2 Corinthians 11:16-33 “Biblical Boasting”

My sermon notes for Sunday, Sept. 8th  as we continue our study through 2 Corinthians.  Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon.  To see the sermon each week or subscribe to the weekly sermon podcast please visit http://www.fbcap.net

 

2 Corinthians 11:16–33 – Biblical Boasting

Introduction/Thoughts

  • What can we boast about? … What we are. What we have. What we have accomplished.
  • How about?… Who we are in Christ? How we have served Christ?
  • Our worship of the Lord is manifested in our service to the Lord.
  • People often say that they love the Lord, worship the Lord, and bask in His glory, but it appears they do not live a life of serving (experience the pressures) the Lord. BEING A LIVING SACRIFICE… which is YOUR SPIRITUAL WORSHIP – 12:1
  • Paul boasts on his life and calling as an apostle of Christ. When up against the fierce accusations, he knew who he was because of all that he had done… AND ALL THAT GOD HAD DONE FOR AND THROUGH HIM.

 

Paul’s Introduction – vv. 16-21a – HIS FRUSTRATION (Sarcasm)

 

The false teachers had dressed as angels of light v. 14…here Paul is dressing himself in their attire

 

vv. 16-18 – Frustration toward the false teachers

  • Paul seems to be embarrassed to stoop to the level of the false teaches/super apostles in the church. SURELY, I DO NOT NEED TO STOOP TO THEIR LEVEL.
    • Boast according to the flesh

 

vv. 19-21 – Frustration toward the church

  • Enslaved, devoured, and taken advantage of
    • Bondage, Destruction, Exploitation
      • Perhaps Doctrinally, Financially
  • Exalted themselves
    • Pride
  • Strikes in the face
    • Humiliation

 

They submitted to their false leadership (believed and did)

  • We see in history the blind followship of dictatorial leadership
  • Paul was saying, “HOW COULD YOU NOT SEE IT FOR WHAT IS WAS?”

 

v.21 – WE WERE TOO WEAK FOR THAT – (with deep sarcasm – I am so glad that I did not love you like that)

 

HIS SERVING – vv. 21b-29  – Suffering/the pressures of life

  • To serve the Lord is to experience certain pressures.
  • “When the apostle would prove himself an extraordinary minister, he proves that he had been a extraordinary sufferer” Matthew Henry
  • I AM TEMPTED TO USE SUFFERING, BUT PRESSURES IS BETTER. THE DAILY PRESSURES OF LIVING A JESUS FILLED LIFE!!!!!!  Normal day to day life is full of pressures as we live as “pilgrims passing through.  Obviously, we pray not the same pressures as Paul, yet pressure, nevertheless.

 

Hebrew, Israelite, Abraham – Heir to the covenant privileges.

  • Socially, ethnically, linguistically, culturally, covenantally

 

They were the same in some ways (ON PAPER), but MUCH different in others.  What separated him from them was His life/ministry/service

 

v. 23 – servant. The super apostles looked at their ministry as a position of honor and privilege.  Paul looked at his ministry as one as a servant. Mark 10:42-45

  • Come to serve not to be served.

 

[23] Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—

with far greater labors

far more imprisonments

with countless beatings

and often near death.

[24] Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.

[25] Three times I was beaten with rods.

Once I was stoned.

Three times I was shipwrecked;

a night and a day I was adrift at sea;

[26] on frequent journeys,

in danger from rivers

 danger from robbers,

danger from my own people,

danger from Gentiles,

danger in the city,

danger in the wilderness,

danger at sea,

danger from false brothers;

[27] in toil and hardship,

through many a sleepless night,

in hunger and thirst,

often without food, in cold and exposure.

 

[28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.

  • The daily pressure of HIS CHURCH. He lived through the pressures of this world FOR HIS CHURCH!!!!!!!
  • We try to endure the pressures for US. He did endure for THE CHURCH.

 

[29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant? (ESV)

  • Indignant – Anger, burning
  • Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to sin, and I am not on fire [with sorrow and concern]? (AMPLIFIED TRANSLATION)

 

Jesus suffered yet was exalted.  We too will suffer and are/will be exalted.

 

His Submission – vv. 30 – 33 – HIS HUMILITY

 

v. 30 – If I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.

  • Real boasting points people to Christ and not us.

 

Escaping by basket.  Not the typical “super apostle” way of doing things.

  • Humbled himself to escape in this manner
  • 3 years after conversion. Gal. 1:17-18
  • Acts 9:23-26

 

But Paul was different.

  • Whatever it takes to serve the Lord
  • Not prestige or privilege
  • Facing death, he knew the Lord provided a humble escape route

 

Willing to lower oneself to any point so the Gospel can advance

 

He uses our sufferings to demonstrate his sufficiency. And he uses our afflictions as the occasion for dispersing comfort and the deepest realities of his abiding care (Gospel Transformation Study Bible)

 

 


Scripture References

2 Corinthians 11:16–33 – [16] I repeat, let no one think me foolish. But even if you do, accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. [17] What I am saying with this boastful confidence, I say not as the Lord would but as a fool. [18] Since many boast according to the flesh, I too will boast. [19] For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! [20] For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. [21] To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that!

But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that. [22] Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. [23] Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. [24] Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. [25] Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; [26] on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; [27] in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. [28] And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. [29] Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

[30] If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. [31] The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. [32] At Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to seize me, [33] but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped his hands. (ESV)

 

Romans 12:1–2 – [1] I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. [2] Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (ESV)

 

Mark 10:42–45 – [42] And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. [43] But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. [45] For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)

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