(2 Corinthians 11) – Real vs. False Apostles.
Paul continues to defend his unique position from God as an Apostle. There were some who claimed to be servants of God that were combatting him and his ministry.
The reason Paul keeps going on about all this is made clear in verse 2. He was jealous for them with the jealousy of God Himself. He so desperately wanted for them to have all their focus on the Lord, and he was doing whatever he needed to do to help that cause.
The main thing he was afraid of wasn’t losing influence or prominence…he feared that these people would lose the purity of their devotion to Jesus.
Part of what was contributing to that fear was that the Corinthians weren’t “testers”, they just kinda took everything in, even if it wasn’t remotely true.
This obviously leads to much deception and falsehood permeating throughout the church.
Paul makes some additional distinctions between him and those that claimed to be “Super Apostles”.
He taught the one true Gospel, they taught different gospels, spirits, and even multiple different depictions of Jesus.
He ministered to them without expecting anything in return, while the false apostles enslaved the people with their lies regarding money.
He was a true worker of righteousness, while they were sons of satan disguising themselves as servants of righteousness.
Paul was a man who suffered for the sake of Christ, while the false apostles made others suffer who followed Christ.
Paul boasted about his weaknesses to exalt the work of Christ…the false apostles boasted about their strengths to exalt the work of self.
Look at what Paul endured while following closely after Jesus…this goes against much of what we expect to happen in western (especially American) Christianity.
Walking with Christ means living like Him, suffering and all. We have to know that the level of comfort we are currently experiencing may not always exist.
But one thing is for sure, and I take this straight from Paul’s example here, if things get tougher in our country, it will only serve to further distinguish the true followers of Christ from imposters who are “in it” for the wrong reasons.
Suffering has an interesting way of weeding out those who are lying about something.
(Side note: That’s one of the reasons I believe in the validity and authenticity of the Scriptures. The real Apostles stuck to their testimony about the risen Christ all the way to their death. I highly doubt that all of them would die for something they knew to be a lie.)