Bear With Me, 2 Cor 11:1-33

Paul wanted the Corinthians to bear with him through some boasting.  They might well bear with [meaning “in all likelihood they would bear with”] a fellow preaching false doctrine [2 Cor 11:4], so they should certainly bear with Paul. 

He wanted them to bear with him:

Being jealous over them with godly jealously – 2 Cor 11:1-4 – he espoused them to Jesus Christ as a chase virgin [in Eph 5:25-32 we are to Christ what Eve was to Adam].  As the serpent beguiled Eve, Paul feared that men would corrupt the minds of the Corinthians from the simplicity that is in Christ.  They typically corrupt the simplicity of Christ with another Jesus [like the wafer in the Roman Catholic Church, or the created Jesus of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons], another spirit [like the Charismatic churches], or another gospel [like you find in Gal 1:6-9].  The doctrine is easy to corrupt because men at their core are religious.  Thus, it makes sense when some man’s doctrine or works are added to salvation.

Speaking plainly in person toward them – 2 Cor 11:5-6 – Paul was not a whit [one bit] behind the chiefest apostles and they knew it.  His rudeness was manifested in his directness and plain preaching [1 Cor 2:1-5].  He was not enticing them with fancy words.

Preaching the gospel to them without charge – 2 Cor 11:7-11 – Paul preached the gospel to them freely.  Paul explained his manner in detail in 1 Cor 9:6-18.  Macedonia supplied his want when he needed something [Phil 4:15-18].  Paul did not desire to be burdensome to them.  And he stressed that “no man will stop me of this boasting.”  He assured them of his love for them.

Calling other ministers among them false apostles – 2 Cor 11:12-15 – those who gloried in themselves sought occasion [a favorable opportunity] for them to glory.  They were no different than Paul was, except they were false apostles.  They were deceitful workers and they transformed themselves into apostles of Christ.  There were only 15 apostles total.  In Matt 10:2, we find the original 12.  In Acts 1:25-26, they added Matthias to replace Judas.  InActs 8:1, we see that the apostles didn’t leave Jerusalem [Acts 15:2].  In Acts 14:14, Paul and Barnabas are the only other two apostles.  Barnabas probably replaced James [Acts 12:1-2].  There are no apostles today.  Satan transformed himself into angel of light.  So, his ministers transformed themselves as ministers of righteousness.

See how Satan counterfeits Christ.  Jesus Christ is God [1 Tim 3:16], an Angel [Ex 3:2, 14 w/ Jn 8:58], Light [Jn 9:15], a Lion [Rev 5:5], a Serpent [Jn 3:14], Anointed [Matt 16:16], and a Root [Rev 5:5].  He has a Bride [Eph 5:25-32], he has a city [Gal 4:26], he was hung [Gal 3:13], he preached 42 months [Lk 3:23 w/ Jn 2:13, 5:1, 6:4, 12:1] and he’s from Judah [Heb 7:14].

The devil is “as” God [2 Thes 2:2-4].  He is an angel [2 Cor 11:14], a light [2 Cor 11:14], a lion [1 Pet 5:8], a serpent [Rev 12:9], anointed [Ezek 28:14], and a root [Is 14:29].  He has a bride [Rev 17:4-5], he has a city [Rev 17:5, 18:2], his man was hung [Matt 27:5], his man will preach 42 months [Rev 13:5], his man is Judas [Jn 17:12; 2 Thes 2:3; Rev 17:8]

Glorying in his infirmities suffered for them – 2 Cor 11:16-33 – in this passage Paul listed all the things that happened to him as he ministered for the Lord.  In verse 16, if otherwise means if not.  So, Paul was saying, “I’m not a fool, but it you think I am, then receive me because you suffer [allow] fools gladly [2 Cor 11:19].  The list is astounding.  The scars and physical damage to his body were a testimony to his sincerity to help the Corinthians and others get saved and get in the right doctrine.  Those who had come to corrupt the Corinthians had no such marks to show for their labors.  These infirmities were the marks of the Lord Jesus [Gal 6:17].  When Paul referred to Damascus he was showing them that even from the beginning of his ministry Paul had borne reproach and suffered persecution for preaching the truth.

Conclusion: Paul wanted them to bear with him since they had allowed others to come in and corrupt the simple preaching of the cross.  They needed to be reminded that he jealously guarded them from false apostles who would subvert their faith, that he spoke plainly so they would understand the truth, that he preached without charge because he loved them, and that he alone had suffered for them.  These other guys had suffered nothing.