From Paul’s second letter to the believers in Corinth we read, “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.” (2 Corinthians 11:3)
Paul has a problem. The believers in Corinth are being deceived by those who claim to speak with the same authority as Paul. And they are leading the professing believers astray. Paul finds himself throughout his letter defending his apostleship.
Those who are infiltrating the church are described by Paul as,
“. . . false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:13)
Where are these “false apostles,” these “deceitful workers” leading? As is so very common in the New Testament letters, there is a constant theme of leading believers away from “the simplicity that is in Christ.”
The apostle Paul stood in the gap between Christians and non-Christians, teaching “the simplicity that is in Christ,” not boasting in his apostleship but rather confirming it, the intent being to keep those he was jealous for (V-2) from being drawn into something that would lead them into a bondage built upon a lie.
Take note: The man comes into the candy store. He asks the clerk, in regards to a specific candy, “Does this product have eggs in it?” He goes on to say to the clerk, “My religion does not allow me to eat eggs.”
And another rule and regulation of one of the myriad of religions that are in the world today. One teaches that you must fast a certain amount of time, while another tells you that you must say a certain amount of hail-Mary prayers, and yet another has you believing you must have a certain experience if you are to attain to a complete reconciliation with God. The list of “false apostles” and “deceitful workers” is an endless one, all spurred on by their father the devil, Satan (John 8:44-45).
“Does this product have eggs in it?” “My religion does not allow me to eat eggs.” Paul writes of “Christ,”
“. . . having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He (Christ) has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross . . .”
And so . . .
” . . . let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths . . . but the substance is of Christ.” (Colossians 2:14-17)
The truth is . . . we who profess Christ as Lord and Savior should know beyond a doubt that in Him “the handwriting of requirements” and that “which was contrary to us” has been “taken out of the way.” Those who attempt to teach us anything different, no matter what their credentials may be, are like the serpent of old, like false apostles and deceitful workers, always seeking to bring professing believers into some form of bondage that corrupts the very doctrine of Christ and attempts to take us away from “the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Oh, stay on your spiritual toes. Stay in the Word. Keep your faith firmly rooted in Christ, and you’ll be able to thwart the teachings of those who serve the serpent . . . always endeavoring to keep it simple.
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