2 Corinthians 11:16-21 Reluctant Boasting

The apostle Paul continues his rebuke of the Judaizers in Corinth by addressing their boasting which he deems inappropriate. Because he was labeled as soft spoken and weak by the same false teachers in Corinth, Paul calls on his audience to extend to him the same courtesy as that offered to pagans throughout the region.

16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little.” (2 Corinthians 11:16)

Paul’s accomplishments and the souls saved along his missionary journey were certainly sufficient for the apostle to boast. His hope was that even as a fool for Christ the gospel would be received since the word of God never returns void.

17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.” (2 Corinthians 11:17)

Paul warns his readers he is about to emulate the same foolishness displayed by the false teachers in Corinth who were boasting of their own accomplishments and past relationship with Christ.

18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. 19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!” (2 Corinthians 11:18-19)

The Judaizers were measuring themselves according to wordily standards as they invited the Corinthians to follow in their footsteps rather than Christ’s. Relying on a false, flexible gospel, the deceptive teachers in Corinth were forced to tolerate mediocrity in order to receive their wages.

20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.” (2 Corinthians 11:20)

Making reference to possible incidents, Paul confronts his opposers by enumerating the various circumstances they were forced to endure as part of their deceptive self-serving endeavor. The apostle acknowledges lacking the type of wisdom necessary to keep up with the foolishness exuded by the Judaizers, which Paul compared to Satan and his angels of deception.

21 To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.” (2 Corinthians 11:21)

Paul had been described by his opposers as physically weak, which he admit to with christ like shame. The apostle foolishly calls himself as bold as the next guy knowing full well any boasting on his part would be indeed foolish and not of God.

How are we to apply this section of Paul’s letter to our lives? We must use Paul’s experience with false teachers and opposers, and channel the apostle’s energy through the Holy Spirit as we find ourselves inundated with an outpouring of blessings along our spiritual walk. Leave the boasting to hypocrites and self-serving wolves in sheep’s clothing… Let us pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: DanielStPierre@ThriveThroughChrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.