Adding to the Simplicity of Christ
Here below we have a caution from the Apostle Paul.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity (Gk. haplotes, singleness) that is in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV)
Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” according to “the mystery of Christ” is singular and unique in that it is freely offered to all mankind today, irrespective of race. It is;
- without any connection to Israel’s prophetic program;
- without “the Law” given to Israel only;
- and without any of the covenants pertaining to Israel (Eph. 2:12).
Pure ‘grace gospel’ believers say this repeatedly. This not new to us, the gem below was written over 70 years ago by pastor Harry Bultema, speaking of Paul’s unique apostleship to “the Church, which is His body.”
“He (Paul) was saved in a different manner than they (Israel); by the vision and dialogue of and with the risen, glorified Lord. No one was ever saved as was Paul (who now is our “pattern”).
- Paul was saved apart from the twelve apostles.
- Paul was saved apart from Jerusalem and the Holy Land.
- Paul was saved apart from the Law.
- Paul was saved apart from any and all covenants.
- Paul was saved apart from all good works.”
In other words, Paul was uniquely saved on the road to Damascus according to “the mystery of revelation” of Christ (Eph. 3:7-9). Paul was ‘The one apostle’ of “the mystery (Gk. musterion, secret)” gospel, which is without Israel, without the Law, without the covenants (Eph 6:19-20; Rom 11:13; Col 1:25-27).
Many Christian fundamentalist recognize enough to protest at adding a works requirement to “the gospel of the grace of God” … yet they won’t bat an eye at adding in… the nation Israel, the Hebrew epistles, the new covenant, promises, water baptism, or the Holy Land … as if these concern or apply to God’s operation today.
Adding these things is a departure from the preaching of Jesus Christ according to “the revelation of the mystery” (Romans 16:25) because it departs from the ‘pattern’ we have in Paul’s salvation.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am (Paul) chief (Gk., protos, as the pattern). 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern (Gk., protos, as the pattern) to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” (1 Timothy 1:15-16)
We must be diligent to set apart (divide) the prophecies concerning Israel’s land, law, the twelve apostles, promises and covenants from … what God is doing during today’s grace age of “dispensation of the grace of God.”
Adding any such things will only serve to corrupt the clear gospel of the pure “grace of God” just as much as adding a works requirement. This setting apart is necessary to prevent adding anything to Paul’s gospel of Christ. That’s why we call it right division.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV only)