“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:3 (KJV).
People are making Christianity far too complicated. Those wanting to know more about Jesus and His gift of salvation are confused. What seemed so simple now seems complex as they try to see Jesus through the prism of seemingly contradictory or differing requirements for living a Christian life. In reality, it is not that complicated.
The main thing about being a Christian is to see that the main thing remains the main thing. That is what Paul is saying in 2nd Corinthians. The “main thing” is that at the heart and center of your life is the “simplicity that is in Christ.” Religion becomes complicated when we lose sight of the simplicity of knowing Him and being known by Him.
Jesus doesn’t complicate things. His teachings are designed to be short and to the point. No talking around the subject. No long-winded explanations. Jesus uses the minimum number of words to make the most straightforward point: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10).
When religion becomes complex, it is a sign that it is departing from Christ. In Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus boils down the whole counsel of God into its purest and simplest form: love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself. That’s it. Simple. Love God. Love people. Nothing is done in this life that is not directly tied to these two things, and these two things are so interdependent upon each other.
The apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, “For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). The message is not Christianity; it is Jesus Christ. It is not complex. The goal is not to make people religious. The goal is an intimate relationship with God.
Christianity is about living a vibrant, exciting life in Christ. Growing in your relationship with Jesus means knowing Him better and loving and obeying Him more. When the Holy Spirit directs your life, you experience a deeper relationship with God, and you will grow in your ability to trust Him.
This week, take a fresh perspective on your relationship with God. Take inventory and ask yourself why you do what you do. Is it out of obligation? Or is it because you love the Lord and desire intimacy with Him? A relationship with God is rich, meaningful, and life-changing. 1 John 3:1 says, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.”
- What do you find most challenging about the Christian life?
- What can we do this week to keep it simple… love God and love others?