Paul’s Conduct Was Never Questionable

When Queen Victoria was a child, she didn’t know she was in line for the throne of England. Her instructors, trying to prepare her for the future, were frustrated because they couldn’t motivate her. She just didn’t take her studies seriously. Finally, her teachers decided to tell … More

Conduct

From what Paul says he was evidently being charged with having questionable  conduct (v. 3). In this verse he denies three allegations:

  1. His message was not deceptive - “Not of deceit.” Since the beginning of Christianity there have been false teachers and this is still true today. Examples of this would be Christian Science (which is neither Christian nor Science), Mormonism, the Watchtower society (Jehovah Witness), the Moonies etc. Paul received this Gospel from God and not from man.
  2. His motivation was not impure, but clean - “Not of Uncleanness."  It is possible to preach the right message with the wrong motives (Philippians 1:14-19). There have been well known Christian leaders today who have been exposed for various types of sensuality and sexual sin.  On the surface they appear to be speaking out against sin while it is an only smoke screen to cover up their own sin. Paul’s motives were pure.
  3. His method did not use trickery - “Not in guile.” Paul did not trap people into some kind of religious system. Salvation does not come through some clever argument or subtle presentation. It is the result of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit (1:5).

In trying to persuade people we may be tempted to alter our position just enough to make our message more palatable. Paul never changed his message to make it more acceptable. He was not looking for the praise of men (v. 4). If he had been seeking self-glorification, there would certainly have been better ways to obtain it than the life endangering things he went through.

Application

What are some safeguards I can take to keep my message clear, my motivations pure and my methods above reproach?

I Thessalonians 2:3-4 (English Standard Version)

For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »