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2 Corinthians Chapter 11

Paul writes in this chapter for them to be wary of the jews amongst them that would seduce them away from the grace that is theirs in Christ. He warns they might by simplicity try to weave back into them the law of sin, rather than edifying them to the perfection of their faith. Having warned them not to judge authority after the outward appearance only, Paul warns them of their primary enemy in the gospel - the jews.

Paul firstly asks them to bear with his simpleness in this chapter. (v1) Because they are Paul's ministry in the gospel, and he is jealous to be the source of apostolic authority to them - they being much his own work in Christ already. (v2) Paul fears that by outward appearance they might be moved with subtlety away from the absolute truth of Christ and the gospel as was Eve moved away from the commandment by the serpent's subtlety. (v3)

Since, if they were to receive another gospel teaching of another Jesus or another Holy Spirit that Paul had not preached to them, Paul fears that they should listen and keep with such a false teacher (v4) The danger as previously stated is in their personal relationships with such men. Paul asserts he was very close behind the very first apostles of Christ and warns them that this subtlety is a real threat to every apostles work by saying this. (v5) Though Paul himself is simple in speech, he is not in knowledge - (for his knowledge of the truth of the gospel has been open to them wholly.) (v6)

Paul reminds them that he has put himself to trouble for their benefit so the gospel is given freely (v7) that other fellowships had supported him whilst he taught them. (v8) That he cost no one any thing whilst he was with them, as not a burden, which was his intent, and to remain so. (v9) Paul is proud of this, that no one will stop him preaching the gospel freely without becoming a burden. (v10) Why? because he shows great love for them (by jest.) (v11) But by occasion of preaching freely he makes himself their foremost apostle; so that he may be in the position to prevent false teachers from getting a foothold amongst them. (v12) That is, unless they be found to be preaching the same gospel.

For false apostles and deceivers - (the really dangerous ones) are wolves in sheep's clothing; and the subtlety of satan works through them (v13) - for even satan is attempting to seduce them to take the place of Christ. (v14) - therefore it is not surprising that false teachers come in the guise of teaching of Christ (v15) they will be recompensed at the judgement for their deeds.

Paul again asks them to bear with his folly if he seems to speak like a fool. (v16) For he does put himself forward a little to boast (v16) not after the manner of the gospel, (v17) but as after these false teachers (swaying them towards the jews and not Christ after the pattern of good behaviour only) he will boast a little of his own behaviour. (v18) For he calls these false teachers fools, but because the corinthians allow these fools space - he speaks as a fool to them ! (v19)

Since they allow great approach to be done against them in the gospel (after the manner of being violently treated) (v20) by false teachers, as if Paul himself had been weak towards them in truth (v21) Paul, is bold then in the things of his outward appearance as these jews seducing them are also bold.

Alike as they, he is a hebrew, an israelite, descended from Abraham, Paul is a minister of Christ outwardly as they are - (as they are only outwardly - as foolish) - Paul is more, having faced corporal punishment, disaster, peril, danger and in dire need for supply and sustenance (v24-27) besides having laid upon him all the care of the gospel in those churches of his ministry (v28) Paul is alike a man to any other (v29) So he will boast only of those things that relate to his own infirmities - not the strength of the gospel itself (v30) For God himself knows he boasts in truth of all these things as towards his own credit only. (v31) Even in Damascus he was under threat of arrest from the governor (v32) and escaped though being lowered out of a window (v33)

It is apparent that the "leaven of the pharisees" had begun to seduce some of the believers away from Christ - by concentrating only on whether a saved individual was circumcised or kept the law, or was descended from Abraham, Paul identifies the attack of satan upon the gospel. It was to give the jews pre-eminence amongst the believers according to their fleshly natures only. The Israel of God is and always has been His people - but the nation is now a spiritual one translated into the law of faith through the cross of Christ. Physical Israel, or the jews of their day are (were) no longer the chosen people. By mixing in the rejection of the gospel of grace for the law and the rejection of Christ by the jews because of false preeminence, the gospel is subtly diminished - the true freedom of grace and the ministering of the Holy Spirit is swapped for traditions or conditions that have no effect.


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