Weekly Bulletin Article 2018
By Bro Jim Brasseal, Pastor Landmark MBC
“Simplicity and Godly Sincerity”
II Corinthians 1:12, 11:2-3
Jan 28, 2018
“For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward” (II Corinthians 1:12). “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 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” (II Corinthians 11:2-3).
Satan, in the Garden of Eden, used lies and confusion to beguile and deceive Eve. Paul feared that the members of the Lord’s church in Corinth would have their minds corrupted by lies and false doctrine. Paul writes of a bride engaged to be married to the Bridegroom, Christ, to encourage the church to remain true and faithful to Christ.
Several key words will be examined to help us understand these verses.
- “Subtilty” speaks of cunning deceit.
- “Corrupted” means to be defiled and damaged.
- “Fleshly wisdom” shows man’s thinking as influenced by the sinful human nature.
- “Simplicity,” according to Thayer’s Bible Lexicon, speaks of “sincerity,” “mental honesty,” “free from pretense,” “open and straight forward.”
Paul’s use of “simplicity” in our text verses fits so well with Paul’s statement in II Corinthians 4:2, “But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”
The teaching of God’s message in “simplicity and godly sincerity” emphasized that the faith of these New Testament Christians did not “stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:5).
The teaching of this true message showed that God, not man, received the glory. “That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (I Corinthians 1:29-31).
“Into a Desert Place, and Rest a While”
Jan 14, 2018
“And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat” (Mark 6:31).
The news sent by Brother Bill Cooper is that Brother Dennis Carrell made the trip back to the states for the examination by his cardiologist. The conclusion is that this was brought on by exhaustion. Brother Dennis is now doing fine, and, after a time of rest, he and his wife, Charlotte, will return to Mongolia to resume work on the Old Testament translation. Thank the LORD for this good news.
This report brought to mind the scripture in Mark 6:31 where the scripture shows us that a time of rest can be beneficial to the Lord’s disciples. Jesus and his disciples were experiencing some very stressful times. When they returned to Galilee, they were not received gladly. Many “were offended at him” (Mark 6:3). “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching” (Mark 6:5-6).
There was no failure because the Lord and His disciples delivered the wrong message with the wrong motivation. The failure is shown in one statement: “because of their unbelief.”
In Mark 6:31, Jesus called his disciples into a desert place to “rest a while.” We are also told that they “had no leisure so much as to eat.” The Lord knew that a time of rest was needed. The beheading of John the Baptist is reported in Mark 6:22-29 and Matthew 14:10-12. The Lord’s disciples buried John’s body “and went and told Jesus” (Matthew 14:12). The death and burial of John influenced Jesus to go “into a desert place apart” (Matthew 14:13).
The very best of the Lord’s servants are still weak, earthen vessels who face many difficulties. Consider the list of problems in II Corinthians 4:8-10, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”
We need the encouragement, edification, and help of each other so that we do not faint (II Corinthians 4:1).