Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servantsd, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
Satan’s work is not only out there. Sometimes, he undermines from within. There are many who fly the Christian banner yet preach shallow messages of prosperity or even morality. The true gospel is far from these things. As Paul describes in v. 1-2, the true gospel is about God’s people who are set apart through Christ, to be united with Christ in Holiness. It is about God saving His people, cleansing them from sin, and reconciling them back with Himself to serve Him and enjoy Him forever.
The issue of false teaching is a serious issue because Paul so fervently addresses it. One thing that we must never compromise is the message of the gospel. Paul makes this very clear as he boasts in all his weaknesses and diligence to preach the truth at all costs. If our safety and comfort must be compromised, so be it for the sake of the gospel.
Satan is at work behind those who compromise and slant the gospel. Many times, Satan’s messages are not pure lies. If they were, he would easily be called out as an evildoer. Instead, however, Satan tells half-truths that are injected with lies hidden underneath, waiting to kill.
A common half-truth is those who preach a gospel with the intention of monetary gain. Many slant the message of the gospel so that they can gain personal wealth from those who listen. This is evil before the eyes of the Lord. Those who love money cannot love God. The gospel is far more precious than pieces of gold and therefore must be upheld for the sake of its life-changing truth, definitely not for monetary gain.
Another half-truth that prevails in our culture is only to preach; God is love. Many Christians never mention God’s most essential character, His holiness. God’s love is a holy love because God is holy. In God’s love, He does call anyone to come to Him, just as they are.
God does not reject anyone but will forgive any who will repent and return to him. However, this does not mean that God accepts sin and will allow us to continue to live freely in sin. For sin, Christ died on the cross. Sin has a price, and because of that, Christ died in our place. When we come to Christ, we must come in humility and repentance. Through Christ’s blood, we are washed clean and made new. This means we are changed to have new hearts that long to obey God. This means we long and pursue holiness, just as God is holy. Living a holy life is the definition of happiness. On the contrary, continuing in the darkness of our sin will lead us nowhere.
Satan is actively at work behind these half-truths in our culture. Who will stand up to herald the whole gospel like Paul? Their marks are sincerity, humility, and enduring perseverance to testify the power of the gospel and the gospel alone as the only pillar of life despite all opposition and adversary. May God raise us to become such people.
Lord, thank You for Your gospel which is the Truth. Teach us to know You more and more through Your Word. Lord, make us Your servants who faithfully proclaim Your whole gospel in this world. Just as You used Paul to expand Your kingdom, may You use us in this age, in Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.