Authority, part 1
Paul and his colleagues had founded the church in Corinth, but it did not take long for the church there to become dissatisfied with Paul. False teachers had infiltrated the church and were causing havoc within the congregation. In particular, they were questioning Paul’s actions, motives, and authority.
In our passage today, we find that Paul is reacting to some of the problems in the church at Corinth. He is likely responding to criticisms against him. Some of the people in the church were complaining about how Paul exercised his authority over the church.
Paul’s response to his critics tells us some important things about how to exercise authority in the local church—particularly, how not to do it. We find the word “no” or “not” here ten times. We see a series of prohibitions or warning of things not to do—“don’t do this, don’t do that; don’t do it this way.”
What is the proper way to respond to spiritual authority in the local church? Notice what he says here about how not to do it.