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by Wayne Blank
"I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ"
The apostle Paul (see also Paul's Ministry) was well familiar with helping people to come to the Truth and then discover later that they had been misled in his absence e.g. "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-7 KJV).
It was not for himself that Paul was troubled when that happened, but rather because "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." Paul understood that when people become unfaithful to Christ, it's because they have been committing (spiritual) adultery with another "suitor," Satan.
"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 subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Chaste was also used in the physical sense, but for a greater purpose i.e. Christian Living. The "aged" of the King James Version in these verses refers not merely to physical age, but to responsibility - people of any age who have come to understand God's Truth are expected to live by it.
"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
Paul's instructions to women to be chaste (i.e. to live a peaceful, humble life) was also directed to the men i.e. "Likewise, ye husbands" as "heirs together of the grace of life."
"Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
Fact Finder: How does the Commandment that forbids adultery ultimately apply to faithfulness to God?