Wednesday, 2 December 2015
But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 2 Corinthians 11:12
“But what I do” refers to Paul’s conduct towards the Corinthians thus far. He has been preaching and teaching them for free and he has laid no burden on them of any sort. In this conduct, he says that “I will also continue to do.” He would remain steadfast in his determination that he would preach and teach those in Corinth without receiving any remuneration at all.
To him, this was a most important aspect of his ministry to them because he desired to “cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast.” It is a lot of words to convey his thoughts, but they are selected in order to be precise.
What is obvious is that these false apostles were coming to Corinth under the guise of preaching without receiving any payment in order to lull the Corinthians away from Paul and from the truth of the gospel. However, their guise was not sincere. They were actually interested in compensation even though they claimed they were not. Paul shows that their attitude was exactly the opposite of the truth of the matter. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 9:12, it is implied that others had been paid by the Corinthians for their ministry.
One can almost see the hypocritical way the came to preach. They would arrive and say that they were there to serve the church. Quickly, but subtly, they would introduce a little yeast to misdirect the faith that they had received through Paul. When offered money for their “enlightened” teaching, they would refuse it while saying that they were only there to help. However, when offered a second time, they would say, “Well, if you insist…”
In the end, they could claim that they came freely teaching the gospel, but at the same time, they could continue to receive pay because of their initial refusal. Paul on the other hand determined that he would continue to not receive anything from the Corinthians to prove that his intentions were pure and undefiled.
Life application: Smooth operators abound in Christian circles. Be wary of those who would put forward a foot of piety, but who are actually stepping forward to rob the unsuspecting.
Glorious God, help my heart to be pure and undefiled as I come to Your word. Don’t let me get caught up in a case of picking and choosing what verses I will accept or reject. And Lord, keep me from unsound teachers who are bent on twisting Your word to fit this world instead of showing that our world needs to comply with Your word. Grant me the wisdom to understand when I am being led down an unsound path by those who have a twisted agenda. Keep me on the straight and narrow path to Jesus! Amen.