2 Corinthians 11:1-5
2 Cor 11:1 (KJB)
Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
Folly - Foolishness
Here the Apostle is asking the Corinthians to bear with him in a little foolishness. Paul did not like to go on defending himself because he was basically a modest Christian and did not like to focus upon himself but it seemed that the false teachers, his accusers, were relentless in trying to destroy Paul’s Christian character so for the sake of the Corinthians, he needed to defend himself so they could be assured that he was nothing like the false accusers were making him out to be.
2 Cor 11:2 (KJB)
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
Jealous and jealousy - Envious or fervently desire
I have espoused - Betrothed
Chaste - Pure
Here Paul is giving a very strong reason why he is defending himself to the Corinthians. Paul had a jealousy over his converts in the Corinthian church and this was not a type of jealousy whereby he was afraid he lost all his converts to another person but it was a godly jealousy in that he did not want them to leave Christ and follow these false teachers. Sometimes in our Christian walk we may inadvertently follow a teacher or preacher too closely and then we may adopt everything they teach and if they go apostate, then the followers will go apostate. This is what Paul had feared may happen to the Corinthians. This is why he told them in no uncertain terms that they were espoused to one husband and that was Christ. If they would turn aside and follow a false teacher, then that would adulterate the relationship between Christ and His followers at Corinth. This then would negate them being a chaste or pure virgin to be presented to the husband on their wedding day. In Jewish custom, the betrothal period was as binding as the marriage was. We saw this when Mary was carrying Jesus and Joseph wanted to put her away privately, ye they were not even married. This is how serious Paul was when he saw the situation unfolding at Corinth. Church purity needs to be a serious concern for all church leaders, even today, especially today.
2 Cor 11:3 (KJB)
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Beguiled - Deceive thoroughly or delude
Subtlety - Craftiness, cunning, or trickery
Corrupted - Defile, ruin, or spoil
Simplicity - Purity, generosity, or sincerity
Paul now compares the deception of Eve to the deception being perpetrated upon the Corinthian church by the false teachers. Whenever a false teacher chooses to attempt to turn Christians away from Christ, they are doing the same thing that Satan himself did to Eve. Normally, there is not a frontal charge because if the false teachers attacked the truth openly, they would be rebuked instantly. Their method then, and their method today are the same in that they use craftiness and normally it is done very slowly. They use the tactic created by General Fabian who defeated Hannibal by something called a “war of attrition.” Instead of going into direct battles with the enemy, General Fabian chose to encroach upon the enemy in small ways such as flank attacks or causing them to run out of supplies. The false teachers do the same, they slowly chip away at cardinal Christian beliefs until they get the Christians to start doubting their beliefs. Just look at what textual criticism has done to diminish the Christian’s belief in the preserved word of God. Textual critics, under the authority of Satan, have thrown much doubt on the words of God and caused many Christians to question as to whether many verses are really part of the original text, resulting in their removal from the pages of the Bible. This is one way that Satan, through his false teachers, corrupts the body of Christ by taking away its purity in devotion and knowledge in very small steps. When Satan went to Eve, did he tell her what the consequences would be? Of course not! The false teachers never tell true Christians what the consequences would be if they follow them. It is a shame that many Christians walk around in blind stupidity believing everything that is placed before them.
2 Cor 11:4 (KJB)
For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Another - Different
Accepted - Receive something that is offered
Here Paul is showing his surprise that how quickly the Corinthians had attached themselves to the false teachers. These false teachers had come and preached another Jesus, another Gospel, and another Spirit. This situation is the same today in many churches. The Jesus they preach is not the one who will be the Judge on the last day but is everybody’s friend and will do anything people tell Him to do. He is not spoken of as being God but He seems to be reduced to only an errand boy or in many cases, His deity is rejected and He is taught as being just a good teacher or a moral man. Then the other false gospel which is being preached today is that God loves everyone and all are going to Heaven. Billy Graham and Robert Schuller both believe that you do not need to become born again in Christ to get to Heaven, all you have to do is just be in a religion that seems to seek after God and you will make it. Then the spirit which is being taught is one of universal collaboration of all religions. Much of the type of spirit which is being taught today has to do with one worldism through things like ecology, global warming, and other things the New Age element in our society is pushing. I am sure that the Lord Jesus Christ is disappointed with His people who quickly attach themselves to these types of teaching and that means the bride to be will be adulterated.
2 Cor 11:5 (KJB)
For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
Not a whit - In no way or not at all
Chiefest - Greatly or exceedingly
Paul had desired to make his point clearly in that he is stating that he too is an apostle and he is equal to the other Apostles. This type of statement would place Paul in a higher capacity than the false teachers. Paul had stated that he was an apostle by the Lord Jesus Christ and the false teachers could not claim that title. This should get the Corinthians to realize that following a false teacher is following a false and inferior copy of the true Gospel. That will only lead a person right to Hell. Paul wanted to stress the fact that his Gospel came from the Lord Jesus Christ and not some textbook or man’s imagination.