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II Corinthians 11

Memory verses for this week: Eccl 3:6  A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 

Introduction:     Last week in Chapter 10, Paul defended his apostleship, and warned the church there in Corinth to be careful to judge themselves accurately.  Not comparing themselves one to the other in human judgment, but rather in relation to Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the one we should look to and attempt to copy in our daily lives. 

I.                Paulís Godly Jealousy 

2 Corinthians 11:1  Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.  2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

In the opening portion of this chapter, Paul begins by showing that the false teachers there in Corinth were seeking to undermine confidence in him and to lead the people away from the simplicity of the true Gospel.  We talked last week that the false teacher seeks to tear down while the true man of God seeks to build up Christians.  When trying to determine whether a person is teaching the truth, always ask ďWhat is the purpose of what is being taught?Ē and ďWhat is this personí motive in teaching this?Ē  If it is to hurt others or glorify self, be sure that this person is not teaching Godís way.   If a person is always finding fault with others and never building you up, this is a false teacher.  Paul was one who taught in honesty and truth.  Paul had just written how foolish it was to praise oneself.  Not out of necessity, he is forced to do this very thing in his own defense.  But what he had taught is true.  We should always try to let words of praise come from anotherís lips, not our own. 

Prov 27:2  Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

The reason Paul had to indulge in this ďfollyĒ was because he was jealous over these believers with  a godly jealously.   In other words, he did not want them to be deceived by these false teachers.  So many hurt the cause of Christ by having jealousy in churches today that is ungodly jealousy.   Paulís jealousy was not build up self but to serve the Lord.  Paulís desire is to see the church at Corinth remain loyal and devoted to Christ.     Paul had led to be ďespousedĒ or engaged to Christ, and he wants them to remain faithful in this calling.

3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 

Paul was afraid that Satan might be able to beguile the Corinthians, even as he did in the garden of Eden with Eve.  Satan is very subtle, and works to destroy each of us.   If you think about it, all Satan had to do was mix up a little truth with  a little error and this led her astray.   If we donít know the word of God, Satan can twist us so many ways that we canít get loose.  But when you are grounded and know the truth, Satan canít penetrate that barrier of the word of God.  Paul fears that these young Christians there in Corinth might be led astray from the simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.   Verse 4 speaks of many preachers in pulpits all over the world.  They teach and preach a little of the truth, but add things to the gospel that God never intended.  Many say if you have Jesus and enough works, then you can be saved.  Others teach that if you have Jesus and some church ordinance (such as baptism), then you can be saved.  But anytime someone adds to the simplicity of Jesus and Jesus alone for salvation, that man is not teaching the truth.  The word of God teaches that if we hear the word of God, and we recognize that we are sinners by the convicting power and drawing of the Holy Spirit, and we repent of our sins and turn by faith to Jesus for salvation, we will be saved.  It is that simple.  Following the commandments, being baptized, and working for the Lord are all good things and should be done.  But not a one is required for a person to be saved.

2 Tim 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Gal 1:6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Gal 1:7  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. Gal 1:8  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. Gal 1:9  As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Acts 4:10  Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.   Acts 4:11  This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.  Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. 6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.


Paul explains that he was an apostle not far behind the chiefest apostles.  As a matter of fact, I think that Paul will the that 12 name on the wall and will sit with the others when they judge the 12 tribes of Israel one day.  We certainly know it wonít be Judas Iscariot, because he was a lost man.  It could possibly be Matthias who was chosen to replace Judas, but in my heart I feel sure it will be Paul, the apostle unto the gentiles.    Paul tells them that he might not be the best speaker to be found, he when he did speak, he knew what he was talking about.  We read the verses last week which spoke of how God does not call many of the mighty into the work of the Lord.  He uses the base things of this world to confound the wise.   If I had my choice, I would always prefer to be like Paul, not particularly a great speaker, but always teaching the full truth.


J. Vernon McGee has a very high opinion of Paul as well as I.  Here is what he had to say about Paul:


Paul was a brilliant man, but he used simple language. There are two men who have had a great influence on my life. One was a scholarly man in Memphis, Tennessee, who taught in simplicity. The other was Dr. Harry A. Ironside who was known as a simple preacher. He was a brilliant man, but he preached with simplicity. He put the cookies on the lower shelf where the kiddies could get them. Simplicity was the method of Paul.

