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2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 11

KJV    NAS

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1&2 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

 

2Cor 11,1-3

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God -- These verses go with verses 10-12. Paul has been building to this chapter since his first letter to the Corinthians. He is about to reveal the true sign of his apostleship, giving them attributes that should be present in their apostles, but before that he speaks to them as their father and they as his children, premising his thoughts with a request to tolerate him in a little foolishness.

(123l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Being in love with the body of Christ >> Affection of Christ Ė Paul said he was jealous of the Corinthians with a godly jealousy. The Old Testament has said a number of times that God was jealous of the Israelites whenever they committed idolatry. This godly jealousy is about His caring for us, and breaking His heart whenever we stray, knowing it will do us harm, just as it caused tremendous stress on Paul whenever the Corinthian Church strayed from God. Paul had a vested interest in the Corinthians. He put his heart and soul, his flesh and blood into them, and so did Christ. Whenever he heard the Corinthians having spiritual problems, it caused him tremendous stress. It shouldnít surprise anyone that Paul would bring up marriage in a subject about jealousy. We have all heard about the jealous husband; not all jealous husbands love their wives, but God loves us more than we will ever know, and this is the cause of his jealousy.

2Cor 11-1

(63g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Be pretentious >> Pretending to be stupid -- This verse goes with verse 4. Paul lets us in on a little more of his sarcasm. In fact, he is very sarcastic throughout this entire chapter, because the Corinthians have stopped listening to him, and he was telling them things they needed to know. He was restating facts about his ministry and his position with the Church, this time with a sarcastic tone.

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my accomplishments in Christ -- This verse goes with verses 5-12

2Cor 11-2,3

(3e) Responsibility >> To the Family >> Pattern your marriage after Christ and the Church Ė Paul responded to the rebellion of the Corinthian church the same way the Holy Spirit responds to us when we rebel. He held the position of a priest before the Corinthians or as an arbiter of a marriage ceremony. He spoke the words of the gospel of Christ that married the Corinthians to God. Although the Corinthian church was situated in a depraved city, Paul testified that they were no less a pure virgin in the eyes of God.

(24b) Sin >> Poverty (Forms of fear) >> Anxiety >> Fear of losing the fruits of your labors Ė Paul was jealous for the Corinthians with a godly jealousy. It seems difficult to understand Godís jealousy, which was possibly more often mentioned than anything in the Old Testament. Paul was saying that he was jealous of the Corinthians in the way that God was jealous of Israel. What kind of jealousy is this? Letís say a person needed open-heart surgery. The operation would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and he simply didnít have it, and so a rich man paid it under the terms that the person devoted the rest of his life promoting his cause. This was the kind of relationship God had with Israel after He delivered them from Egyptian slavery to Pharaoh. Even before that, God chose Abraham from all the people of the world, that his descendents should represent Him to all nations. So, Israel owed Him after His calling and choosing them, and for this reason God would get jealous whenever they followed the inclinations of their own hearts. This was the jealousy that Paul had for the Corinthians. They were placing a higher emphasis on the things of the world than they did on the things of God, and Paul took it personally, often reminding them of the suffering he endured to bring the gospel of Christ to them, saying, ďI became your father through the gospelĒ (1Cor 4-15).

(43g) Judgment >> Satan destroyed >> Perfect (mature) >> Flawless

(76d) Thy kingdom come >> Wicked motives >> Motives based on envy Ė We know that jealousy is the most destructive force in the universe, since it hung the Son of God on a cross (Mat 27-18). There is another kind of jealousy, such as admiring Hollywood celebrities and others who seem to have a charmed life; they are beloved by their fans and enjoy fame and fortune, leading as it were the perfect life with few enemies. Many are jealous of their lifestyle, but they donít want to kill them. In contrast, the kind of jealousy the Pharisees had against Jesus was extremely destructive; this kind of jealousy has the power to destroy the whole world. It is at the root of every war and every murder. This kind of jealousy is extremely caustic, like the proverbial substance that is so corrosive nothing can contain it. The ultimate example of this kind of jealousy is Adam and Eve being jealous of Godís knowledge of evil.

(81a) Thy kingdom come >> Prayer >> The priesthood >> We are a type of Jesusí priesthood

(83j) Thy kingdom come >> We have the ministry of intercession >> Church prepares itself to meet Jesus

(104b) Thy kingdom come >> Purifying process >> Purified by circumstances >> Purified through dying to sin

(105a) Thy kingdom come >> Pure in heart >> A pure heart is a genuine heart

(149c) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Three key messages in evangelism >> Righteousness, judgment and self-control

(169c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> The world is blind to God >> Blinded by Satanís thoughts >> Blinded by a false sense of sight Ė In the same way that the serpent led Eve astray after she took her eyes off her husband, having become more convinced by the devil than by Adam, so Paul was afraid (or jealous) that the Corinthians would walk down that same dark ally. Why was the message of the devil so persuasive to Eve? It was coming to her first hand and it was flattering that the serpent would speak directly to her, whereas the message from God came through Adam. Similarly, there were many deceivers in Paulís time that vied for peopleís attention having ulterior motives, they essentially posted versions of the gospel for sale even as they do today. Paul was very concerned, but who is concerned about the Church today, and to what degree is the modern-day church deceived? Who is committed like Paul to the spiritual health and welfare of Godís people? Paul was a watchdog of the early church, and when the original apostles passed away, there was no one left to care for the saints. It was up to the people themselves to protect the truth from wolves, which was like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. It took them only 300 years to dress up new ideas in colorful garments and sell them to the people. That early in church history was disastrous. There was a real fear of losing the truth to liars, who morphed the gospel into the Catholic Church.

