Stephen Law
husband, father, podcaster, and young adult pastor at Grace Covenant Church in Chantilly, Virginia.
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Boasting in Weakness
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
For when we're tempted to boast of a personal spiritual experience...
Published June 16th, 2019; Updated June 19th, 2019
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Main point summary
2 Cor 12:1-10
Main point summary
Paul does not boast of his visions; instead he boasts in his hardships that God uses to make him strong.
2 Cor 12:1-10
2 Corinthians 12:1-10
I must go on boasting.
Though there is nothing to be gained by it,
I will go on to visions and x revelations of the Lord.
I know a man y in Christ who fourteen years ago was z caught up to a the third heaven—
whether in the body or out of the body I do not know,
b God knows.
And I know that this man was caught up into c paradise—
whether in the body or out of the body I do not know,
b God knows—
and he heard things that cannot be told,
which man may not utter.
On behalf of this man I will boast,
but on my own behalf I will not boast,
d except of my weaknesses—
though if I should wish to boast,
e I would not be a fool,
for I would be speaking the truth;
but I refrain from it,
so that no one may think more of me
than he sees in me
or hears from me.
So f to keep me from becoming conceited
because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, 1
g a thorn was given me in the flesh,
h a messenger of Satan to harass me,
to keep me from becoming conceited.
i Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this,
that it should leave me.
But he said to me,
j “My grace is sufficient for you,
for k my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses,
so that l the power of Christ may rest upon me.
m For the sake of Christ, then, n I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For o when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul boasts of a man who was caught up in the third heaven fourteen years prior and heard secrets from God.
Paul explains that he will only boast of visions of this man and not for himself so that he doesn't elevate himself in others' eyes.
Paul pleaded with God to remove a thorn in his side, but instead, God gave him sufficient grace. Therefore, Paul boasts in his weaknesses.
Paul is content in his difficulties because when he is weak, he is really strong.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.