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Gard
Sep 15th 2007, 05:37 PM
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

2 Corinthians 12:7 NASB

I just finished reading The Man In White by Johnny Cash. It's a book about the life of Paul.

All sorts of theories abound about the thorn in Paul's flesh....some say epilepsy, lust, speech impediment, and club foot. This is just speculation, but could the thorn in his flesh have been guilt over his actions towards the church before his conversion? Just simple curiosity on my part.

Brother Mark
Sep 15th 2007, 05:52 PM
Well, we know it was a messenger from Satan. There are hints here and there about the way this messenger manifested itself. But who can know for sure?

justsurfing
Sep 15th 2007, 06:06 PM
ummmm... don't think I'm tooooo weird... but I was born again in a face to face salvation, and have received "exceedingly great revelation".

The "thorn in the flesh" in my experience is literally being spiritually "impaled" by a spiritual force and power of Satan... a literal messenger of Satan. Now, it may manifest itself physically in whatever manifestation of physical ailment, etc... but it's a literal spiritual attack.

God's grace is sufficient. After my personal full revelation of hell subsequent to full revelation of grace in a full apostolic salvation (part of the full revelation of grace and spiritual union in Christ - not all, I'm saying)... I was buffeted and impaled.

God's grace is sufficient. My spiritual strength renewed and restored... and by force and power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit within me... the "sword" of the messenger of Satan that impaled me was expelled.... and I'm full armor up, baby... and Satan has "hell" to pay. Cause I'm coming... I'm coming... I really am coming... out of my prayer closet soon. lol

Sometimes what we have to minister, we have to minister as the result of great sufferings... even suffering being buffeted by a messenger of Satan.

Furthermore, more Christians experience the very same thing spiritually with physical manifestation. But it is the apostolic office, imo, that experiences and ministers the manifest presence of God... the spiritual reality of dimension... most powerfully.

That's why Paul experienced the buffeting manifestly... because great revelation... causes one to "step into" the Spirit... manifestly. (And thus be gifted of God to impart the Spirit in ministry manifestly... all part of the same deal in the Spirit.)

Bottom-line, Paul experienced manifestly the spiritual side of being buffeted by Satan with a thorn in his flesh... but this attack of Satan is not limited to those who have received great revelation... they're just more "aware" of it by virtue of fully heightened gifts of spiritual discernment.

And do I have a sense of humor? I have a sense of humor. (This was years ago.) I would lay on my couch being "racked" by a spiritual sword going straight through my heart with my friends there praying for my spiritual strength to be regained (experience an immersive plunge into hell... sigh... and one is completely weakened... but strength is restored in power from on high... )... and I'd laugh and joke, "Well, if there was a support group for apostolic prophetesses being buffeted by a thorn... I'd join it!!! But I think we're a little rare." lol (It was funny, they thought so, at the time.)

Yeah, I know... TMI... but you asked.

;)

Love in Christ,

js

Toymom
Sep 15th 2007, 06:53 PM
I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.

ChristopherE
Sep 15th 2007, 09:14 PM
I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.

I agree. It would make sense - he was blinded after all. Never fully recovered?

also it's often said the following refers to how largely he is writing:

Gal 6:11 (http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/popup.pl?book=Gal&chapter=6&verse=11&version=kjv#11)¶Ye see how large a letter I have written unto you with mine own hand.

VerticalReality
Sep 15th 2007, 09:31 PM
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

2 Corinthians 12:7 NASB

I just finished reading The Man In White by Johnny Cash. It's a book about the life of Paul.

All sorts of theories abound about the thorn in Paul's flesh....some say epilepsy, lust, speech impediment, and club foot. This is just speculation, but could the thorn in his flesh have been guilt over his actions towards the church before his conversion? Just simple curiosity on my part.


I believe Paul's thorn in the flesh was persecution.

jesuslover1968
Sep 15th 2007, 10:23 PM
I would have to go with the actual spirit from satan. Perhaps a demon that followed him around. I have also heard it said somewhere that it was the slave girl who was a medium, but I have to reject that because she didn't always follow him around. I don't think it was his sight because the bible tells us his sight was restored. There is no mention that it was only partially restored.

enarchay
Sep 15th 2007, 10:31 PM
I also believe it was Paul's constant persecutions. The word translated "buffet," kolaphizo, means, "to rap with the fist." This corresponds with Paul's statement that he does not battle with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces (that obviously work through flesh and blood).

nzyr
Sep 15th 2007, 11:37 PM
I think it was an injury he got from a person or people attacking him while being a minister and preacher. Since he called it a 'thorn in the flesh' it was probably very painful. I think it was a recurrent pain that came and went but never left him entirely. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. - Acts 14:19

Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes

Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes

Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. save one. - 2 Corinthians 11:23-26

enarchay
Sep 15th 2007, 11:40 PM
I think it was an injury he got from a person or people attacking him while being a minister and preacher. Since he called it a 'thorn in the flesh' it was probably very painful. I think it was a recurrent pain that came and went but never left him entirely.

