Paul is fed up with having to put forth his resume to regain the ground taken by the false “super-apostles.” He has gone toe to toe with them in every aspect and come out on top. But all of that means nothing to him. His only aim is to restore this body of believers to right standing in Christ.
Everything Paul has done in his ministry has proven he is a true apostle. The signs and wonders God has provided throughout his ministry are just the icing on the cake. Paul’s determination to walk as Jesus did and preach Jesus only are his foundation. He cares nothing for tallying up the costs along the way. But for this group he was willing to do it; if for no other reason than to get their attention.
One thing Paul didn’t do that these “super-apostles” are doing though is to burden the believers financially for their own gain. Paul has taken personal support from some of the churches he visited but not from this group. He supported himself as a tent maker for the whole time he was with them. He could have asked for their support after they were established, but he didn’t. He could have asked them to support the brothers when he sent them there to minister, but he didn’t. He didn’t exploit his position in any way financially. He did bring up the issue of an offering for the brothers in Jerusalem but even that was to be voluntary.
So what did these “super-apostles” have that gave them sway over this body of believers? They didn’t call them on their sin. They gave them freedom to do ANYTHING they wanted to. I guess if you pay them enough they will endorse whatever you want.
Boy does that sound familiar! That is what our society and political system have been doing for decades. When does sin become sin? Where do we draw the lines if it only takes someone willing to “pay” to move it? Yes, there is forgiveness in Jesus. There is also freedom. But there are limits to that freedom. Jesus did not do away with righteousness and right and wrong on the cross. He brought us a better covenant; one written in our hearts. But if man keeps pushing his heart out of the way and leading with his lustful mind, where will it end?
Father God, I know it has to get worse before Jesus comes back. I wish there was some way to avoid that part. My world is already so messed up. People calling good evil and evil good everywhere I look. I know I am not sinless either. The only thing I have going for me in this area is I still try and listen to my heart; where Your Spirit lives. He keeps me from sailing off the edge. Sometimes I don’t listen as I should. I try and convince myself of my “freedom” instead. And just like this group, I have to be corrected. Thank You for that correction! You only discipline those You love. Thank You for Your discipline. Help me submit to Your discipline and direction for my life.