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. 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.
— 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
Paul is rebuking the Corinthian church for putting up with those who preached a different “Jesus” than the Jesus Paul preached. Paul tells them that he fears they may be deceived, just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning. This deception was causing the Corinthian church to be led astray from sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
In order to guard ourselves from falling under the same type of deception, we must then ask: how did the serpent deceive Eve? Genesis 3 gives the account in which the serpent twisted God’s words in such a way that it enabled Eve to break God’s command.
We have in America today many “serpents” preaching a different Jesus than the Jesus of the bible. A Jesus whose words sound much like the Jesus of the bible, yet twisted in such a way that enables us to break God’s commands. We hear of a Jesus who frees us to sin, rather than frees us from sin. When we take the words of Jesus and twist them to fit a life that we are comfortable with, we end up worshiping an idol created in our own minds and thus fall into the same deception that Eve was under in the garden. Any message about a Jesus who frees you to sin, or a spirit that doesn’t lead to holiness in Christ, or a gospel that doesn’t lead to repentance, is from a serpent and must not be accepted.
Understand that not everyone who claims the name of Jesus is worshiping the Jesus of the bible. Know that just because someone is quoting scripture, they may not be quoting it the way it was intended. Develop discernment by giving yourself to the discipline of studying God’s word, so that you will not be led astray when the serpents come to twist it.
Heavenly Father, help me discern the distinction between your voice and the voice of a serpent who would pretend to be speaking on your behalf. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!