That is a really good point! He may have received some sort of permanent injury. Maybe he was stoned in one eye and blinded or something similiar to that? In any case, I think the thorn in the flesh was the result of persecution (ongoing or otherwise).

Dandylionheart
Sep 16th 2007, 05:04 AM
I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.

Yeah Toymom
I think it was his eyesight.

VerticalReality
Sep 16th 2007, 05:43 AM
I thought it was something related to his eyesight. He speaks of his epistles being written by someone else but signed by himself I think and I think there are other indicators that he had vision problems - Gal 4:15 for one.

I believe it is evident in Scripture that the reason he had eye problems when he came to the Galatians is because he had just gotten stoned in Lystra. He makes note in Galatians that his eye problems were not permanent but only temporary.

jeffweeder
Sep 16th 2007, 06:23 AM
He alludes to the fact that it was his eyes;

GAL 4
13 but you know that it was because of a bodily illness that I preached the gospel to you the first time;
14 and that which was a trial to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus Himself.
15 Where then is that sense of blessing you had? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.

roshkoch
Sep 16th 2007, 06:49 AM
Was the mention of the thorn for the sake of mention or more to examplify that life might not be perfect even after conversion?

Tanya~
Sep 16th 2007, 07:42 AM
The thorn in the flesh was apparently a physical infirmity.


2 Cor 12:7-10
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. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 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. 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.


Gal 4:13-16
13 You know that because of physical infirmity I preached the gospel to you at the first. 14 And my trial which was in my flesh you did not despise or reject, but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. 15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?

He was blinded by the light on the road to Damascus. His sight was restored when Ananias spoke to him (Acts 9:17-18), but it is possible that he continued to have problems with his eyes, even though he was not blind any more.

TEITZY
Sep 16th 2007, 08:18 AM
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me--to keep me from exalting myself!

2 Corinthians 12:7 NASB

I just finished reading The Man In White by Johnny Cash. It's a book about the life of Paul.

All sorts of theories abound about the thorn in Paul's flesh....some say epilepsy, lust, speech impediment, and club foot. This is just speculation, but could the thorn in his flesh have been guilt over his actions towards the church before his conversion? Just simple curiosity on my part.


An old post by me below. I think the context (of the whole Epistle, not just the surrounding verses) make it abundantly clear what Paul's "thorn" was. Surely a "messenger of satan" is synonymous with "Satan's...ministers"?


I think his thorn was a person. Just before this in 2 Cor 11:12-15 Paul said:

But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

The Greek word translated "thorn" in 1 Cor 12:7 is skolops and is also used in the Sept. OT to describe the enemies of God's people (Num 33:55; Ezek 28:24).


Cheers
Leigh

Serve-N-Protect
Sep 16th 2007, 09:34 AM
I believe God was very careful about word selection using Paul, as he knew people would be reading Paul's writings for a long time.

I know that this scripture has caused many to question what the thorn was, but in context, relevance of what the thorn was I believe does not exist.

I will say however, that whenever I have heard somebody identify it as a particular sin, the sin they identify is typically the sin they are dealing with.

I asked myself, what if through Paul, God made a declaration of what the thorn was? Say it was blindness. Imagine the trouble we would have added to us as believers to think that an ailment like this is of the Devil. How we would boast at our ability to see, and scoff at the blind for example.

Now lets say it was envy, imagine the special attention this sin would receive over the others. Imagine the complacent attitudes that would develop toward other sins.

I don't think this scripture is about what the thorn was but rather why it was there and what it was doing.

Jesusinmyheart
Sep 17th 2007, 01:08 AM
I have simply come to the conclusion that Paul's thorn in the flesh was a persistent sin he had to persistently overcome. This would keep him from exalting himself, as a constant reminder of his imperfection.

the flesh is sinfull you know, so the thorn is nothing but a particular sin that kept pricking him from time to time. What that particular sin was who knows.

That's my take on it nowadays.

