Friends: Linda and I are looking forward to being with the supporters of Camp Elim in Colorado September 23-24 for their “Heritage Retreat.” I will be speaking on one of my favorite passages, 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. I will give four messages on that text, so this blog will help me think through some of what I’m learning from that passage. Let’s look at the text first:
Now, I have obviously put in BOLD letters the prominent word in this section which is BOAST or BOASTING. This is a boasting section in which Paul is defending his apostleship.
To do the study of this passage justice, we need to go back and read 2 Corinthians chapters 1-11 to get the overall context of what Paul is saying here in chapter 12.
Will you read those chapters now, my friend?
Here are my notes on 2 Corithians 1-10 —
Survey of 2 Corinthians 1-11 —
Ch. 1- Comfort and despairing of life; thanks for deliverance.
v. 12- Now this is our boast of you and you of us — our conduct among you.
v. 20- God’s promises are “Yes” in Christ.
v. 22- Spirit as seal
v. 1- not making another painful visit to you.
v. 7- plea to forgive the one who sinned.
v. 11- Satan’s schemes.
vv. 14-17- Believers as aroma; not peddling the word for profit.
v. 17- We speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
vv. 1ff- self-commendation? You are our “letter.”
v. 6- competent as ministers of the new covenant.
vv. 7ff- greater glory of the new covenant
v.v. 12ff- A veil covering the Jews.
v. 18- glory given by the Spirit.
vv. 1ff- The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers.
vv. 7ff- this treasure in jars of clay/carrying around the death of Jesus/death at work in us, but life at work in you.
v. 14- confidence in future resurrection.
v. 16- not losing heart; daily renewal; troubles achieving an eternal glory; fixing our eyes are what is unseen.
vv. 1ff- awaiting the new body.
vv. 6ff- home in the body = away from the Lord. Judgment seat of Christ.
v. 11- trying to persuade others.
v. 17- new creation in Christ.
v. 18- ministry of reconciliation
vv. 3ff- commendation through hardships
vv. 14- warning against idolatry
vv. 5ff- Harassment at Macedonia; sorrow & comfort of the Corinthians.
v. 8- caused sorrow by my letter.
v. 10- godly sorrow >> repentance!
vv. 13ff- Titus’ refreshment
v. 14- boasting about them to Titus.
v. 16- I have complete confidence in you.
vv. 1ff- excelling in this grace of giving.
v. 13- desire for equality
v. 21- taking pains to do what is right (re giving).
v. 24- show these brothers the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you.
vv. 2ff- boasting about their service to the Lord’s people. Not hollow boasting.
vv. 6ff- God loves a generous giver.
v. 3- we live in the world but don’t wage war as the world does.
v. 5- we demolish arguments; take captive very thought.
v. 8- boasting about the authority the Lord gave us.
v. 12- those who commend themselves.
v. 13- we will not boast beyond proper limits, but confine our boasting to the sphere of service God has assigned to us.
v. 17-Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.
v. 18- It is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
Boasting is a common theme in this epistle. Paul boasts of these believers — and he boasts of his rightful conduct among them. He chastises those who would commend themselves and points to his own hardships as his commendation. He boasts about the Corinthians and their generosity to Titus. And he boasts about their service to the Lord’s people (not hollow boasting). He further boasts about the authority the Lord gave him and the other apostles. Our boast is to be in the Lord and to allow the Lord to commend whom He will.