(208ja) Salvation >> The salvation of God >> Personal relationship >> Being married to God >> Knowing God >> Church knows Christ as a woman knows a man Ė Paul said that he betrothed the Corinthians to one husband, Ďthat to Christ he might present them as a pure virgin.í Paul played pastor in a wedding ceremony through his evangelistic ministry when he came and preached Jesus to them; he was marrying them to Christ through the message of the gospel.

(247d) Priorities >> Godís priorities >> Godís interests >> Concern >> Caring about the body of Christ -- These verses go with verses 28&29

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

3&4 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.

 

2Cor 11-3,4

(70c) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Being sensitive to the Spirit >> Test the spirits Ė There are those who come with a different gospel whom the apostles have not preached, and they offer a different spirit whom the apostles have not known, and the Corinthians bear this beautifully. If the Corinthians believe their message they will pay the price of the truth, yet they donít resist them, but let them in like prostitutes, and it infuriated Paul, who had gone to so much trouble to protect the Church and the truth from corruption, just so the Corinthians can play the harlot with wolves. The more we believe in lies, the harder it is to believe the truth. Thatís why Paul was very concerned for them; he didnít want them to begin believing what was false, knowing how extremely difficult it is to untie the tentacles of deception from their belief system once it invaded their minds. Paul associated the gospel we believe with the Spirit that cements it into our hearts. There is a close relationship between the word of God and the Holy Spirit, just like there is a close relationship between foreign gospels and demonic spirits that follow them. There are deceptive spirits that follow skewed religions and false reasoning, the spirits being different as the ideas themselves.

(79b) Thy kingdom come >> Renewing your mind >> Satan will control your mind if you donít

(158a) Works of the devil >> Excerpts of the greatest verses of this chapter -- These verses go with verses 12-15. There are many renditions of Jesus in the world today, and Paul would say that when people come preaching the gospel, each with a different Jesus, we are not to endure them, but defend our faith from deceivers. If someone comes with a different spirit, we are not to receive it or those who brought it. The Corinthians lapped up false teachings like milk, which led them to receive false spirits, and it exasperated Paul. He wanted the respect he deserved, not for his own sake but for the sake of the Corinthians, like a mechanic who wants to fix an engine noise, not because it is irritating him, but because it is a symptom of a more serious problem. Paul wanted the Corinthians to listen to him and avoid falling into bondage to lying spirits and being carried away by every wind of doctrine.

2Cor 11-3

(78g) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Embracing your first love >> Simplicity of faith Ė Paul said now that he has married the Corinthians to Christ through the gospel, there was an adulterer who wanted to get involved in the marriage and steal away her affections by deceiving them through his craftiness from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. So apparently they were trying to complicate matters. Paul wanted them to stay with the simple gospel, but the Corinthians were complicating it with sin. Simple people can have very complex thoughts and ideas, but complicated people generally have scrambled thoughts, who can scarcely understand the simplest things about life, so everything seems complicated to them. A complicated person is someone who is riddled with self-contradictions, whereas a simple person avoids such things. The Corinthians were contradicting themselves through sin, and were being led astray from the simple gospel. Adding or subtracting aspects to or from the gospel certainly complicates matters. For example, in todayís version of Christianity much of the Church has subtracted the need for obedience. We think that obedience is no longer necessary in that if good works do not save us, then what is the point of having them? This is how people think nowadays, and it has gotten the Church into a lot of trouble. The simple gospel involves the heart, mind and spirit by faith in Jesus and also involves the flesh in a lifestyle that demonstrates our faith.

(92i) Thy kingdom come >> The narrow way >> What kind of trail is this? >> All other paths are crooked

(100l) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to God >> Devoted to worshipping God

(151g) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> New Testament bears witness of the Old >> Adam Ė No man has sinned in the likeness of Adam (Rom 5,12-19), for Adam sinned in full knowledge, and nobody since Adam has had the full knowledge of God. There are born-again believers who have developed a relationship with God and have fallen away from the faith and have sinned in the likeness of Adam, but not to the same degree, for they have not met God face to face as Adam did. If we know that the one who falls away from the faith will never see heaven after tasting from the heavenly realm and then turning their backs on Him, how much less likely will Adam be among the ranks of heaven (Heb 6,4-9)?

(161f) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satanís attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Wandering from the commandments of God

(223c) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Conceit >> Imposing your opinion of self on others >> Cliques make people seek your acceptance

2Cor 11-4

(63g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Be pretentious >> Pretending to be stupid -- This verse goes with verse 7

(177e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrine that tickles your ears -- This verse goes with verses 12-15. The Corinthian Church had ears that were itching to hear a gospel that went easier on their flesh than the one Paul preached to them. This goes back to the parable Jesus taught of the unrighteous steward. Some owed thousands of gallons of oil to their master, and the unrighteous steward cut their bill to a fraction of its original debt, telling them to sit down quickly and write the check and he will see to it that his master gets it, but the unrighteous steward skipped town with a small portion of his masterís wealth, which to the unrighteous steward was a fortune. This is what false prophets and heretics do; they spread doctrines that are easy on the flesh and people fall for them, because they sound better than the real gospel, which speaks of sacrifice and commitment. The people run off with the false prophet like a mistress with her beloved who promises the moon and goes easy on their flesh. Then, there are others who go the other way and accept a false prophet or heretic mistreating their flesh, thinking that God will honor their sacrifice. The hireling terribly abuses the flock, claiming that their willingness to accept his abuse represents their relationship with God. The truth is never easy on our flesh but neither does it put a whip across our back. Sometimes the truth feels like a whip when God commands us to make sacrifices for His purpose and glory. We want to live in a beautiful house and drive a nice car and have it all, but God calls us to sacrifice our standard of living, so we have time and energy to serve Him.

