Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 13, 2020

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel” – “for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction”

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Corinthians 11:1-6.

“I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness;  but indeed you are bearing with me.  For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy;  for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.  But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.  For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.  For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.  But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge;  in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.”  2 Corinthians 11:1-6.

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Obviously, Paul is not commending the Corinthians when he states:  “For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.”  Verse 4.  Paul is being sarcastic when he states “you bear this beautifully”, perhaps staying within the theme of godly jealousy and seeking to present them as a pure virgin.

Neither the Corinthians then nor us today should bear a different gospel.  The consequences lead to destruction.  

Paul had harsh language for the Galatians.

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;  which is really not another;  only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!”  Galatians 1:6-9.

“You were running well;  who hindered you from obeying the truth?  This persuasion did not come from Him who calls you.  A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.  I have confidence in you in the Lord that you will adopt no other view;  but the one who is disturbing you will bear his judgment, whoever he is.  But I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted?  Then the stumbling block of the cross has been abolished.  I wish that those who are troubling you would even mutilate themselves.”  Galatians 5:7-12.

Jesus also had harsh language.  

“Enter through the narrow gate;  for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.  For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”  Matthew 7:13-14.

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  Matthew 7:15.

“Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many.”  Matthew 24:11.

“‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”  Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7.

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;  for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:23-24.

True Doctrine teaches that salvation is a work of God alone.  This is “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” to use Paul’s language in today’s Scripture.

Reformed Doctrine accurately summarizes Scripture and teaches that salvation is a work of God alone, by grace alone, and that God handles all the points of salvation from “Unconditional Election” through “Limited Atonement” through “Irresistible Grace” through “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  This true doctrine of salvation is more fully taught in the Reformed Confession called Canons of Dordt.

In addition to the Canons of Dordt, the other major Reformed Creeds forming true doctrine are Belgic Confession, Heidelberg Catechism, and Westminster Larger Confession.  They are all organized and easily readable.

Scripture emphasizes the importance of truth.  Zeal is not enough.  Claiming Jesus as your Lord is not enough.  Those who teach or believe in doctrines based on the ideas of man worship God in vain.

Those who worship God must worship God in truth.

Scripture exhorts us to seek for wisdom as one would seek for silver or hidden treasure.

“If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will discern the fear of the LORD
And discover the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:4-5.

Likewise, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a hidden treasure.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again;  and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46.

If we are to so enter by the narrow gate and seek wisdom and the kingdom of heaven as one would search for hidden treasure with all of our heart, how much more should we seek the one true doctrine of salvation with all of our heart!!!

“And someone said to Him, “Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?”  And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door;  for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.”  Luke 13:23-24.


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