Today’s Scripture: 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. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

If I want to catch a fish, I do not stand at the edge of the boat holding a net, and calling out to the fish, “Here fishy fishy! Jump in the net!” Anyone with half a brain knows that will not work. So how do I catch a fish? Sometimes I will use a lure, other times I will use bait such as a worm or a piece of fish or shrimp. I take that bait and place it on a metal hook, hiding the tip. I am hoping that the lure is so tempting and delightful that the fish will come and think that it is a good meal. What have I done? I have deceived, or beguiled, the fish.

The word “beguiled” means to seduce wholly, just like an artificial fishing lure. Satan is out to deceive you. He doesn’t jump out at you with horns, a pointy tail, and a pitchfork. No one would be deceived if he did. What does he do? He comes subtly. He’s there to deceive and trick you.

This was Paul’s fear for the Corinthian church. He was worried that they would fall for the deception being dangled by the enemies of the Gospel of grace. Paul had started the church, grounding them in the foundation of the Gospel, and now there was a real danger that they would be lured away from that simplicity.

Paul knew that if the church was corrupted away from the simplicity of the Gospel, it would not be long before they fell for false teachers, false doctrines, and even false gospels. He was jealous over the church and was willing to go to any length to protect them.

Christian, what about you? Are you easily swayed by whatever teaching comes along? Are you willing to defend the Gospel? Pray and ask God to give you the will and the strength to protect and defend the purity of the Gospel of grace.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.