Thursday after the Ninth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:1-18 (NKJV)
11:1 Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 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. 4 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!
5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things. 7 Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
“For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.”
Satan invented heresies and schisms to undermine the faith of Christians, to pervert truth and break true fellowship and unity. Unable to keep those who believe on the Lord Jesus in the dark ways of our former unbelieving and sinful error, he draws us into a new maze of deceit. He snatches men away from the Church itself, and just when they think they have drawn near to the light and escaped the night of the world, he plunges them unawares into a new darkness.
Though they do not stand by the Gospel of Christ, that we are justified by faith in the works of Christ alone, they call themselves Christians. Though they are walking in darkness, they think they are in the light, through the deceitful flattery of the adversary who, as St. Paul said, transforms himself into an angel of light and adorns his ministers as ministers of righteousness. They call night day, death salvation, despair hope, unbelief faith, antichrist Christ, and cunningly obscure truth by their lies. That is what happens, my friends, when we do not return to the Fount of Truth, when we are not looking to the Head and keeping the doctrine taught from Heaven. If we lose sight of the One True Savior of mankind, the Lord Jesus Christ, we are left to salvation through our own means, which is no salvation at all.
We pray: Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please Thee; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.