2 Corinthians 11:7-15
7 I preached God’s good news to you free of charge. When I did that, I was putting myself down in order to lift you up. Was this a sin? 8 I received help from other churches so I could serve you. This was almost like robbing them. 9 When I was with you and needed something, I didn’t cause you any expense. The believers who came from Macedonia gave me what I needed. I haven’t caused you any expense at all. And I won’t ever do it. 10 I’m sure that the truth of Christ is in me. And I’m just as sure that nobody in Achaia will keep me from bragging. 11 Why? Because I don’t love you? No! God knows I do! 12 And I will keep on doing what I’m doing. That will stop those who claim they have things to brag about. They think they have a chance to be considered equal with us. 13 People like that are false apostles. They are workers who tell lies. They only pretend to be apostles of Christ. 14 That comes as no surprise. Even Satan himself pretends to be an angel of light. 15 So it doesn’t surprise us that Satan’s servants also pretend to be serving God. They will finally get exactly what they deserve.
Paul continues to warn the Corinthian church of the false apostles and the impact they can have within the church or within the lives of undiscerning people.
When I think of my own life and our church, I am not currently exposed to people masquerading as workers for Christ, who have deceitful underlying purposes. Sure I come across people who I do not share the same views, whose theories may not be the same as mine, but whose theology is.
Paul is warning the Corinthian church because there was an apparent issue. I believe the warning we can take from this passage is that we need to be vigilant and fervent in our study of the Word, and communion with Christ, so that if a false teacher does comes into our midst of life (and I don’t mean just at church) that we recognise this quickly. And this may not be for our own discernment and protection, but for the protection of people who are young in their faith around us and whom we have responsibly for.
Father, I pray for wisdom, awareness, discernment without judgement, as I travel life’s journey with You, and protection for the “younger ” Christians in our church community, that You will protect their faith from the deceit of the enemy.
Written by Steve Fell