2 Corinthians 11:1-15
A mother went to wake her son for church one
Sunday morning. When she knocked on his door, he
said, “I’m not going!”
“Why not?” asked his mother.
“I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One,
they don’t like me. Two, I don’t like them.”
His mother replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons
why YOU WILL go to church. One, you’re 47 years
old. Two, you’re the pastor!”
Last week we studied 2 Corinthians 10 where Paul
defended his apostolic authority. He explained to the
church at Corinth that they ought to make wise choices in
the midst of accusations. Today we are going to take a
look at the first 15 verses of chapter 11. In these verses
Paul continues to defend his apostolic authority, but he
does it in such a loving way towards the church at
Corinth. This morning we are going to see 3 ways Paul
loved the church at Corinth.
Let’s start by reading the first 6 verses of chapter 11
2 Corinthians 11:1-6
A Jealous Love
It’s ironic that Paul asks the Corinthians to bear with him
in a little foolishness when they are the ones being
Paul writes about his divine jealousy of the church at
What he means is that he loves the church just as Christ
loved the church.
He brought the Good News to them and is the father of
He feels a deep love for them just as a father loves his
daughter who he will give away in marriage.
The church is the bride of Christ and they should remain
pure for Jesus the bridegroom.
Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us that God is a jealous God.
Paul is jealous for the church to remain sincere and
purely devoted to God.
But he knows they haven’t. The church at Corinth has
forsaken their first love, just like the church at Ephesus
as Jesus mentioned in Revelation 2.
He then goes on to compare the church to Eve being led
astray by the cunning of the serpent in Genesis 3.
The serpent deceived Eve and led her to question what
God had actually told them.
Warren Wiersbe writes “Satan is a liar and tries to
get us to listen to his lies, ponder them, and then
believe them. This is what he did with Eve. First, he
questioned God’s word(Yea, hath God said?), then
he denied God’s word(Ye shall not surely die!), and
then he substituted his own lie.(Ye shall be as
The same thing is happening in the church at Corinth.
The false teachers are proclaiming another Jesus.
It was actually Jesus and the law that they were
They received a different spirit and a different gospel
than the one Paul preached to them.
Paul preached Christ and Him crucified and resurrected.
And here is where we see more jealousy from Paul.
The church “put up with it readily enough”.
Paul has been saying all along that the church needs to
root out the false teachers and expel them from the
Next, Paul argues that he is not the least inferior to the
super apostles. They may have style and panache, but
Paul has knowledge and wisdom from God.
A story is told about a dinner party where the
guests were expected to stand after the meal and
recite something for the group.
A famous actor was present, and he recited the
twenty-third Psalm with great dramatic flair and
emotion, and sat down to great applause.
Then a very simple man got up and began to recite
the same Psalm. He wasn’t very eloquent, so at
first people thought it was a little funny. But his
presentation was straight from his heart, so when
he finished the group sat in respectful silence.
It was obvious that the simple man’s presentation
was more powerful than the actor’s, and
afterwards the actor told him: “I know the Psalm,
but you know the Shepherd.” Paul knew the
Shepherd, so the substance of his preaching was
profound even though not “pretty” to Grecian ears!
The content and the heart behind the message is what is
important, not the delivery.
Paul had a sincere love for Corinth.
2 Corinthians 11:7-11
A Generous Love
Here we see more sarcasm from Paul.
He asks if he committed a sin by humbling himself so
that they might be exalted.
Of course he didn’t. He was doing what Jesus did while
He was on earth. He humbled Himself by being obedient
to the point of death.
Paul humbled himself by putting their needs first and by
serving them and not taking any money from them.
We see what Paul did as showing generous love.
The false teachers spun it differently.
They were very proud of their oratory skills and they
weren’t afraid to take a healthy wage for their speaking
They argued that you get what you pay for.
The more expensive the speaker the better they must be.
Paul didn’t charge anything for the gospel he preached.
He preached the Good News for free just like Jesus did.
Also the grace of God is free.
Of course it cost Jesus His life, but it is free to us.
It’s interesting that Paul didn’t take anything from the
church at Corinth because they were extremely wealthy.
They could have totally afforded it, but he knew that the
false teachers would use it against him if he did take the
money from them.
Paul once again employs sarcasm when he says he
robbed other churches when he served Corinth.
They were glad to provide for him. And guess what
churches were supporting him while he was serving
Corinth? Macedonian churches. The ones that were poor
and afflicted, yet they willingly gave to support Paul.
Paul goes on to mention his boasting which he said in the
last chapter ‘let him who boasts boast in the Lord’.
But he is not really boasting about anything that he has
done in the flesh. Everything he is boasting about is how
God has used him and called him by His will to serve
Why has Paul done everything he has done for Corinth?
Because he loves them.
He even testifies that God knows his love for the church.
2 Corinthians 11:12-15
A Protective Love
Finally, Paul shows a protective love by calling out the
false teachers and calling them what they are, satan’s
Paul writes that he is trying to undermine the false
teachers by exposing them for claiming to do what Paul
was really doing.
Paul was preaching truth, they were masquerading
around like wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Isn’t that just like the devil?
He isn’t going to come at you with a neon sign that says
“I’m bad!” or “Sin Here”.
His goal is to deceive and to create doubt.
He’s going to make you think your sin is ok.
Paul calls them false apostles.
Earlier he referred to them as super apostles, but in
reality they are not teaching the truth, but a lie.
He calls them deceitful workmen. Like I said earlier,
The word disguise in the Greek means to alter the
outward appearance in such a way as to deceive or to
feign to be what one is not.
Paul even mentions the fact that Satan even disguises
himself as an angel of light. When he is really the
epitome of darkness.
Deception is exactly what the devil tries to do.
Jesus had this to say about Satan in John 8:44b
“When he lies, he speaks out of his own character,
for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Paul loves the church at Corinth and shows it by
protecting them against the schemes of these false
In verse 15 Paul writes that they will get what they have
coming to them in the end.
We all know that the devil will be cast in the lake of fire
and all who have rejected Jesus will be judged for their
works. And they will be forever separated from God and
His wonderful kingdom.
So, how should we respond to this message this
I think the crux of Paul’s message for these verses is
found in verse 3. He is afraid that the church is going to
be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
We as a church and individual believers should be
Be Devoted to Christ
The church is the bride of Christ and we must not be
defiled or found unfaithful to Him.
We must be faithful to the preaching of the word, loving
others and to following the great commission.
There is nothing or no one else to whom we owe
Let’s keep our eyes fixed on Him because He is coming