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Deception Abounds

Acts & the Pauline Epistles  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Here we are at the beginning of another new year. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that these years keep going by faster and faster.
So, what are you planning to do differently in 2018? The problem with New Year Resolutions is that most of us never are able to carry them out. We may begin really well, but after a couple of weeks, we end up throwing in the towel, and we stop trying!
Not only have I done that with New Year resolutions like exercising more, or eating better, or doing more with my family. But I’ve also stopped short of completing spiritual New Year Resolutions. Things like, Bible reading, prayer, Bible memorization, witnessing, etc.
But I don’t want to talk so much about resolutions, but about what you believe and why you believe it.
The problem today is that there are so many voices to listen to. There are all kinds of TV preachers, Radio preachers, preachers who blog all the time. So many voices out there. So many different messages! So how do you know who to listen to?
False doctrines, with false teachers was a huge problem in the early church. This was one of the issues that Paul wanted to address with the church at Corinth.
In we see Paul asking the church to put up with his foolishness a little longer.
2 Corinthians 11:1–3 NIV84
1 I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:1-

Know What You Believe

With so many voices out there it is important that we know what we believe.
Paul told the church at Corinth that he wanted to make sure that the Corinthian people will remain true to Christ Jesus.
He uses the analogy of presenting the Corinthian church as a “pure virgin.”

Cunning Serpent

Satan’s deception is really no different in Corinth than it was in Eve’s day.
Paul was afraid that Satan would in someway be able to lead the church astray.
we read how Satan appealed to Eve.
Genesis 3:6 NIV84
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

1. Good for food.

Could meet a physical need.

2. Pleasing to the eye.

Aesthetically pleasing.

3. A way to gain wisdom.

Could help her gain some special edge.
Satan’s ideas and schemes have not changed in all these years. He still appeals to our physical needs, making things look aesthetically pleasing to us, and of course everyone wants a special edge.
He still schemes in the same way today! Like the church at Corinth, many people today fall trap to his schemes.
Look at verse 4.
2 Corinthians 11:4 NIV84
4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

Open to other ideas!

Today Christians are told to be open to other ideas. We are told the Scriptures are outdated, and not applicable today. We are told that we need to follow after our own desires, our own ideas, our own wants.
The problem is that there is a standard that is above us. God’s Word!

We Must Know Why We Believe It

The problem the church at Corinth faced was so called “super-apostles.” These were men who rivaled with Paul.

1. They tied their mission and message to the 12 Apostles

They tried to be especially tied to Peter, James, and John. This made them “special” and made their message “trustworthy.” The problem was their message was not tied to the apostles at all. Indeed it is a “false” message.

2. They played off the Corinthians desire to be “superior” to other Christians.

Why is it we feel this need to be “superior” to others. Yet, like the Corinthians we too can get caught up in the need to be better than those around us—superior.
God is superior—we are simply saved by God’s grace.

3. They allowed others to support them.

While this was within their right, they used it to make the superior to Paul because he supported himself in Corinth.

Watch Out for False Teachers

1. Masquerade as apostles of Christ

2. Deceitful workmen

3. Masquerade as servants of righteousness

4. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

Paul boasts in his weakness

God’s greatness can be seen in our weakness.


As we begin this new year we need to focus once again on what we believe and why we believe it.
We need to become diligent in the way we present ourselves to God as Paul told Timothy, his young protege.
We need to live a life that pleases God because God loves us! So as I approach a new year, I have a new motivation to live my life for Jesus—God has adopted me into His family. I’m His! And that is a new motivation for me!
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