In All Patience

2Corinthians 12:11-13 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chief apostles, though I be nothing. Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds. For what is it wherein you were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong. 

‘I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chief apostles, though I be nothing.’ Paul states that he has become senseless in boasting (11:16), but they have compelled him. They should have vindicated both him and his ministry before his enemies among them, for they know his apostolic power which he used among them (12:11-12).

‘Signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.’ No man is an apostle without these signs. There are two things that constitute apostleship: Faith of God’s elect. [Greek, pistis] confidence, faithfulness, trust, pledge of good faith. Acknowledging [Greek, epignosis] full knowledge of the truth which is after godliness (Tit. 1:1). Full and true knowledge are requirements for all apostles as well as disciples (Col. 3:10; 1:9-10; Rom. 1:28; 3:20; 10:2; Eph. 1:17; 4:13; Php. 1:9; 1Tim. 2:4; 2Tim. 3:7; Heb. 10:26; 2Pet. 1:2, 3, 8; 2:20). Ignorance is the state of the average heathen who gets to know only a little about nature. Christianity teaches man the true and full knowledge of God and nature, and of the origin and destiny of all things (Acts 15:18; Eph. 2:7; 3:9-11).

Although discipleship continues as we grow in Christ, apostleship ended with the authors of the New Testament. They were all chosen by Christ Himself. Today, however, there are those who call themselves apostles. One cannot call oneself to an office when God stated in Revelation 22:18-19 that if we add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book [Revelation] and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Thus to ‘add’ or ‘take away’ of the Word of God will cause damnation.

‘Forgive me this wrong.’ If refusing to take support from them is the only thing Paul has failed them in, he asks them to forgive him and clear the record.

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