2 Corinthians Chapter 11

August 30, 2012

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 2 Corinthians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

2 Corinthians 11:1-33 (NIV)
1 I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 5 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6 I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then receive me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or pushes himself forward or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! What anyone else dares to boast about–I am speaking as a fool–I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.

2 Corinthians 11:1-4

The Corinthians were being swayed by false teachers because they were eloquent speakers. Paul, who was a brilliant thinker and certainly persuasive in his teaching, was still apparently not as fascinating an orator as some of the false teachers.

There are a lot of false teachers around today that are excellent speakers and present messages that sound good and seem to make sense and yet contradict what the Bible says. Don’t believe someone simply because they sound like an authority or say words you like to hear. Search the Bible and check their teachings against the Bible.

Paul felt foolish rehearsing his credentials to the Corinthians, but felt it was necessary in order to silence the false teachers.

2 Corinthians 11:5-23

Paul said that even though these super apostles sounded good, they were in effect teaching the lies of the evil One. Paul’s amazingly effective ministry came with a simple clear presentation of the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, however, people thought that Paul’s simple style showed some sort of simple-mindedness. Because of this Paul’s speaking performance was often used against him by false teachers. The reality is that content is far more important than the presentation. A simple, clear presentation that helps the listeners understand will be of great value. God’s Word stands on its own merit and is not dependent on imperfect human beings to create its own hearing.

The Corinthians also seemed to believe that preachers could be judged by how much money they demanded. The better the preacher, the more money charged. Since Paul didn’t ask for money, they assumed he must be some sort of amateur with little or no authority.

Paul had not asked for money from the Corinthians because he thought it might be misunderstood by the m and link him with these false teachers who were in it only for the money. He wanted to distance himself from the false teachers and he goes on to present his impressive credentials.

Paul presented his credentials to counteract the charges that the false teachers were making against him. He felt foolish boasting like this, but his list of credentials would silence any doubts about his authority. Paul wanted to keep the Corinthians from slipping under the spell of the false teachers and turning away from the Good News.

2 Corinthians 11:23-33

Paul then goes on to talk about all that he had been through in his efforts to present the good news to people all over the world. Shipwrecks, beatings, dangers, hunger, the stress of daily concerns for the young church. Even being lowered in a basket to escape in Damascus. The false teachers had never gone through anything like this. Paul was concerned for the people, the false teachers were concerned for themselves.

Paul was sacrificing his life for the Good News, something the false teachers would never do. The trials and hurts we experience for Christ’s sake build our character, demonstrate our faith, and prepare us for further service to the Lord.

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