“But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2)
There is a very unfortunate circumstance in our world. This one, in particular, does not only exist today—it has existed since virtually the beginning of time. It is the tragic reality that there are those who claim to believe in God—some (most?) of whom even claim to follow Jesus Christ—who are guilty of “handling the word of God deceitfully” (2 Cor. 4:2).
There are several different ways one can handle the word of God deceitfully, and, naturally, some are more common than others. Nevertheless, arguably the single most common method of “handling the word of God deceitfully” is simply failing to declare “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
For instance, it is shocking to note that most religious organizations which claim to follow Jesus handle the word of God deceitfully when it comes to teaching how a person is to be saved. This they do by failing to appeal to Scriptures that include necessary elements of God’s plan, simply because they (or their respective official creeds, catechisms, or constitutions) do not approve of them. Unlike Paul, such persons do “shrink…from declaring the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27).
You see, Jesus and His apostles plainly and repeatedly taught the essentiality of water baptism in order for an individual to receive the forgiveness of past sins. Read the following Scriptures for yourself: Mark 16:16; John 3:3-5; Acts 2:38; 8:36-38; Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:27; 1 Pet. 3:21; etc. Anyone who teaches anything that contradicts those inspired passages is “handling the word of God deceitfully” (2 Cor. 4:2). As the apostle Paul, himself, said: “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (2 Cor. 11:13).