New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:17 of me. Paul was not arrogant or conceited; he even called himself “less than the least of all saints” (Ephesians 3:8). However, the churches were being led astray by false apostles and false teachers “whose God is their belly, . . who mind earthly things” (Philippians 3:19). Therefore, he often had to defend himself and his teachings (II Corinthians 11:17-18; 12:11; etc.). The church could not actually see Jesus, but they could see Paul, and compare his life and ministry to those of the false teachers. Therefore, he could say, in all humility: “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1). See also I Corinthians 4:16; II Thessalonians 3:7.