In 2 Corinthians 11:1, the apostle Paul pleads with the church in Corinth, “bear with me in a little foolishness.” As he closed out chapter 10, he rejected self-commendation. Yet, the situation in Corinth was such that Paul could not defend his authority, and thus his message, without presenting his own credentials. He calls his own self-commendation “foolishness.” In 11:1-15, he presents three arguments as to why the Corinthians should stand with him and obey his teaching.
The elements in the worship service for this Lord’s Day echo Paul’s concerns in these three arguments.
PREPARATION FOR WORSHIP
Call to Worship Psalm 9:1-2
Note: “Jesus is Lord”—that is the briefest summary of our faith. It also explains why the only approval we seek is his (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:18). We begin our service with a call for all to acknowledge His lordship: angels, believers now in heaven, believers still on earth, and believers from every nation.
Worship through Giving
Response: 73 Holy Savior, We Adore Thee
Hymn Insert Not What My Hands Have Done
Note: Paul exhibited divine “jealousy” for the Corinthians like a father watching over his daughter. His goal was to present them to their Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. This hymn describes the bond of love that exists between us and our Lord: “He calls me his, I call him mine, my God, my joy, my light.”
Scripture Reading Acts 20:17-38
Note: In this passage, Paul met with the Ephesian elders for the last time. He recounted his ministry in their city and warned them to guard against false teacher, some of whom would arise within the church. His predictions reflect the situation he faced in Corinth.
Hymn 588 A Mighty Fortress is Our God
Note: We recently sang this song in connection with 2 Corinthians 10:1-6 because there, Paul indicated that we are engaged in a spiritual battle. We sing it again because our current text specifies that false teachers who seek to undermine the truth of the apostles are servants of Satan. Even so,
The Prince of Darkness grim—
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
Message Jealousy, Humility, and Warfare
2 Corinthians 11:1-15
Pastor Steven Thomas
Hymn Insert Rise Up, O Men of God!
Note: We conclude with a fitting summary of Paul’s call to the Corinthians. He wanted them to stand with him and obey his teaching because great things were at stake: the health of the church, the advance of the gospel, and their own perseverance. These things are at stake in every generation, so we say to the church:
Rise up, O men of God!
The Church for you doth wait,
Her strength unequal to her task;
Rise up, and make her great!
Prayer Response Mark Williams
Benediction John Miles