Christian Basics Bible Sampler - Page 43

page 1333 • 2 Corinthians 12
speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge.
We have made this clear to you in every possible way.
Was I wrong when I humbled myself
and honored you by preaching God’s Good
News to you without expecting anything in
return? 8 I “robbed” other churches by accepting their contributions so I could serve
you at no cost. 9 And when I was with you
and didn’t have enough to live on, I did not
become a financial burden to anyone. For
the brothers who came from Mac­e­do­nia
brought me all that I needed. I have never
been a burden to you, and I never will be.
As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, no
one in all of Greece* will ever stop me from
boasting about this. 11 Why? Because I don’t
love you? God knows that I do.
But I will continue doing what I have
always done. This will undercut those who
are looking for an opportunity to boast
that their work is just like ours. 13 These
people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as
apostles of Christ. 14 But I am not surprised!
Even Sa­tan disguises himself as an angel of
light. 15 So it is no wonder that his servants
also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.
Paul’s Many Trials
Again I say, don’t think that I am a fool
to talk like this. But even if you do, listen
to me, as you would to a foolish person,
while I also boast a little. 17 Such boasting
is not from the Lord, but I am acting like a
fool. 18 And since others boast about their
human achievements, I will, too. 19 After all,
you think you are so wise, but you enjoy
putting up with fools! 20 You put up with it
when someone enslaves you, takes every­
thing you have, takes advantage of you,
takes control of every­thing, and slaps you
in the face. 21 I’m ashamed to say that we’ve
been too “weak” to do that!
But whatever they dare to boast about—
I’m talking like a fool again—I dare to boast
about it, too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I.
Are they Is­ra­elites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abra­ham? So am I. 23 Are they
servants of Christ? I know I sound like a
11:13-15 See False teaching, page 1443.
madman, but I have served him far more!
I have worked harder, been put in prison
more often, been whipped times without
number, and faced death again and again.
Five different times the Jew­ish leaders
gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times
I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned.
Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent
a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26I have
traveled on many long journeys. I have faced
danger from rivers and from robbers. I have
faced danger from my own people, the Jews,
as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced
danger in the cities, in the deserts, and
on the seas. And I have faced danger from
men who claim to be believers but are not.*
I have worked hard and long, enduring
many sleepless nights. I have been hungry
and thirsty and have often gone without
food. I have shivered in the cold, without
enough clothing to keep me warm.
Then, besides all this, I have the daily
burden of my concern for all the churches.
Who is weak without my feeling that
weakness? Who is led astray, and I do not
burn with anger?
If I must boast, I would rather boast
about the things that show how weak I am.
God, the Father of our Lord J­esus, who is
worthy of eternal praise, knows I am not
lying. 32 When I was in Da­mas­cus, the governor under King Ar­et­ as kept guards at the
city gates to catch me. 33 I had to be lowered
in a basket through a window in the city
wall to escape from him.
Paul’s Vision and His Thorn in the Flesh
This boasting will do no good, but
I must go on. I will reluctantly tell
about visions and revelations from the
Lord. 2 I* was caught up to the third heaven
fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my
body or out of my body, I don’t know—only
God knows. 3 Yes, only God knows whether
I was in my body or outside my body. But I
do know 4 that I was caught up* to paradise
and heard things so astounding that they
9:9 Ps 112:9. 9:10 Greek righteousness. 
9:12 Greek of God’s
holy people. 
9:15 Greek his gift. 
10:4 English translations
divide verses 4 and 5 in various ways. 10:7 Or You look at things
only on the basis of appearance. 
10:17 Jer 9:24. 11:2 Greek a
11:10 Greek Achaia, the southern region of the Greek
11:26 Greek from false brothers. 
12:2 Greek I know
a man in Christ who. 
12:3-4 Greek But I know such a man, 4that
he was caught up. 

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