Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians
Failure to Recognise God in Action
2 Corinthians 12:11 - 15
06 November 2016
Today, false teachers are rampant in the church, drawing large gatherings in order to amass wealth. But this problem is not new; the Corinthians were led astray because they failed to recognise God's work in Paul, and ran after showy hucksters instead. Whilst Paul penned this ancient letter to the Corinthians, it nevertheless speaks to our modern problem today.
Failure to recognise God-appointed leadership (v. 11). When the false teachers came to Corinth and slandered Paul, the Corinthians remained silent and were even persuaded, although they should have known Paul's good character, and defended him. Anxious that the Corinthians had left a gospel ministry for lies, Paul resorted to comparing himself against the false teachers in order to remind the Corinthians whom actually cared for them, and to draw them back to the gospel.
Failure to recognise God's power on display (v. 12). Not only was Paul an example of Christ to the Corinthians, but they had seen God's power at work through him. Paul writes, "the signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles." They had no reason to doubt, seeing that God authenticated Paul's ministry with supernatural work. But this is nothing new. Christ drew large followings because He healed; but when He began preaching the gospel, hundreds turned away (Jn. 6). Today, false teachers promise prosperity, but ignore the gospel, knowing it offends man.
Failure to recognise God's love being displayed (v. 13 - 15). Paul's constant and heartfelt love for the Corinthians was shunned. Although Corinth was the only church Paul never asked money from, they still rejected him. Paul asks, "in what respect were you treated as inferior to the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not become a burden to you? Forgive me this wrong!" Paul never sought after their money, but their selves.
Instead of ignoring God's work through leaders, may we recognise their love and service for us. Where the Word is faithfully preached, and good work done, may we return the love and gratitude, for God has appointed them our leaders.