(250hh) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> Believe the first message; all subsequent messages are meant to dissuade you

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

5&6 For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.

 

2Cor 11,5-13

(72a) Authority >> Ordained by God >> We are ordained to walk in His authority

(73b) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> Those in charge of the word -- These verses go with verses 23-30. Paul humiliated the Corinthians by use of his sarcasm, reminding them that he never asked for money or anything else to help him with his needs. Instead, he went to the Macedonians, who were more mature than they, and could give him money without drawing the wrong conclusions, such as, that Paul would use it for his own personal gain, when all the evidence supported just the opposite. They didnít trust Paul; instead, they trusted in wolves, and they listened to demons. For this reason Paul knew if he asked them for a contribution, they would have taken it wrong, so Paul would not give the devil opportunity to weaken their faith, even though they were well aware of Paulís commitment to the gospel, that this was not a game to him. Paul believed in the gospel he preached with all his heart, and he didnít have an ulterior motive. The thing that angered him most was they should have known these things; in fact, they did know, but refused to believe it. There was nothing in Paulís life that supported their theories about him, and it infuriated Paul that they would draw these conclusions and spread the slander, and at the same time not serve the Lord themselves.

(126j) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Have the patience of God

(152a) Apostles (The Spirit) (Key verse)

(152b) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Commitment to the cause proves apostleship 

(192b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your life to gain Godís purpose -- These verses go with verses 23-30

2Cor 11,5-12

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my accomplishments in Christ -- These verses go with verses 16-18. This is taken from Paulís multi-chapter dissertation to the Corinthians on his authority as an apostle. He admitted that he had taken liberty in his boasting, saying that he had no choice, since there were certain things that needed to be said and nobody was saying them, concerning his commitment to the gospel of Christ and his love for the Corinthians. Their silence showed there was something wrong in the hearts of the people that they had not commended him. He spoke to them as their father, regarding the fact that he established the Corinthian Church through tremendous persecution. This was the basis of his complaint, reminding them that he risked his life when he came preaching Jesus to them, and they showed little gratitude or respect. However, when some idiot comes preaching a different Jesus, they gladly accept him, or when someone introduces a spirit that they had not received, they bore with this beautifully (v4). Paul is clearly concerned for the Corinthians and for his investment in them.

2Cor 11-5

(121l) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence >> Confidence in God >> Confidence in God as you fulfill your ministry

2Cor 11-6

(80j) Thy kingdom come >> Know the word to minister to people >> To edify one another Ė Paul claimed to be unskilled in speech, yet he was an evangelist. Did he go around evangelizing people with a clumsy tongue? Compared to others who were highly skilled in speech, compared to the prowling wolves of his day, perhaps he was a little clumsy in speech, but he had a heart for God that most people with a skilled tongue do not have. Moses complained to God that he was unskilled in speech, and what did God tell him? ďGo, and I will help you speak and will teach you what to sayĒ Ex 4:12. However, Moses declined the offer and God rose up Aaron to be his spokesman, though in most cases Moses did the talking anyway. Paul may have been unskilled in speech, but it never was an issue with him. Being a good speaker should not determine who holds such positions in the Church; what matters is your knowledge base, whether you have anything to say, which was one of Paulís strong points, hence one reason God chose him as an apostle. This is the difference between gifted and talented people. You will rarely meet a gifted wolf; rather, they are highly talented in the area of speech. The difference between a wolf and a true man of God is that Godís man is always well versed in the Scriptures, whereas the wolf is well versed in the ways of the world. Show me a man who is fluent in his speech and I will show you a man who canít be trusted. Again, show me a man behind the pulpit who is not well in his verses, and I will show you a man who has at least one trait of a deceiver. Most preachers who are not well versed in the Scriptures are fast talkers and have ulterior motives for being a pastor.

(156h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Evidence of salvation >> Understanding wisdom is evidence of salvation

(250a) Priorities >> Godís prerequisites >> Sequence of priorities >> In all things ... >> Glorify God in all things

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?

 

2Cor 11,7-15

(64i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness makes Him small compared to men -- These verses go with verses 23-30

2Cor 11,7-13

(11k) Servant >> Paulís example of Godís standard Ė Paul devoted his life as a model Christian for the Church. He rarely asked anything from anyone, though he was usually in a state of dire poverty. He gave what people needed and asked nothing in return, so as not to provide an opportunity for anyone to consider him a shyster, as he put it, "so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel" 1Cor 9-18. Paulís hope is that the Church would follow his example and live according to the word of God and according to their conscience as Christ would impress it on them.

(62a) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Responding cleverly to your enemies >> Outwit them

2Cor 11,7-12

(63d) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Righteous deception >> Church deceive each other

(101a) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to people >> Devoted to ministering to their spiritual needs

(234h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Going to any extreme to fulfill the will of God -- These verses go with verses 23-30

