Isa. 44:20 π Jer. 17:9 π 1 Cor. 3:18 π 1 Cor. 6:9 π 1 Cor. 15:33 π 2 Cor. 4:4 π Gal. 6:3 π Gal. 6:7 π Phlp. 3:6 π Tit. 3:3 π Heb. 3:13 π Jas. 1:22 π Jas. 1:26 π 1 Jn. 1:8
The word "deceived" is, according to the Scripture, the description of every unregenerate human being, without distinction of persons, race, culture, or sex. "We also were...deceived" ( Tit. 3:3 ), said Paul the Apostle, although in his "deceived" condition he was a religious man, walking according to the righteousness of the law, blameless. ( Phlp. 3:6; top )
Every unregenerate man first of all is deceived by his own deceitful heart ( Jer. 17:9 ; Isa. 44:20 ) and deceived by sin ( Heb. 3:13 ); the god of this world adding the "blinding of the mind" lest the light of the gospel of Christ should dispel the darkness. ( 2 Cor. 4:4; top ) And the deception of the evil one does not end when the regenerating life of God reaches the man, for the blinding of the mind is only removed just so far as the deceptive lies of Satan are dislodged by the light of truth.
Even though the heart is renewed, and the will has turned to God, yet the deeply ingrained disposition to self-deception, and the presence, in some measure, of the blinding power of the deceiver on the mind, betrays itself in many forms, as the following statements from Scripture show:
- The man is deceived if he is a hearer, and not a doer of the Word of God. ( Jas. 1:22 )
- He is deceived if he says he has no sin. ( 1 Jn. 1:8 )
- He is deceived when he thinks himself to be "something" when he is nothing. ( Gal. 6:3 )
- He is deceived when he thinks himself to be wise with the wisdom of this world. ( 1 Cor. 3:18 )
- He is deceived by seeming to be religious, when an unbridled tongue reveals his true condition. ( Jas. 1:26 )
- He is deceived, if he thinks he will sow, and not reap what he sows. ( Gal. 6:7 )
- He is deceived, if he thinks the unrighteous will inherit the kingdom of God. ( 1 Cor. 6:9 )
- He is deceived, if he thinks that contact with sin will not have its effect ( 1 Cor. 15:33; top ) upon him.
Deceived! How the word repels, and how involuntarily every human being resents it as applied to himself, not knowing that the very repulsion is the work of the deceiver, for the purpose of keeping the deceived ones from knowing the truth, and being set free from deception. If men can be so easily deceived by the deception arising from their own fallen nature, how eagerly will the forces of Satan seek to add to it and not diminish it by one iota. How keenly will they work to keep men in bondage to the old creation, out of which will spring multitudinous forms of self-deception, enabling them the more readily to carry on their deceiving work. Their methods of deception are old and new, adapted to suit the nature, state, and circumstances of the victim. Instigated by hatred, malice, and bitter ill-will towards mankind and all goodness, the emissaries of Satan do not fail to execute their plans, with a perseverance worthy to be imitated by him who fain would reach his goal.
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