2 Corinthians 11

1. I wish you would be patient with me even when I am a little foolish. But you are already doing that.

If you can brag about yourself then I will brag about what the Lord has done with me.

2. I am jealous over you. And this jealousy comes from God. I promised to give you to Christ. He must be your only husband. I want to give you to Christ to be his pure bride.

When you hear accusing thoughts. Remember that Jesus does not talk that way to His bride. Revelation 21:9

This is what the LORD says, “I remember how eager you were to please Me as a young bride long ago, how you loved Me and followed Me even through the desert. Jeremiah 2:2

3. But I am afraid that your minds will be led away from your true and simple following of Christ. This might happen just as Eve was tricked by the snake with his evil ways.

Trusting what Jesus has done and what He says to us is easy. Following some other teaching is always hard. This is a warning to men who think that they know many things. Keep it simple!

My yoke is easy to bear, and the load I give you is light.” Matthew 11:30

4. You are very patient with anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus than the one we preached. You are very willing to accept a spirit or Gospel that is different from the Spirit and Gospel that you received from us.

We can ask people to give us a chance to explain the Gospel in the same way that they are patient when they listen to false teachers.

5 – 6

I do not think that those “great apostles” are any better than I am. I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have shown this to you clearly in every way.

They were mocking the way Paul talked to take the attention off of his message.

7 – 10

I preached God’s Gospel to you without pay. I made myself unimportant to make you important. Do you think that was wrong? I accepted pay from other churches. I took their money so that I could serve you.

If I needed something when I was with you, I did not trouble any of you. The brothers who came from Macedonia gave me all that I needed. I did not allow myself to depend on you in any way. And I will never depend on you. No one in Southern Greece will stop me from bragging about that. I say this with the truth of Christ in me.

Paul would not take money from the Corinthians. He worked as a tent maker and paid his own bills. He also received money from the Philippian church. Acts 18:3, Philippians 4:15

11 – 13

And why do I not depend on you? Do you think it is because I do not love you? No. God knows that I love you.

And I will keep on doing what I am doing now. I will continue because I want to stop those people from having a reason to brag. They would like to say that the work they brag about is the same as ours.

Such men are not true apostles. They are workers who lie. And they change themselves to look like apostles of Christ.

Paul is saying, “I would like to see these false teachers do the things that God has done in my life.”

14 – 15

This does not surprise us. Even Satan changes himself to look like an angel of light.

So it does not surprise us if Satan’s servants also make themselves look like servants who work for what is right. But in the end they will be punished for the things they do.

It is hard to understand how people can say they are following the Bible but are listening to a new message from an angel when the Bible says not to do this!  Galatians 1:8

We have been warned to test the spirits (1 John 4:1). The Mormons do not live by the Word of God and so they have listened to the lies of the demon angel Moroni. Mohammed said that he was given his message from a spirit also.

16 – 18

I tell you again: No one should think that I am a fool. But if you think that I am a fool, then accept me as you would accept a fool. Then I can brag a little, too. I brag because I feel sure of myself.

But I am not talking as the Lord would talk. I am bragging like a fool. Many people are bragging about their lives in the world. So I will brag, too.

You are making me tell you the secret things God has used me to do for Him.

19 – 20

You are wise, so you will gladly be patient with fools! You are even patient with someone who orders you around and uses you! You are patient with those who trick you, or think they are better than you, or hit you in the face!

Paul says, “Since you do not mind listening to fools then you can listen to another fool.” Many cults treat their members badly. This comes from an accusing demonic spirit. When the devil tells someone that they are no good, and they believe it, they will accept bad treatment from their so-called spiritual leaders.

21. It is shameful to me to say this, but we were too “weak” to do those things to you! But if anyone else is brave enough to brag, then I also will be brave and brag. (I am talking like a fool.)

It is better for people to think that you are weak. If you learn this secret, then God will be strong inside of you.

22. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they from Abraham’s family? So am I.

Paul was one of the top leaders of the Jews. Acts 9:1 – 2

23 – 26

Are they serving Christ? I am serving Him more. (I am crazy to talk like this.) I have worked much harder than they. I have been in prison more often. I have been hurt more in beatings. I have been near death many times. Five times the Jews have given me their punishment of 39 lashes with a whip.

Three different times I was beaten with rods. One time they tried to kill me with stones. Three times I was in ships that were wrecked, and one of those times I spent the night and the next day in the sea.

You can find many of these stories in the book of Acts. Acts 16:23, Acts 14:19, Acts 27:1 – 24

26. I have gone on many travels. And I have been in danger from rivers, from thieves, from my own people, the Jews, and from those who are not Jews. I have been in danger in cities, in places where no one lives, and on the sea. And I have been in danger with false brothers.

The early church had some tests to find out if someone was a false brother. If he asked for money he was not to be accepted. If he gave a false prophecy, then he is a false prophet. If he is not living in the things that he teaches, then he is a false teacher. If a man wants to stay with you, then let him but after two or three days he needs to get a job.

27 – 30

I have done hard and tiring work, and many times I did not sleep. I have been hungry and thirsty. Many times I have been without food. I have been cold and without clothes.

Besides all this, there is on me every day the load of my concern for all the churches. I feel weak every time someone is weak. I feel upset every time someone is led into sin. If I must brag, I will brag about the things that show I am weak.

A true pastor cannot help himself. He knows that he has to stay up all night helping families with troubles. He has to go to sad funerals and hospital beds. He goes to filthy jails to encourage men who have sometimes brought their problems on themselves. He is very tired but he does not know what else to do. A real pastor cannot stop no matter how bad things are.

“The first sign of the heavenly calling is a strong desire for the work. Do not go into the ministry if you can do some other kind of work.” Charles Spurgeon

31 – 33

God knows that I am not lying. He is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and he is to be praised forever.

When I was in Damascus, the governor under King Aretas wanted to arrest me. So he put guards around the city.

But my friends put me in a basket. Then they put the basket through a hole in the wall and lowered me down. So I escaped from the governor.

See Acts 9:24-25.