The Serpent’s Subtilty #4

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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 KJV).

The Serpent is “subtil,” so the saint must be sagacious!

Some of Paul’s converts in Corinth, Greece, were questioning his apostleship, doubting that Jesus Christ had really sent him to them. False teachers had caused them to become anti-Paul, and thus, anti-Jesus Christ: they rejected Jesus Christ speaking through the Apostle Paul. That is the context of today’s Scripture. We want to focus on verse 4 now, particularly the phrase, “another spirit:” “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.”

Paul feared someone would “receive another spirit, which ye have not received.” What does that mean? Paul preached God’s Grace, not His Law. Romans 8:15: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Paul preached, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Romans 6:14). Unlike Peter, James, and John (Matthew 5:17-19; Acts 10:35; James 2:8-26; 1 John 2:3; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:2), Paul never preached law, commandment-keeping. To learn about the spirit that Paul preached, we must read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We have not received the spirit of bondage, law keeping, to please God; we are pleasing to God in Christ (Ephesians 1:6). God’s grace, not His law teaches us how to live (Titus 2:11-15). “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18).

Unfortunately, there is so much emphasis on God’s Law (whether Mosaic Law or Messianic Law) in most churches today, that few ever realize that Jesus Christ revealed additional information to Paul years later, special doctrine found nowhere else in Scripture. Like Eve, Satan has deceived them; they are misapplying, misquoting, and watering down Scripture, denying the contexts of Israel’s verses, et cetera. Satan’s relentless attack on God’s Word continues….