Paul describes how he always taught, at Corinth and elsewhere, in an honest and sincere manner. He considered it his duty to behave in such a manner, even if he suffered for it - and Paul did suffer greatly, as 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 shows. His reason was simply that God, in his kindness, had given Paul this work to do. God was the master, and Paul was the servant - so of course Paul obeyed.
Because of Godís wonderful promises, Paul acted boldly*. Paul often felt weak, but God gave him the strength to continue*. Paul always considered it a wonderful honour to declare Godís good news.
However, there were teachers, even in the church at Corinth, who behaved in a very different manner*. They made every effort to impress people, because they wanted to control peopleís lives. They taught people only those things that they (the people) wanted to hear. Perhaps those teachers thought that they were being clever. Really, however, they were behaving in a wicked manner.
The Bible, Godís word, is holy. Therefore, church leaders and teachers must teach it honestly*. They must never try to get better results by methods that God does not approve of. It is wrong and evil to use lies to persuade people to come to church. God loves the truth, and his people should love the truth also.
Paul had decided always to speak the truth. In their conscience (inner thoughts), people would know that they were dealing with an honest man. If they acted cruelly towards him, they themselves would recognise their own actions to be evil. If they accepted him, they too could learn to serve God in a sincere manner.
Next part: Why many people hate the gospel (4:3-4)
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.