We have been talking about the thought life, now Paul is giving an example of where this can become a real liability in our pursuit of Jesus.

  1. Outward Appearances 7 – 11
  1. You pay too much attention to outward appearances. Vs 7
    1. Christianity became too superficial and external.
      1. Ancient writing about the year 200 “A man of small stature, with a bald head, and crooked legs in a good state of body with eyebrows meeting and nose somewhat hooked.
    2. People were concerned about appearances in their pursuit of Jesus.
  2. Paul’s claim to authority is mostly positive Vs 8
    1. he is called to build up believers
      1. Paul knows his authority comes from the lord.
        1. humble stature makes it hard for Paul to write about his own authority.
      2. Paul sent by Christ is now called to build up the saints
        1. Satan is the one of chaos.  God will bring order in his kingdom.
      3. Whereas false apostles bring strife and disunity.
  3. Paul’s letters were designed to build up in holiness and obedience Vs 9
  4. the accusers state his letters are demanding and forceful. 10a
  5. They viewed his bodily presence as not having a commanding appearance 10b
  6. His speeches are worthless.10c
    1. looking back at all Paul accomplished, it is hard to grasp the criticisms here.
  7. Paul shows his anger a little here. Vs 11
    1. Paul is really struggling with the concept that he had to put in both of the letters we have.  He came to the Corinthians in fear and trembling and maybe not a great speaker.  Now there are those who are criticizing him and an attack against him was an attack against the lord who called Him.

2. Paul does not base his esteem on his own commendation. Vs 12 – 18

  1. People who compare themselves by others in their same field.
    1. Paul knew what he was in himself
      1. The super apostle though I am nothing 2 Corinthians 12: 11
      2. I am the least of the apostles 1 Corinthians 15: 9
      3. he that plants and waters is nothing 1 Corinthians 3: 7
      4. Who is less than all the saints Ephesians 3: 8
  2. Why is comparing ourselves with others such a trap?
    1. False apostles have no truth to compare themselves with.
    2. Arrogance in our accomplishments can amount to nothing of significance accomplished.
    3. There is no standard that others are operating their spiritual gift right.
  3. We move outside our authority Vs 13
    1. We begin to minister outside the (dance) God has given us.
      1. Because Paul loved sports, he is using the wording of a runner racing in their lane and not someone else
      2. Even Paul was stopped when he tried to minister outside of his sphere
    2. We are no longer dependent on what God has for us and we minister in the flesh.
    3. We make decisions over things where we have no right to make decisions.
      1. There will always be people who try to give advice over areas that their advice was not even asked for.
      2. this can be the problem that happens when we spend so much time trying to find our spiritual gift.  They are the Holy Spirit’s gifts and they flow through us to minister to others.
  4. Paul is reminding the Corinthians about how they started as a church. Vs 14
    1. Paul came and started them on one of his missionary journeys
  5. The real heart of an apostle Vs 15
    1. We want you to go beyond what we have started as a ministry.
    2. You are not jealous about others advancing in their spiritual gifts.
    3. What would happen if someone was raised to take your place?
    4. EXAMPLE: Elijah and Elisha.
  6. We want to see our ministry expand so we can go onto other areas and complete what God has for us. Vs 16
    1. We will not take credit for what others are doing.  We will only boast in what God is doing.
  7. Anything that happens is only from God and he is the one who builds and promotes Vs 17
    1. Jeremiah 9: 23, 24 “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
  8. If we feel the need to boast in ourselves, we disqualify ourselves from the work of the ministry Vs 18
    1. EXAMPLE; Smith Wiggelsworth in seeing his name in lights.
    2. 1 Corinthians 4: 5 let God reward what is happening in the lives of others.
    3. Paul wanted the Corinthians to respect him, but for their sakes not his own.  They were only hurting their own spiritual growth by rejecting him.  We are Babies in Christ when we criticize other ministers and ministries.