Paul’s Footsteps #201

Footsteps #201

In Acts 1 the leaders of the early church gathered to elect a new member of the Twelve to take Judas’ place. In the process they laid out the qualifications; see Acts.1:21-22. Two men were nominated, and Matthias was elected. The false teachers in Corinth are taking advantage of the fact that the early church leaders believed it was necessary for a true apostle to have known and walked with Jesus during His earthly ministry. Clearly, Paul did not. In fact, Paul was a persecutor of the early Christians before his Damascus Road experience, and he didn’t even become a believer until after the death and resurrection of Jesus. So these leaders challenged Paul’s claim to apostleship. I think it is possible that some of them may have come to Corinth from Jerusalem and perhaps even claimed to have known Christ during His earthly sojourn. Perhaps they referred to themselves as “true apostles,” in contrast to Paul. (He facetiously labels them as “super-apostles” because of all the authority they were claiming for themselves). Authoritative titles are something predators often claim for themselves. The spiritual predators at Corinth built themselves up by tearing Paul down. They attacked Paul for his lack of training as a speaker, ignoring his content. When Paul says, “I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge,” he is clearly responding to the attacks of these leaders.  

In 1Cor.2 Paul contended that the message is always more important than the messenger. The truth is always more important than the speaker’s style. Please understand that. We tend to be so shallow in the way we evaluate preachers and teachers. We are wowed by those who are entertaining and flashy and put off by those we deem boring or dry. Some speakers can say absolutely nothing, but sure know how to say it! The man who has nothing to say, but says it with grace and skill, is still a man with nothing to say. Don’t forget that most cults and aberrant religious movements have been started and perpetuated by world-class communicators!

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