2 Corinthians 12
Talks for Growing Christians
Paul Continues to Defend His Apostleship
2 Corinthians 12
Lesson Number 14
- God may or may not give third heaven experiences to believers.
- God may or may not remove thorns in the flesh from believers.
- Don’t read too much into Scripture.
- Against what accusations is Paul defending himself in 2 Corinthians?
- What does Paul mean in verse 11 when he says he became “a fool in boasting”?
- What should the Corinthians have looked at as proof of Paul’s apostleship?
- What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh?
- Give Paul’s three reasons why God did not remove his thorn in the flesh.
- The false teachers at Corinth were undermining Paul’s credibility as an apostle. Here he continues to defend his apostleship.
- Normally he would not have shared his spiritual experiences and qualifications as an apostle, because he would have needed to. Because of the Corinthians’ doubts he must.
- They should have commended him because:
a. He had lead them to Christ and was their spiritual father. He had founded the Church at Corinth. Chapters 10-11.
b. He had done signs, wonders, and miracles in their midst as God confirmed his words as an apostle. 2 Corinthians 12:12
- We don’t know. Many suggestions have been made, including eye problems, headaches, a speech impediment, etc.
- a. It kept Paul humble.
b. The Lord said that His grace was sufficient for Paul.
c. The Lord’s power is perfected in weakness.
- Discuss Paul’s spiritual experience described in 2 Corinthians 12. What can we learn from this about “third heaven experiences”? Do you need to seek such an experience?
- Do you have a “thorn in the flesh”? If God has chosen not to remove it, what good has come because of it? Be comforted by the promise: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
- Many people are uncomfortable will the thought of Paul using irony in his writing (see verses 13 and 16.) Irony is a valid and effective literary style. Let God’s Word say what it says.
- “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years agoÖ was caught up to the third heaven.”
2 Corinthians 12:2
- “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9