12 For we do not commend ourselves again to you, but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf, that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart.
The “for” here gives the reason why the team left their integrity to the consciences of the church.
we do not commend ourselves again to you,
The gospel team did not commend themselves to the Corinthian church to brag about their ministry. They simply introduced themselves and their integrity to the Corinthian church “again.”
The Corinthian church should have recognized the service of Paul’s team (2 Co 12:11). The justification of the team’s service was their responsibility. It was plain that the team lived their lives in a way that pleased God. Ultimately, it is not the one who commends himself that the church approves, but the one whom the Lord commends (2 Co 10:18).
but give you opportunity [occasion] to boast on our behalf,
Paul wanted to give the Corinthian church an “opportunity” to take pride in the team. By justifying the team’s ministry, the church could defend them. The word “opportunity” is a military term designating a strategic base of operations. It was a place to launch attacks or defense. Note its use in Romans 7:8, Galatians 5:13, and 1 Timothy 5:14.
The argument here is that Paul provided a base for the Corinthians to support him and his team. If the church had full knowledge of who the team was, then they could support them fully. They would have the ammunition to answer the opponents of the team adequately.
There are many false teachers within evangelicalism today.
People are inclined to listen to the wrong people, to doctrinally distorted preachers. If the devil cannot stop God’s work, he will attempt to tear it down. Christians need the raw material of God’s Word to answer such people. The impetus of what God says will do the correction.