2Cor 11,7-9

(2j) Responsibility >> Avoid offending God >> get out of His way >> Do not touch the apple of His eye >> Take advantage of no one Ė Paul preached the gospel of Christ to the Corinthians without charge and ministered to his own needs, showing them that it is more blessed to give than to receive, according to Act 20,33-35. He was present with them and in need, yet he never asked anything from them, and the Corinthians refused to notice. He asked nothing from them, no material blessing and no money to help his ministry. Paul did this to shame the Corinthians into realizing the importance of maturity, so when the time came to reveal the fact of their utter selfishness, it might come upon them like an anvil. This is what it took to get their attention. They were considered the most immature church of all Paulís letters. First and second Corinthians were some of the longest letters, which contained complex statements, which were difficult to understand. First Corinthians is the epistle where we find Paul teaching on the gifts of the Spirit. They asked him about it, so he told them. They wanted to operate in what some would call the power of God, speaking difficult things to immature people, only that they might rise from their immaturity to become noble-minded and learn to give. Other churches financed Paul while he ministered at Corinth. Paul said that he robbed other churches, taking gifts and offerings to finance his ministry while at Corinth. Those other churches who helped him were more noble-minded and understood the gospel as it was declared to them, realizing that God had called them to be givers and not takers, but the Corinthians refused to acknowledge this. They had no idea how Paul was doing financially, and they didnít ask. They just sat down and like baby birds opened their mouths and let their mother feed them. However, the hope of a mother bird is for her chicks to mature and one day fly from the nest. The point that Paul was trying to make was that if they donít understand the significance of giving, then they simply do not understand the gospel. Perhaps he went hungry right in front of them. Perhaps they would go home to eat supper without inviting him. They just never bothered to notice; they were selfish-minded, self-seeking and self-involved. Virtually everywhere else Paul went, the Churches considered it a privilege to practice hospitality to the man of God, but the Corinthians sought to operate in the gifts of the Spirit and to have all the attributes that in their mind would define them as great and power Christians. Paul was trying to show them that greatness was defined as a humble servant, whereas spirituality was defined as how well we understand and know God, and the two are inextricably linked. The Corinthians wanted to be spiritual but not mature, but we must have both or we will have neither.

(14n) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers take the last place as a better service to you

(72l) Authority >> Hierarchy of authority >> Authority makes you accountable >> Parents are responsible for their children

(96c) Thy kingdom come >> Positive attitude toward God >> Good attitude about the word of God

(235c) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Tithing >> Be faithful in your tithes >> If you are unfaithful to God, you wonít tithe

2Cor 11-7,8

(57c) Paradox >> Opposites >> Humble yourself and God will exalt your brother

2Cor 11-7

(23d) Sin >> Pride wants to be first

(63g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Be pretentious >> Pretending to be stupid Ė This verse goes with verses 19-21

(77n) Thy kingdom come >> God ministers to people through the humble >> Humility gives a blessing Ė Paul asked the Corinthians if it was his fault that they took advantage of him and sought teachers that contradicted how he had previously taught them about Jesus. Maybe he should have passed the hat and made them pay double for his services, since doing it for free sent the wrong message. In a way Paul is being sarcastic with them, knowing he had not committed a sin by humbling himself and preaching the word without charge. The fact that he said this indicated it was not the norm that he should do this, meaning that he normally passed the hat, because he had needs; he wasnít superhuman; he had to eat; he needed clothes, though in this very chapter he mentioned some of the horrific things he suffered as a missionary on the road preaching the gospel to a world that hates God. Many times He went without bare essentials: without food, sleep and clothing, etc. On top of that he suffered persecution, physical abuse that few people have endured for the cause of Christ, plus emotional and spiritual abuse, not to mention long jail sentences. Then He came to the Corinthians and preached the gospel for free because they were so immature, and he was afraid they would get the wrong idea as though he were only in it for the money, yet they got the wrong idea about him anyway, so no matter what he did, they were determined to demonize him. The Holy Spirit did not control their minds, and this opened them to satanic control. Being that Satan hated Paul, he came to the Corinthians and launched a campaign against him through them, knowing that it would cause Paul more distress than anything else he could do. Paul was willing to endure prison sentences and beatings that would kill the average person for the sake of generating thousands of believers in Jesus throughout the regions that he visited, and he was able to take any amount of abuse, because of his hope in completing the work that God had given him, but if the people fell away from their faith fast as he made converts, the discouragement would have been just too much. Paul was at a loss as what to do with the Corinthians, how to minister to them and make them understand the Kingdom of God that they had come to believe.

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

8-11 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you; 9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why ? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

 

2Cor 11-8,9

(13h) Servant >> Support the body >> Serve selflessly Ė Paul was working with a very undisciplined, needy, and immature church that could not deal with much stress without threatening the semblance of harmony they had. He could not ask anything from them, but was forced to pour what little recourses he had received from other churches into them, sometimes even taking from his personal supplies to meet their needs. These were babes in Christ, though they had been introduced to the faith years ago; they just had not been growing. Corinth was a city plagued with carnality, people who would travel long distances just for the opportunity to practice their filthy lifestyles and worship their graven images. Their philosophies and life-practices influenced the Church and kept them from growing in the faith like other churches of their time. This should sound familiar. The American church is trying to grow in the midst of debauchery just like the Corinthians. It seems that something is holding us back; itís the sin all around us and in us from the practices of our "fellow Americans," who do not share our faith.

2Cor 11-8

(63e) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Exaggerate the truth to make a point

2Cor 11,10-15

(7b) Responsibility >> Protecting the Gospel >> Defend the word of God by obeying it Ė In verse 12 Paul explains one of the reasons he worked so hard at preaching the gospel. Verse 9 indicates that he made a concerted effort to keep from being a burden to the Church. He was an itinerate (traveling) worker, a tent maker by trade. He did not indulge himself in the Churchís tithe, but made his living by working with his own hands. Paul worked hard at the gospel because he was creating a standard for those who would attempt to imitate his ministry as false apostles in order to get a free ride in life and popularity at the expense of the Church. The way he conducted his ministry made a statement: ĎIf you want to be a false apostle, this is how you have to live in order to conceal your identity, because this is what the people have grown to expect from their apostles.í To the average lazy wolf, it would be too much trouble for what it was worth. By taking the glamour out of the ministry, it was Paulís way of helping the would-be wolf to consider better exploits.

