2 Corinthians 11:16-33

2Co 11:16-21 What was the difference between Paul’s boasting and that of his opponents?  See 2Co 11:17.  Did his opponents view their boasting against Paul as foolishness?  How does Paul sarcastically justify his foolish boasting to the Corinthians?  See 2Co 11:19.  In what 5 ways were the false apostles misleading the Corinthians?  See 2Co 11:20.  In what way were they enslaving them?  See Gal 2:4.  In what way were they devouring and taking advantage of them?  See Luke 15:30, 20:47, Rom 16:17-18, 1 Thess 2:5.  Paul had been accused by those opposing him in Corinth of being weak in substance—a mouse who roared—and having no real backbone (see 2Co 10:10); how does he answer this charge in 2Co 11:21?

2Co 11:22-25 What does 2Co 11:22 reveal about the religious background of those opposing Paul in Corinth?  How did Paul measure his service to Christ?  See 2Co 11:23 and following, Mat 5:10-12.  Is that how we measure our service to Christ?  How many of the things mentioned in 2Co 11:23-25 are recorded in Acts?  Note: Previous to his writing of this letter, Acts only records Paul’s imprisonment in Philippi (Acts 16:23), so there must have been others.  Some have conjectured he may have been imprisoned while in Ephesus (see 2Co 1:8, 1 Cor 15:32).  This is the only mention of his Jewish floggings, and only in Acts 16 is it recorded that he was beaten with rods (a Roman punishment), so there must have been two others.  Acts only records Paul’s shipwreck on the way to Rome, which was subsequent to this letter, thus Paul was shipwrecked at least 4 times!  What does this reveal about Paul’s natural tendency to boast about his trials and hardships?  What does God’s preservation of Paul through so many “dangers, toils and snares” teach us about how we should be willing to completely trust God even in the midst of the most severe trials?

2Co 11:26-29 What dangers and sufferings does Paul enumerate in his service to Christ?  See 2Co 11:26-27.  Is it necessary that a true servant of Christ will suffer in his service for Him?  See Acts 14:22, 1 Thess 3:3, 2 Tim 2:3-4, 3:12.  Knowing this job description of a true apostle of Christ, how many are willing to apply?  Besides the outward afflictions that accompanied Paul’s ministry, what inward concerns also afflicted him?  Will the true love of Christ feel any less concern for the welfare of those whom we have spiritually begotten than for our own children?

2Co 11:30-33 How would boasting of his weakness testify to the Corinthians that Paul was genuinely of Christ and not of the flesh?  Are those who are weak according to the flesh typically capable of such great things?  What does this teach us about how we should view our own weaknesses?

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