The Serpent’s Subtilty #5

Thursday, September 18, 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 gospel:” “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 “[accept] another gospel, which ye have not accepted.” What does that mean? Prior to Paul, Jesus and His 12 apostles preached “the Gospel of the Kingdom” (Matthew 9:35; cf. Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17; Matthew 24:14). Acts 20:24 says that Jesus Christ committed “the Gospel of the Grace of God” to Paul’s trust (cf. 1 Timothy 1:11). “Paul’s Gospel” (Romans 2:16) is 1 Corinthians 15:3,4: “Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day.” Paul preached that Gospel to the Corinthians (verses 1,3)!

Unlike Peter, James, and John (Matthew 10:5-7; Mark 16:15,16; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19-26; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 John 1:9), Paul never preached Israel’s kingdom, her gospel message to prepare for her “at-hand” (approaching) kingdom. To learn about the gospel that Paul preached, we must read Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon.

We are not saved by repentance, water baptism, confession, et cetera; we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork without our works (Romans 4:1-8). Unfortunately, there is so much emphasis on Israel’s salvation verses 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….