The Simplicity of Christ
But 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
Human beings have a way of complicating the obvious. Take, for instance the three volume book Principia Mathematica, a 372 page behemoth that proves scientifically and philosophically that 1+1=2. Aren’t you glad that was settled? Because if you have one orange and someone gave you one additional orange, how else could be sure how many you now have without the existence of this scholarly book? Whew!
This trait of over complication dates back to the Garden of Eden where Satan, in the form of a snake, sowed a bit of doubt into what Eve knew to be true. “Didn’t God say you could eat anything? Satan asked.” “Well, yes,” Eve said, “Only not ‘that’ or we’ll die.” “You won’t die,” he said. And the seed was sown. Well, will she or won’t she…
Satan is crafty, he is subtle, and he exploits our curiosity routinely with this question, “Is what you know really true? How can you be sure?”
The Apostle Paul wasn’t concerned with mathematics, he was thinking about their understanding of Jesus. He added, “For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!”
Another Jesus, a different spirit, a different gospel, and his concern was that they might go along with it. Paul had received a direct revelation from Christ Jesus Himself and the mandate, from Jesus, to go share the message with the gentiles – the non-Jewish peoples, and he had been faithful to the task of proclaiming that Jesus was indeed the Christ, the Son of the Living God, crucified, buried and risen again for the redemption of mankind.
But, was Jesus really God? Did He really die? Did He really rise from the dead? Did the disciples even run to the right tomb? Maybe He was a prophet, or just the best man who ever lived. But God incarnate? Really? And the seed is sown. And Paul is amazed at the fact that his friends may put up with it.
His inference, clearly, is don’t put up with it. The simplicity of Christ is the bedrock of modern civilization – we date our calendars on His history-changing life, death and resurrection. He literally stepped in and saved the world. “when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive our adoption as sons.… Galatians 4:4-5
Keep it simple and believe it with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16