As the Serpent Beguiled Eve

2 Corinthians 11:2‑3  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 13
“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
In order to see the subtlety and craft which the serpent used in beguiling Eve, turn to the third chapter of Genesis, and note that young Christians are exposed to the same satanic craft today, his skill being greater now, if any difference, by reason of six thousand years of too successful experience with human nature, during which he has become well acquainted with its weak points.
In that chapter the serpent first attacks (and later denies) the authenticity of God’s Word by subtly insinuating a doubt into Eve’s too open mind, as to whether God has really said what He is alleged to have spoken: “Yea, hath God said?” And today some men of learning (really Satan’s ministers), although transformed as “ministers of righteousness,” (2 Cor. 11:13-1513For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13‑15)), are seeking to instill into the minds of the young and others, the same subtle doubt as to whether certain parts of the Bible can any longer, in view of various conclusions of “modern science,” be accepted unreservedly as the inspired Word of God. Behind all this propaganda, the blood-bought child of God sees the wicked animosity of the enemy of Christ and of our souls, “that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev. 12:99And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)). And faith replies to such attacks: “Let God be true, and every man a liar; as it is written, That Thou mightest be justified in Thy sayings, and mightest overcome when Thou art judged.”
But Paul tells us that the danger he fears for us is that our minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. As he says elsewhere, “I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” The method which the serpent used so successfully with Eve—presenting “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” as something desirable—he would find much less successful than is too often the case with us, if there were in us less of the desire to be conformed to this world (in fashions, headdress, or otherwise); less of ambition for a high place in that which is soon to pass away, and more of the simplicity which is in Christ; more contentment with the low place and with such things as we have, and more confident trust in God our Father, who will not withhold any good thing from them that walk uprightly.
But Paul’s godly jealousy over us has a godly motive. It is the desire that he may present us “as a chaste virgin to Christ.” And surely the thought of the worthiness of that One Who “loved the church, and gave Himself for it”—Who speaks of her as “My dove, My undefiled,” showing how He values her keeping herself even here in this defiling scene, separate from all that of which He disapproves; and Who is soon—very soon—going to present her to Himself a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; ought to keep us from the corruption which is so contrary to His mind.