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2 Corinthians 11

Talks for Growing Christians

Christian Conduct and Suffering for the Sake of Christ

2 Corinthians 11

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Lesson Number 13

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. There is a time and place to defend your Christian conduct.
  2. There is a time and place to share your Christian experience.

Practical Application

  1. Be a skeptic about the so-called “Being of Light.”

Questions

  1. What was one of Paul’s purposes for writing 2 Corinthians?
  2. Where in this chapter do we learn a bit of theology about Satan?
  3. Why was it necessary for Paul to defend his Christian conduct?
  4. How did Paul contrast himself with the false apostle?
  5. What prompted Paul to share his Christian experience?

Answers

  1. To defend his apostolic authority
  2. Verses 14-15 teach that Satan can disguise himself as “an angel of light.” He can appear to serve righteousness, but it is a mask to hide deceit and false teaching.
  3. Because the false apostles were slandering his conduct, and Paul was afraid the Corinthian believers would be deceived and led astray.
  4. a. Paul was not as skilled in speech as they were, but he surpassed them in knowledge b. They exalted themselves; Paul humbled himself c. They charged for their services; Paul supported himself and the work at Corinth through gifts from other churches
  5. The false apostles were boasting about their credentials, and the Corinthians were impressed with their foolish approach. Paul, with much irony and sarcasm, decided to do a little boasting himself to show that these false apostles didn’t come close to the apostle Paul when it came to credentials.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Your personal Christian conduct can have a positive or negative effect on your work for the Lord. Do you practice what you preach? Do you walk what you talk? Give an example of this important principle from your life.
  2. When you share your Christian testimony, be certain you are bringing glory to God and not glory to yourself. With that in mind, do you have something to share?

Challenge

  1. Paul’s testimony here certainly defeats the “health and wealth” preaching. Paul says that his suffering showed that he was identifying with Christ. To suffer for the sake of Christ is the norm for Christian experience.

Key Verses

  • “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 11:14
  • “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.” 2 Corinthians 11:29-30

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