Paul And The False Apostles

Someone once asked a banker how he trained his staff to recognize counterfeit notes: The banker said, thats simple, I have them handling the real thing all day, so when a counterfeit note comes into their hands, they know immediately. (Lou Nicholes - Missionary/Author). … More

Infiltration

In the final chapters of Second Corinthians, the Apostle Paul is dealing with probably the most powerful tool, the most dangerous threat to a church the devil has - infiltration - the destruction of a church from within by teachers who are straying from the truth. This is still a dangerous threat to churches today. They are being destroyed from within by the satanic process of infiltration, by people who come in and gradually began to teach a deviate gospel. That is what was happening here at Corinth, and that is what is threatening many of our churches today.

In this passage we find Paul comparing himself to a “spiritual father” caring for his family (vv. 1-2). The picture is of a loving daughter engaged to be married. The engaged woman owes her love and allegiance to  the one she is engaged to. If she was to share her heart with any other man she would be guilty of unfaithfulness. A divided heart leads to a defiled life and a destroyed relationship. Born again Christians are the bride waiting for the bridegroom to return and need to be faithful to Him.

Paul is comparing the church in Corinth to Eve (vv. 3-4). Instead of resisting the devil’s lead to disobedience Eve listened and gave in. He says the devil’s representatives in Corinth are doing the very same things as they make this threefold appeal:

  1. They claimed to be associated with the twelve apostles (v. 5).
  2. They claimed to have superiority in speaking abilities (v. 6).
  3. They claimed their method of support by the churches was proof of authority (vv. 7-8).

Paul sacrificed in order to minister to the church at Corinth (v. 9). While there, he labored with his own hands as a tent maker (Acts 18:1-3) and even received gifts from other churches so that he might evangelize Corinth. He did this so no one could accuse him of using the preaching of the Gospel as a means of making money. A loving father does not lay his burdens on his children.

Application

I need to be careful that I do not give more importance to associations, speaking abilities and methods than I do to faithfulness to the Lord and commitment to His Word.

II Corinthians 11:1-9 (English Standard Version)


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