Paul And The False Apostles
I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness;
2 I AM JEALOUS FOR YOU WITH A GODLY JEALOUSY.
I PROMISED YOU TO ONE HUSBAND,
SO THAT I MIGHT PRESENT YOU AS A PURE VIRGIN TO HIM.
3 BUT I AM AFRAID
THAT JUST AS EVE WAS DECEIVED BY THE SERPENT'S CUNNING,
YOU MINDS MAY SOMEHOW BE LED ASTRAY
FROM YOUR SINCERE AND PURE DEVOTION TO CHRIST.
4 For if someone comes to you and Preaches a Jesus
Other than the Jesus we Preached,
Or if you receive a Different spirit from the one you received,
Or a Different Gospel from the one you accepted,
You put up with it easily enough.
5 But I do not think I am in the least
Inferior to those 'super-apostles.'
6 I may not be a Trained Speaker,
But I do have knowledge.
We have mad this perfectly clear to you in every way.
7 Was it a Sin for me to lower myself
In order to Elevate you
By Preaching the Gospel of God to you free of Charge?
8 I Robbed other Churches
By receiving support from them so as to serve you.
9 And when I was with you and needed something,
I was not a burden to anyone,
For the brothers who came from Macedonia
Supplied what I needed.
I have kept myself from being a Burden to you in any way,
And will continue to do so.
10 AS SURELY AS THE TRUTH OF CHRIST IS IN ME,
No body in the regions of Achaia will stop this Boasting of mine.
11 Why? Because I do not love you?
GOD KNOWS I DO!
12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing
In order to Cut the Ground from under those
Who want an Opportunity to be considered equal with us
In the things they boast about.
13 FOR SUCH MEN ARE FALSE APOSTLES,
MASQUERADING AS APOSTLES OF CHRIST.
14 AND NO WONDER,
FOR SATAN HIMSELF MASQUERADES
AS AN ANGEL OF LIGHT.
15 IT IS NOT SURPRISING, THEN,
IF HIS SERVANTS MASQUERADE
AS SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
THEIR END WILL BE WHAT THEIR ACTIONS DESERVE.
Paul Boasts About His Sufferings
16 I repeat:
LET NO ONE TAKE ME FOR A FOOL.
But if you do, then receive me
Just as you would a Fool,
So that I may do a little Boasting.
17 In this self-confident Boasting
I am not talking as the Lord would,
But as a Fool.
18 SINCE MANY ARE BOASTING
IN THE WAY THE WORLD DOES,
I too will boast.
19 YOU GLADLY PUT UP WITH FOOLS
SINCE YOU ARE SO WISE!
20 IN FACT,
YOU EVEN PUT UP WITH ANYONE WHO ENSLAVES YOU
OR EXPLOITS YOU OR TAKES ADVANTAGE OF YOU
OR PUSHES HIMSELF FORWARD
OR SLAPS YOU IN THE FACE.
21 TO MY SHAME I ADMIT
THAT WE WERE TOO WEAK FOR THAT!
What anyone else Dares to Boast about--
I also Dare to Boast about.
22 are they Hebrews?
So am I.
Are they Servants of Christ?
So am I.
Are they Abraham's Descendants?
So am I.
( I am out of my mind to talk like this.)
I am more.
I have worked much harder,
Been in Prison more Frequently,
Been Flogged more Severely,
And been Expose to Death again and again.
24 Five times I received from the Jews
Forty Lashes minus one.
25 Three times I was Beaten with Rods,
Once I was Stoned,
three times I was Shipwrecked,
I spent a night and a day in the open sea,
26 I have been Constantly on the move.
I have been in Danger from rivers,
In Danger from Bandits,
In Danger from my own Countrymen,
In Danger from Gentiles;
In Danger in the City,
In Danger in the Country,
In Danger at Sea;
AND IN DANGER FROM FALSE BROTHERS.
27 I have Labored and Toiled
And have often gone without sleep;
I have known Hunger and Thirst
And have often gone Without Food;
I have been Cold and Naked.
28 BESIDES EVERYTHING ELSE,
I FACE DAILY THE PRESSURE OF MY CONCERN
FOR ALL THE CHURCHES.
29 WHO IS WEAK,
AND I DO NOT FEEL WEAK?
WHO IS LED INTO SIN,
AND I DO NOT INWARDLY BURN?
30 If I must Boast,
I will boast of the things that show my Weakness.
31 THE GOD AND FATHER OF THE LORD JESUS,
WHO IS TO BE PRAISED FOREVER,
KNOWS THAT I AM NOT LYING.
32 In Damascus the Governor under King Aretas
Had the City of the Damascenes Guarded
In order to Arrest me.
33 But I was lowered in a Basket
From a window in the wall
And Slipped through his hands.
(2 Corinthians 11)