As Paul and the other apostles (the first Christian leaders) established the first Christian churches in each town, other men soon followed them. These men described themselves as teachers of Godís word, the Bible. They tried to become the leaders of these new churches. They desired to have important jobs in churches where they could receive good wages. They saw the Christian churches as a way to make profits.
Some of these teachers were genuine Christians; others were not. Some of them taught the truth about God, although they loved money too much.
Many of them, however, taught a false message about God, and they did it on purpose. They confused people about the real meaning of the Bible in order to gain power, respect, and money for themselves. They warned the people about Paul and the other apostles. Because of their greedy and selfish attitudes, these teachers could even spoil other peopleís trust in Christ*. The Book of Jude describes how wicked, selfish and greedy some of these men became.
Paul was different from those men because he was sincere. He refused to use powerful words and clever arguments in order to impress people*. He taught Godís message simply, so that everyone could understand it*. Paul did not want to gain importance for himself; instead, he wanted Christ to receive honour. Paul was not trying to earn money, he was content with what God provided for him*.
Paulís attitude was the result of his relationship with God. He believed that God had sent him to each place. He declared the messages that God had given to him. He remembered that God was present at each meeting. So Paul taught what he himself believed. He urged people to do the things that he himself did.
Next part: Letters to recommend a church leader (3:1)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.