2 Corinthians, Chapter 11
© Copyright 2003 Darroll Evans, all rights reserved
2 Corinthians 11:1 Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.
In the vernacular, "Cut me a little slack. Be patient. "
"I have espoused " (Gr. eermosameen-hrmosamhn) speaks of our relationship to Christ. Christians are involved in an intimate relationship with Christ Jesus. However, it does not speak of modernmarriage practices.
The Greek word translated espoused means “fit together.” It is a carpentry term used to describe the joining of planks and beams is a building project.
As a Christian, you have been joined to Christ, but not in the marital sense!
You have not been joined as His bride, but as part of his body! We have been baptized into Christ and are therefore joined to him.
That fact is made clear within the Bible!
Did you understand that?
God the Father gave Christ Jesus “to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body”…
We also know that the Lamb’s marriage supper is a reality, so who is the bride?
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
The bride of Christ is the Holy Jerusalem! Many cannot accept that.
Those who are biblically literate know that we are the body of Christ!
There is no verse in the entire Bible that states explicitly that the Church is the bride of Christ, and this is the only verse in the entire Bible that may be used to describe the Church as a female! Since the Church has been baptized into a male (Christ Jesus) we must also assume the characteristics of a male.
We have become His body by being baptized into Him!
We are “espoused” to Christ by being baptized into Him, and once we are joined to Christ we cannot be separated!
Even Paul had misgivings about some "Christians."
Notice that Paul writes “as the serpent beguiled Eve through subtlety.” Those who abuse the Scriptures do not do so by first announcing their intent. They deceive many through their subtlety.
"Simplicity" (Gr. haplotēs-ἁπλότης) speaks of things that are single, simple, uncomplicated. It indicates a unified purpose.
In Christ there is a unified purpose. If your Church is not as successful as you think it should be, perhaps it is not unified in teaching Christ and Him crucified!
Have you ever noticed that when we began to elect Lawyers to Congress laws became more and more complicated?
Not long ago I was listening to a Doctor of theology explain salvation and election. What he did was to complicate it so much that I doubt if he has ever lead any person to Christ. He did not know the Good News, he taught a complicated strain of what passes for Christianity!
There are many Jesus-es being preached. There is a Jesus of monetary success, and one of perfect health. Many "ministries" have been built by preaching "another Jesus."
What is the message of your Church?
Is your massage monetary success, or healing of the physical body? Those are wonderful things, BUT if that is your message, it is misguided.
If Christ is preached, success will come. If Christ is preached, true healing will come.
However, the gospel of Jesus Christ has been corrupted by the prophets of profit. They teach that Jesus wore designer clothes. That is a blatant lie!
Where do they get that myth?
2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe.
3 Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands.
Christ did not own that purple robe any more than He “owned” the crown of thorns! But, false teachers make that jump!
That robe and th crown were provided for Him so the Roman soldiers could mock the Jews!
Ignorant men do and say ignorant things! Like proclaiming that Jesus was socially wealthy beyond anything you or I can imagine. That is used as a scam teaching to further the gospel of profit! That is teaching “another gospel!”
To some of the Churches of his day, Paul was not an Apostle. His message was pure, pure grace.
Paul preached Christ Crucified. He preached grace to an extent that is not well known today. Things happened when he preached.
The Church prospered and grew under the teaching of grace. The Church will grow today if the message is pure.
Some have termed those who “appeared” to be the very “chiefest” Apostles as super-apostles. Paul had to content with them and so do we!
Peter was a leader within the Apostles, and yet he could not fully comprehend the message of grace to the Gentiles! That message was given to Paul!
2 Pet 3:16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (NKJ)
Just a Peter was bound up in the Jewish teachings, works theology, so are many of our teachers today. They teach and preach prosperity, because of their works orientation.
Though Paul preached in common street talk, the results were astounding. He preached Christ and that is all there is!
If you preach grace, the manner of your preaching style matters little. If you preach salvation by works, the manner of your preaching style matters little!
God’s plan for our lives is not always evident. It may be that we might need to be humbled while another is lifted up.
Please keep in mind that God’s plan for us is simple. We are to carry the gospel.
Verse eight says that Paul admitted stripping other Churches for the benefit of the Corinthians. That translation is unfortunate.
The English speaks of taking something by force and against existing law. The Greek indicates a right to take the goods as a payment.
Verse eight refers to verse nine. He is
reminding the Corinthians of their obligation to those in
God places the gospel in each one called to preach and teach it. That does not mean that it is placed within each Christian.
Far too many teachers are called teachers because some Church appointed them to teach a Sunday School class. They are nothing more than parrots of the denominational doctrine.
