2 Corinthians 1:12-22
vs. 12, Boast
27 out of the 55 times Paul uses the term boast is found in 2 Corinthians.
Paul has a lot to say on the topic of boasting.
It is often associated with bragging, vanity, and arrogance.
At the very beginning of 1 Corinthians Paul warns the church to not boast in men.
Paul talks about how misplaced his boasting and confidence was before he met Jesus (Philippians 3:3-8)). He considers it all rubbish compared to knowing Christ.
He tells the Galatians to only boast in the cross of Jesus (Galatians 6:14).
It is not out of place to characterize the believers in Corinth as proud or boastful. They had adopted a false means of measuring spirituality and Paul’s role as an Apostle.
Paul’s goal is to nurture understanding.
This will help them understand the nature of the cross and the courageous, comforted, delivered resolve of God’s children.
How do you boast inoffensively and in line with the gospel?
The key is the centeredness of our boasting.
Am I boasting in man? or Am I boasting in God?
Boasting is related to confidence, and confidence is good if one places it in the right things. My confidence is in the goodness and splendor of God.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”
2 Corinthians 5:12 We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart.
Paul wants their relationship to be that of a mutuality of Pride.
The focus is not on human accomplishment, but in the glory or magnificence of God.
Paul’s life was a demonstration of Jesus centered living.
He behaved with simplicity.
He was filled with Godly sincerity.
His actions were not based on earthly wisdom.
He lived, breathed, and spoke God’s grace.
His objective was the benefit of others.
Question: Is my life a demonstration of Jesus centered living? Which of the areas just mentioned need my attention?
Conscience -> not the inner voice that urges us to do right or annoys us when we do wrong.
It refers to the internal human evaluation where by a person approves or disapproves of their actions and the actions of others.
Paul believes he has acted with simplicity and sincerity.
How do we know if we have acted sincerely?
Warning! It is not enough to say my conscience is clear.
1 Corinthians 4:4 For I am not aware of anything against myself (my conscience is clear), but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.
The key question, Am I aligned with God’s truth? Do I have the mind of Christ?
2 Corinthians 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Question: Do you operate in life with the philosophy, “I’m good.” Do you over emphasize self evaluation over Jesus centered communal evaluation?
Sincerity -> Paul wants the church in Corinth to know that he has approached them with wholeness (integrity). He has been guided by God’s grace.
1 Corinthians 2:5 so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
We have been given by God power to live according to his will.
vs. 13, Our approach is plain and simple speech.
vs. 14, Mutuality of pride
encouraging and benefiting from spiritual gifts
fully equipped by the Holy Spirit to share abundantly in every good work.
Question: Are you consistently engaged in these activities? If not, why not? What is standing in your way?
vs. 15-17, Paul travel plans
Ephesus -> Macedonia -> Corinth
Before writing 1 Corinthians there was a change of plan.
Hope to visit Corinth 2 times (a second experience of grace). Before and after Macedonia. Allowing them to join God’s work by sending Paul on to Judea (1 Corinthians 16:3-6).
Paul following in the footsteps of Jesus. (vs. 17-18)
Matthew 5:37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.