SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- In today’s chapter Paul continues to defend himself.
- Paul tells the Corinthians that they have allowed people to deceive them, leading them away from God and His truth. Paul calls these other teachers “false-apostles, deceitful workmen and masquerading as apostles of Christ.”
- He makes a statement about Satan, saying that he “masquerades as an angel of light.” Paul is saying that the enemy is often masked as a messenger from God -- a wolf in sheep's clothing. This is why we must closely examine what God is telling us and whatever messages we hear preached, to make sure they align with God's Word as given to us in the Bible.
- In the second section, Paul compares himself to the "false teachers" and makes his case that he is more of a servant of Christ than they. Interestingly, his "evidence" is all of the suffering he has gone through - he says that his suffering and weakness is the proof of his life lived for God.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- We need to know God's Word well enough that we recognize it when someone is trying to deceive us through false teaching.
- The good news of God is that we get to live life relying on His grace. His grace isn't only what gets us into Heaven in the future; it's what we rely on to get through everyday. That means instead of being ashamed or our weaknesses, or trying to hide or compensate for our weaknesses, we can be proud of and boast in them. Why? Because they force us to rely on God all the more.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- The fact that you're doing this Bible study today shows that you are committed to growing in your knowledge of God's Word. Way to go! This will help you to recognize what is not true, and to build your life on what is true. Keep reading the Bible everyday!
- Take joy in the fact that you have a God who loves you perfectly, and who is strong. His strength can come into your weaknesses, and so you can boast in your weaknesses. More on this thought tomorrow, don't miss 2 Corinthians 12!