2 Corinthians 11:3
3 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.
Paul, in his second letter to the church at Corinth, wrote these words in reference to individuals (likely even whole groups) who were being pulled away from the teachings of Christ. He even suggests that people were accepting other doctrines from men who were coming into the area, and even that people were accepting teachings of “another Jesus.”
This is a theme seen multiple times throughout the scriptures, like in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. From the opening of the letter, we can see this is a problem in that church as well.
6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
Clearly, corruption and man-made doctrines were a problem for the church in the first century. People were adding to and changing the Gospel of Christ as they saw fit, undermining not only Jesus’s teachings, but the gift of the Holy Spirit and revelation in the Apostles and the commandments of the Father. People were being led astray, and were growing increasingly confused by these false teachers. This is the reason why Paul, as well as many other apostles and Jesus Himself, openly rebuked these false teachers. If people were to be saved, they would have to stay on track and hold true to the teachings of Christ.
But you know what the most amazing part about all that is? This is still a problem today.
We see this all time! Men who go out and teach false doctrines, proclaiming to have “another testament” of Jesus Christ (clearly covered in Galatians 1), and changing the commandments of God to fit their own personal agenda. Whether it’s telling people that faith only will save you, that baptism is not required, once-saved-always-saved, or something that seems as minor as instrumental music; we need to remember that God has revealed to us all the things He desires of us, and the right and acceptable ways to worship Him. It’s important that we avoid these false teachings, stay true to our faith, and hold fast to the teachings of Christ. Paul goes on in Galatians 1 to mention this very thing as well…
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
In verse 10, Paul asks a rhetorical questions, as he so often liked to do:
- Do I now persuade men, or God? – Obviously Paul is not, and cannot, persuade God to change his stance. Is this something that men today can do? Men who do no have the divine inspiration that Paul and the other Apostles had?
Following the example shown to us by Paul, we need to seek not to please men, but to please God; to become a bondservant of Christ and live to do God’s will. We need to stand up for Jesus, hold true to His Gospel and not be led astray by doctrines of men.
As I continue to proclaim the Gospel and strive do God’s will, I’m always looking for ways to improve how I can deliver the message to people. That is why, as you may have noticed, the name of this blog has changed to “Christ Made Simple.” Now, this in no way is meant to undermine Jesus or make Him seem small, it’s just meant to be a way to better convey my goals as a messenger and servant of Christ by helping others come to a better understanding of the simplicity of the Gospel of Christ by going to it the source.
I’d just like to thank everyone so far for their support and encouragement so far, and appreciate everyone who bears with me in this re-naming effort!