With New Eyes: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

With New Eyes: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Re-reading the Bible in search of examples of patience and humility. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 — “So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

MacArthur commentary for 2 Corinthians 7-10: “a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan.” This was sent to him by God, to keep him humble. As with Job, Satan was the immediate cause, but God was the ultimate cause. Paul’s use of the word “messenger” (Greek, angelos or angel) from Satan suggests the “thorn in the flesh” (lit., “a stake for the flesh”) was a demonized person, not a physical illness. Possibly, the best explanation for this demon was that he was indwelling the ring leader of the Corinthian conspiracy, the leader of the false prophets. Through them he was tearing up Paul’s beloved church and thus driving a painful stake through Paul…”to keep me from becoming conceited.” The assault was painful but purposeful. God was allowing Satan to bring these severe trouble in the church for the purpose of humbling Paul who, having had so many revelations, including a trip to heaven and back, would have been proud. The demonized false apostle attacking his work in Corinth was the stake being driven through his otherwise proud flesh. “Three times I pleaded.” Both Paul and Jesus had their request denied, but were granted grace to endure their ordeals…Paul took no pleasure in the pain itself, but rejoiced in the power of Christ that it revealed through him.

 

“Patience” Word Study: 2 Peter 3:15

“Patience” Word Study: 2 Peter 3:15

A Biblical word study in ESV. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

2 Peter 3:15 — “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him…”

MacArthur commentary: “…during the time of God’s patience, Christians should engage in seeking the salvation of souls.”

It appears that I have a long way to go in understanding and embracing patience and humility. Even as I study, the familiar flashes of ideas of how God might use me to do BIG things and make a name for myself (i.e. maybe out of this study I’ll write a best-selling book) distract me like tired mosquitoes buzzing in my ears. May God completely re-purpose my heart, and with it, my idea of serving and of success.

“Patience” Word Study: 1 Peter 3:18-20

“Patience” Word Study: 1 Peter 3:18-20

A Biblical word study in ESV. May God grant me the endurance to see this study carried out.

1 Peter 3:18-20 — “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.”

MacArthur commentary for 1 Peter 3:19: “Between Christ’s death and resurrection, his living spirit went to the demon spirits bound in the abyss and proclaimed that, in spite of his death, he had triumphed over them…’spirits in prison’ [refers] to fallen angels (demons), who were permanently bound because of heinous wickedness. The demons who are not so bound resist such a sentence (cf. Luke 8:31). In the end, they will all be sent to the eternal lake of fire (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10).”

MacArthur commentary for 1 Peter 3:20: “Peter further explains that the abyss is inhabited by bound demons who have been there since the time of Noah, and who were sent there because they severely overstepped the bounds of God’s tolerance with their wickedness. The demons of Noah’s day were running riot through the earth, filling the world with their wicked, vile, anti-God activity, including sexual sin, so that even 120 years of Noah’s preaching, while the ark was being built, could not convince any of the human race beyond the eight people in Noah’s family to believe in God…thus God bound these demons permanently in the abyss until their final sentencing.”