Paul is distressed that the church at Corinth is deceived by “super-apostles” preaching “a Jesus other than the Jesus [I] preach” He is fearful that these Christians are believing “a different gospel from the one [they] accepted” and that they may even be receiving “a different spirit from the one [they] received.” These apostasies disturb Paul. He worries about the minds of the Corinthian Christians, who have a “sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” Here Paul writes:
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. 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. 5 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”
He’s concerned that the church at Corinth is not concerned. Why aren’t they as distressed as he is at their confusion? Why can’t they see that they are “being led astray?” How is it they are deceived?
Two young men come to my door. I invite them to come back at another time. Because they are in suits and wearing name badges with Elder S0-and-so, I realize these young men at Mormons. If you don’t know what the Mormons believe, check out the 13 Articles of Faith. When they come back, the young men explain to me that Joseph Smith sincerely desired to know which church preached the true gospel. He was so distressed, he went out into the woods of New York to pray. As he prayed, a pillar of light appeared above him and two ‘men’ stood there. One said of the other, This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him. I gather Joseph decided to do just that. As a result, the Mormon faith came into existence.
Now I realize some of you reading this may be of the Mormon faith, but I say to you this is “a different gospel” which Paul warns against.
“But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!” (Galatians 1:8)
The true gospel is simple. Nothing can be added to Christ’s redemptive work on the Cross. There Christ bore our sins in His body, and through His shed blood He made us clean, holy, righteous in the sight of God the Father. He offers this redemption as a free gift. We either accept the gift of salvation or leave it unopened, so to speak. If we open His gift, the Holy Spirit enters and lives in us so that over time we reflect Jesus Christ, who is the Light of the world.
Yes, Jesus died for the ungodly. Paul reminds that rarely will someone die even for a good man, but Jesus died for us while we were His enemies. How much more will He save us!