I’m planning to speak on something else, but could I invite you to another Scripture first? In 2 Corinthians 11 In 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I am jealous for you…” Any pastor, any father in the faith, any man of God, any woman of God, that’s what he feels – a jealousy for those he has helped to bring to Christ. Paul says, “I am jealous for you.” There’s a bad jealousy. A jealousy that will put a man in hell. But there’s a good and godly jealousy. And Paul says I’m jealous for you with a godly jealousy.
God, He Himself is a jealous God, right? He is very jealous for His people. Very jealous for their affection, very jealous for their attention, their love, their loyalty, their devotion. That there be no rivalry. That there be no divided attention. He wants everything. He deserves everything. And so Paul says, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.” A jealousy just like God’s. “For I betrothed you to one Husband.” He’s talking about Christ. “So that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
Think of Paul’s care for this Corinthian church. These dear Corinthians. These dear folks that he’d begotten through the gospel. He says, I’ve brought you to Christ. He, like a husband. It was like they were, the Christian is in an engagement period. Right now, until heaven. And He was concerned for their purity.
But in verse 3, he says, “I am afraid.” Isn’t that something? The mighty Apostle Paul would acknowledge that he had some fears. He says, “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve…” a reference to Satan, “by his craftiness.”
Let us ever remember that Satan is a master deceiver. He is very crafty, very wily, He has devices. He has schemes. Never forget it, that our ancient foe does yet want to work us woe. He deceived Eve out of her purity in Paradise. That’s how skillful he is. By his craftiness, he says, “I’m afraid that your minds be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
Brethren, right here it is. And I’ll just keep it simple. The devil is – here is one main thing, the main thing, that he is trying to do, and that is to get us away from pure and simple devotion to Christ. Somehow to make our lives complicated, somehow to make our decisions complicated, somehow to foul us up, to get us away from simple, pure devotion to Christ.
On the way down here yesterday, I just felt my spirit deeply stirred. Coming down through Texas with all these huge cities, and all this affluence, and all this business, and all this commerce, and all this stuff, and all the houses, and all the people. Masses of humanity with all life so complicated anymore. I just felt deeply stirred within, and all the preciousness of all these souls. And the difficulty and the challenge of life, and all the distraction that is out there, and just the importance of keeping our hearts pure and simple in devotion to Christ. Never move away from that. Never forget it.
More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee. Christ and Him crucified. Christ plus nothing. Don’t ever compromise your conscience. Mere Christianity is walking through this waste howling wilderness with a pure conscience. That’s mere Christianity. No, we’re not perfect. But simple Christianity is to keep a clear conscience. Nothing between my soul and the Savior. So, that verse just came to my mind in the last hour. I wanted to share that.