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He considered boasting about himself foolishness. But he did it nevertheless. And he did it because he was concerned about the Corinthians. He was concerned because of good-sounding arguments that were capable of deceiving these people.
He was concerned because there is such a thing as pure devotion to Christ. Not just devotion. Many people are devoted. But pure devotion, in this context, clearly indicates purity of doctrine. In verse 2, Paul expresses his desire to present the Corinthian church to God as a pure bride.
By "pure bride" he meant one who was unaffected by false doctrine. The Corinthians' pure and simple devotion to Christ was being threatened by false teaching. Paul did not want the believers to lose their single-minded love for Christ. Life Application Notes
Here’s why I didn’t want to preach this message. Kind of like Paul didn’t want to resort to boasting, which he thought was foolishness. This sounds like I’m the bad cop. Like I’m against something. Like I’m scolding. But it was serious to Paul, and it’s serious to me.
Here’s Paul, one of the New Testament’s prime teachers of the faith, one of the prime examples we have of faith lived out in the real world - Here’s Paul, admitting that this is something he feared. He feared they would be deceived. He feared they’d be taken in, won over by, false teaching, and that as a result, they’d be led astray.
Paul knew they were susceptible to deception. He’d seen it, he’d heard about it, he feared it. That’s the reason Paul resorted to foolish boasting to gain a hearing. Paul knew of Jesus’ own warnings about being deceived. Deception was something Paul himself warned about in many other letters he wrote to the New Testament churches. The sheer volume of warnings about deception and false doctrine is remarkable. Paul no doubt knew Jesus’ words in Matthew
Matthew 24:4 "Watch out that no one deceives you.”
The immediate context of this passage is Jesus’ warning about the end times, and the many false prophets who would lead people astray. But seen in the light of the many other warnings about deception, Paul knew that Jesus’ words: “watch out that no one deceives you,” could be taken as a warning for every kind of deception.
Isn’t that interesting, that his very first response to the question about the end times,was to warn them about deception.
The fact is that whenever we look for signs, we become very susceptible to being deceived. There are many “false prophets” (Matthew 24:11, 24) around with counterfeit signs of spiritual power and authority. The only sure way to keep from being deceived is to focus on Christ and his words. Don’t look for special signs, and don’t spend time looking at other people. Look at Christ. Jesus’ warnings about false teachers still hold true. Upon close examination it becomes clear that many nice-sounding messages don’t agree with God’s message in the Bible. Only a solid foundation in God’s Word can equip us to perceive the errors and distortions in false teaching. Life Application Notes
So, Jesus says, “watch out.” I believe
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