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Read Introduction to 2 Corinthians


13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.


Verses 13-15 present the true nature of Paul’s opponents. These false apostles share with Satan his cunning and deception. The arch-deceiver has his minions. They pretend to represent Christ, but they are deputies of the devil. However, they act the part of an apostle.

13 For such are false apostles,

“False apostles” were those who claim to be genuine apostles but were fake. Paul sarcastically calls them “super-apostles” (2 Co 11:5). These propped-up shams claimed authority that they did not have (Re 2:2). The super-apostles were false apostles.

deceitful workers,

These people pretended to represent Christ. They were crafty in their approach to ministry. However, they were in ministry for their own gain. They masqueraded their works as authentic, but their ministry was characterized by deception. They followed their father, “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44). Their work produced deceit.

transforming [masquerading] themselves into apostles of Christ.

The word “transforming” means to change the outward form of something or to change appearance. These false apostles made themselves appear as genuine apostles.


Appearances can be deceptive.


Appearances can be deceptive, especially when people disguise themselves in religious trappings (2 Co 4:18; 5:12; 11:26; Ga 2:4). This is especially true of religious deception. Christ has His ministers, and so does Satan. Deceit is the hallmark of those who carry false doctrine. As religionists deceived the Corinthian church so religionists today deceive the church. When it comes to deception, a frontal assault is necessary (Mt 7:15; 24:24; 1 Ti 4:1; 2 Ti 3:13). We need to expose them for what they believe. It is not something to take lightly (2 Co 2:11; 4:4). Satan will infiltrate the church today with deluded ideas. However, they may appear to be “righteous,” their doctrine is full of deadly poison. That is because the devil commissioned them. His ministers of righteousness make error plausible.