(9c) Responsibility >> Prevent disunity within the body of Christ >> Prevent discord within the ChurchĖ Paul just finished bragging about himself, not about his success, but about the many times he was beaten and flogged and otherwise suffered for the cause of Christ. He bragged about his weaknesses, saying that the things he suffered was better proof of his apostleship than his accomplishments. A person could have all the spiritual wisdom and insight available to mortal men, and could tell step-by-step the sequence of endtime prophecy, but Paul said that none of these things were a seal of his apostleship, rather his suffering. If a person has great spiritual wisdom and insight, then it stands to reason that he also suffered greatly because of it. There are consequences to knowing the truth in this world. Sharing it with others and striving to fulfill Godís calling is a ticket to pain and suffering. Satan will allow scant populations to discover freedom from his blinding oppression, but what he doesnít want is the truth to become common knowledge. Paulís persecution came when He went to convey the gospel to the world. Paul could have found a corner where he could live out his days and just keep the truth to himself, and Satan would not have bothered him. It was when he tried to reach out with the gospel, evangelizing whole cities when thousands of people were hearing about Jesus and coming to believe in Him, that the Jews inflicted many wounds upon his body and imprisoned him for years at a time. Paul's commitment to make Jesus Christ a household name earned him his stripes as lead apostle of Godís Church.

(172c) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Devils among the saints >> Wolves among the sheep Ė If anybody comes to you claiming to be someone great, ask to see his scars. If he doesnít have a long list of things that has happened to him resulting from his faith in Christ, then what he has to say is of no significance. If Satan doesnít bother him about his faith, then he must not ít know the truth. Satan is god of this world; therefore, what matters to him is keeping the world in the dark about God. If a person who is trying to tell you a message that is burning in his heart, what you really need to know is how much he had to suffer to come into possession of that knowledge. There are many televangelists today who I suppose are suffering in some way, but not when they are boarding their private jets and going on luxurious vacations, frolicking on white-sand Caribbean beaches, while their parishioners are busy at work paying for those vacations. These people virtually have nothing to say, since they know very little about true suffering. We all know that everybody who is successful in the world has had to struggle to get to the top, because of competition that exist in every avenue of life, but that is different from persecution. Resisting forces against your success does not count as persecution. 

2Cor 11,10-12

(64j) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> Foolishness of God -- These verses go with verses 1-3


12-15 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

 

KJV    NAS  /  Navigation Bar

2Cor 11,12-15

(54n) Paradox >> Opposites >> Seal of apostleship exceeds the commitment of the false apostle Ė There were those who claimed to be apostles, and brought ulterior gospels and preached alternate truths, and the Corinthians bought into some of their messages. Meanwhile these false apostles were strongly averse to suffering for the cause of money, which Paul then used as a dividing line between true apostles and false apostles. Wolves are not going to be beaten or whipped or imprisoned for the opportunity to deceive the Corinthians. Wolves will get a real job before it comes to blows, but Paul had evidence for being a true apostle; he had been beaten many times, and he is still preaching the gospel, proving he was doing this because he believed it.

(112e) Thy kingdom come >> Faith >> Light >> Jesus light in us overcomes darkness >> The light of His truth

(158a) Works of the devil >> Excerpts of the greatest verses of this chapter -- These verses go with verses 3&4

(169i) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Seeking the glory of man >> Loving the approval of men rather than the approval of God >> Coveting the favor of men

(177e) Works of the devil >> The religion of witchcraft >> False doctrine >> Doctrine that tickles your ears -- These verses go with verse 4

(179j) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Unworthy servant >> Unworthy of eternal life

(180c) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Fighting off wolves with a clever innocence >> Being more innocent than their self-righteousness -- These verses go with verses 23-30. Wolves pretend to be servants of righteousness, but are really servants of Satan disguising themselves as messengers of light. How do you pretend to be righteous? Donít you have to do righteousness in order to give the appearance of caring? In fact, it is not that hard, and for this reason Paul did not use righteousness as his seal of apostleship. Instead, he used suffering. The Jews followed him around looking for reasons to incarcerate him, to beat him and whip him and stone him for proclaiming the gospel of Christ. The Jews were therefore his thorn in the flesh, and he also used them as his seal of apostleship, for no one would go through the torture that Paul did at the hands of the Jews unless they truly believed in Jesus, which wolves do not.

(184b) Works of the devil >> The origin of lawlessness >> Darkness >> Hiding behind your own imagination >> Hiding behind a false authority

(197b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Spiritual laziness >> Rebelling Against what God wants you to do >> Refusing to take on responsibility

(198i) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Ordained by man >> Ministries ordained by men will falter

(221j) Kingdom of God >> The elusive Kingdom of Heaven >> Kingdom hidden behind the veil from the world >> God hides from sin >> He hides behind disobedience

2Cor 11-12,13

(69i) Authority >> Righteous judgment (Outcome of Discernment) >> Judging the flesh by the Spirit

2Cor 11,13-15

(16aa) Sin >> The sin nature is instinctively evil >> Manís flesh is related to the devil >> Unregenerate man is the son of Satan Ė It is unfortunate that you find some of the most sinful people hiding in the Church. What is worse than using the essence of good to cloak evil? Only by comparison are they more evil than those outside the Church. The result of their work is insuperable. Keep in mind that the Church acts as the worldís parameters for conduct. After the Churchís morals have eroded, who will keep the world in check?

(76g) Thy kingdom come >> Wicked motives >> Satanís motives are inherent within him

(163k) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Entertaining demons >> Disciplined by the devil as a son

(196b) Denying Christ >> Man exercises his will against God >> Idolatry >> Worshipping the devil

2Cor 11-14,15

(48d) Judgment >> God judges the world >> Satan is under Godís eternal judgment

(48e) Judgment >> Levels of judgment >> Judged according to your deeds >> In the day of judgment


16-22 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else is bold -I speak in foolishness -I am just as bold myself. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.

