2 Cor 11:1-3
INTRO: I am intrigued by the sentiment of v.3 and by the expression the simplicity that is in Christ. That expression appears in a context of great apostolic concern for the fidelity of the Corinthian church. There is little doubt that the Corinthian church had a multitude of problems. And it was a church which no doubt tried the patience of Paul. Now, he is fearful that false teachers are leading them away from their faithfulness to Christ ... and that they have such a spirit of toleration that they are doing nothing about the error. Let me challenge you to think about the simplicity that is in Christ.
A. May have meaning of devotion, singleness of mind
1. certainly, that fits the idea of espousal of v.2
2. his godly jealousy has to do with any efforts by false teachers to lead Christians away from Christ
3. devotion, single mindedness are essentials!
B. Another possibility? the nature of the error
1. Christianity is, in fact, very simple
2. but human invention suggests otherwise!
3. Judaizers, gnostics added ideas, practices which corrupted simplicity
C. Note 2 Cor 11:4 ... deviations!
1. the message had been so simple (Gal 1:6,7)
2. but human minds seem to almost resent the simple and want complex, complicated
3. so, the appeal of the philosophers, the intellectuals ... theyre so smart, so elite they have good sounding things to say ... so appealing
II. WHAT ABOUT THE SIMPLICITY IN CHRIST
A. The simplicity of Gods plan of salvation
1. sin is broken law - punishment required - substitutionary death - penalty paid ... 1 Pet 3:18 (simple fact)
2. a union into His death, burial, resurrection .. Rom 6:3-6 (a beautifully simple thing is baptism ... by which His death becomes ours in its benefits
3. a specific point of knowing .... Gal 3:27 (simple into tells the story)
B. The simplicity of faithfulness
1. husband/wife relationship ... 2 Cor 11:2 (simple marital fidelity ... how uncomplicated!)
2. faithfulness only becomes complicated when we are no longer single minded toward spouse
3. I wonder if it is we who make fidelity complicated
C. The simplicity of the church
1. descriptive terms: body - kingdom - family - temple
2. each descriptive term is familiar and teaches us so much about the church of our Lord
3. Acts 2:47 ekklesia - called out ... the word church even teaches us of its nature (1 Tim 3:15 directions!)
D. The simplicity of worship
1. simple things: singing, communion, contributing, praying, preaching/teaching
2. but people have left, are leaving that simplicity in favor of appealing things ... deprived of those things, could they even worship?
3. Jno 4:24 a spirit attuned to God must join actions of truth to worship God ... simple facts, simple truths
E. The simplicity of the spirit of love
1. even here we are not left to wonder what is meant
2. Jno 14:15 - Jno 15:14 - 1 Jno 5:1-3
3. or 1 Jno 3:16-18
4. or Mt 7:12 how much more simple could it be?
CLOSE: Does something need to be complicated to be true? No. Do human inventions always improve on things? No. Can men improve on Gods handiwork? No. I am convinced that we must reemphasize the simplicity that is in Christ.
Cecil A. Hutson
20 January 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)