Simplicity in Christ


Are you familiar with the simplicity that is in Christ?

Are you sure you understand that?

The Apostle Paul wrote:

2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted — you may well put up with it! (2 Corinthians 11:2-4)

Related to how the simplicity in Jesus the Christ goes, the following from the Apostle Paul conveys that:

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; (Hebrews 5:8-9)

Jesus obeyed and suffered and became perfect. Jesus will provide eternal salvation for those that obey Him. Is that simple enough?

Notice that, according to the Apostle Paul, obedience IS A SALVATION ISSUE!

Sadly, most who claim Christianity do not understand that. They do not understand that because they tend to teach a different Jesus, do not believe they need to obey Him as He obeyed His Father’s commandments (John 15:10), and have adopted many practices that neither Jesus nor His faithful followers engaged in. And most of those who do teach that they should obey, reason around the obedience in ways similar to those of the ancient Pharisees whom Jesus denounced for such practices (e.g. Matthew 15:1-9).

The reality is that most who profess Christianity in today’s world do not adhere to what the original apostles taught. Councils of men, ecclesiastical politics, theological interpretations, philosophy, and higher criticism have all had their part in complicating the simple beliefs and practices of the original Christians.

Yet, as the Apostle Jude exhorted, true Christians are “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

But even by the time of Jude and Paul, false teachings and wrong philosophic influences had began to push forth a corrupt religion that began to call itself Christian.

Yet, the relationship of Christians with Jesus is not complex or confusing. It is simple, yet profound.

Here is what the Apostle Peter said needed to be done :

38 … Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

29. … Peter and the apostles … said, “We are obligated to obey God rather than men.

30. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus Whom you killed by hanging Him on a tree.

31. Him has God exalted by His right hand to be a Prince and Savior, to give repentance and remission of sins to Israel.

32. And we are His witnesses of these things, as is also the Holy Spirit, which God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:29-32, AFV)

By obeying God we live the way of love that results from keeping His commandment (James 2:8).

The Apostle Paul also wrote:

5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, (1 Timothy 1:5)

Jesus said:

22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

17 … But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matthew 19:17)

Notice that Jesus is talking about those who already claim Him, yet they need to endure to the end to be saved–hence, Jesus made it clear that just claiming His name is not enough. Those who want eternal life are to keep the commandments.

Basically, if we continue to strive to keep God’s loving commandments until our physical life ends we are to attain salvation (Matthew 10:22). And scripture teaches that will happen at the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:50-54; Revelation 20:4-6).

Just calling Jesus ‘Lord” or thinking God has used you somehow does not make you a Christian! Jesus said:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Jesus also said:

15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. (John 14:15)

10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. (John 15:9)

Yes, those who love Jesus keep the Commandments.

Here is something by the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God about those that failed to follow simple, original Christianity:

Well, let’s turn for a moment over to 2 Corinthians, the eleventh chapter where the apostle Paul — this was in his time along around 50 AD or somewhere along in the middle, there, of the first century — and Paul is speaking here to the church at Corinth, in his second letter, then, in chapter eleven — 2 Corinthians. So Paul says, to the people in that church at Corinth:

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety [he’s very clever, very subtle. There it mentions the devil as a serpent], so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity which is in Christ. For if he that cometh preaches another Jesus…” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4)

They have come preaching a Jesus that did away with His Father’s law and His Father’s commandments!

Jesus said, “I have kept my Father’s commandments ” (John 15:10).

He said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done!” (cf. John 13:15)

But many have come in the name of Christ and preaching that Jesus is the Christ and saying, “the law is done away.” That’s a different Jesus; that’s a smart-aleck Jesus that knew more than His Father and did away with His Father’s law. That is not the real Jesus. The real Jesus KEPT His Father’s commandments and told us to do the same thing. Go back and read Matthew and Mark and Luke and John and see what He did.

