The Simplicity That Is In Christ (1 Cor 11:3)

by Steven Chan
11 July 2010

In Mark 12:18, the Bible records the incident when Jesus answered the Sadducees who had asked Him what they perceived to be the “knock down argument” against the belief that there would be a resurrection which they perceived Jesus taught. They asked the cleverly constructed question (from the perspective of those who are wise in their own estimation) of who will be the husband of the woman in the resurrection (if there be a resurrection as taught by Jesus) as she had legitimately or legally entered into marriage with seven brothers. This is the nature of the problem with those who entertain thoughts or speculative knowledge that “exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and being unwilling to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5) – even though the Sadducees were devoted students of the Scriptures and generally held the high priesthood. The opponents of the truth always seem incline to come up with what they perceive to be situations that cannot be answered based on human logic or understanding – but as Jesus observed, they do err not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God (Mark 12:24).

The Bible teaches in Prov 3:5 to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” and in Prov 14:12, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

But controversy will inevitably arise – not only during the time when Jesus was on earth – but also during the time of the apostles. In his second letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote thus in 2 Cor 11:2-6:

“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. 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! For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge.”

One of the hallmarks of truth is its simplicity – not its complexity!

After the encounter with the Sadducees, Jesus said to a scribe who answered wisely in Mark 12:34-37:

“He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” But after that no one dared question Him. Then Jesus answered and said, while He taught in the temple, “How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘ “Therefore David himself calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?” And the common people heard Him gladly.”
Interestingly, the apostle Peter quoted the same Old Testament Scripture in Acts 2:30-35 when he proclaimed on the Day of Pentecost that Jesus had been raised to sit on the throne of David as king:

“Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ‘ From the day that Jesus was resurrected, He was raised to sit on the throne of David and He reigns as king until all his enemies are made His footstool – and 1 Cor 15:25-26 says the same: “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” And that last enemy (death) will be destroyed when the dead are raised and this mortal puts on immortality: 1 Cor 15:50-54: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

Brethren, death was not destroyed in AD70 and the dead were not raised in AD70!! Let no man deceive you. Although we have the promised victory over death through Jesus Christ (I Cor 15:57; Heb 2:14, 15), death is still with us. It will be destroyed when Christ comes again and the dead are raised – the scriptures plainly teach that – and our mortal bodies are transformed and put in immortality.

The teachings of the Scriptures are simple and clear. How can it be any plainer? Let no man deceive us as Paul warned the Christians in Corinth: “lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”. Notice that in Mark 12:37 the Bible said that “the common people heard Him gladly”. Don’t be fooled by so-called clever arguments. The apostle Paul warned us not to be corrupted by the simplicity that is in Christ – so that we may not be deceived by the crafty teachings of some who also claim to teach the gospel and Jesus Christ but Paul said that these teachings do not accord with what the apostles taught – and just like the serpent deceived Eve with his clever arguments, we should be careful lest we also be deceived from the plain and simple teachings of the Scriptures. Paul warned the brethren not “to put up with these teachings” that are not in accordance with what the apostles taught. Where do you stand?