Paul was warning Corinth’s Christians about some of the teachers who taught in their church. In many ways, it was difficult to identify those wrong teachers. They pretended to be servants of God*. They used the same words as Paul used, but with different meanings*
However, there was one matter where it was easy to see the difference between them and Paul. They had a completely different attitude about money. Those teachers loved money. They were hoping to earn a lot of money from Corinth’s Christians. Probably, Corinth’s Christians had already given generously to them.
Paul, on the other hand, trusted God to provide his money*. Often, he carried out physical work to earn money: he made tents*. Paul would not accept gifts or payments from the new Christians while he worked to establish Corinth’s church. However, sometimes Christians from other churches travelled to bring a gift for Paul. Paul believed that God had sent those Christians to provide for him. So, Paul accepted those gifts. However, those gifts did not match Paul’s principle in 2 Corinthians 8:13-14. He was taking money from other churches when Corinth’s church could offer nothing in return. Therefore, Paul says that he was ‘robbing’ those other churches. Paul does not mean that he was doing anything wrong. Those churches gave gladly because of their love for Paul and their desire to support God’s work.
Of course Paul was not wrong to refuse gifts and payments from Corinth’s Christians. He had a right to receive wages from them, but he also had the right to refuse*. Paul did not want to charge anyone when he declared God’s message, the gospel. He was glad that he had been able to do that.
Next part: How God provided for Paul (11:9)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.