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The Simplicity that is in Christ

Satan wants to deceive you in the same way the serpent deceived Eve. The Christian life is simple. God’s Word is simple. Do I surprise you by saying that?

The Christian life is simple. God’s Word is simple.

Do I surprise you by saying that?

If you’ve heard me answer the question, “How can I be holy?”, you may have seen some words and ideas that seem complicated.

When I’ve asked another question, “Is it fake?,” I told you about the possibility of spiritual deception.

I’ve told you how to get a fresh start by acquiring a knowledge of the holy. Doesn’t that sound complicated?

With so many issues and moving parts, how can spiritual things be simple?

No wonder some people feel that God’s Way is over their head!

I want you to understand this:

God’s Way is simple.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this fact.

Let’s take a look at what Apostle Paul says to the Corinthians:

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.

2 Corinthians 11:3

Failing to recognize and abide in…

The Simplicity that is in Christ

can lead to personal and collective harm.

Before I tell you about the danger, I want you to understand what the scripture means by “simplicity.”

The Bible uses the underlying word for “simplicity” in five different ways:

First, you have the obvious meaning:

  • Simplicity. When you live in Christ, your life is not complicated.

“The state of being not complex, or of consisting of few parts; as the simplicity of a machine.”

Noah Webster. “American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Edition).

Gods way has few moving parts, and it is easy to understand. Also, it never breaks down.

Now, I can’t say the same thing about religion. I think the apostle Paul is making that point in our text.

Jesus, makes a similar observation when He condemns the religious leaders, of His day, for complicating God’s message:

In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark 7:7

Simplicity also means

  • Singleness. In Christ, we have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one purpose (Ephesians 4:5). We should not lose our focus, being distracted by the world and the flesh.

Looking back to Noah Webster’s dictionary, simplicity indicates

“The state of being unmixed or uncompounded; as the simplicity of metals or of earths.”

Noah Webster. “American Dictionary of the English Language (1828 Edition).

Think about the elements: They are as basic as you can get. Iron, gold, oxygen… they are foundational to life on earth. They are very important, but they are also simple.

That’s how things are with Christ.

God’s way is Jesus. You don’t need anything or anyone but Jesus. You serve Him, and Him alone, just as servants serve their master with singleness of heart (Ephesians 6:5).

Christ is loyal to you. You should be loyal to Him.

Jesus teaches,

No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.

Luke 16:13

In scripture, simplicity also means

  • Liberality. God gives to us liberally. He’s not stingy. In the New Testament church, believers gave liberally to those in need (2 Corinthians 8:2).

I want to remind you of how Jesus commissions His disciples in Matthew chapter 10, verse 8:

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

Matthew 10:8

And then, in the Book of Romans,

He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity;

Romans 12:8

Simplicity means more than liberal giving. It also implies receiving in

  • Bountifulness. God doesn’t only expect us to give freely to others. He also wants us to receive a bounty at His hand.

God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:11, 13

Abundance characterizes our life in Christ Jesus. Jesus says, regarding believers, in John chapter 10,

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

John 10:10

As a bonus, I’d like to mention one thing that simplicity is not: It is not

  • Fleshly wisdom.

In simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world…

1 Corinthians 1:12

It is the simplicity that I’ve just talked to you about that Apostle Paul fears you might lose.

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.

2 Corinthians 11:3

Let’s take a look at the

Danger of corruption

as described in our text (2 Corinthians 11:3).

Some teachers, in the church at Corinth. became prominent, demanding that the people follow complicated rules.

The same thing happens in modern churches, so pay close attention to their message.

Some ministers and teachers will teach you wrong. They don’t blatantly deny God’s Word.

As was the case when the Serpent corrupted Eve, Satan won’t, straight out, tell you that he’s deceiving you.

Notice…

The tactic of corruption

As the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty…

2 Corinthians 11:3

Satan deceived Eve into questioning God’s Word.

Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

Genesis 3:1

Next, Eve added to God’s Word:

Here’s what she said that God said:

Of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

Genesis 3:3

Satan closed the deal by denying God’s Word:

The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

Genesis 3:4

Moreover, the Serpent caused Eve to doubt God’s motives.

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.

Genesis 3:5

In short, Satan deceives us using the same tools that he used to deceive Eve.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 John 2:16

The pathway of corruption

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption;

Galatians 6:8

Here’s what Jesus says about the flesh:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:

John 6:63

The result of corruption

Eve’s transgression led to her personal fall as well as the fall of the entire human race.

Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 5:12

Similarly, If Satan corrupts you from the simplicity that is in Christ, you will suffer loss as an individual and cause harm to the Body of Christ.

Fortunately, we are not called to corruption

The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Romans 8:21

In Christ, you have liberty. You have liberality. You have loyalty. You have bounty. Also, in Christ, you have a purpose. You have one master.

Respond

In conclusion, let me return to the fear that Apostle Paul had for believers and the church. He worried that,

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

2 Corinthians 11:4

Exercise discernment as you listen to teachers and preachers. If their message contradicts the simplicity of Christ, turn away from them.

Don’t let false teachers corrupt you or your church!