Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Christ's Power And Love Shown Through Weakness And Meekness: 2 Corinthians 12:1-21

Text: 2 Corinthians 12:1-21

Theme: Glory in Christ, not the flesh

4. By boasting about Christ (10 - 13)
     E. Weakness shows Christ's power (12:1-10)
     F. Meekness shows Christ's love (12:11 - 13:14)

Weakness shows Christ's power (1-10). Though he had received visions, revelations, and been caught up to the third heavens, Paul refused (except in a  sarcastic, satirical way) to boast about anything but his weaknesses (12:1-5). This was so no one would credit him with more than they saw or heard from him (6). To keep Paul from exalting himself over the great revelations, God gave a "messenger of Satan to buffet" him (7-8). Whatever this was, it resulted in "weakness". Paul was content with this, as well as "insults", "distresses", "persecutions", and "difficulties", because they magnified the power of Christ in his ministry (9-10).

Meekness shows Christ's love (12:11 - 13:14). Since he performed "signs", "wonders", and "miracles" among them, the Corinthians should have commended Paul against the charge he was an "inferior" apostle. Not because he was lower, but to avoid becoming a burden to the Corinthians, Paul yielded his right to earn a living off the gospel ministry (11-13). That neither he nor anyone he sent took advantage of them, showed the meekness of Christ's love (14-18; cf. Philippians 2:6ff.). This explanation of Paul's ministry was intended to build up the Corinthians, rather than "defend" himself (19), and may prevent mutual disappointment on his return visit (20-21).  Meekness magnifies Christ's love.

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The Gospel


Have you heard Christ died for our sins, and God raised Him from the dead? Did you know God saves you from hell and gives you eternal life through faith in this finished work alone, not your merits (Jn. 3:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-3; Eph. 2:8-10; 2 Thess. 1:8-9)? This is so man cannot boast, and God alone gets the glory (Eph. 2:8-9).

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