Paul Defends His Ministry
Many of the Corinthians apparently complained that Paul talks a big game in his letters but is weak in person. He claims this is not true. He also says that his tools are spiritual tools.
I think the point of saying he uses spiritual tools is to try to claim that he isn't weak in person, he is just working on another level or something.
Paul wants the Corinthians to become more faithful so they can expand their influence through Corinth to territories on the other side of their borders.
I suppose a cynical view of this would be that they are being selfish the whole time. They are just trying to expand their influence and get money from more people. A more forgiving view would be that they are true believers and want to spread the word as much as possible. They are trying to tell the Corinthians that the sooner they believe the sooner Paul and his guys can help additional people. Honestly, I don't see why both of these ideas can't be at least partially true. Why couldn't someone be a true believer and at the same time be motivated by greed?
Paul and the False Apostles (ch 11)
v1 "I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me!"
I'm not sure how to take this, does this mean the following section is of less importance than other things? Perhaps he simply thinks he is warning them of something that is not really a danger to them? Is this just the ancient way to put a smiley face emoticon on his words? I don't really understand the relevance of this verse, but it definitely seems worth pointing out.
I am afraid you might be deceived by other apostles speaking of another Christ. I preached to you free of charge as I accepted support from others while I was spreading the word to you. How can I convince you that I am for real and others are false apostles? For even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light, his servants will also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their ends will correspond to their deeds.
So he is basically saying there are other people who are preaching similar stuff but everyone should believe him [Paul] instead. He doesn't really explain how you can tell who is for real and who is fake except for the vague reference to the ends corresponding to the deeds. Well, if the message is to look at deeds to determine who is with God and who is with the devil, I point to the catholic child rape scandal to show those people are definitely not with God.
Paul's Sufferings as an Apostle
Paul says he is boasting as a fool, then gives a list of times he experienced hardships, often getting his ass kicked.