 

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2Cor 11,16-30

(84e) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> boasting of my weaknesses Ė The Corinthians forced Paul to boast about himself, but he never bragged about his accomplishments, but about his weakness. He could have mentioned how many people were healed at his touch or the many miracles that God performed through his ministry of some of the signs he performed through the power of God that proved his apostleship. Instead, he bragged about his suffering. It is our weaknesses that should make us proud, the things we have been able to endure. These are the things that prove our identity more than our greatest accomplishments. Our strengths, what are they but talents that we were born with, but our weaknesses, these are the things that God uses to create avenues for our gifts.

2Cor 11,16-18

(84d) Thy kingdom come >> Words of your mouth >> Boasting >> It needs to be said and no one is saying it >> Boasting of my accomplishments in Christ -- These verses go with verse 1. Paul admitted he was speaking out of his mind when he boasted about his accomplishments; we scratch our heads and wonder why he did that, for in other places he said that boasting and arrogance was evil (2Tim 3,1-5). So why is Paul now boasting about himself before the Corinthians? He did it because there was a noticeable lack in the Corinthians to acknowledge his success. On the one hand we have humility that needs no acknowledgement, and on the other hand, we have a lack gratitude regarding our success as an indicator of pride and arrogance. Paul was saying that it was evil to brag about oneís self, but it is more evil not to brag about someone elseís success when his accomplishments have personally benefited them. He was saying it wasnít right that he should boast, but it was even worse that the Corinthians were silent about all the work he put into them, without receiving a bit of gratitude. He was waiting for them to say, ĎThank you for risking your life to tell us about Jesus,í but he never heard it, so he had to say it himself.

2Cor 11,17-21

(96o) Thy kingdom come >> Having a negative attitude about sin >> Having an abusive attitude

2Cor 11-17,18

(54o) Paradox >> Opposites >> Boasting in the flesh to glorify God Ė Paul wasnít boasting in the flesh like other people; it just sounded like it. Everything he said and did was always for the sake of others. The man was totally in love with God and would do anything for Him. If there were something in his life that was out of place as an offense to God, he would repent and fix it. His primary goal in life was to become like Jesus and be the greatest evangelist the world has ever known, and he got no credit at all from them. Paul boasted to the Corinthians for the express purpose of humiliating them for their lack of gratitude toward him. He didnít care so much that they refused to acknowledge him, but that it was a sign of their immaturity. When we meet Jesus, He will be grateful for the service we rendered to Him and say, ďWell done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your masterĒ (Mat 25-21). He will acknowledge the work we did in His name, but the Corinthians showed no appreciation. He was saying that gratitude was one of the attributes of God and that they were fresh out of it.

(122f) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Confidence in yourself as you die to sin >> Confident in what you are doing

2Cor 11,19-21

(63g) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Sarcasm >> Be pretentious >> Pretending to be stupid -- These verses go with verse 1. Paul again picks up his sarcasm to point out that the Corinthians gladly tolerate the bondage of foolish men if anyone devours their savings. Paul sarcastically says that the abuse the apostles have received from the Jews, being whipped and beaten countless times, they didnít like it, yet the Corinthians are happy to be abused by these wolves, and says in his sarcasm, ďTo our shame we have been weak by comparisonĒ in putting up with abuse, being more easily offended than the Corinthians.

(159b) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Love sickening sweet >> The kind of love that replaces wisdom

(163a) Works of the devil >> Being a slave to the devil (Addictions) >> Bondage >> Being slaves of men >> In bondage to peoplesí expectations of you Ė The Corinthians needed to stop putting up with these wolves and stand up for themselves for the sake of the truth. Meanwhile, Paul had to walk on eggshells in effort not to offend them. He didnít have enough liberty with them to ask for a nickel without receiving accusations of ulterior motives. They accept harsh treatment from wolves, but for Paul they have nothing but arguments and contempt. He preaches a gospel of spiritual freedom, but wolves come and enslave them with their gospel of fleshly liberty, and the Corinthians bear with them beautifully. What is going on with these Corinthians? They sound very much like American Christianity. Their discernment is absent, because wolves have effectively stolen the Holy Spirit from the Church through centuries of false doctrine. They have gutted out the very essence of the gospel and left them with nothing but words and doctrines and beliefs, and American Christianity bears with this beautifully. When those with a remnant of the Spirit come and preach a more accurate version of the truth, they slam the door in their faces and want none of it.

2Cor 11-22

(148d) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Natural advantage as an evangelist regarding the flesh Ė Paul was a Jew, a Hebrew of Hebrews. Jesus was a Hebrew, so were all the early apostles, so they will be at the end of the age, all 144,000 of them. It seems a requirement to be Hebrew in order to be one of Godís apostles. It is Israel who is ultimately in charge of Godís covenant of eternal salvation. Although they have rejected their purpose, it is the reason the gentile church is faltering; they have no Jewish leadership. You canít get one church to fellowship with another; theyíre all at odds with each other because they all believe different things; they donít know what is true; they all have their own interpretation of Scripture, because they donít have any Jewish leadership. The Jewish ministry of leadership is coming back in the last days. The gentile church will unite as one, even more so than the early church through these 144,000 Jews, who will have the same level of commitment that Paul had, and they will have the same thorn in the flesh that Paul had, his fellow unbelieving Jew. 

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23-25 Are they servants of Christ?-I speak as if insane -I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. 24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 

 

2Cor 11,23-31

(152a) Witness >> Validity of the Father >> Witnesses of the father >> Apostles >> Enduring hardship proves apostleship Ė The context is the false apostles. Paulís physical credentials as an apostle were the scars on his back. He is comparing himself to false apostles; he labored far more than the false apostles; he experienced far more imprisonments, far more beatings. Five times he received from the Jews 39 lashes. There is not a wolf in the world who would risk that level of ill-treatment. One beating would talk them right out of their faith; two beatings would prove their sincerity. If two beatings proved his sincerity, how sincere was Paul after five rounds of 39 lashes? A wolf would not continue deceiving the Church if it cost him his hide. This was Paulís seal of apostleship. No false apostle or wolf would go through this, ever. Itís not worth it to them; the cost is far too high. A person would have to believe with all his heart before he would go through that much pain. Paul didnít just have a few rocks throne at him; he was stoned to death, and as the brethren stood around him, God raised him up and they went to another village and preached the gospel there (Act 14-19,20).

2Cor 11,23-30

(5f) Responsibility >> Discipleship tested >> God tests your faith through hardship

(11n) Servant >> Paulís example of devotion Ė Paul was boasting of himself a little here, but he had reason to boast. He was setting a standard for apostleship. If a false apostle were to come along and attempt to seize the Church, the people could say, 'Paul went through all these terrible ordeals to bring us the gospel, but you just seem to be concerned about yourself.' 

(12f) Servant >> Nature of a bond servant

(64i) Paradox >> Anomalies >> Weaknesses of God >> God subjects himself to human frailty >> His weakness makes Him small compared to men -- These verses go with verses 7-15

(72a) Authority >> Ordained by God >> We are ordained to walk in His authority

(73b) Authority >> Respect your leaders >> Those in charge of the word -- These verses go with verses 5-13

(100j) Thy kingdom come >> Devotion >> In your ministry to God >> Fulfill Godís calling in your life

(180c) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Fighting off wolves with a clever innocence

(192b) Die to self (Process of substitution) >> Result of putting off the old man >> Gain by losing >> Life for life >> Losing your life to gain Godís purpose -- These verses go with verses 5-13

(234h) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> Sold out >> Placing no boundaries on your commitment to God >> Going to any extreme to fulfill the will of God -- These verses go with verses 7-12

(236a) Kingdom of God >> Pursuing the kingdom >> Invest in the kingdom >> All things are for your sake >> We are fighting for you >> Our suffering is for your sake Ė Paul rebuked the Corinthians, since they seemed not to have it in themselves to be grateful to Paul for what he had done for them. This obviously is not outside the realm of Godís will for any preacher who feels unappreciated to brag about himself to the people. Paul itemized the things he suffered as an evangelist and apostle to the churches of God, and this is our freedom to brag to anyone who would take us for granted. When words need to be spoken and no one is saying them, we need to brag about our suffering and not so much our victories, because our suffering is our victory. We suffer for Jesusí sake and He recognizes our suffering; it means more to Him than our accomplishments. He ministers to us according to the suffering that we endure for His namesake. This is how we know we love Him. What did James say? ďBlessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love HimĒ (Jm 1-12). It is righteous to endure suffering. To retaliate, we have our reward in full, but to endure for His namesake and to become an example of the flock as to how to conduct ourselves among the saints, this finds favor with God (1Pet 2,18-25).

2Cor 11,23-29

(14f) Servant >> Ministry of helps >> Helpers obey Christ

2Cor 11,23-26

(242kb) Kingdom of God >> Opposition toward the Kingdom of God >> Persecuting the kingdom >> Reacting to persecution >> Enduring persecution >> Having a reputation of being persecuted

2Cor 11-23

(101h) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Managing Godís business Ė This verse goes with verse 27

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26-28 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. 

 

2Cor 11-26,27

(165g) Hardship (Key verse)

(165j) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Hardship >> Troubles of this life

2Cor 11-26

(159c) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Counterfeit >> Counterfeit godliness >> Counterfeit Christian

(172a) Works of the devil >> Manifestations of the devil >> Tares among the wheat >> Devils among the saints >> False brethren among the people of God >> Antichrists among Christians

(180d) Works of the devil >> Practicing witchcraft >> Wolves >> Be shrewd as wolves and more innocent than they appear >> Wolves in sheepís clothing

2Cor 11-27

(101h) Thy kingdom come >> Ambition >> Be an ambitious businessman for God >> Managing Godís business Ė This verse goes with verse 23

2Cor 11-28,29

(5m) Responsibility >> Jesusí yoke of obedience >> Our obligation to shepherd the flock

(69c) Authority >> Discernment >> Feeling the bodyís infirmities

(70b) Authority >> Righteous judgment (outcome of discernment) >> Sensitivity To The Spirit

(123c) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Love >> Spiritual affection >> Compassion >> Compassion is the emotion of the Spirit

(130e) Thy kingdom come >> Manifestations of faith >> Unity >> Committed to caring for the needs of the body >> Committed to holding up one another

(216g) Sovereignty >> God overrides the will of man >> Godís will over man >> Compelled by the Spirit >> God forces us by His love

(247c) Concern (Key verse)

