Episode #160. Today we’ll read 2 Corinthians chapter 11 together. Paul warns of false apostles and tells us how he has suffered for Christ.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #160. Today we’ll read 2nd Corinthians chapter 11 together: Paul warns of false apostles and tells us how he has suffered for Christ.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
We’ve all heard the saying that the best things in life are free. Many years ago, Mitch’s grandmother passed away and we were at a family gathering at her home. There was a simple little wind chime hanging in a tree in her backyard, with a cast iron top and copper tubes. It probably cost her a few dollars from an import store. Mitch asked if he could have it to remember her by.
We have purchased myriad wind chimes since then, some of them are fancy affairs that have brushed aluminum tubes many feet long and are so loud they have to be tied up in a storm. Others are tuned to specific tonal chords that sound quite melodious when they chime.
But there is none that warms our hearts as much as the simple tinkling sound made by granny’s wind chime in a gentle breeze. The copper has turned green from years of oxidation, and it has had to be restrung many times. It hangs outside our bedroom and often lulls us to sleep.
The gift we have in Christ Jesus is also free…and it is the greatest prize of all. Isn’t it amazing that we have a God who loves us so much He has given His only-begotten Son, this precious pearl who promises eternity with Him? If you have not yet accepted this free gift, I pray that you will do it soon. I would be honored if you would share that news with me at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
2 Corinthians Chapter 11
Paul and the False Apostles
I wish you would put up with a little foolishness from me. Yes, do put up with me! For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, because I have promised you in marriage to one husband — to present a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your minds may be seduced from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if a person comes and preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or you receive a different spirit, which you had not received, or a different gospel, which you had not accepted, you put up with it splendidly!
Now I consider myself in no way inferior to those “super-apostles.” Even if I am untrained in public speaking, I am certainly not untrained in knowledge. Indeed, we have in every way made that clear to you in everything. Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by taking pay from them to minister to you. When I was present with you and in need, I did not burden anyone, since the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my needs. I have kept myself, and will keep myself, from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows I do!
Paul’s Sufferings for Christ
But I will continue to do what I am doing, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want to be regarded as our equals in what they boast about. For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no great surprise if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will be according to their works.
I repeat: Let no one consider me a fool. But if you do, at least accept me as a fool so that I can also boast a little. What I am saying in this matter of boasting, I don’t speak as the Lord would, but as it were, foolishly. Since many boast according to the flesh, I will also boast. For you, being so wise, gladly put up with fools! In fact, you put up with it if someone enslaves you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone is arrogant toward you, if someone slaps you in the face. I say this to our shame: We have been too weak for that!
Paul Will Boast About Weaknesses
But in whatever anyone dares to boast — I am talking foolishly — I also dare: Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I’m talking like a madman — I’m a better one: with far more labors, many more imprisonments, far worse beatings, many times near death.
Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea.
On frequent journeys, I faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers among false brothers; toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing. Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
If boasting is necessary, I will boast about my weaknesses. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. In Damascus, a ruler under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus in order to arrest me. So, I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands.
Paul warns us that false teachers will come and try to deceive us. He tells us that Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it should not surprise us when we see people who pretend to be Christians presenting a gospel that deviates from the Gospel taught in the Bible.
Their motives are varied: some do it to manipulate others for selfish reasons; some do it out of ambition for money or power; and some do it hoping to lure us away from the saving grace of God’s word.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that we are to rightly divide the word of God. This requires us to be in the word every day, so that we will be able to distinguish between teachings that are harmonious with the Bible and those that present us with a false gospel. It is also important that we be involved with a church body that anchors its beliefs in the Scriptures. And we should also participate in Sunday School, so that we are continuously learning and reinforcing correct doctrine.
This is why I do this podcast…I am hoping to encourage you to be in the word every day, even when all you have time for is to listen to me read the Bible to you while you make the bed or drive to work. It is my sincere hope that you find the word of God as important and satisfying to your daily life as I do mine. Let’s pray.
Dear Father, I pray that you will help us to develop the knowledge we need to distinguish false teachers from those who are grounded in Your word; that we will be able to readily identify those who are adding to or subtracting from the Gospel. Give us a lifelong hunger for the Bible and your Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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