Summary: A Time To Boast – 2 Corinthians chapter 11 verses 1-33 – sermon by Gordon Curley. PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
He boasts in his jealousy over the Church (vs 1-6)
He boasts in his generosity to the Church (vs :7-21)
He boasts in his Sufferings for the Church (vs 22-33)
• He looked down the lens of a TV camera and shouted out the words,
• “I am the greatest!”
• The media nicknamed him, "Louisville Lip"
• He called himself by another name,
• And throughout his career he boasted he was "The Greatest,".
• People either loved him or hated him;
• Some bought tickets to see him take one on the chin and be humbled;
• Others because they loved his showmanship.
• But one thing is for sure;
• In the world of boxing he was the champ!
• Muhammad Ali used to boast that in the boxing ring was that he could;
• "Float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee, the hands can’t hit what the eye can’t see".
• He knew how to brag in an attempt to psyche out his opponents.
• And his boasting was all part of that.
• He says in his book, ‘The Soul of a Butterfly’,
• That on one particular flight, that the flight attendant asked him to put his seat belt on.
• He said to her, "Superman don't need no seat belt".
• She smiled at him and said, "Superman don't need no plane, either."
• Well, if you will forgive the pun;
• I guess even Muhammad Ali had feet of ‘Clay’
• TRANSITION: This chapter is about boasting;
• You might not expect it from an apostle of God;
• But there is irony, sarcasm in his boasting.
• And as we look at this chapter;
• We will note the apostle Paul boasts regarding three areas of his life.
• Now if you were here last week;
• You might remember that I mentioned that the apostle Paul had experienced hostility.
• Opposition from within this Church at Corinth.
• That opposition was in the form of bitter criticism from some teachers in the Church.
• These false teachers showed joined the Church;
• After the apostle Paul had moved on to plant a Church somewhere else.
• Because they were new comers to the Church at Corinth;
• They did not know him and had no loyalty to him;
• Instead of recognising his apostleship, they just found fault in him and in his message.
• These false teachers were into showmanship, they were dynamic preachers,
• For them performance mattered more than substance!
• And the Church of Corinth had been won over by them.
• A Native American Indian in Arizona once listened to a politician give a speech;
• When someone asked him what he thought of it;
• He replied, "Big wind! Loud thunder! No rain!"
• TRANSITION: Lots of noise but no content;
• And for these false teachers performance mattered more than substance!
As the apostle writes to correct these problems, he uses ‘sarcasm’ in this chapter;
• The apostle Paul will turn his opponents allegations on themselves.
• To paraphrase he is saying:
"These new teachers who oppose me love to boast,
so I too will use their methods and do a little boasting too!"
• So the apostle has been forced to boast.
• He has been forced to defend his apostleship.
• And he will do it in an ironic way.
• He admits (verse 17) that he is not following Christ's example by doing this;
• Jesus had every reason to stick out his chest and boast - but he never did!
• Remember that the apostle is using sarcasm to make his point;
• And he knows that his boasting will glorify Christ;
• Because all that he boasts about will be about the work of Christ in him.
• So in boasting about himself he is ultimately boasting about Jesus.
Paul boasts over three matters.
(1). He boasts in his jealousy over the Church (vs 1-6)
“I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the snake’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.
5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those ‘super-apostles’.[a] 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way”