Devotion to Christ
Paul and the False Apostles
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel adivine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a purevirgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, yourthoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someonecomes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive adifferent spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the oneyou accepted, you put up with it readily enough. Indeed, I consider that I am not in theleast inferior to these super-apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not so inknowledge; indeed, in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.
Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because Ipreached God’s gospel to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by accepting supportfrom them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in need, I did notburden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So Irefrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me,this boasting of mine will not be silenced in the regions of Achaia. And why? Because I donot love you? God knows I do!
And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those whowould like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do.For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles ofChrist. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is nosurprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their endwill correspond to their deeds.