17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
17 For we are not, as so many,
The reference to the “many” here is the false teachers of chapters ten through twelve (2 Co 11:13).
peddling [hawking] the word of God;
Some so-called evangelists use their ministry for profit. Paul ministered in Corinth without charging them (2 Co 11:7-12; 12:14). He did accept support for his ministry from other churches, as he said in 1 Corinthians 9:18. The issue is not money but the motive and message. The phony evangelists hawked their message for payment. They peddled God’s Word.
but as of sincerity,
The word “but” contrasts the hucksters from true gospel ministers.
“Sincerity” comes from two Greek words: sun and to judge. The idea of this word means to hold something up to the sun to inspect whether it is genuine. Paul’s message and motive were unadulterated; they could stand up to close scrutiny. Ministers of the gospel cannot preach with mixed motives.
but as from God,
Paul’s team carried out its mission from God-ordained calling. It was from that calling the team ministered.
we speak in the sight of God in Christ.
God saw the motives of Paul’s gospel team that they are pure. What he does, he does because of his identity of being “in Christ.” Everything he did revolved around Christ.
It is unbiblical to serve self with the gospel.
It is wrong to dilute the gospel message for profit. We cannot dispense the gospel like a retail business, which we often associate with deception and greed. There are many preachers out there who fleece their unsuspecting audience. They use the gospel for their selfish advantage.
The genuine preacher presents the unvarnished truth of the gospel. He is not a vendor who pushes his message to making money for himself. He sets forth the truth in an unvarnished way without compromise. This requires a forthright and transparent gospel presentation.