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2 Corinthians 12 - We're not the Super Duper Church

If you're looking for a church to affirm every part of your life, the true Church is not for you, but there's good news!

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2 Corinthians 12 Summary

Paul has spent considerable time over these past chapters comparing fad religion, represented by the super apostles (literally super-duper - v11), with the true Church. In chapter 12, it becomes clear that he's just as exasperated writing about this as what we are reading about it.

In the opening verses, he very sarcastically writes of what was likely his own personal experience being taken up into heaven. His point here isn't to tell us about what heaven is like (he's been forbidden to tell about that - v4), but rather to illustrate that his goal in ministry is not building up his own ego driven empire, but rather to point people away from himself and towards Christ.

The most famous part of this chapter comes where Paul tells about the thorn that was given to him (isn't it interesting that all things - both good and bad - can be considered gifts from God?). Even after multiple sincere prayers to have the thorn removed, God let it be, and instead replied with a promise much more powerful than the burden:

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (v9).

Dig Deeper

We often think of church as the place we go to find some respite from the burdens and stresses of life; the place we go for a break from the temptations that constantly bombard us.

These chapters in 2 Corinthians remind us that there's a tension in the role the church plays in your life. Indeed the church is a place of respite, inviting us with the words of our Savior: Come all who burdened and you will find rest (Matt. 11:28).

Paul is reminding the Corinthians that although you are more than welcome to come into church filthy from sin, you must make every effort to keep yourself clean after you leave. If you don't make this effort, which the Corinthians were not, then it's discipline, not comfort, that you'll find waiting for you from the church.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our caring Father who gives us all sufficient grace and power in our weakness (v9).

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will find Christ's strength even in your own weakness (v10)




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