2 Cor 12:7 – Power in Weakness

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

We don’t know what Paul’s thorn was but we do know that its origin was demonic and that it troubled him sufficiently for him to call fervently, on three occasions, in concerted prayer for God to remove it.

In this life we will have to deal with weakness no matter how spiritual we are. (The weakness we are dealing with here is not sin but areas of limitation beyond our control)

Faith in God should be of such a robust nature that we are not afraid to ask God why?

Points to Consider 

  • Weakness can lead us to despair and depression.
    • If we have faith in ourselves then weakness leads to despair and depression
    • Weakness can be a faith reducing mechanism if we allow it.
  • In weakness we learn humility but in strength we are tempted to pride .
    • Psa 18:27 For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.
    • Psa 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
    • Psa 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; he adorns the humble with salvation.
    • Ch 26:14-16 And Uzziah prepared for all the army shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging. In Jerusalem he made engines, invented by skilful men, to be on the towers and the corners, to shoot arrows and great stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.
  • It’s in weakness we learn our limitations.
    • Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 (NIV) What does the worker gain from his toil? [10] I have seen the burden God has laid on men. [11] He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
    • Nothing in this life will ever be perfect and even the things that we perceive are perfect don’t remain perfect for very long.
  • It is in weakness that the possibility for faith exists.
    • Unfortunately it is often when we become strong and lack weakness that we lose our need of God.
    • Matthew 11:25 (NIV) At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
    • 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. [28] He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, [29] so that no one may boast before him.
  • It is in weakness that the Holy Spirit helps us
    • Romans 8:26 (NIV)In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
  • Paul did not come across in strength but in weakness
    • 1 Corinthians 2:3 (NIV) I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
  • The way we view the weaknesses of others leads to judgement or love
    • Most judgement and criticism of others stems from the way we view their weakness. Rom 15:1 We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
  • Our boast in weakness leads to the exaltation of God
    • 2 Corinthians 12:5 (NIV) …………, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses.
    • Psa 34:2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.
  •  

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him to serve you.

Mat 23:8-12 TITLES, the Elevation Temptation

Mat 23:8-12 (NIV) “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.

Adam and Eve were tempted by a desire to be elevated and be like God. Satan fell because he wanted to be like God and receive worship and adoration that belonged to God alone. Titles are a way to elevate ourselves above others and receive their admiration and respect. Jesus forbids this practise.

Every Title

Jesus expressly forbids the use of 3 common titles, used in His day, for those  who were instructing others spiritually. The purpose of Jesus words are  not to single out only these three, but, every title we may ascribe to a person in spiritual authority. The bible makes it clear that we are all brothers. More importantly though, we should never ascribe to man what belongs to God.

Phi 2:9-11(NIV) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

Modern Titles

Father, Rabbi, Reverend, Pastor, Prophet, Evangelist and Apostle are the most common titles we have in the church today. The intent of this scriptures is to prevent the use of any title even if the title describes what a person does. Paul taught, and we can call him a teacher; But, he was always referred to as Paul and not as ‘teacher’, or ‘teacher Paul’. Peter was an apostle  but he was never referred to as ‘Apostle’, or ‘Apostle Peter’. The same can be said of the numerous people who pastored churches in the early church. No one in the early church was ever given, or called by a title.

Stop Using Titles

We should never use a title for ourselves  in a spiritual context. And, we should never address people in the body of Christ with a title, as we are commanded by Jesus not to do so.