10 NOVEMBER 2019 Satan's Subtle Devices – Another Gospel Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1 (ESV) The greatest battle ever fought began at creation and will continue until the end of time in the heart of every man. Satan maybe ever so powerful, but there has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” 1 Corinthians 10:18. Our opening verse takes us back to the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were first challenged by the craftiness of the serpent. They blamed others for their sin and failed to fully own their guilt. Satan delights in casting doubt on the truth and making us believe a lie. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” Ephesians 4:14-15 Paul’s first epistle to the church at Corinth was written to admonish the general carnality of the believers and their conduct. The second epistle to Corinth was probably written within a year of the first letter. Paul’s spiritual burden for the Corinthians was paramount in his heart, yet there were those who questioned his sincerity and apostolic authority. Paul speaks of his distress in mind, spirit, and body using the words infirmities, reproaches, persecutions, and distresses for Christ’s sake. Through the spirit of humility and contrition, Paul found joy and strength in being of service to his Lord and to his fellowman. The danger of heeding “another Jesus” or “another gospel” is perhaps more pronounced today because of the many groups that proclaim they have the truth. Christendom in general has found a way that pleases the flesh and brings a certain satisfaction to the mind. Paul warns against “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof’ 2 Timothy 3:5. Paul, speaking to the Corinthians about another Jesus, was making a profound teaching on deception. The spirit of deception is “another Jesus” and is so dangerous because it mimics the truth in many ways. It cannot, however, give godly sorrow for sin, lead to repentance, or deliver from sin. Another misconception is believing that a crown of life can be gained without cross-bearing and self-denial. The Word of God is the foundation of truth on which all doctrine is based. When we love the truth we will embrace and obey the doctrines. When we find ourselves questioning doctrine, we are in jeopardy of rejecting the truth. May we never forget that Satan’s aim is to kill and to destroy. Every soul that is accountable is engaged in the battle between good and evil. God created man with the power of choice, but He desires that men would serve the God of heaven. Those who choose to serve God receive a portion of His Spirit at the time of conversion. The Spirit guides the believer into all truth and keeps him from deception. John 16:13 Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to be our guide? Courtesy of Gospel Publishers, Moundridge Kansas
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