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The Spirit of Humility

"16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little. 17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. 19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly. 20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face. 21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison." 
Good Morning Beloved,
We're so glad you're here
Welcome to worship!
In our ongoing study of the book of II Corinthians, we're moving toward the end of the eleventh chapter.
As I previously stated, from a theological context, a spiritual standpoint, it lacks, that said, what we do have the Word of the living God; and what is not apparent on the surface, I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal to us, giving us a clear understanding, an application of the truths contained within this portion of the Word. 
False teachers, false prophets, false apostles and deceitful liars, all have a common thread. They seek to destroy the truth, God's truth, and in order to destroy the truth, you have to discredit those who are teaching the truth teachers. Though many try, it’s difficult to hide who we are and what we are. Our habits, actions, sooner or later, all tell on us. We may think that we are, but in the end, others will see us as we really are. It’s impossible to hide who we really are.
Paul says in Acts 20:19, "serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials which came upon me through the plots of the Jews;" If Paul going to maintain his integrity, he must also maintain his humility.
Paul never had any problem boasting about Christ and telling of His sufferings, however, he was always hesitant to speak of his own painful experience as a servant of the Lord. Because the spiritual welfare of a congregation in danger of being led astray is at stake, what Paul is about to do in this passage is contrary to his character. Why? Because he feels it is necessary to write about himself and boast in his experiences. 
These false teachers appeared in Corinth, disguised as Christ's messengers, angels of light, yet bringing with them a satanic gospel, a different Jesus, and making false accusations against Paul. They were attacking his credentials, his preaching, his style, even his physical appearance. Claiming if he were really a man of God, he would have lived a life above lesser men, he would have been arrogant and he would have placed a remuneration
Let's bow our heads in prayer.
Heavenly Father,
We thank You for this powerful truth in Your Word for us today. Thank You for a small glimpse into such a huge issue, a lesson of humility. Open our hearts and minds to receive it and make the necessary application to our lives, may it impact the lives of those we touch. Lord, when situations arise and force us to a self-defense, we pray that You would produce in us that humility do it reluctantly, thoughtfully, and humbly.
May we meet the standards set before as our example, in Christ Jesus, that may do so with meekness. Thank You, Father, for this wonderful time in fellowship together, may it be used wisely, mightily in our service to You, and in our lives, all for Your glory and the glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
In His name we pray 
Today's Message: The Spirit of Humility
In our ongoing study of the book of II Corinthians, we pick up the text in verse 16 of the eleventh chapter. Paul picks up the theme of foolishness again. He initially launched that theme in verse 1: "I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me." He thinks the whole idea of defending himself is just plain foolishness It’s just folly. However, it has become a necessary folly. So here he is, he’s going to boast; he has to. Another disclaimer as to just how foolish it is seems necessary to him.
Paul says in verse 16, "Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little." As Proverbs 26:5 says, "Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes." In other words, I just have to do this. I  have to do it. I have to answer a fool according to his folly. Paul's enemies had boasted a lot, they boasted endlessly, therefore, forcing Paul to have to boast a little.
In verse 17, Paul says "What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting." I find it interesting, that Paul is not denying the inspiration of his words, but rather, he is admitting that, by boasting, he was being very unlike the Lord. Paul wanted to be like Christ, and by boasting, he was not following the example of Christ. Still, he felt that he had to do it to prove his love for the Corinthians and to protect them from those attempting to lead them astray. 
I'd also like to mention, there are Godless, unbelieving people who call themselves Bible teachers and scholars, who have used verse 17 to teach that Paul didn’t claim to be inspired by God, that when Paul said, "What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would," suggesting that Paul is making a disclaimer, that what he wrote, what he spoke didn't come from God. That beloved, is just how far the enemy will stoop to attack a man of God! Lest we forget, it was Paul, who said, In II Timothy 3:16-17, that "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."
And what Peter said in II Peter 3:15-16, "and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction."

I can tell you, that is a very difficult place to find yourself in. When you are being falsely accused by the enemies of the church, people who ridicule and say things about you that are just not true, and you’re forced into necessary self-defense for the preservation of the truth. It's quite uncomfortable really.

In verse 19, Paul gives us another disclaimer, sarcasm, this time however, its directed at the Corinthians.
"For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly." Sarcasm is the strongest kind of ridicule, a cutting form of language. And Paul uses it to make a strong point here in verse 19. It's like saying to someone, "Well, aren't you something?" When in fact, you mean the opposite.

Sarcasm wasn't new to Paul, and this is certainly not the first time Paul uses it to make his point.
Allow me to read to you I Corinthians 3:18. "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise."
And I Corinthians 8:2-3, where Paul says, "If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him."
What Paul was essentially saying in verse 19, "For you being so wise, bear with me in my foolishness, since you obviously enjoy listening to fools." And there in verse 20, "For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face." In other words, "Well, aren't you so smart,  you're so smart, that you’ve been humiliated, exploited and dominated by these false teachers! Not only do they manipulate you and put you completely under their control, but they take away your money and your possessions! You're real smart aren't you?"

Then Paul says in verse 21, "To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself." What Paul is really saying here is, "You ought to be ashamed for your stupidity in gladly receiving those false lying apostles. I didn't do any of that, I am so weak. I didn’t manipulate you. I didn’t intimidate you. I didn’t abuse you. I didn’t take advantage of you. I didn’t exploit you. I didn’t humiliate you. I didn’t do any of that. Because I’m just so weak."
In Closing...
If we are humble, the promises of Scripture is that you will be heard by God when you pray, delivered by God when you're in trouble, have the privilege of enjoying the presence of God, be honored by God, live a long and prosperous life, be the object of God’s special attention and personal care, be lifted up and exalted by God, be the greatest in His kingdom, receive the grace of God, inherit the earth and eternal glory; and you will be like Christ.

Beloved, I want to challenge all of you with us today, to give more thanks than we ever have. We need to thank God for His redeeming love. "He first loved us." "When He was on the cross I was on His mind. He knew me yet He loved me." We need to thank God that we can worship Him. How long after you enter this building does it take before you really are worshiping Him? We need to thank God for letting us use these bodies to serve others. You are the only Bible that some people will ever see.
May it be so.... 
And now may the Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you; 
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace. 
Now and forever, in Jesus' name
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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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