After writing 1 Corinthians, Paul revisits the congregation he stared in the busy seaport town of Corinth. It’s not a happy reunion.
The young congregation has been quarreling over bunch of issues, including who the spiritual leader should be-and Paul is just one of several candidates. During this tense visit, one of the members verbally and viciously attacks him. After Paul leaves town, life in the Corinthian church goes from bad to worse. Intruders come. Self-proclaimed apostles, they call Paul anything but an apostle.
Judging by the defense Paul puts up in 2 Corinthians-which is a letter he writes partly to respond to these intruders-they accuse him of
- being a fake apostle;
- promoting himself;
- lying to the Corinthians;
- keeping money he raised in offerings;
- writing stern letters but not backing up his words with action.
Paul answers each charge, reminding the Corinthians of what they saw for themselves when he was with them. What they saw was a genuine, miracle-working apostle of Christ who refused to accept offerings for himself and who cared deeply for the Corinthian believers. Though Paul did take offerings for himself from supporters in Philippi, and would later ask for financial help from Christians in Rome, he didn’t collect offerings for himself in Corinth.