“For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.” (II Corinthians 2:17)
How did the Apostle Paul keep from corrupting the word of God (which should be one of our greatest concerns)? We see two key things in this verse:
For one, Paul was sincere. He said he spoke and taught “from sincerity.” His ultimate motivation was truly to communicate the truth of God’s word to people. He did not do it to make money. He did not do it to seek attention. His motives were pure.
Second, everything about his ministry of the word was immersed in God. Notice how he describes what he taught:
— It is “from God.” First, the word comes from God. Paul didn’t have to “fabricate” something to share. He passed on the truth that God gave him.
— Then when he actually shares, he says he speaks “in Christ”. He doesn’t minister in his own strength, but in the power of Christ’s Holy Spirit.
— Then finally, he says that he shares all this as “in the sight of God”. His ultimate audience and accountability were not to the people with whom he wassharing, but to God. This helped keep his motives and message pure.
Every one of us who has a responsibility to preach or teach the word of God should examilne our own ministries in light of Paul’s words here: Can we say that OUR motives are pure? Is our greatest desire as we share, that people are impacted with the word of God — or do we hope for personal praise, attention, or other selfish aims? And then, is OUR message, like Paul’s, immersed in God? Are we sharing HIS word, in HIS power, with one eye on HIM the whole time, knowing that we are accountable to Him for all we share?