Studies In The Book Of II Corinthians

(II Corinthians 11:12-33)


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1. Did Paul put forth any effort to expose false apostles?

Yes: “(12) But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.  (13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (II Corinthians 11:12-13).


Š     You have to expose false teachers (Romans 16:17-18, I Timothy 1:19-20, II Timothy 2:14-18, and II Timothy 4:14-15).

Š     Efforts need to be made to prevent them (I Timothy 1:3-7) and oppose them (Titus 1:10-14 and III John 9-11).

Š     They are deceptive (Colossians 2:4).

Š     As we’ll discuss (v. 15), those false teachers hide who they really are.


2. Did Satan try to shield his identity?

Yes, he tried to appear as an angel of light: “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light” (II Corinthians 11:14).


Š     Of course we know that Satan is/was not honest (John 8:44, II Corinthians 11:3, and Revelation 12:9).


3. Will those furthering the cause of Satan try to hide their true identity?

Yes: “Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Corinthians 11:15).


Š     Matthew 7:15-20, Mark 13:22, Acts 20:28-31, II Peter 2:1-3, and Jude 3-4.


4. When Paul boasted, what was he talking like?

A fool: “(16) I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little.  (17) That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.  (18) Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also” (II Corinthians 11:16-18).


Š     In speaking as a fool, these are Paul’s words, though we must understand that anything recorded in the Scriptures is permitted by the Lord (I Corinthians 7:6; cf. I Corinthians 7:40).

Š     They were listening to those who gloried in the flesh.  Paul was talking like them to expose the fallacy of such boastings not to try and measure himself by them (cf. II Corinthians 10:12).


5. Were the Corinthians willing to bear with fools and people who abused them?

Yes, in thinking they themselves are wised: “(19) For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise.  (20) For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face” (II Corinthians 11:19-20).


Š     Since they are listening to fools, consider some of the implications: Proverbs 15:2, Proverbs 15:14, Proverbs 16:22, Proverbs 17:7, Proverbs 18:2, Proverbs 18:6-7, Proverbs 23:9, Proverbs 24:7, Proverbs 29:11, Hosea 9:7, and Ephesians 5:15.

Š     They were honoring those who treated them poorly (cf. James 2:1-9).


6. Did Paul, as he continued to speak as a fool, show that the false teachers did not have greater authority than him by being Hebrews?

Yes: “(21) I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also.  (22) Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I” (II Corinthians 11:21-22).


Š     Philippians 3:3-7.


7. Did Paul go through enough suffering to prove himself as a minister of Christ?

Yes: “(23) Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.  (24) Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.  (25) Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; (26) In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; (27) In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (II Corinthians 11:23-27).


Š     Paul’s work spoke for itself (I Corinthians 15:10).

Š     One’s willingness to suffer is a testament to their faithfulness (Matthew 5:10-12, John 15:19-21, John 16:33, John 17:14, Acts 14:22, II Timothy 3:12, and I Peter 4:1-2).

Š     It should be noted that Paul went through these things knowing that this was the cost for serving the Lord (Acts 9:15-16).


8. Besides what Paul was willing to suffer in Christ, how did his work with congregations prove his faithfulness?

His daily care of the churches: “Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (II Corinthians 11:28).


Š     Acts 14:23-28, Acts 15:36, Acts 15:40-41, Acts 18:23, Acts 20:17, etc.

9. Did Paul ignore the spiritual hardships of other Christians?

No: “Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not” (II Corinthians 11:29)?


Š     Romans 9:1-3, Romans 12:15, Romans 15:1-3, and Galatians 6:2.


10. Did Paul prefer to glory in his sufferings more than in his accomplishments?

Yes: “(30) If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities.  (31) The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not” (II Corinthians 11:30-31).


Š     Colossians 1:23-24.

Š     Paul was not ever looking to promote himself (Acts 14:8-18 and I Corinthians 3:1-8).


11. How did Paul escape from imprisonment in Damascus?

“(32) In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: (33) And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands” (II Corinthians 11:32-33).


Š     Acts 9:22-25.

Š     It wasn’t just once that Paul had to escape from the Jews either (i.e. Acts 17:5-15).





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