Sermon Q&A

Sierra Robinson asked this question concerning the sermon:

If jealousy’s source is idolatry than how do we navigate God being a jealous God and husbands/ wives being jealous in their affections for one another?

Great question Sierra!

The fact is that there are two types of jealousy: good and bad. The first type, good, is justifiable and expected. It emerges when right and beautiful relationships are invaded or robbed of their value. God is jealous of his people’s affections being redirected to idols (Deut 32:16; Ezek 5:13; 8:3, 5; 2 Corinthians 11:2) and a man’s jealousy finds justifiable expression at the displacement of his wife’s affections for him to another man (Prov 6:34). This type of jealousy has the exaltation of beautiful and God honoring relationships as its goal.

The second type, bad, is self-centered and unjustifiable. It emerges when one threatens relationships and structures that are granted more value than they actually deserve. There are several blatant prohibitions against bad jealousy (Romans 3:13; 2 Corinthians 12:20; Galatians 5:19-20; James 3:14). In Acts 13:45, the Jewish leaders are provoked to jealousy by the crowd’s affections for Paul. Threat to those in power produces jealousy. In 1 Corinthians 3:3, Paul notes that the church in Corinth was acting in a manner that placed them at odds with growing in grace. Bad jealousy kills the intimacy of love between Christians. James 3:14 and 16 demonstrate that the presence of jealousy generates deception, disorder, and “every vile practice.” This type of jealousy has the exaltation of self as its goal, which is the reason it produces so much damage.

Hope that helps.

Jeff