2 Corinthians 11:1-15
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New Testament: 2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Summary: Paul and the False Apostles
Eve, the first woman, remained loyal to her husband but she did not remain loyal to God. She accepted the lies of the devil, who appeared to her as a snake *. That was how sin (evil deeds) entered the world. The effect of sin was to separate people from God* and to bring death into the world*.
It would be terrible for Christians to behave in the same way that Eve did. Christ died to free them from the power of sin and the devil. It would be very wrong if they chose on purpose to use that freedom to serve the devil.
However, when we do wrong things, we often do not act on purpose. Instead, like Eve, we start to believe something that is not true. We accept the clever lies of the devil, and so we do not trust God’s word. Those lies have the power to cause the most severe trouble to our relationship with Christ.
We can see from the Book of 1 Corinthians how often wrong and evil ideas had already entered the church at Corinth. The source of these wrong beliefs was the devil, but often people brought these ideas to Corinth. The devil was using those people to do his work*.
That was especially true now, because certain teachers, with wrong beliefs, had entered Corinth’s church*. They were impressive men, who acted boldly*. They tried to gain authority over people, and many Christians accepted them.
Paul saw that he must stand against those men. He had to try to protect weaker Christians from their wrong message. God had given Paul responsibility for those Christians, and Paul was eager to serve Christ well.
And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. ~ 2 Corinthians 11:12-15
In 2 Corinthians, Paul refers often to the teachers who were trying to gain authority over Corinth’s church. We know that they were impressive men, and skilled public speakers. However, Paul has told us that they were dangerous. They taught a false message about Jesus*. Now, Paul will explain the true character of these men.
The original meaning of an ‘apostle’ was a servant whom a master sent to carry out an important task. These teachers called themselves ‘apostles of Christ’. Therefore, they were saying that Christ had sent them. It was not true; they were not genuinely serving Christ. In fact, by their wrong lessons and their proud behaviour, they were serving the devil*.
We must not think that Paul was warning against all the teachers in Corinth’s church. That was a very large church, with many members* and several teachers. God had genuinely appointed some people to be teachers there*. Probably, some of those people served God well, and others made many mistakes. It is interesting to compare Paul’s description of the false apostles here with 1 Corinthians 3:10-16. There, Paul spoke about weak church leaders who would enter heaven without any reward. God would save them, but they would receive no reward for their work.
Paul could not even promise that to these false apostles. It seems that they did not have a real relationship with God. They did not know Jesus; the Holy Spirit was not working in their lives; they had not believed God’s message, the gospel*. They worked in the churches, but they were not serving God.
It was not easy to identify these men, because they imitated the genuine apostles. However, it was essential for every Christian to recognise their evil work. That was because these false apostles were leading people to hell, and not to heaven*.
The Bible is relevant for today. The things that are going on today have been going on from the beginning. Satan will continue coming up with ways to deceive people, he is very subtle and crafty. You cannot sit on the sidelines and think you have your ticket punched ready to go to heaven. The true Christian life is meant to be a full-time lifestyle. The Bible makes that very clear. God wants all to be saved and goes to the greatest measures to do so. Today we are told again to beware of false teachers, preachers, and influencers. New things to distract people and keep their eyes turned in the wrong direction are coming along quickly. Beware and open your eyes. SEE and know by reading the bible for yourself, know it, and obey it. There are many men and women who are leading others down the path to hell. Don’t go there.
Watch out for the deceptions that are being taught today and many think it is the best thing since sliced bread.