Sermon, Sunday July 23, 2017

Title: Ineffable Glory, Miserable Thorns and the Sufficiency of Grace 2 Corinthians 12.1-10

Speaker: Frank V. Ellis

Series: If I Must Boast

2 Corinthians 12.1-10 Discussion Guide and Notes

USE THE FOLLOWING TO EXPLORE TOGETHER GOD’S WORD. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO “COVER” ALL THESE POINTS.

  1. Read 2 Corinthians 12.1-10 and pray together asking the Lord to teach us together His Word that we might believe it and do it.
  2. Ask someone to give a one minute review of problem Paul is dealing with in 2 Corinthians 10-12.
  3. Read vv 2-5 and ask the group to summarize it. A vision? An out of body experience? Third heaven? (paradise [Genesis 2.8, 15; Luke 23.43; Revelation 2.7], presence of God, abode of redeemed gone home to be with the Lord [Philippians 1.21; 2 Corinthians 5.6-8]).
  4. Who is this man? How long ago did this happen? What details does Paul tell us? Has anyone experienced a vision or revelation like this?
  5. Paul had had other visions and revelations. Acts 9:12; 16.9-10; 18.9-10; 22.17-21; 23.11; 27.23-24.  Has anyone ever felt the Lord’s presence and direction and comfort in a very personal, vivid and clear way? Paul must have spoken about some of these with his closest friends, they would have needed to know about many of them. However in his letters he does not normally share the content of his visions and revelations. Why? (2 Corinthians 12.6)
  6. Someone who frequently says things like, “The Lord told me this morning to . . .” Are they crazy? Are they lying? Could this be used to manipulate?
  7. Read 2 Corinthians 12.7. Would this be a good title for this passage of scripture: Ecstasy and Agony? Why?
  8. Anyone want to share some of their “THORNS”?
  9. What does 2 Corinthians 12.8-9 tell us about prayer? Was Paul’s prayer “unanswered”?
  10. Can anyone identify something painful that the Lord has and/or is using in their life to advance the Kingdom of God?
  11. Anyone bewildered about how the Lord could possibly use their “weakness”?
  12. 2 Corinthians 12.10. Share and pray for one another’s:
  • weaknesses
  • insults
  • hardships (things lacking or desired but not attainable)
  • persecutions
  • calamities

CLOSE. (perhaps stand, hold hands ….. say together multiple times: “For when I am weak, then I am strong. “)

Let us pray that we can move beyond this just being “theory” or a Bible verse we know, and truly experience God’s power as we live daily aware of our helplessness and need to depend on Him.

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