2 Corinthians 11:16-33
Friday, 24 September 2021
"I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little." -2 Corinthians 11:16
Second Corinthians is the most autobiographical of Paul's letters and a difficult letter that Paul had to write. In previous letters, Paul had exhorted the Corinthian church to correct some deviations that were prevailing. Some false teachers in the congregation were annoyed by Paul's rebuke and rejected his warnings. As a result, Paul was forced to defend his character and more importantly his apostolic authority in the face of such accusations.
Servants of God may come across similar situations as that in the Corinthian Church and may have to confront the accuser on his ground. Paul was much discouraged with the accusations levelled against him and the message he preached, by some in the very church he had labored to plant and bring up. In answering them, he resorts to the principle found in Proverbs 26:5 which says, “Answer a fool according to his folly,”- trying to combat them on the same ground they are. As a true servant of God, he does not need to boast of himself as the false teachers did. But to defeat the accusers on their grounds, Paul goes to the length of listing out his mission and describing his apostolic authority.
No false teacher can match with the truth that a true servant of God bears. All through the testimony of Paul we can see that a true servant bears the cross. As we read in Galatians 6:17: “From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” The masked agents of Satan are no match to God's servants who live a true testimony to the gospel he preaches. A false teacher may display false humility and an outward appearance of a servant of God, but he can never match the integrity that is the mark of a true servant of God. Thus, God's servants win their battles on the ground of their true testimony. Revelation 12:11: And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Gaining knowledge and understanding from Paul's experience we need to keep our lives and testimony intact so that when the accuser arises from outside or within our own community, we can stand firm. A proud and arrogant accuser is of no match to the humble servant of God. Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” We gain our grounds with simplicity and humble behavior. On the contrary, the false teacher confuses and drags people behind him by giving them false promises.
These are the end times and we need to be vigilant against this kind of attack from the enemy camp. It was present in the first century and is wide spread in today's world too. We identify the false teachers by their fruit. We must be well aware that the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life of a follower of Christ is his credential to stand his ground when he will be falsely accused. This cannot be tarnished because it will outshine any false accusations. A servant of God may defend his ministry as Paul did, not to draw attention to himself, but for the false teachers to understand how through it, God’s Kingdom has advanced.
Dear Father in heaven,
I humbly seek You to keep me as a true servant of my Lord Jesus,
until the day He returns.
In Jesus name. Amen.