Useful Bible Studies > 2 Corinthians Commentary > chapter 11

The true character of some teachers who wanted power over the church

2 Corinthians 11:12-13

In 2 Corinthians, Paul refers often to the teachers who were trying to gain authority over Corinthís church. We know that they were impressive men, and skilled public speakers. However, Paul has told us that they were dangerous. They taught a false message about Jesus*. Now, Paul will explain the true character of these men.

The original meaning of an Ďapostleí was a servant whom a master sent to carry out an important task. These teachers called themselves Ďapostles of Christí. Therefore, they were saying that Christ had sent them. It was not true; they were not genuinely serving Christ. In fact, by their wrong lessons and their proud behaviour, they were serving the devil*.

We must not think that Paul was warning against all the teachers in Corinthís church. That was a very large church, with many members* and several teachers. God had genuinely appointed some people to be teachers there*. Probably, some of those people served God well, and others made many mistakes. It is interesting to compare Paulís description of the false apostles here with 1 Corinthians 3:10-16. There, Paul spoke about weak church leaders who would enter heaven without any reward. God would save them, but they would receive no reward for their work.

Paul could not even promise that to these false apostles. It seems that they did not have a real relationship with God. They did not know Jesus; the Holy Spirit was not working in their lives; they had not believed Godís message, the gospel*. They worked in the churches, but they were not serving God.

It was not easy to identify these men, because they imitated the genuine apostles. However, it was essential for every Christian to recognise their evil work. That was because these false apostles were leading people to hell, and not to heaven*.

Next part: The devil appears as an angel of light (11:14)


* See complete article for these Bible references.

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© 2016, Keith Simons.