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1 Corinthians 01:29

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November 8th, 2012 | Filed Under: 1Corinthians, Author, Book Studies, Mitch Kuhn0 Comments | Author:

God will not have flesh glory in his presence.

1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

by Mitch Kuhn
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2Co 11:3 NKJV But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2Co 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

Paul is being compared to these false apostles who are boasting in their flesh, so to make a point Paul is going to do the same.

2Co 11:16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little.
2Co 11:17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
2Co 11:18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.

2Co 11:22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.
2Co 11:23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
2Co 11:24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
2Co 11:25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
2Co 11:26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
2Co 11:27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
2Co 11:28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.

Paul is pointing out that if the Corinthians want to compare the flesh of those preaching to them, Paul certainly comes behind in nothing and is even superior to these false apostles in many ways. He also makes it know that this kind of boasting is not profitable.

2Co 12:1 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast….

2Co 12:6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

Next, Paul is going to tell us that we should boast in our weakness. He will also describe how God has made him humble and keeps him that way.

2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2Co 12:11 I have become a fool in boasting; you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you; for in nothing was I behind the most eminent apostles, though I am nothing.

God has shown Paul that it is actually his weakness that has made him strong in the spirit. All of the fleshly accomplishments are nothing compared to the way God works through our weakness.
Here is another passage where Paul explains the same thing.

Php 3:3 NKVJ For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,
Php 3:4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so:
Php 3:5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee;
Php 3:6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
Php 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Let me give you examples of this in my own life so you can see how it can be applied today.

I have no confidence in the flesh, though I have some good reasons to boast in the flesh. I have been a Christian as long as I can remember. I spent 13 years in a Christian school attending weekly bible classes. I went to college and joined a campus ministry called, “Campus Crusade for Christ”. After two years of studying with them, I joined their staff and moved to Italy for a year to be a missionary. I forsook the family business, made my parents very upset, and spent a year studying and preaching what I thought was the Gospel. I zealously persecuted anyone that thought all men would be saved.

I returned to Texas and lead bible studies and discipled 5 or so freshmen individually every week. I also began to work full time. I then moved on to leading a group of young men my age and was appointed to the young adults elder board at my Church. I was more zealous than nearly all of my peers. I was admired and looked up to by my peers, and respected by the Church leadership.

Just like Paul on the road to Damascus, it all came crashing down on me. I had a dream that Satan would be saved along with all men. I immediately started to research the hell doctrine and found it to be false. Not long after, my bible study group was taken from me, I was out of Church leadership, and I was labeled as “dangerous”. This was a very intense time of trials, and my mind was filled with a mix of new truths and new false doctrines. I must have looked totally crazy from the outside, as I was trying to figure out the truth. I just knew that I could not stay in Church and find the answers.

I left my Church in the fall of 2007. Now nearly 5 years later, I agree with Paul that it is best to boast in my infirmities. The Lord struck me with great trials of health. By the age of 26 I had been through three back surgeries, the last of which left permanent damage. Having been a good athlete, this was a crushing experience. I suffered great depression and anxiety for years due to severe digestive troubles. The Lord also caused every business venture I have attempted, to fail miserably. I work for my father’s business and manage what he built, and have not been able to build anything of my own.

All of this was and is necessary, so that I could receive the mysteries of the kingdom.

2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.

I have been given an abundance of revelation, and many thorns to go with it. Anything that I would desire to accomplish in the flesh has been taken from me. I have been given enough health back that I can labor in the word, exercise physically to a degree, and work at job that meets my physical needs. Compared to what I once had, and what I once dreamed, I am very poor in the flesh. Like Job I am starting to received double back, yet thorns always present. It may not look like double back to the rest of the world, but to me it feels like double, even a hundredfold.

Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

Now looking back, I can say that all these things of the flesh are nothing compared to what I have gained in Christ.

Php 3:7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.
Php 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,

I hope this encourages you to look at your life and what you have lost, and see the riches you are receiving in Christ. We do receive a hundredfold now in this life.

Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal (aionios) life.

I have a new family of faithful brothers and sisters in Christ. I have the fruit of the spirit, including peace and joy. I also know the only true God and his son, Jesus Christ.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

I am gaining dominion over my beast within, and have good things to share with those around me. My flesh certainly has no room to boast, because God has used my weakness to shame me that this verse might be true in my life.

1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

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