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
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).