2 Corinthians 12

Author

Joel King

Scripture

2 Corinthians 12:1-21

Observations

· Paul doesn’t want to boast, but he continues in order to make his point
· He now turns his comparison to the false teachers on visions and revelations
· He tell of a vision he had in the third person
· He wasn’t sure if he was in the third heaven physically or just in a dream
· Only God knows
· He saw and heard things that he cannot express
· Even in the face of this truth Paul chooses not to boast like the false teachers
· He doesn’t want people to make more of him than they should (sign of true Christian humility)
· God gave him a “thorn in his flesh” to keep him from getting conceited about being chosen to see heavenly things
· This source of this thorn was a messenger from Satan
· Paul asked God three times to remove the obstacle from his life
· God replied that His grace should sustain Paul and that God’s power would show up better in light of Paul’s weakness
· So Paul chooses to boast about God’s grace in the middle of the weakness
· Paul chooses to rejoice when he experiences weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties
· He has found when he is weak God is strong
· Paul expresses that it was foolish for him to have to brag
· They should be bragging about Paul considering all that he did for them
· They should have stood up to the false teachers calling themselves “super apostles”
· A true apostle is marked by signs and wonders which Paul did when he was with them
· Now Paul is ready to come and visit again, a third time
· Again this time when he comes he will ask nothing financial from them
· He wants it to be clear that it them he is interested in, not their money
· He points to the principle that parents take care of their kids not the other way around
· Like a parent he is willing to give all he can on their account
· He wonders out loud if his sacrifice for them will increase or decrease their love for him
· He asks if any of those he sent to help them exploited them
· Titus was one of them but he did not exploit them but did the same as Paul
· He is not speaking to defend himself, but is hoping that they will see the truth and be strengthened in Christ
· He is fearful that when he comes they will be still acting worldly
· He is fearful that he will be greatly saddened that those he loves so much will have returned to their old ways
· He is hoping that they have said no to the old and embraced the new life in Christ

Application

· God often gives challenges to those who have great blessing so we don’t become prideful and remember it is by his grace that we succeed.
· It is ok to ask God to remove the obstacles in our life. No matter the answer though we continue to trust him whether in strength or weakness.
· We need to be careful to acknowledge God’s work from a godly person in contrast to the feel good teaching of the false teacher.
· Mature Christians joyfully give to those that bring them God’s Word
· If the Christians are immature, it may be better if the teacher finds his support elsewhere – the reputation of the gospel comes first
· I need not defend myself, I stand before God alone in judgement
· However, it may be appropriate to stand up for the truth if it is truly about winning the people’s heart for Christ.

Prayer

Father,
I want to reflect your heart more. Help me love those I lead the way Paul did. Help me not be defensive of myself, but be very jealous on your behalf. Help me accept my weaknesses and allow You to work through my weaknesses. I am deciding to slowly hand over my will to you that I may do more of your will. Transform my heart, my will, my very identity. May I glorify You and serve Your purposes. In Jesus name I pray. AMEN

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Rob Schulze wrote:
v. 12:10 - that is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

It's hard enough for me to go silent when I'm ill, injured, etc. as I love a good pity party and some "love" when I'm physically beat up... But from the context of chapters 10-12 I sense that Paul's really getting at weaknesses and hardships caused through relational sin/pain (insults, persecutions, etc.) and how much harder it is for me to be silent and keep my mouth shut when I feel relationally wronged.

Father, keep transforming my heart, will and identity as well. In Jesus name... amen.

Mon, May 4, 2015 @ 10:05 AM

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