“For [he continues] if he that cometh [that is false preachers, now] if he that cometh preaches another Jesus [another Jesus that knows more than His Father] whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you have not accepted, you might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4)

Now he goes on talking about these false apostles coming in sheep’s clothing and claiming to represent Christ. In the thirteenth verse — just a few verses later — thirteenth, and fourteenth, and fifteenth verses — 2 Corinthians, the eleventh chapter:

“For such are false apostles [now here they are described — false apostles], deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel [now they’re not real apostles of Christ. But it says]; no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed as an angel of light. And therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

So it shows there false apostles coming to deceive the people. And that was even in the first century. (Armstrong HW. Revelation – Closed Book Until the End. World Tomorrow Radio broadcast, c. 1960)

“the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3) … It’s very simple my friends, the thing is — obey God. You have to surrender your way, you have to give up the traditions of the people and of the time and turn to God and the ways of God. That’s quite simple. And Jesus came and died for us because we have transgressed His ways and to pay the penalty of that transgression in our stead. Otherwise you wouldn’t need a Saviour; you need a Saviour because of your disobedience. Jesus died to take away your past sin, and your guilt — to reconcile you to God so you can receive God’s Holy Spirit, the love that will fulfill His law, to make it possible for you to keep the law of God. (Armstrong HW. False Gospels. World Tomorrow Radio broadcast, c. 1960)

Satan “deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9).

Satan did not want Jesus to obey (cf. Matthew 4:8-10)–Satan does not want you to obey.

Information about what to obey, and how many have reasoned around properly obeying, as well as some prophecies about the Antichrist not obeying can be found in the free, online, book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.

Now, here is an incomplete and improper view of the “simplicity’ from a Protestant named David J. Stewart:

“THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST,” which is THE GOSPEL. The Word of God plainly teaches that it is “SIMPLE” to get saved. How simple is it? Very, very, very simple!!! I mean, it is so simple that I can sum it up with just one word… “BELIEVE.” IT IS SIMPLE, FREE AND EASY TO BE SAVED!!! …

You don’t have to become a theologian to be saved… JUST BELIEVE!!! To believe means to “trust.” …

Adding even the slightest human effort will cancel one’s faith; such as, sacraments (water baptism, communion), prayer or good works. Either Jesus does ALL the saving, or else you don’t get saved!!! (The Simplicity that is in Christ. January 2017. viewed 01/17/23)

While we are saved by grace through faith, and not works (Ephesians), it does require some human effort to obey. Obeying DOES NOT cancel one’s faith, but clearly demonstrates that the faith is real.

As far as belief goes, while that is needed, the Apostle James wrote:

19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. (James 2:19-24)

Demons believe, but will not truly obey. The Protestant reformer Martin Luther did not care for James’ epistle, not only did he refer to it as an “epistle of straw,” he would not accept verses like James 2:24.

It takes faith to truly obey–if you will not obey you do not have the real and right kind of faith. The New Testament is clear, Christians are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

A Christian is simply one who believes the Bible and has God’s spirit (Romans 8:9), who believes in, obeys, and follows the lead and example of Jesus the Christ, but who refuses to accept traditions of men (cf. Mark 7:6:13) to the contrary.

Sadly, that is not the case with over 99% of people claim Christianity.

Christianity has a simplicity–strive to obey God and live His way of love.

Any other way is NOT the simplicity in Christ.

UPDATE 02/05/23: We just uploaded the following related video:


Do You Understand the ‘Simplicity that is in Christ’?

In 1 Corinthians 11:3, the Apostle Paul mentioned the ‘simplicity that is in Christ,’ but warned that people could be deceived away from it. Do you know what that simplicity is? Is it simply to “believe” and not even pray as Protestant David Stewart asserted? Are we saved by grace for good works? Are Christians supposed to obey? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul tie obedience in with salvation? What are Christians supposed to obey? Can false ministers look good? Do the Ten Commandments have anything to do with love or the simplicity that is in Christ? Will those who call Jesus ‘Lord’ and even do wonders in His name necessarily be saved? What book of the New Testament did Martin Luther refer to as “an epistle of straw’? Did Jesus die for your disobedience? What did Peter say about obedience and the Holy Spirit? What did James say about faith and works? Do the demons believe? Can faith and works be tied together? Steve Dupuie and Dr. Thiel go over these topics.

Here is a link to our video: Do You Understand the ‘Simplicity that is in Christ’?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection; here is a message in Spanish: Me Está Llamando Dios Hoy? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? Two related sermons about this are also available: Real Repentance and Real Christian Repentance.
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the MessiahProphecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and deathJesus’ prophesied divinity200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He madeWhy Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but …
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church: Could a remnant group have continuing apostolic succession? Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs. Here is a link to that book in the Spanish language: Creencias de la iglesia Católica original.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

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