From the beginning, God has always looked to the hearts and spirits of people to determine both their attitudes and faith. Men somehow cannot seem to get past personal appearance and style. So, Paul is attempting to help the Corinthians realize that the many “Super Apostles” that were coming in all slick and pretty, were only coming in for their own personal gain and did not give 2 hoots for what happened to this community of believers.
Paul was not the prettiest apostle, nor was Paul the most eloquent spokesman. Still, almost two-thousand years later, the messages Paul shared throughout Europe and Asia continue to be the basis for the worldwide Christian community. So as Paul was humbly defending his motives, honor, and call, the Corinthians were being bombarded by false teachers who were mixing the Gospel with Judaism, Gnosticism and any other “Ism” that would draw a crowd and a donation.
In our lives, we face the same struggles. The Gospel is simple and clear–If you confess with your mouth that Christ Jesus is Lord, and you believe in your heart that the Father raised Him from the dead…You will be saved! Romans 10:9. We must trust God and submit to His Lordship and leadership.
As in Paul’s day, we cannot become distracted with the world, the enemy, and all the offers of peace and prosperity made by Madison Avenue and even religious brands. Paul was not jealous of competing preachers; he was Jealous FOR the Lord’s chosen. We too must remain focused and jealous for God’s chosen! We must not become distracted by half-truths and pretty people saying it’s all going to be a blessed and easy path if we will just dig deep, work hard, and mean well!
God Bless You
I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”[a] 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.