Paul vs. the Super Apostles
Paul really lets loose on some of his opponents in our reading today. As we've covered before, there were those who were constantly taking jabs at Paul's ministry. Why? Because he didn't charge for his services! The thinking goes like this: if you have something of worth, you charge for it. Paul doesn't charge, so what he has must be worthless. Paul lets loose against this kind of thinking in this passage.
1. They preached a different Jesus: Many think that from the context of the passage they were probably minimizing the cross (which Paul emphasized earlier in the letter) and putting the spotlight on the awesome speaking abilities of Jesus as the most important thing.
2. They preached another spirit: It's harder to know what this means exactly. Maybe they emphasized miraculous works and power as proof of God's blessing.
3. They preached a different Gospel: Whatever it was, it probably had to do with money since they were expecting good pay. Also it probably had a lot to do with self-righteousness as a way to salvation (see verse 15: "disguise themselves as servants of righteousness"). In short, it sounds a LOT like prosperity preachers today: God wants to to be rich, give me money, be the best person you can be.
So what does Paul say in response? Here are his credentials:
-He humbled himself
-He exalted the Corinthians
-He preached the Gospel free of charge (as it should be)
-He "robbed" other churches by taking support from them so he could work in Corinth
-He loves them
Paul will go a lot more into his "apostolic credentials" tomorrow, but he finishes out with a warning against following the "super apostles" and calls them out for what they are.
So what about us? How does this apply today? As I said above, these kinds of people are alive and well today. Many were deceived in Corinth, and many are deceived today. How can we protect ourselves?
"Satan and his servants can deceive people by appearing to be attractive, good, and moral. Many unsuspecting people follow smooth-talking, Bible-quoting leaders into cults. Don’t be fooled by external appearances. Impressions alone are not an accurate indicator of who is or isn’t a true follower of Christ, so it helps to ask these questions:
• Do the teachings confirm Scripture (Acts 17:11)?
• Does the teacher affirm and proclaim that Jesus Christ is God who came into the world as a man to save people from their sins (1 John 4:1–3)?
• Is the teacher’s lifestyle consistent with biblical morality (Matthew 12:33–37)?" 
We'll continue on with the true signs of an apostle tomorrow, but take this passage as a warning - test people to see if what they say is true, lest we be deceived like the Corinthians.