Chapter 12 verses 11 to 21

Chapter 12 verses 11 to 21Tuesday 16th May 2017

Posted by Neil Todman

Read 2 Corinthians 12:11-21

In these verses, Paul’s reluctant boasting has come to an end.  He feels foolish boasting (verse 11), but he has been driven to it by the danger the church in Corinth faced from the so-called “super apostles”.  Now, as he nears the end of this letter, he prepares the Corinthians for a third personal visit (verse 14). The question that hangs in the air is, will this be another painful visit (see chapter 2 verse 1) or would the Corinthian church repent, as they had following Paul’s previous letter (see chapter 2 verses 3 and 4) and the visit of Titus (see chapter 7 verses 5 to 13), so Paul could anticipate a joyful reunion with them?

For that to happen there are three negative truths that the Corinthian believers must grasp.

  1. Paul is not inferior to the so-called “super apostles”- verses 11 to 12

The church in Corinth was obsessed with outward signs of spiritual authority and power (see 1 Corinthians chapters 11 to 14).  The “super apostles” showed off their own power.  But Paul demonstrated God’s power including signs, which pointed to Christ; wonders, which provoked awe towards God; and mighty, miraculous, works, which revealed the Spirit’s power.

  1. Paul is not exploitative towards the Corinthian church- verses 13 to 18

The church in Corinth was impressed by how much the super apostles could demand from them in exchange for their services.  Paul has his head in his hands at their foolishness!  He loves this church as if they were his own children, so he refuses payment from them.  Instead, Paul says he, and all those he has sent to Corinth, give everything out of love to the church without charge.  They are not exploitative.  They are generous.

  1. Paul is not satisfied with the Corinthians’ shallow repentance- verses 19 to 21

In everything Paul has done, he has sought to strengthen this wayward church.  However, their repentance has been shallow.  Verse 20 returns to issues raised in 1 Corinthians chapters 1 to 4; verse 21 to issues raised in 1 Corinthians chapters 5 to 7.  For all Paul’s efforts, has anything really changed?

 

Reflection

Think about those sins that regularly trip you up.  Confess them.  Thank God for his forgiveness.  Ask him for renewed grace to follow Jesus.