As Paul continues to defend his ministry one last time, he sarcastically reiterated the previous arguments that he raised in defending his ministry. In addition, he seems like to be blaming the Corinthian Church about his actions.
But first, let us review again what were the accusations against Paul where he was vindicated.
Vindicated from accusation of false teachings (v.11)
One of the main accusations against Paul was about his apostleship. The false teachers try to discredit his authority as apostle. This is why he defended his supremacy over the false teachers.
In chapter 4 of this letter, Paul made mention of the things that a minister of Christ has to be preaching. We have learned that there is only one person that we are to preach and that is Jesus Christ. There is also one gospel that we are to preach, that is the gospel that was brought by Jesus Christ.
We are not to preach our own opinions, where men always fell. There are Christian teachers who teach their own opinions rather than what the Bible say.
One characteristic of a false teacher is when he tries to vindicate an obviously sinful act because he wants to earn the approval of the people. The most common people who are deceived by false teachers are those who were sinning because it is normal for someone who sinned to look for acquittal from his sins.
For example, one of the most common sins that the young people commit is having a more intimate relationship with an unbeliever. For the offenders, you will hear this most common reasons: “ Bakit si John, naging ok naman ang marital life nila?” The start of false teaching comes in when someone comes to the rescue and start saying; “Ok lang naman siguro…” because he doesn’t want to offend that person.
This is what Paul said in Galatians 6:7: “ Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Please note that the context of this passage is about doing God and is not about generosity.
Brethrens, the word of the Lord is always offending to sins because these two were completely opposite. As Paul said, light has nothing to do with darkness, so as righteousness with evilness. If we teach the people with our own opinions just for the sake of not offending his sins, then it can be the start of false teachings.
I have said this before and I will say this again, there is no correction that is not painful. All corrections are painful and sometimes offending. But if you are a sinning brother, please take the correction as a form of love. Hebrews 12:6 “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves and chastises every son he accepts.”
As a minister of Christ, our loyalty lies in the gospel and to Christ and not in pleasing men. I am not saying that we do correction recklessly, but certainly all corrections are painful and most of the time, not pleasing to hear.
Vindicated from accusation of wrong doings (v.12)
More than half of the book of 2 Corinthians talks about ministers and their ministry. Paul taught the Corinthian Church concerning the different ministries that a minister of Christ should live. We have learned about the ministry of reconciliation, ministry of testimony, ministry of endurance, ministry of correction, and the ministry of generosity.
We have seen how diligent Paul was in discussing these things and how he corrected the wrong things that Christians were doing. We have seen how important the endurance, testimony, and commitment to the truth were.
Paul did what was necessary as a spiritual father. He teaches, encourages, corrects, and even rebukes his spiritual children. And it is obvious that correcting and rebuking was not so popular for the people even in their time. Rebellious Christians sometimes pursue what they want to happen instead of what God wants to happen.
This is why even after Paul rebuked and corrected the Christians at Corinth, some of them were still unrepentant and continued to believe in false teachings. We then have to be reminded that if someone corrected us for what is right and for what is biblical, we have to accept it with love and appreciation rather than with rebellious hearts.
Paul’s apostleship was evidenced by patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. In contrast, the false teachers’ apostleship was evidenced by deceit, malice, pride and hatred.
Vindicated from accusation of fund abuse (v. 13)
Paul was probably accused of abuse of funds that he raised from Corinth this is why Paul is trying to settle the issue.
As we remember in 2 Corinthians chapter 8, Paul discussed about the qualifications of those people who should administer the gift of generosity. We knew that people who should administer the gifts of generosity are those eager and willing to do it, those that are diligent, and those whose praise is in the gospel.
Paul has been very careful in dealing with this matter. And he knew that managing the finances of the Churches should be accompanied by check and balance. This is why he endorsed only those who are qualified to manage it.
Though he did not depart from managing it, he allowed the people to choose who seems best for this ministry. And this is why aside from Titus; there is another one who was chosen by the people to accompany them in this ministry.
Many cultic movements and even Christian churches nowadays do not practice sound financial management. This is why it is difficult to settle this kind of disputes sometimes especially if the leadership of the church is involved in mismanagement.
Today, you will see pastors and sometimes elders, or deacons who take control of the money alone, without check and balance. Though this might be effective at times, but in most cases, this is a source of gossip and disputes. Therefore, it is not advisable to work alone in this matter. Everything has to be accounted because it is not personal money but the money of the Lord.
Paul will be coming to the Corinthian Church the third time. The first was his first missionary journey, the second was his painful visit, and now is the third time. Paul wishes that when he comes, he will find the Church at Corinth ready.