Paul felt his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ was under attack by false teachers in Corinth who preached a gospel different than the truth made known to Paul by the Lord Himself.
Now comparing himself to the so called apostles in Corinth, Paul declares his authority as not at all less than these “eminent” Judaizers posing as apostles of Jesus Christ.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 11:5-6)
Paul admits the fact he was not formerly trained in the type of persuasive, pleasing speaking common to his opposers. Instead the apostle would focus on the knowledge of the gospel revealed to him by the Lord Himself.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 11:7-8)
In the first century it was customary for Greek philosophers and teachers to receive wages for their labor. The same applied to those teaching the gospel, which dictates those receiving the gospel should support our teachers. Since its inception, the church in Corinth had not yet contributed to Paul’s ministry per his request, knowing the ministry was under attack by imposters from Judea.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 11:9)
Paul’s missionary trip to Corinth had been supported by the churches in Macedonia, planted by the apostle during his second missionary trip around A.D. 51. Paul’s intent was not to be a burden to anyone in Corinth, he would make every effort to continue in this manner which is why he labored and made tents to sustain himself until Silas and Timothy came with aid from Macedonia.
“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!” (2 Corinthians 11:10-11)
Making reference to the Greek region known as “Achaia” where the Judaizers competed for an audience, Paul vowed to continue to preach the gospel as living proof of his love for the gentiles, and more importantly the fulfillment of his life’s mission.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 11:12-13)
Paul’s intent here is clear. His goal is as much as preaching the gospel to all those who will listen throughout the region, also the apostle would continue to preach in Achaia to prevent others from spreading a false gospel, then expect financial and otherwise support from the Corinthians.
“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.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
Paul compares his opposers with Satan and his angels of darkness, on a mission to deceive and take advantage of innocent spiritual seekers throughout the greek region.
Then and now, false teaching is deeply rooted in men of little or no hope. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are called to single out such wolves in sheep’s clothing then oust them from the very congregation they preyed upon. Like Paul we are to stake our claim to the truth and keep walking forward in spite of opposition from hypocrites. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre