Ministry of Weakness
2 Corinthians 12
Open your Bibles to the second letter of the Corinthians, chapter 12. I am going to read verses 1-10. The opening verses of this chapter may seem a little strange. Paul is speaking of himself in the third person. Paul is giving his personal testimony of a time when he was caught up into the third heaven. He says it happened fourteen years ago. As you study the book of Acts,this probably took place on his first missionary journey, perhaps when he was stoned at Lystra and left for dead. We don't know.
In the first few verses, Paul is speaking about his own personal experience of God catching him up and showing him a vision of what it meant to be in heaven with the Lord.
1It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. 3And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) 4How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. 6For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. 7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. 8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that t ...
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