“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Cor. 11:13&14 NIV84)
It’s one thing to fight enemies that are outside your group. They are easy to recognize and, therefore, to deal with. But what do you do with the enemies from within? That’s right! Enemies within the church. Paul has a growing problem with false teachers and preachers within the church leading astray new Christians Paul had recently converted. Might we have some of the same problems today? Has Satan infiltrated our own numbers? As Jesus said, do we have “wolves clothed in sheep’s clothing”? How can we recognize the false teachers when they look just like us?
Earlier in this chapter Paul makes it clear that one way to recognize these false teachers is by looking at what they teach about Jesus. You see, If Satan is going to negatively affect the Christian Church he has to hit it where it really matters, at the saving faith of the individual Christian. False teachers will either add to or subtract from the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Satan will always try to attack our salvation by God’s grace by saying that grace isn’t sufficient, or he will add numerous required works to accompany the grace. Either way, he succeeds in creating doubt in the believer and leading him to rely upon himself for part of his salvation.
Reject anyone who claims to be a Christian teacher and preacher and doesn’t clearly pronounce the certainty of your salvation in the death and resurrection of Jesus, alone!