by my good friend, and sister in Christ, Gwyneth Grocott
Simplicity in Christ
2 Corinthians 11:3 “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
As I study, I keep in mind: foundation verses. These are verses I come back to if another verse seems to contradict; such as, if it seems to contradict Eternal Security. Many take verses out of context and at first glance, I understand why some may be misled. Such instances of “contradiction” spur me to study further. A good investigator asks: who, what, why, when, and where.
In the above quoted scripture, Paul is speaking about “the simplicity that is in Christ” in regards to the Gospel. (See verse 4 to verify context.)
Beware, then, of those who would complicate the Gospel.
- “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel…” (1 Corinthians 15:1)
- “…how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3b,4)
Justification – declared righteous
- Romans 5:1 – by faith – the moment I believed
- Romans 5:9 – by His blood – (not mine)
- Romans 8:18 – by His righteousness – (not mine)
- Romans 8:19 – by His obedience – (not mine)
None of my own righteous deeds will bring me to a state of being justified.
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)
Again, it is His righteousness which covers me (justifies).
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…” Isaiah 61:10a, (underline added to emphasize Who is doing the covering)
- Jude 24 – He presents me faultless (justified – declared righteous) and with exceeding joy! Oh! What a Savior!
Sanctification – set apart
- John 17:17 – through Thy Word: Thy Word is Truth
- I Corinthians 6:11 – washed, sanctified, justified
- Ephesians 5:26 – sanctify and cleanse with the washing of water by the Word
- Hebrews 13:12 – with His blood
Here is one of my foundation verses ~
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)
If I worked one iota toward my salvation, it would be a reward and not a gift. However, can a believer receive a reward? Yes, read on.
Is there a cost?
Examples of the cost:
- Luke 14:26
- Luke 14:27
- Luke 14:33
John 10:28 tells us that Jesus gives (gift) His sheep (believers) eternal life. If eternal life is a free gift (not a reward), then what about “count the cost”—as I have heard some say?
Can I believe, receive eternal life, and then, do nothing more?
1 Corinthians 3:10-15 “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
One foundation: Jesus Christ – His blood, His obedience, His righteousness.
I can build UPON that foundation (gold, silver, precious stones) and work toward a reward.
If, after believing, I do nothing with the right motive (wood, hay, stubble), I suffer loss, but shall still be saved – my eternal life is a gift.
The other day, someone asked me about “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12) The next verse (13) helps to explain — and it reads, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
The one foundation has been laid, Jesus Christ. Do you believe in Him? Then build upon that foundation (work out). He has given you eternal life. Become a disciple, if you are willing. If the work you do is God working in you to do His will and good pleasure, it will stand after the fire — and you will receive a reward.