God’s Saving Word: Spiritual Renewal
2 Corinthians 11:1-15: The apostle Paul speaks against the false apostles who have been boasting about their work among the Corinthians. Paul reminds them that he did not ask to be paid while he was teaching and preaching among them, but that he had to rely on monetary gifts from other churches while he was in Corinth.
Paul and the False Apostles
11 I wish you would tolerate me, even when I am a bit foolish. Please do! 2 I am jealous for you, just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself. 3 I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ—in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake’s clever lies. 4 For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the Spirit and the gospel you received from us!
5 I do not think that I am the least bit inferior to those very special so-called “apostles” of yours! 6 Perhaps I am an amateur in speaking, but certainly not in knowledge; we have made this clear to you at all times and in all conditions.
7 I did not charge you a thing when I preached the Good News of God to you; I humbled myself in order to make you important. Was that wrong of me? 8 While I was working among you, I was paid by other churches. I was robbing them, so to speak, in order to help you. 9 And during the time I was with you I did not bother you for help when I needed money; the believers who came from Macedonia brought me everything I needed. As in the past, so in the future: I will never be a burden to you! 10 By Christ’s truth in me, I promise that this boast of mine will not be silenced anywhere in all of Achaia. 11 Do I say this because I don’t love you? God knows I love you!
12 I will go on doing what I am doing now, in order to keep those other “apostles” from having any reason for boasting and saying that they work in the same way that we do. 13 Those men are not true apostles—they are false apostles, who lie about their work and disguise themselves to look like real apostles of Christ. 14 Well, no wonder! Even Satan can disguise himself to look like an angel of light! 15 So it is no great thing if his servants disguise themselves to look like servants of righteousness. In the end they will get exactly what their actions deserve.
Today’s Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 11:2b
[Paul writes:] You are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself.
For what does Paul chastise the Corinthians? What does he say about the so-called “apostles”? What verses express Paul’s love for the Corinthians? Have you ever encountered false apostles? If so, what did you do? In what ways does your community of faith share the love of God in Christ Jesus?
Holy God, help me to grow in faith and in knowledge of you. Clothe me with your spiritual armor so that I am able to reject and dispel any false teachings that I may hear. Surround me with your steadfast love and care. In your holy name, I pray. Amen.
2 Corinthians 11:16-33: The apostle Paul describes his suffering as an apostle of the Lord.