I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. 2 Corinthians 11:1-4
It seems when you read between the lines that by their attitude and behavior,some members of the Corinthian church were not merely susceptible to false doctrine and teaching ,but as it were, on the lookout and ready to welcome it.
This particular fellowship no longer found the simple doctrine of salvation and faith in Jesus Christ enough. They were on the lookout for novelties and spectacular manifestations to liven up the “dull” routine.
Any “teacher” who arrived on the scene with a different gospel and a new “spirit’ would receive a warm welcome , respectful hearing and find ready devotees.
The church at Corinth was not unique in its propensity for going off track, but it’s constant seeking for the exciting and new, left them wide open to be imposed upon by charlatans.
The mere fact that we have in scripture these letters written to Corinth indicate that there was still a core of soundness in this church yet by their atittude and practices, they were leaving themselves wide open to attack from the “Old Serpent” who wanted to deceive who he could away from the true Gospel.
Sad to say that in the Church today we see many of the same trends and tendencies among professing believers. Many still have itchy ears for doctrines and teachers which promise more than they can deliver but run counter to the sound understanding of Holy Scripture.
How many plausible and successful preachers and teachers are sprinkling their teaching with flesh pleasing, subtle errors?
True none of us are infallible and we can go astray and err in some areas of doctrine and practice, but there is a world of difference between this and the person who uses scripture language to pedal unscriptural teaching and heresy, with no other intent than to build up a following for themselves.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. “Matthew 10:16
The need for vigilance and watchfulness is clear; we must not be decieved by things which appear plausible yet lead away from God’s revealed truth. Also we must not depart from the simplicity of the Gospel ,even if our flesh finds it mundane or tedious and pleads for excitement and novelty.
We must keep “a weather eye” out for anything which has a tendency to lead us astray from the gospel “once delivered to the saints”. Indeed we must contend for it against those who would draw us away from it.
The danger in forever seeking the new and exciting as an end in itself, is something to beware of. If our eyes were open we would see in the simplicity of the Gospel message and plain Christian worship a beauty and joy superior to any carnal excitement.
Will a man rob God?
My mother use to work at a bakery when she was young and one of the Bakers was caught taking Bread dough home. He was given the “sack” straight away .Even though He tearfully begged for his job he was refused. The reason being that if he had asked for it he would have been given the dough. It was his for the asking, but he took it without consent.
The moral of this story is obvious.
In a spiritual sense we can apply this to all the good gifts we receive from God.
The fact is that our receiving far outweighs our asking. Sadly , we have come to regard God’s gracious bounty as something which is our due and because of this our gratitude is lacking.
The “Manna” appears at our doorstep but we so often forget the one who sent it to us.
The Lord’s prayer teaches us to ask for our daily bread but so often just take it without acknowledging God’s ownership and His generosity in giving what we daily recieve .
In a real sense we can never give God His due but we can give what He asks, our service, our prayers and supplications and greatest of all our first and best love.
Maybe the only way in which we can rob God is when we fail to acknowledge His ownership of us and return the thanksgiving and honour that belongs to His name.
Sawdust in the diet.
During the siege of Leningrad, to make loaves of bread more substantial, they adulterated the bread dough with sawdust and wood shavings.
I heard somewhere that in the Soviet “Gulags” or prisons ,in Siberia, they fed the inmates grass soup. It had no nutritional value but filled the stomachs of the poor souls. I think they learned this recipe from the Chinese.
I wonder how many people who would label themselves “Christians” are having their Spiritual sustenance adulterated by sawdust, or are being fed with the spiritual equivalent of cattle fodder?
How often are we being filled up with things which do not provide any real Spiritual nutrition?
It seems that much that happens in the life and worship of the church does nothing more than cater to the “flesh”, and fails to build up the soul and Spirit.
The Preaching of the Word of God is put on the backburner and replaced by human psychology and manpleasing doctrines without foundation in the Word.
In our Christian as well as our physical diet we need to watch what we eat and avoid being force fed stuff which is bad for our health.