If you are a Christian Evangelist, Pastor, or Teacher and someone can talk with you for more than fifteen minutes without discerning that you are a Christian, something is wrong. Church leaders are to walk the walk and talk the talk 24/7.
Paul could no more stop preaching than he could stop breathing and remain alive. To the true Preacher and Teacher telling others about Jesus is life itself.
Some preach to hear themselves talk. Others preach to tell the good news.
I know some preachers that have split Churches wide open trying to be something they are not. They are false apostles!
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Some people were born just to cause problems within the Church. They disguise them selves as godly preachers and teachers when they are not.
I don’t believe that these false apostles know the difference. I know that most Church attendees do not know.
Where do these false apostles operate?
They attend Church on every occasion. They may be considered to be Church leaders.
Some time ago, I spoke in a small Church. During my sermon I stopped and told the congregation that somebody would be led to that Church by Satan to cause problems.
The response was unexpected. Many in the Church began to chuckle. The Pastor told me that he was already there.
We should not be amazed by the perversions of false apostles. Their leader is Satan, and he is able to transform himself into an angel of light.
Paul reminded the Corinthians and us that it is no great thing if these false apostles appear to be ministers of righteousness.
God is under no compulsion to go along or justify with our mistakes..
In your Church, do the leaders lead you to Christ or to themselves?
If the leader of your Church implies, or says that he is God’s main representative on earth, he is a fake and those that minister with him are fakes….get out now!
False Churches have a salvation-by-works theology. Galatians 5:4---You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. (NKJV)
We should use all occasions to brag about what Christ has done.
Our stories about Christ’s victories in our lives help strengthen faith in those of weaker faith. We need not enhance God’s power.
This verse seems adverse to Paul’s life in Christ. He says, "Since others brag about what ‘they’ have done, so will I." But verse 19 brings us to the point.
The Church is not the blind leading the blind. We are not to tolerate sin or ignorance.
Again we find the phrase---because you tolerate [For ye suffer]. What is the reference this time?
The Corinthians had subjected themselves to men who brought a self-serving message, men who spoke self-exalting sermons. They had placed themselves under the bondage of bondage of spiritual charlatans.
What does that mean?
Some folks just want to be in charge. But, they do not believe the gospel of grace.
All successful men of God have a vision of what they are to accomplish. We cannot appropriate the visions of others.
Some Churches have leaders with no vision trying to appropriate the visions of others. Misappropriated visions do not come to fruition when transplanted in the wrong soil.
It takes a living Church to serve a living God. By "living Church," I do not mean a socially active Church. Satan has plenty of those.
When properly applied, boldness can break down doors of resistance. However, when boldness is misapplied it can devastate.
Paul put the Apostle issue into perspective.
Were Paul’s oppressors Hebrews?
Were they Israelites?
Were they descendants of Abraham?
Paul was also all of those.
As he said in Philippians 3:4-6, he had the pedigree. Were they ministers (Gr. diakonoi-diakonoi) of Christ? Paul was that and more.
Paul had been in imprisoned more often then other Apostles. He had been beaten and in danger of death numerous times.
There is a wonderful fairy tale concerning Christ’s scourging. It says that he received 40 lashes. That is a miscount!
If Christ had been beaten by Jews that is what he would have received. However, sadistic Romans scourged Jesus.
Many men who were scourged by the Romans did not live long enough to be crucified. They died from the scourging.
Jews had beaten Paul. He was lashed 39 times on at least five occasions. It was survivable.
In addition to that Paul suffered stoning, shipwreck, and many other dangers.
Please keep in mind that the original apostles had at this point barely made it to the Jerusalem city limits.
Christianity owes its survival primarily to two men. Jesus who came to save us and Paul who was bold enough to take the message of the risen Christ to those who were destined to hear it.
There are men today who claim to be apostles. And yet they have not carries the words of Christ with the same boldness as Paul. They have not suffered for in the same manner as Paul.
Paul cannot save us. That is the exclusive domain of Jesus Christ.
Those trials were just things that had to be endured. As far as Paul was concerned, they came with the territory.
Paul’s true concern was focused on the well being off the Churches. Where is your focus?
To some weakness is a sign of weakness. To others it is an offense. A weak servant carrying a strong message is difficult for some to accept.
If others brag about their strength, Paul would brag about his weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
God would judge Paul’s intent…and content.
In Damascus the area ruler (who had the responsibility of governing, but with limited authority) appointed by Herod Antipas’ father-in-law Aretas (who was an Arab), had ordered the arrest of Paul. It was there that Paul used the old "let me down in a basket" method of escape.
Even during those days there was difficulty between Arabs and Jews or semi-Jews. Herod Antipas divorced Aretas’ daughter and that caused a small war in that area during the mid 30’s AD.