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Beware of super apostles
Bible Passage 2 Corinthians 11: 1- 15
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book 2 Corinthians.

Beware of super apostles

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached August 31, 2023

1 I wish you would tolerate a little of my foolishness. Yes, please tolerate me!

2 I am jealous of you with God’s own jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to the Messiah.

3 However, I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by its tricks, so your minds may somehow be lured away from sincere and pure devotion to the Messiah.

4 For if someone comes along and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or should you receive a different spirit from the one you received or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you are all too willing to listen.

5 I do not think I’m inferior in any way to those “super-apostles.”

6 Even though I may be untrained as an orator, I am not so in the field of knowledge. We have made this clear to all of you in every possible way.

7 Did I commit a sin when I humbled myself by proclaiming to you the gospel of God free of charge, so that you could be exalted?

8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you.

9 When I was with you and needed something, I did not bother any of you, because our brothers who came from Macedonia supplied everything I needed. I kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and I will continue to do so.

10 As surely as the truth of the Messiah is in me, my boasting will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia.

11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows that I do!

12 But I will go on doing what I’m doing in order to deny an opportunity to those people who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in the work they are boasting about.

13 Such people are false apostles, dishonest workers who are masquerading as apostles of the Messiah.

14 And no wonder, since Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

15 So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their doom will match their deeds!

Although Paul knew that boasting was foolish, Paul felt he needed to say a few things to prevent the Corinthians from believing the propaganda of these men who set themselves up as super-apostles. He feels for the Corinthians with the kind of jealousy that a father feels for his daughter. He has brought them from the darkness of heathenism into the light of God’s world so that he might present them as a bride to Christ (verses 1-2).

Paul is afraid that these false apostles will deceive the Corinthians just as Satan deceived Eve. He knows that the Corinthians have a tendency to accept wrong teaching very easily (verses 3-4). The false teachers said that they were superior apostles. They said that they were better Christians than Paul. The people in Corinth were very willing to follow the false teachers rather than Paul. He said that he was no less important than they were
Even if Paul does not have the skilled speech and persuasive style of the false apostles, he is not inferior to them. At least he teaches the truth, and that is what is essential (verses 5-6).

Paul had a right to be financially supported by those to whom he ministered, but when he was at Corinth he had earned his living by making tents. He did this so that the Corinthians could be built up in their knowledge of the Christian teaching without having to worry about supporting him. He even accepted gifts from other churches so as to remain financially independent of the Corinthians. But he received no thanks for his efforts. The false apostles (who came later and who did accept money from the Corinthians) used it as ‘proof’ to the church that Paul was merely a labourer and not an apostle at all (verses 7-9).

One reason why Paul supports himself is his love for the Corinthians. He has no intention of changing his practice of self-support because he wants the Corinthians to see the difference between the true apostles and the false apostles (verses 10-12). These men seek only their own gain. They make themselves look like servants of God, but really they are servants of Satan. Their ultimate punishment is certain (verses 13-15).

🔷 The appropriateness of our message is more important than the skill of presenting it

🔷 No amount of money can compensate for the word of God that we receive. Not asking for support does not mean one’s message is inferior

🔷 Beware of false prophets, whose aim is to destroy others only for them to be seen as superior

🔷 The deed of every believer shall be judged and rewarded in the end

💥 Pray that true missionaries will persevere in their work
💥 Pray that will be loyal to Christ

It’s so painful for false self-seeking prophets to deride the dedication and sacrifice of faithful servants of God. But what is more painful is when believers allow themselves to be swayed by these false teachers. Let’s stay focused not be deceived by any angel of Satan.

In series Bright Morning Reflections