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Summary: The devil and his workers will not appear as satan & deceivers. They will appear to be on your side & on God’s side. But they will take your attention off God, off Jesus Christ, off sharing His Gospel & place attention on man & his frailties.

2 CORINTHIANS 11: 11-15 [GAINING PERSPECTIVE Series]

THE MASQUERADERS

[Matthew 24: 1-5 / 1 John 4:1-3]

A attack on the purity of Paul's motives was a disguise for the false preachers actions. They acted like they were concerned for what was right so that they could divide the unity of the church and destroy the church's trust in Paul and his teachings.

Isn’t this misdirect so much like Satan? He comes like he is concerned for what is right and true while what be is doing is destroying what is right and true. He comes in to sow seeds of distrust and promote discord and strife all under the guise of helping (he even likes helping us uphold our legalism).

The devil and his workers will not appear as satan and deceivers. They will appear to be on your side and on God’s side. But they will take your attention off God, off Jesus Christ, off sharing His Gospel and place attention on man and his frailties. Check the motives of all who are suppose to be servants of God and see if they are centered in love for Jesus Christ, His Gospel and His people or centered on the frailty of people.

I. SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE, 11-12.

II. SATAN DISGUISED, 13-15.

Was Paul’s refusal to accept financial support from the church because he did not love them? He answers that charge in verse 11. “Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!”

“Why” was Paul willing to sacrifice himself to such a great extent in order to minister to the Corinthians [and in His ministry for the Corinthians]? Because of his love for them. They may have been told to doubt his love because he refused to take money from them to sustain himself in ministry but he tells them God knows the truth. He saw himself as a father that stores up for his children not one who takes from his children.

After defending the fact that he supported himself while he was at Corinth (vv. 7–11), Paul points out the gullibility of some of the Corinthians in verse 12. “But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.”

Paul' s rivals at Corinth want the congregation to look down on Paul because he would not take remuneration. His critics must have argued that if Paul’s apostleship were valid he would not demean himself by continuing to work as a common craftsman, since he knows that apostles are entitled to support by their churches (v. 7; 1 Cor. 9:4-12a, 13-14). In response, Paul urges the Corinthians to regard his conduct as demonstrating a genuine concern not to burden them with his own needs (vv. 8-11). He will continue to deprive them of the opportunity to say that all he wanted was their money by continuing to refuse to accept any kind of payment for his ministry. They cannot say that he merchandised the gospel.

There are always some hunting for any reason to start something against godly preachers. They complain that you get paid or like here they will accuse you if you refuse to get paid. False critics looked for any pretext to critic. But Paul was determined that since he had no choice but to preach the Gospel because of the demand of his calling he would at least preach it for free. Thus he would also avoid any charge that he preached the Gospel for any earthy gain, though it was certainly within his right to receive remuneration.

This issue of paid ministers is misunderstood with some folk. For that reason a visit from a paid pastor may not be as impacting as a visit from a church member. The person may perceive the pastor as just doing the job he is paid to do. But you as a church member, if you labor because of love in the power of the Holy Spirit you will cut off the accusation of the enemy that you are after their money instead of exhibiting care about their soul and their eternal well-being.

II. SATAN DISGUISED (13-15).

In verse 13 Paul lays his cards on the table and says what he really thinks of his detractors. “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, deceitful workers disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”

The moment has come for Paul to drop the veil of irony and speak in the plainest terms concerning these would-be apostles (Phil 3:2). He coins a new word and calls them “false apostles” [pseuda-apostoloi] which is to say they are shams with a false claim of authority. They were imposters whose aim was to usurp apostolic authority. They performed their destructive work with deceit, treachery and cunning by the power of evil spirits (1 Jn.4:1-3). Basically satan is an imitator. He copies what God does and tries to convince us that his offer is better than God's. How does he do this? Here he offers counterfeit apostles, workers who think they serve God, but who are really servants of Satan. They believe they are something they are not and in so doing they deceive themselves and others.

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