The apostle, Paul, said he feared: "lest by any means, as the serpent bequiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Cor.11:3). He understood the "wiles of the devil" (Eph.6: 11), and greatly desired that the saints be preserved blameless unto the coming of the Lord (1 Th.5:23). Are we ready to invest in that preservation? It is important to guard against the many voices preaching "another gospel" (Gal.1: 6-7), as Paul warned. Apostasy with deceit is greatly on the increase.
Jesus said: "I am the door of the sheep", and they can enter in and "be saved, and go in and out and find pasture" (see John 10:7-14). It is quite clearly shown in God's Word that children of God are much like sheep, and so ought to simply trust our Lord for care, and enjoy communion with Him, and simply honor and obey Him (see Luke 11:23; 1 Tim.1:4; 1 Tim. 6:3-6). He will keep us, so we need not be troubled about working all our lives to achieve righteousness. We are "kept by the power of God" (1 Pet. 1:5). Perhaps the real task for us as sheep is to learn dependence, for we are weak and no match for "the wolf" (John 10:12).
We surely must not listen to all the religious ideas of men not true to Holy Scripture. God does not want us to return to ceremonial laws, or carnal works, or religious ideas, but to live by faith and keep His Word (John 14:23). When we come to really know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Shepherd, our heart will be drawn out to love Him and the Father, and worship Him; and that ought to then draw us out to honor Him---He is worthy (note John 14: 7-11). Christians speak often of love, but obedience is much lacking in general. This disobedience will cost us much. It is precious to consider that if we love the Lord Jesus we will be loved of the Father, and it is most precious to God to see one holding fast "all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27) for the Lord's honor.
Simplicity in Christ means seeing fundamental truths in Him, rather than religious studies and philosophy (Col.2:8); and appreciating the value of God's Word, which is not only to learn the history, events, and doctrines, but the ways and mind of God for our lives; and we will then enjoy communion with Him as He teaches us how to live. That is a great joy to experience.
Note John 14:6 which seems to set forth Christian experience---the way of redemption, the truth for the church, and spiritual life which saints of God have and should live. No one can approach unto the Father and please Him, apart from the Son.
In Christ we have redemption, which speaks of such as sin and judgment, the cross, salvation, new birth, eternal life, heaven and hell, the home call (rapture) of the saints, the dispensations, the kingdom, rewards, the Lord's glory, etc. The Word teaches that salvation of the soul is by grace through faith and not by good works of man (Eph.2:8-9). The Lord Jesus said: "Ye must be born again" (John 3:7). The natural birth fits one to live in this world, but we need a spiritual birth to go to heaven. Certainly one cannot give himself this birth, but God can when one has his eyes and ears and mind and heart open to God by faith in His Son. It is simply faith.
In Christ we have church truth, which addresses baptism, the gathering, the Lord's supper and His table, the one body in Christ, the bride, the priesthood of believers, allowing the leading of the Holy Spirit, God's government, His honor, etc. One should search out these things. The Lord Jesus said: "If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed" (John 8:31); and "they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2: 41-42); and "in the grace of God" (Acts 13:43), with "one accord" (Acts 1:14; Acts 4:24; Phil.2:2). It is simply obedience.
In Christ we have spiritual life, which concerns the work of the Holy Spirit, divine love, devotion, submission, growth and maturity, prayer, faith, holiness, separation from worldliness, peace and joy, assurance, His praise, etc. One ought to seek to understand worship individually and collectively. Worship is most pleasing to God (John 4:23-24), and speaks of devotion. Concerning the assembly it speaks of the Lord's supper, praise, thanksgiving; and concerning individuals it speaks of our time of communion with Him always. It is simply love.
Truly the simplicity in Christ is singleness of mind in receiving His Word, obeying, giving Christ the pre-eminence in all things, serving Him and wor-shipping with homage. The rewards are now and forever.
- R. DeWitt - Christian Counsel Collection, 1/07