“Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also” (2 Corinthians 11:18-21).
While the false apostles in Corinth sought to boast of their supposed accomplishments, 2 Corinthians 11:18 reveals another issue. Notice the reference to “…those who take credit to themselves after the flesh” (BBE). This implies that these “apostles” were acting with little or no direction from God. If they were truly acting as Jesus’ representatives, they would have given such credit to Him and not taken it for themselves.
Unfortunately, the Corinthians were not alone in facing such issues. For instance, Paul the Apostle delivered the following warning to the first-century church at Ephesus: “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29).
The Apostle Peter also wrote the following…
Much like those who attended church in ancient Corinth, it is not uncommon to encounter intelligent and well-spoken “leaders” who advocate spiritual beliefs that are foolish or self-serving. This unfortunate reality demonstrates the importance of reading the Scriptures each day. A person who prayerfully reads God’s Word daily is someone who will be best equipped to identify those who seek to present a clever (but unbiblical) message.