Gene Cunningham - April 8, 2000

Simplicity in Christ #1

2018 AYC Ladies Classes

2Co 11:1-5, Simplicity in Christ can only belong to the believer. God's love is provoked when His people fail to abide in Christ. Satan pulls us away with hardship and difficulties. When there's no celebration in the soul there's a problem. Most of us have conflict within—cares confusion, doubts, but those things should stay outside of us. Zelos is Greek for "zeal" or "jealousy" (2Co 11:2). God loves us (Rom 5:8), and we now have a personal spiritual relationship with Him. He desires unconditional devotion to Him. Anything that vies for that attention is a threat. Paul had a zeal or passion from God for the Corinthians because their devotion was being compromised. "The Spirit longs for us to the point of jealousy" (Jam 4:5). God's love is provoked when His people love something in His place (Eze 8:30); this is spiritual adultery (Jam 4:1-4). We are not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) by involvement in area of sin in the things we think, say, or do. Paul is feeling for the Corinthians what the Lord is feeling—jealousy and grief. Paul poses himself as a friend of the Bridegroom (2Co 11:2), namely Christ, having espoused the Corinthians as a "chaste virgin" to Him. Paul means he wants to ensure that the Corinthians keep complete devotion to Christ. When Christ died, He sanctified or purified His Church—His Bride (Eph 5:26). 


Paul dreaded and was haunted by what the enemy, Satan, can accomplish in Corinthian lives—"As the Serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness" (2Co 11:3). Part of being made in His image is being able to choose. The test was the tree. To Eve, Satan questioned what God might be holding back. Craftiness and simplicity are opposites. Craftiness is working every thing; simplicity is focusing on only one thing.

  1. Martha was troubled and distracted by many things (Luk 10:41-42).

  2. The rich young ruler lacked one thing—unconditional trust in Christ (Luk 18:22).

  3. Obedience to one law makes all other laws unnecessary (Mat 22:37; Rom 13:9-10).

  4. When you lay down your burdens and take up the yoke of Christ (Eph 4:20-21), you'll find in Him all the wisdom you need about God and man.

  5. You must let go of excess to find simplicity (Mat 10:39).

  6. When life's only priority is in place, all other things flow from the heavenly Father (Mat 6:33).

  7. Single-minded focus should be trust in the Father; the result is that we give thanks for everything (Phi 3:13).

We have a choice like Eve's; either we trust the will of the Father as good or we chose our own will as superior. 

Scripture References: Romans 8:3, Hebrews 4:12

From Series: "2018 AYC Ladies Classes"

Nan Cunningham spoke to the ladies at the 2018 AYC Camp.

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