Under withering and false criticism from some in Corinth, Paul begins with affirmation. In verse 14, Paul points to a family relationship which binds him to the Corinthians, and in verse 15, he expresses his willingness to spend and to be spent to promote the well-being of the church. Only after expressing affirmation does he address the false charges brought against him. Charged with being a deceiver who is skimming off the Jerusalem offering while boasting about taking no compensation, Paul mounts his defense by pointing to his record of impeccable conduct and to the righteous conduct of his co-workers. Three lessons emerge here for all Christians who are dealing with unjust criticism: preemption (walk in righteousness at all times towards our neighbor), appeal to known facts to resolve disputes, and hope in gospel ties which bind believers through the blood of Christ.
Ties That Bind
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