Simplicity In Christ

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2 Corinthians 11:1-4 (KJV)  Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.  [2]  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.  [3]  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.  [4]  For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another Spirit, which ye have not received, or another Gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

Sometimes I’m disturbed by what I see in our world.
I’m not disturbed by what the lost do.
I’m disturbed by what the saved are doing.

The Apostle Paul was disturbed as well.
Other teachers were coming in and making our faith COMPLEX.
These teachers were inadvertently doing what the devil did in the Garden.

I Am Jealous Over You With A Godly Jealousy

The Apostle had invested of himself in the Church. He poured out his heart to the Church. He said “I am JEALOUS over you”, the Greek ZELOO {pronounced dzay-lo’-o) which means “to burn with zeal”. Paul was not jealous over the Church because he wanted them devoted to HIM. He was jealous over the Church because he wanted them devoted to Christ. He said to the Church:

I have ESPOUSED you to ONE HUSBAND”

The word “ESPOUSED” is the Greek HARMOZO {pronounced har-mod’-zo}. The word HARMOZO – it almost sounds like “harmony” doesn’t it? – is a term used both in carpentry as well as marriage. It means to “fasten together so as to make a whole” or to “bring two together so they can be married”. In the ancient world men and women didn’t just run around falling into love and out of love like we do in our nutty world today. A young lady or young man was introduced to one another often by a caring relative such as a parent. This word is only found one time in the New Testament. The word speaks of a good fit – two who are perfectly matched to one another. The Corinthian believer needed Christ, and the Church needs Christ.

The two are bound together in love. The Apostle said:

that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ”

The Apostle uses the phrase “chaste virgin” or HAGNOS, which comes from the Greek HAGIOS meaning “set apart, holy, pure, devoted to”. It was his intention that the Church be unified and focused on pleasing Jesus and Jesus alone. That the Church like an engaged Bride would love Jesus and serve Jesus. Paul saw himself as a close family friend or an elder who introduced the Bride to her Groom. Paul focused not on entertaining the Church, but on FEEDING the Church. The Apostle took seriously the command to:

FEED the Church of God, Which {God} hath purchased
with His own Blood (Acts 20:28)

But where ever God is the Devil is. God made Adam and Eve, and placed them in a perfect Garden. He gave them a very simple rule to follow. God never gives us hard or difficult rules. He realizes that we are like Sheep, and like Sheep we often go astray. So God makes it very easy. God put Adam in the Garden and commanded ADAM:

Genesis 2:16-17 (KJV)  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  [17]  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

The command was very simple. There was a YES and a NO to the command. God gives a YES, and God gives a NO. The YES was “you can eat anything you want, and as much of it as you want”. The NO was “don’t eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil”. That’s it. A simple YES and a simple NO for a simple people.

The Serpent Beguiled Eve Through His Subtlety

God gave a SIMPLE command.
The devil offered a SUBTLE variation.

What did the devil do? He did what he does best. The Bible says:

Genesis 3:1 (KJV)  Now the SERPENT WAS MORE SUBTLE than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. …

Notice that GOD made the serpent. He didn’t make himself. He was made of God. He was SUBTLE. Snakes are subtle. I’ve nearly stepped on snakes before out hiking in the woods. I stepped over a rattler one day – not meaning to, I just thought it was a stick. But I stepped over it. Praise God that he looks after blind boys like me!

How do I know that this SERPENT is the DEVIL? Because my Bible says so. The Scripture tells us:

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, THAT OLD SERPENT, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 20:2 And {an Angel came down from Heaven and}… laid hold on the dragon, THAT OLD SERPENT, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

God never made a talking snake. Thank God for that! God made Lucifer, who chose to fall from Heaven and become THAT OLD SERPENT. What did the devil do? He questions God:

Genesis 3:1 … And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

See how subtle the devil is? “Has God really said that? I had a dear friend write me the other day and asked a question about Romans 1:18-32 and homosexuality. Her question was what was the final state of those who are addressed in that passage. I’ll highlight part of this passage:

Romans 1:25-27 (KJV)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  [26]  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  [27]  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

The people spoken of are IDOLATORS. They do not worship the God of the Bible, nor do they even want to think of Him. Though He has called to them through the Gospel they refused to hear. So “God gave them over”. He walked away. The text goes on to say that they are:

Romans 1:29-32 (KJV)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  [30]  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  [31]  Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  [32]  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

What will be the final outcome of such people? They shall certainly not be in God’s Heaven. The serpent whispers to the world “hath God really said”? Yes, God hath said. But God says this:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (KJV)  Know ye not that the UNRIGHTEOUS SHALL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  [10]  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.  [11]  And such were some of you: BUT ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

Those involved in unrighteousness shall not inherit the Kingdom of God – nor would they want to be. A lost person in Heaven would be in hell. But the hope of the Scripture – the simple Gospel – is “SUCH WERE SOME OF YOU B-U-T”.

