Bible study on discipleship.

I doubt that anyone would think it a compliment to be considered a simple person. But the fact is that everyone is a simple person - especially compared to God.

There are two types of simple people. The first type is one who rejects God (Pr. 1:22). This person delights in scorning and hates knowledge - he is a fool. The second type of simple person is the one who is wise and therefore obeys God (Ps. 19:7; 116:6; 119:130).

Naaman exemplifies a simple man, scornful of the word of God, who came to accept God's simple command (2 Kings 5:1-14). Remember that Naaman expected Elisha to come out to him and do some fantastic thing whereby he would be healed. But Elisha just sent a messenger out to him instructing him to dip seven times in a dirty river. God's command did not meet Naaman's expectation of glorious fanfare so he scorned the message. Finally, Naaman's servants convinced him of his foolishness after which he obeyed God's simple command and was healed.

Today, many people are like Naaman. They are scornful toward God and His word. They would obey God if He had commanded something difficult, but they reject God because He has commanded something simple.

Paul reveals God's mind concerning the simplistic nature of salvation and the church writing: "For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe" (1 Cor. 1 :21).

You see, God loves everyone and is not willing that any should perish (1 Pet. 3:9). So, salvation is a very simple thing. Just like Naaman, those who believe the Lord (although His commands may seem ridiculous) will be saved.

There will always be people who reject God since salvation and the church are "simple." Of this Paul says: "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

Finally, notice that Paul warns the Corinthians of being deceived and departing from the simplicity that is in Christ. He says: "But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it" (2 Cor. 11:3-4).

So, we must be on guard. We must be content with the simplicity that is in Christ. We must never allow Satan to deceive us into believing a different Jesus or gospel. We must simply believe the word of God, be content with the simplicity in Christ, and never "think beyond what is written" (1 Cor. 4:6).