Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of II Corinthians Chapter 11
Metaphysically Interpreting II Corinthians 11:16-33
11:16I say again, let no man think me foolish; but if ye do, yet as foolish receive me, that I also may glory a little. 11:17That which I speak, I speak not after the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of glorying. 11:18Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 11:19For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves. 11:20For ye bear with a man, if he bringeth you into bondage, if he devoureth you, if he taketh you captive, if he exalteth himself, if he smiteth you on the face. 11:21I speak by way of disparagement, as though we had been weak.
Yet whereinsoever any is bold (I speak in foolishness), I am bold also. 11:22Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 11:23Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. 11:24Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 11:25Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; 11:26in journeyings often, in perils of rivers, in perils of robbers, in perils from my countrymen, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 11:27in labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 11:28Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches. 11:29Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is caused to stumble, and I burn not?
11:30If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my weakness. 11:31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed for evermore knoweth that I lie not. 11:32In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king guarded the city of the Damascenes in order to take me: 11:33and through a window was I let down in a basket by the wall, and escaped his hands.
April 25, 1915: II Cor. 11:22-28
From the very beginning of its existence as a sect Christianity has had its factions. There were divisions among the various early churches, one being for Peter, another for Paul, and another for Christ, as if all were not for Christ.
There was disparagement of Paul's apostolic rank by the adherents of Peter. He had not, like the twelve, known Christ personally. His witness of Christ was second-hand, while theirs was direct. There were attacks upon Paul's character and authority, charging that:
- His conduct was based on no settled principles (II Cor. 1:17 etc.).
- He was inclined to self praise (II Cor. 3:1; 5:12; 10:3).
- He assumed authority, to which he had no right (II Cor.10:11).
- He was a traitor to his country and a renegade from his faith (II Cor. 11:22).
- He was no true minister of Christ (II Cor. 10:7; 11:23).
- Although he ventured to place himself on a level with those who were (II Cor.11:5; 12:11).
In this lesson Paul defends himself against these charges. The list of hardships which he endured for the cause of Christ are almost incredible, and the persecutions of which we complain in this age seem very puerile compared with them. That he should go right forward in the work without an intimation of weariness or discouragement shows that he was moved by a higher power than human ambition.
From the day of his illumination near Damascus, Paul was a changed man. He gave up at that time his religion, his friends and his reputation. To the Jews he became an outcast and the Gentiles regarded him with suspicion, even that he was a madman. When he told the story of his conversion his listeners thought with Festus, “Thy much learning hath made thee mad.”
October 28, 1928: II Cor. 11:28
Is the giving that is referred to by Paul and by Jesus restricted to material things? The giving of material things unaccompanied by a helpful thought or word is futile. We should always accompany our gifts with some substantial thought or word. To give to charity with the idea that it is almsgiving, and that the one receiving the gift is in great need, increases the lack and sows broadcast the need of additional charity. Giving without wisdom is nonproductive of good.
December 17, 1950: II Cor. 11:18-30
What is the best testimony to our qualifications for our chosen work? The results that we achieve in doing the work itself.
Is the same thing true of the measure of our Christ-likeness? Yes. Our deeds are more convincing always than our words. Deeds are the ultimate proof of our faiths and intentions.
Is boasting ever allowable, and if so, under what circumstances? Boasting is never in good taste. A statement of fact is allowable, when misrepresentation is distorting the truth and destroying the possibility of our future usefulness by challenging our qualifications or impugning our motives or intentions. Such a state of fact is not boasting; it enables others to arrive at a better understanding of the matter.
Why did Paul reiterate that he was speaking foolishly? The word of Truth (which Paul here represents) endures, and is neither strengthened nor weakened by the opposition of the sense consciousness.
Why then is Paul’s summing up of his many years of service in the cause of Christ of such value to us? Because it brings home to us a realization of what the indomitable spirit can accomplish, and it inspires us to emulate Paul's example of endurance, perseverance, and faithfulness.
Can inner trials prove a source of weakness? They can and do when we yield to them.
What is the best thing for us to do when pressed by inner trials? Develop a constructive viewpoint, and affirm that what we see in Spirit is now manifest and is done.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 12-01-2013