This passage is a passionate appeal to the hearts and minds of the Corinthian Christians in light of their seeming transferring of trust from Paul’s leadership (perhaps as a result of what we read yesterday), to the entrapment of the false apostles who had not only been welcomed into the church but allowed to peddle a ‘different gospel’. Paul urged the church to remember the true gospel he had taught them that had turned their hearts to Christ in the first place. He didn’t charge them for it - it was free as it should be. Christ had already paid the ultimate price for the salvation of believers (John 3:16). Sadly, the ‘super apostles’ - Paul sarcastically calls them - had seized the opportunity to manipulate their way into the church and make a living out of it. Their teaching appealed to those who liked performance, eloquent speakers in fine clothing perhaps and certainly the need to pay: for the speakers or for salvation? After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch! The truth of grace was alien to them so they returned to a life bound by law and money. Paul referred to them effectively as the devil in disguise. Prior to his conversion, Paul (Saul), knew what it was to persecute. Stubborn and zealous though he was, his love of Christ was the motivation he needed to not succumb to his sufferings. Paul’s catalogue of trials, persecution, pain and injustices are more than most would have to face let alone be able to survive, but he acknowledged it was not his own strength that enabled him to stand the weight of it all but the power of Christ working in him so that he could continue to preach the gospel. Accepting the Lord’s grace to be sufficient was already enough but knowing that Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12: 9), gave Paul the right to be vulnerable thereby allowing the Holy Spirit to work through him. Have circumstances changed much since that time? I don’t think so, otherwise there wouldn’t be enough churches to fit all the worshippers in but it’s our privilege and commission to work towards that.
Lord, help me to submit to you in my weaknesses that you can complete the work you have started in me. Amen.