way we can, phone, e-mail, skype, etc.
I’ve been thinking a lot about local fellowship recently and have been provoked by God and others to try to visit those around me more often. I have the ability to travel so I should use it.
Many people cannot travel, so if anyone can travel, please consider taking a trip to visit someone in the fellowship near you. We should not always wait for a conference to see others in the fellowship.
It is a very narrow way between being provoked to good works and being covetous and jealous. It is an incredible trial to be a weak member of the body that is not as strong or gifted as other members of the body. The truth is that God has distributed his gifts and some parts of the body are more visible and more often praised and thanked than others.
(1Co 12:19 NKJV) And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
(1Co 12:20 NKJV) But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.
(1Co 12:21 NKJV) And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”
(1Co 12:22 NKJV) No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.
(1Co 12:23 NKJV) And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty,
(1Co 12:24 NKJV) but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it,
(1Co 12:25 NKJV) that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.
Because of this we are told to “bestow greater honor” on the weaker parts because the stronger parts do not have that need. I’m taking this as a personal admonition to remember more often and bestow honor more often on those quiet unseen members of the Body that do their work behind the scenes. They need encouragement the most. It’s more blessed to give than to receive, so when we are in a weak state and forced to receive a great deal, we need encouragement.
This honor can be bestowed in private. There is nothing wrong with thanking someone for their work, but it is wrong if we desire to be seen of men and seek to sound a trumpet as we serve the Lord.
(Mat 6:2 NKJV) Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
(Mat 6:3 NKJV) But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
(Mat 6:4 NKJV) that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
If you are an unseen member of the Body, don’t be jealous or upset if your good deeds are done in secret. God will reward you openly.
That being said, if you see someone doing something that honors God, tell them! Go to them in private and encourage them, tell them you see Christ working in their life. That is immensely encouraging. We must always give the credit to God, and it is so wonderful to hear that God is actually causing us to bear fruit. We often do not realize how far we have come until someone else sees it and tell us. We so often get caught up in all of our shortcomings that we neglect to praise God for the victories.
I really appreciate you bringing this to my attention M_______. It is so important that we express our gratitude to God for our role in the Body and whatever talent he has given us. I’m referring to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.
We often have a very narrow definition of what a “talent” is in our lives. We tend to think of teaching, writing, music, etc. However, zeal to know God and the desire to ask questions is a talent that needs to be used and not buried in the earth.
(Pro 2:4 NKJV) If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;
If we are weak and in need of prayer, that desire to ask for prayer and confess that we need it is a talent. When we seek the help of others, we are obeying God’s commands AND we are giving them the opportunity to share what they have been given.
The majority of my writings on my website have come from others asking questions. I know the same is true for Mike. Those of you who ask are a TREMENDOUS blessing to this body, more than you will ever know.
For example, tonight was one of those nights where I was just not very motivated. I did not want to read or study. I was not tired, just lacking zeal. I was praying for God to help me, and he sent me S______ and M______.
S______ asked a great question about Matt 24 that motivated me, and M______ made these comments that gave me the zeal I needed.
So I encourage all of you to ask God to reveal your talent to you, it may not be what you expect nor what you’re looking for.
(2Co 12:9 NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Here is a study that will help as well with this topic of functioning as a Body.
Much love in Christ to all of you,