Paul says that he was rude in speech. I think that he actually adopted the language that the Corinthians would understand, and I am of the opinion that it may have been a rather rude approach. However, Paul was a brilliant man. From his writings I would judge that he had the highest I.Q. of any man who has walked this earth. 


7 Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. 9 And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.


Paul was like every true pastor.. he preached the Gospel of God freely and accurately.  He explains that other churches helped to pay his way while he was at Corinth.  It is an honor that we as a church can help missionaries when they go to the foreign field.  That is how we accomplish the great commission given to the church where he spoke of how we are to preach the gospel to every creature in the world.   You and I may not can go to the foreign field, but by supporting missionaries, we help to reach the lost in countries all around the world.  Concerning Paul, he was a man who was not afraid to work either.  He spoke of using his tent building trade to pay some of his expenses as he journeyed doing the work of the Lord.  Far too many who are called to the mission field refuse to go until they have all the support they need.  When the majority of the money is in place, I believe God will supply every need if a man will go ahead and go and trust God.  Even if a person had to work some to begin with, to be in Godís Will and be found preaching the gospel is one of  the ultimate accomplishments any missionary could claim. 

10 As the truth of Christ is in me,  no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.  11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth. 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. 

Paul was a man determined that no one would stop him from boasting that the gospel is free.  Paul took care of himself, and was a burden to no man.  What  a great testimony this man had.  He speaks of how that he was careful to cut off those who would make occasion to glory in themselves.  No matter where Paul went, it seemed someone was always there as an opponent observing him and seeking a reason to criticize him.  We should not be surprised when Satan rears his ugly head up against us.   Paulís desire was that those that criticized him might come to the point where they could glory in the freeness of the gospel as he did. 

II.              The Warning Against False Teachers 

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 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. 

Paul here is not talking about true apostles in these verses, but those that were Ďdeceitful workers.í  They had no call into Godís work, and were not saved Christians.  Paul said that as Satan, they had transformed themselves into the appearance of being ministers of Jesus Christ.   You donít have to look too far to find a false teacher.  Flip on the television dial and probably at least half of the ones you see are not true men of God.   Satan is the one leading those who are false teachers.  Satan has powers like no manÖ he can literally change himself into an angel of light.  He is devious.  When he tempted Christ, he even quoted scripture to try and get Christ to follow after him.  But none of his false teachings tricked Christ.   If Adam and Eve had not been deceived, we would not have inherited our fallen nature.


Genesis 3:4-6  And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.   


Paul says that the end of these false apostles will be according to their works.


III.             Paulís Forced Boasting 

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.  

Paul is not following the example of the Lord in this boasting that he does in these verses.  Christ never set an example of boasting of himself.  Since many in Corinth gloried after the flesh, Paul uses this to show how much he could glory also if he so desired. 

18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 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. 

These people who were false teachers brought the people who followed after them into bondage rather than liberty.  The bible sets us free when we find Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  While Paul was no burden to the people, these false teachers devoured the Corinthians with their false teachings.  They exalted themselves and were overbearing to the people.


John 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

John 8:32  And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.


Rom 8:15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Rom 8:16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

Rom 8:17  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Rom 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rom 8:19  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Rom 8:20  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

Rom 8:21  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.


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. 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.  

This section of scripture  (verses 21-29) really makes us realize what Paul suffered for the cause of Christ.  Paul says if these deceivers are bold to speak of their own qualifications, Paul could also be bold.  Paul explains if these false teachers could claim something in qualifications, he could claim even more.   This man had a tremendous heritage.  Born a Hebrew, and Israelite, the seed of Abraham.   Paul was known as a leading Pharisee and really knew the word of God, even before he was saved on that road to Damascus.  By being a seed of Abraham, that made him part of the covenant God made with Abraham and his seed. 

Genesis 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;   Genesis 22:18  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.


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. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily,  the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 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. 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.  

Paul goes through a brief history of his life and what he had experienced as a minister of Christ.  When you look at Paulís life, and you put your own experiences against what Paul faced, it gives you a very humbling feeling.  Iíve done so little for the cause of Christ compared to Paul.  The beatings he mentions in verse 24 is recorded in Acts 16. 

Acts 16:22-23   And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

Paul faced many heartaches and shipwrecks. Besides these mentioned here, he also suffered the one in Acts 27 on his trip to Rome.  Paul was dedicated to God, and because of it, he suffered.  But a great deal of joy was in Paul for all that he did for the cause of Christ.   His number one thing in life was to see the churches flourish and grow to the honor and glory of God.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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