Sleight of hand – in the church.

“13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight* of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:13-16
Have a look at verse 14 in particular. We heard this verse in the car today and it really stuck out to me with what it says, so I thought I’d do a bit of a word study on it.
*Sleight – Strong’s #2940 – artifice, fraud.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary – sleight – “1. An artful trick; sly artifice; a trictrickk or feat so dexterously performed that the manner of performance escapes observation; as sleight of hand.
Webster’s 1828 dictionary – “ARTIFICE, noun [Latin artificium, from ars, art, and facio, to make.] 1. Stratagem; an artful or ingenious device, in a good or bad sense. In a bad sense, it corresponds with trick, or fraud.”
As you can see here, artifice means a (deliberate) strategy to dupe someone.
This all suggests to me that these men in verse 14 have practiced and perfected trickery and deceit in order to deliberately deceive people.
It’s kind of like an illusionist who does the most amazing tricks, but that’s all they are, tricks. The good, successful illusionist has practised and perfected his craft so that nobody can tell what he’s doing.
The people who watch are tricked into believing it is magic, amazing and astounding. They are meant to dazzle and amaze people, but in reality it’s nothing more than careful planning and props that fool people.
So don’t be fooled. Satan has set people up in churches, on facebook, in blogs, in friends, in publishing Bible versions, in music, movies etc to deliberately deceive and divert people away from God’s saving truths.
Those who love truth will seek it, but those who don’t will be swayed by anything and anyone.
This is why we need to warn others, so that they will not be the ones who are tricked. Too many people are putting their trust in the wrong people, in the wolves in sheep’s clothing, and they need to be warned.

“And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.” Jude 1:22,23

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 1 Corinthians 2:14



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