If a person will hear the simple Gospel.
If that person will ignore the subtle serpent.
If that person will listen to God.

That person can be saved.

In our world today the serpent is still just as active as he was in the Garden of Eden with our fore-parents. He blends in and makes complex. The Bible says:

1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)  For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

The subtle serpent says:

Genesis 3:4-5 (KJV) … Ye shall not surely die:  [5]  For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

What God said is a LIE” the devil declares. “God is just ruining your pleasure”. No, God is not. But the serpent – that old subtle serpent – loves to draw us away from God. He has gotten into more Churches through subtlety. He continues to invade Churches today.

God Has Given Us Three Very Simple Truths

Adam and Eve had a very simple rule to live by. Eat whatever you want BUT the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God has given His Church three very simple truths to live by.

And yes, we love to mess it up!

2 Corinthians 11:4 (KJV) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another Spirit, which ye have not received, or another Gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

We who are God’s Church have three Simple truths:

Jesus
The Spirit
The Gospel

  • Who is Jesus? The Bible tells us that Jesus is LORD. He is the very Son of God. He is co-eternal with God the Father and God the Spirit. He is partnered with both Father and Spirit in creation.

Genesis 1:1 (KJV)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Colossians 1:16-18 (KJV)  For by {Jesus} were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  [17]  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  [18]  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Jesus is not just “One way among many ways to God”. Jesus is the ONLY Way to God. Jesus Himself said:

John 14:6 (KJV)  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus is God INCARNATE, or God become flesh. Because the serpent subtly led Adam to disobey God all of humanity fell into sin. So EVERYONE is a sinner. Even that cute little baby is a sinner. We are born into this world in sin. So God became man and dwelt among us. This is Jesus. The Bible says:

Hebrews 1:1-2 (KJV)  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  [2]  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Here is the Simple Truth. There is a God Who made everything. He made everything through Jesus. He sent His Son Jesus to this earth. God speaks to us through Jesus and only Jesus.

  • Who is the Spirit? The Spirit of God is co-eternal with both Father and Son. The Spirit of God was present in the creation of the world. The Bible says:

Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV)  In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  [2]  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

When you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior God the Holy Spirit acts upon you. He causes the believer in Christ to be spiritually born. Jesus told us when He spoke to Nicodemus:

John 3:3-8 (KJV)  Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  [4]  Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  [5]  Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  [6]  That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  [7]  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  [8]  The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Everyone on this planet is “born of the flesh”, and is born with a sin nature. But when you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior God the Holy Spirit moves upon your life. He changes you, and continues to change you. The Scripture declares:

Ephesians 2:1-10 (KJV)  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;  [2]  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:  [3]  Among whom also we all had our {way of life} in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  [4]  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,  [5]  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)  [6]  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:  [7]  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  [8]  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  [9]  Not of works, lest any man should boast.  [10]  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

It is God the Holy Spirit Who makes the Christian. You are not made a Christian by a profession or a creed. You are not made a Christian by a denomination. You are made a Christian by God. God works in us. When you received Christ as Lord and Savior God the Holy Spirit came into your life. And Beloved, you are indwelt by the Spirit just as Christ promised:

John 14:15-18 (KJV)  If ye love me, keep my commandments.  [16]  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  [17]  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  [18]  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

1 Corinthians 6:17-20 (KJV)  But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.  [18]  Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.  [19]  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  [20]  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

You belong to God, dear Christian. When you received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior He sent the Holy Spirit to you. That Holy Spirit – bless Him – began a work in you that will not stop until the day of your ultimate redemption in Glory! If any person has not the Spirit of Christ HE IS NONE OF HIS (Romans 8:9). Do not be deceived! A Christian is the property of God and a work in progress.

  • What is The Gospel? Here the serpent has been very subtle. He has been trying to twist this Gospel for a long time. The word “Gospel” means “Good News”. The “bad news” is that all are sinners. The Good News is that Christ came to save us from our sins.

The Gospel is “The Lord Jesus”. This is what the early Apostles taught. They went out “preaching the LORD Jesus” (Acts 11:20). A person is not saved by keeping the Law of Moses, but by believing on the Lord Jesus (Acts 15:11). When someone asks:

what must I do to be saved?

the simple message we give is:

Acts 16:31 (KJV) … BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

The Christian life is begun by:

Acts 20:21 (KJV)  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and FAITH TOWARD OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

If a person asks me “can I be saved by just saying I believe on Jesus but without coming to Him as Lord” my answer is simply NO! He is LORD! You are saved by submitting your life to Him and Him alone. How is a person saved?

Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Romans 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Romans 13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

He is Lord! He is Lord of His people. What His Bible says is right. What God declares is true. When the serpent comes and whispers “Hath God really said?” do not give him a break. Say “what God has decreed, I affirm”. Reject that serpent. Reject his ways. Even if it is unpopular, maintain the simplicity that is in Christ.

In God’s name I beg you!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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