The church in Corinth had many things going for it. In his first letter Paul mentioned that they were a knowledgable church. They had been "enriched in everything in all utterance and in all knowledge." (1 Cor.1) He also sited the fact that they were a gifted church. There did not appear to be one spiritual gift missing within the congregation. Corinth was also an expectant church, that is they were waiting for the revelation of Jesus Christ. Yet the church also had many problems that Paul addressed in his letters written to them. Among those things that deeply concerned Paul was a change of mindset concerning the simplicity that is in Christ. There were many false teachers that had gained entrance into the pulpits of Corinth preaching a completely different message and rather than stand up to it, they caved into it. This in turn affected the church body that Paul loved sincerely.
IN THE GARDEN: Paul saw what the Corinthians were facing and likened it to what Eve experienced in the Garden of Eden. It was in Genesis 3 that the devil came in the form of a serpent and began to question and contradict the clear commands of the Word of God. Eve listened to the lies of the enemy, and the devil took advantage of her unsuspecting mind and turned her heart away from the Lord. The bible says in Genesis 3:6 "So when the woman saw that the tree was GOOD for food, that is was PLEASANT to the eyes, and DESIRABLE to make one wise, she took its fruit and ate. She also gave it to her husband with her and he ate." It is hard to imagine that something referred to as GOOD, PLEASANT, and DESIRABLE would be wrong to partake of. It would be easy to justify giving in based on that description. Nevertheless God had already said that tree was off limits. He had warned them before the encounter with the serpent that they were to stay away from it regardless of how tempting it may appear.
SIMPLICITY: The Corinthians were listening to things that Paul feared were "corrupting their minds". The Word corrupt means to be led away from the state of knowledge and holiness in which one ought to abide. And when Paul used the word SIMPLICITY it meant: sincerity of mind toward Christ as opposed to false wisdom in matters pertaining to Christianity.
There are many applications that one could make from this passage. When I read it recently it reminded me of how easy it is to get away from the simplicity of just knowing Jesus and loving Jesus. Also it reminded me of ministry. How we can easily begin to convolute what our calling is. Things can get quickly cluttered in a labyrinth of good, pleasant, and even desirable things that could make you wise. But there are certain things that don't change, THE WORD OF GOD, the SPIRIT OF GOD, the LOVE OF GOD, DISCIPLESHIP, Evangelism, the Great Commission.. etc…
As I go into a New Year I don't ever want to loose that sense of simplicity that is in Christ. Knowing Him, loving Him, serving Him, growing in Him, being found in Him, and finding my treasure and hope in Him..
Keep it Simple, get back to basics..