“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Right or Wrong Jesus?

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 11:2-4 (ESV)
Adam. La chute. Fresque du cloître du monastère de Cantauque (Provence). Licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 and the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Paul was concerned for the Corinthians like a father would be for his young daughter who is about to marry the wrong man. The father poured out his life for his daughter, and then she carelessly abandoned the truth and the values he imparted to her to marry an outwardly charming and handsome man who will abuse her and destroy her life. What a nightmare!

The sad thing is that we’re all subject to the craftiness of the devil, and he makes it beautiful. He makes it attractive. He makes it easy. We need only to press a button on a remote control or click a mouse, and we can potentially access an endless supply of the devil’s tasty morsels (his world-view and lies). If we’re not careful, if we don’t know the Bible well, if we fail to bathe our minds each day in the truth of who God is, what He has done for us, and why He did it, then we’re likely to give ourselves to another way of life that will take everything from us.

The devil usually doesn't take the most noticeable things away like health and wealth. He takes eternally valuable and good things from us. He takes opportunities to influence people for Christ. He takes away real love and depth from our relationships. He takes away our freedom to serve Christ and help others do the same, because he enslaves us to our idols and comforts. He helps us fabricate our own idea of Jesus and the Bible—ones we're more comfortable with so we'll not be concerned about the way others live or which "path" they believe in to get themselves to God. Rather, we must “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of [our minds], that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:2, ESV).”