2 Cor. xi. 3

Robert Hawker

"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."–2 Cor. xi. 3.

And what is "the simplicity that is in Christ?" The apostle answers this question in another part of his writings, when he saith, "Christ is all, and in all." Now nothing can be more simple than this: "Christ is all;" then it would be equal folly to seek for happiness in any thing but in Christ. And" Christ is in all;" then it would be equal folly to seek for happiness in any thing but in Christ. So that if our minds are led away to seek a supply from any thing short of Christ, this is the same temptation that the devil played off upon our first parent, and succeeded. This indeed is the grand device of Satan: it is the master-piece of his subtilty. This is what all carnal unawakened men fall into: to fancy somewhat that is left for us to do, to qualify ourselves to be made partakers of grace, and to improve the talent which is given to us. And as these things are very flattering to the pride of our nature, and exactly correspond to the state the devil left our first parents in, when he had ruined them, so it becomes the very method which he still pursues with all their poor children, to lull them on to ruin. "Ye shah be as gods (said the devil to our first mother) knowing good and evil;" and, in like manner, thus flattering the pride of our nature, and shutting out Christ, with his blood and righteousness, does he deceive men now. Now Paul was alarmed and distressed on this account. The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, saith Paul, and I fear lest he should beguile you.–How blessed, then, is the teaching of the Holy Ghost, which strips the sinner, makes him all bare, leaves him nothing, but shews him his whole insolvency, emptiness, and poverty, that he may make room for Jesus! And when he hath thus made the sinner sensible of his nothingness, he makes him equally sensible of Christ's fulness and all sufficiency; and that in bringing nothing to Christ, but living wholly upon Christ, and drawing all from Christ; in this simplicity that is in Christ, he teacheth the poor sinner how to live and how to keep house by faith, wholly upon the fulness that is in Christ Jesus. This is the sweet instruction taught in the school of Jesus. "I fear, (saith Paul) lest the serpent that beguiled Eve, should have corrupted you by his subtilty from this simplicity that is in Christ."



Robert Hawker

[Top of page]