There is only one truly simple thing, and that is a soul’s relationship to Christ. A person is made simple by being restored once he gives his life to Jesus Christ. And this will always show in how he acts. That’s why the Apostle Paul said, “I fear, lest by any means…your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” This refers to the simple love that we give to Him alone, because we are no longer searching for someone or something else to satisfy us.
The knowledge of evil that came to man because of the Fall in the Garden of Eden has made him broad-minded. It’s amazing how tolerant minds poisoned by experiencing evil excessively become concerning the sins of other people. In fact, they can become so broad-minded that their power to actually do anything has been paralyzed. They only know good in contrast with evil—which is the exact opposite of God’s order. But whenever God’s people come to know good and evil in the way He originally designed, they can no longer tolerate evil. We can see this by how intensely they react against it. And when God’s nature has its way in us, we’ll reflect the same lack of tolerance for evil. It’s only by God’s grace that the evil of a man’s mind and imagination can be taken out, and he can be made simple toward God.
Paul told the Corinthian Church, “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. 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 11:2-3). Paul was concerned “…lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). This would corrupt the simple understanding they needed to have in their relationship between God and their soul.
If other men were to come bringing something better to these Corinthians, Paul told them that it would pay to listen to them. But the ones who did come only wanted to drag them down to a lower level in order to turn their hearts away from Christ. The substitute they wanted to offer them wasn’t any better, or any greater, or more satisfying than Christ. “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” (2 Corinthians 11:4). If anyone approaches you saying, “I’ve found someone better than Christ” and he really has, you might want to listen to him. But the truth is—you’ll never find anyone who’s better than Christ!
The serpent deceived Eve first and has been deceiving mankind through the centuries that followed. He presents us with what seems like honest intentions and promises, while striving all along to deceive us into turning our heart away from Christ. Through his subtlety, he was able to deceive Eve by luring her away from having personal faith in God, while encouraging her to depend only on her own reasoning abilities. But Paul told his flock, “You’ve been made for only one person—one husband—who is Christ. I don’t want you to be pulled aside from submitting to and obeying Him and staying in the right frame of mind concerning Him. I hope you’ll be able to come to Him full of thoughts that are pure—totally focused on Him. I don’t want you to be divided, or chasing after any other husband, so that Christ will be able to make you His wife, and be married to you forever.”
“The simplicity that is in Christ…” applies to “…one husband” only. But the conflict throughout the whole Christian period of history has been between a pure, clear testimony of the Good News of Christ, and all the various substitutes presented to men by the enemy of our souls. He wants to turn men away from this simplicity in Christ. Paul told the Corinthians “I taught you the Gospel in pure and unmixed simplicity—the only way you can be united to Christ. But I’m afraid that your new “apostle” might draw you away from it. Then your minds might fail to cling simply to what I taught you. I don’t want you to be corrupted by mixing what I said with other beliefs.”
Christ is the betrothed husband of those who believe in Him (the true Church). He’s the One Who died for us. It is to Him that we belong, and we must keep our heart faithful to Him. At the final judgment seat of Christ, Paul wanted to be able to tell Him, “These are the ones I’ve won for You, whose hearts have remained faithful. They’re here now to be united with You eternally.” He didn’t want them to become unfaithful by straying outside of the proper path.
In our human life and soul, only one thing is truly simple—the relationship of each individual soul to God. This is what “…the simplicity that is in Christ” means. Everything must come back to that one most important point—a personal relationship to God in Christ alone. From every point of view concerning our morality, our intellect or our spirit, it’s been proven that the only way to live in a simple, personal relationship to God is through being united with one husband—Jesus Christ.
“My heart is fixed, [on You] O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.”Psalm 57:7
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