(247d) Priorities >> Godís priorities >> Godís interests >> Concern >> Caring about the body of Christ -- These verses go with verses 2&3. Paul told the Corinthians that after enduring so much persecution, they added to his suffering by not serving the Lord, causing him mental anguish. He was afraid they were going to cause all his efforts to be in vain. It incensed him that the Corinthians were so willing to receive the false apostles. After going through so much punishment Paul wanted to enjoy the fruit of his labors, to see the Church flourish, happily serving the Lord. Even John the Baptist became concerned that he sacrificed his life for nothing. He sat on the floor of a dungeon wondering if Jesus was indeed the Christ. He spent his whole life preparing for ministry and it lasted less than a year. He prepared the way for the Lord, and later when he was imprisoned, before he was executed he asked his friends to make sure Jesus was the Christ. John began to doubt. Jesus told his friends to send back the message to John and say, Ďwho else can raise the dead, give sight to the blind and open deaf ears?í After receiving the message John died content that his life had purpose. Paul was going through the same turmoil with the Corinthians, who were threatening to take away his purpose by going AWOL in their faith. It was extremely important that the Corinthians remained faithful to Christ, both for Jesusí sake and for his own sake. Having been called by God to preach the gospel and then was punished for it times without number, had no one ever gotten saved, what would be the point? However, remember this, that whatever God tells you to do will bear fruit. This is why it is important to be faithful, and if you give up, God will say you never tried. Godís calling extends to the end of your life. What good can you do with your life if you donít serve the Lord? Paul sacrificed his life to serve the Church of God; he was scarred from top to bottom by all the whippings and beating he received. He spent years in prison writing the epistles. He by no means had an easy life, but it was fulfilling. So long as there was fruit Paul was happy.

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29-33 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern? 30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me, 33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.

 

2Cor 11-29,30

(160e) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satanís attitude determines our direction >> Led by the devil >> Led by the devil into sin

2Cor 11-29

(161e) Works of the devil >> Essential characteristics >> Satanís attitude determines our direction >> Wander >> Following the wrong leader

2Cor 11-30

(53m) Paradox >> Opposites >> God is made strong in our weakness

2Cor 11-31 

(78b) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity of heart >> Being honest >> Telling the truth

(155h) Witness >> Validity of the believer >> Witness of the believer >> The Father bears witness of the believer Ė Paul was saying that one day the Father will bear witness of all the things he has said and done and will testify that what he had written in Scripture was true. He was telling the Corinthians all the things he suffered: whippings that should have killed him that he received five times from the Jews. He was beaten with rods; he almost drowned at sea, spent years in prison; he was tortured, and on top of all this was his concern for all the churches that people would fall away from the faith, and all his work and suffering would be in vain. He didnít just want to obey the Lord; he also wanted to bear fruit, and he wanted his fruit to remain, and the people of God were his fruit, so he would have something to offer the Lord in heaven.

2Cor 11-32,33

(78d) Thy kingdom come >> Sincerity >> Taking God to heart >> Having a genuine heart Ė This was the beginning of Paul's connection with the fellow saints; he felt their immediate love and acceptance of him after they learned his story; the entire Christian community was amazed at God for converting Paul. Jesus could have appeared to anybody; He could have appeared to some of the Pharisees who hated Jesus and had Him nailed to a cross, but they would not have responded the way Paul did. He admitted that he was a blasphemer, but a blasphemer is not the same as having a reprobate mind. In fact, the word blasphemer has many meanings, such as taking the Lordís name in vain, while another meaning refers to sinning against the Holy Spirit, in which case it says there is no forgiveness, and so there is a wide spectrum of meanings of ďblasphemyĒ, but Paul was not a blasphemer in the extreme sense of the word, like some of his pharisaical colleagues. Many of them had a reprobate mind, so had Christ revealed Himself to them in his glory as He did to Paul, they still would not have believed.

(147i) Witness >> Validity of Jesus Christ >> Works of the Church bear witness to Jesus >> Evangelism >> Solemnly testify about Jesus Ė This was Paulís first experience as an evangelist; this story was close to Paulís heart, because it happened to Him in his critical period. We all have a critical period, beginning on the day of our birth and ends around age five; by that time our personalities have already formed. Those who are born-again go though another critical period. In the days following we become very impressionable, and the things that happen to us during that time become very strong and usually fond memories, and this was a very fond memory to Paul, because it happened to him shortly after he was born-again. The very people that he was intending to arrest on his way to Damascus, after Jesus appeared to him on the road and changed the course of his life forever, he still hunted them, but when he found them, he held them and kissed them and apologized to them. He told them what happened to him, and from there told everybody about Jesus in the whole city, until everybody was hunting him as he once hunted Christians prior to his conversion. The people he came to arrest helped him out the window in the city wall and let him down using a rope tied to a basket.

(201g) Denying Christ >> Man chooses his own destiny apart from God >> Jesus is an offense >> Jesus offends the world >> The Church offends the world Ė Paul made himself so odious to the rulers of Damascus that they put the entire city under quarantine for the purpose of finding and killing him without a trial. This happened early in his life when he was first converted to Christianity; the account is in Act 9,19-24. His eyes needed first to be healed, and then he needed to recover from his experience, and then he finished his journey to Damascus. Instead of seeking out Christians to arrest them, he immediately started preaching Jesus to whomever would listen to him on the very first month of his conversion. He stirred up the city to such an extent that the king wanted to kill him. Why does the gospel do this to people? In Damascus he went to the marketplace and start preaching Jesus to the people there and diverted their attention off their purchases. The people would come to the market just to hear Paul, and he began to infringe on business, so it was a money issue, but this does not fully account for the offense of Paulís message. The gospel itself carries with it an offense, for God calls us sinners; we are unacceptable to Him unless He fixes us by having us believe in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. The offense of the gospel is in the fact that we must humble ourselves and admit that we are depraved in the eyes of God, so depraved that God had to send His Son to die for ours sins, and we are supposed to believe in Him with Godís faith that we must receive from Him, and then we mold our lives around His gospel and forsake all worldly passions and desires. To the unwilling heart, anything else would be easier, but to those who feel drawn to God, the gospel is irreplaceable. We are unacceptable to God as sinners; He wants to personally fix us through faith. This is a tremendous offense to the world, because the world doesnít believe it needs to be fixed. For us to tell them that they need to repent and believe in Jesus is the ultimate slap in the face, because most people love this world and donít want to quit sinning; they like the present situation; it is a joy to them. The world has a way of hardening man's heart against God and leading him astray.

 

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