Shalom to you,
Tanja

My heart's Desire
Sep 17th 2007, 02:09 AM
The more I think on this you know it really could have been any of those mentioned above. I've heard that everywhere he went he did face persecution, and the things in his letters do make it sound as if it may have been something to do with his eyesight. Looking at the persecution part a little more, it would seem likely, perhaps because as a Jewish person, it really hurt when the persecution came from his own race. Remember how he wished if possible for himself to be cut off if it could save his Jewish brothers and sisters (as a race)? Would that be something that would be buffeting to his heart?
Maybe it had something to do with what we think he described as being the one who saw a 3rd heaven vision? Humm.

SIG
Sep 17th 2007, 02:41 AM
I'm big on the idea of consistent symbolism (in some cases) in Scripture. I believe "thorn" is consistently a symbol for sin.

It was a persistent sin, I believe, that Paul dealt with. This would not include a physical infirmity; it is not a sin--or necessarily the result of sin--to have poor eyesight.

I also believe that God gives us information on a "need-to-know" basis--exactly what Paul's sin was, we do not need to know...

Jesusinmyheart
Sep 17th 2007, 03:54 AM
"You must spread some reputation before giving it to SIG again." Sigh....

Shalom my friend,
Tanja

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 03:57 AM
I have simply come to the conclusion that Paul's thorn in the flesh was a persistent sin he had to persistently overcome. This would keep him from exalting himself, as a constant reminder of his imperfection.

the flesh is sinfull you know, so the thorn is nothing but a particular sin that kept pricking him from time to time. What that particular sin was who knows.

That's my take on it nowadays.

Shalom to you,
Tanja

I don't believe that passage of Scripture is talking about Paul exalting himself. I believe that passage of Scripture is talking about the people Paul is preaching the gospel to exalting him above measure. Kind of like when Peter and John had to tell the folks in the temple not to worship them after the beggar at the gate was healed. It was not by their power that this man was healed, but the people sure were ready to worship them over it. I believe that Paul, because of the abundance of revelation he had received and the power of God he walked in, would have had people trying to worship him instead of the source of the power. Therefore, the thorn was given to him so that folks could plainly see that he was just a man and not worthy of worship.

My heart's Desire
Sep 17th 2007, 05:02 AM
Well, I guess we do know this much:
it was because of the greatness of the revelations?
The thorn was there to keep him from exalting himself, and it must have been a weakness for he said that the Lord said that His grace was sufficient for him and that power is perfected in weakness....
I wonder how many of us will ask Paul what his thorn was when we meet him? We probably won't even have to ask because it will be gone!

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 17th 2007, 08:14 AM
Well, we know it was a messenger from Satan. There are hints here and there about the way this messenger manifested itself. But who can know for sure?



Couldn't it be possible that a messenger from Satan could mean a persecuter of Paul?

In Numbers, this phrase is used when referring to the Canaanites in relation to Israel:

Num. 33:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you,, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell

Brother Mark
Sep 17th 2007, 12:29 PM
Couldn't it be possible that a messenger from Satan could mean a persecuter of Paul?

In Numbers, this phrase is used when referring to the Canaanites in relation to Israel:

Num. 33:55 But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you,, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell


Maybe. Except the thought in Numbers was said to be the case IF Israel did not kick them out. It's worth examining. It is definitely worth looking into because of what Paul says about persecutions in the verses after speaking of his thorn. But again, the thorn in Numbers is about a thorn of persecution for not following God by killing them. But the point is interesting.

Brother Mark
Sep 17th 2007, 12:36 PM
I'm big on the idea of consistent symbolism (in some cases) in Scripture. I believe "thorn" is consistently a symbol for sin.

It was a persistent sin. i believe, that Paul dealt with. This would not include a physical infirmity; it is not a sin--or necessarily the result of sin--to have poor eyesight.

I also believe that God gives us information on a "need-to-know" basis--exactly what Paul's sin was, we do not need to know...

I use to believe this as well. But several things cause me pause about it being a sin. 1. Paul wrote many passages on overcoming sin. Romans was about this concept. If the sin was a besetting sin, then how can we then believe 2 Cor 10 and the overcoming of strongholds?

Finally, this settled it for me.

2 Cor 12:6-10
7 And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me — to keep me from exalting myself! 8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
NASB

Is God's grace power? How is this power perfected in weakness? It is perfected in that God gives grace to the humble but resist the proud. Is grace power to overcome sin? Yes, this is what Romans 5-8 is all about. Is God telling him here "You have a sin but it is my will that you NEVER conquer this sin". :hmm: Then we are saying that God desires for none of us to ever be able to walk a sinless life.

Finally, when Paul speaks of weaknesses, he does not mention sin. He mentions a messenger of Satan then goes on to describe how this messenger manifest in some ways "insults, distresses, persecutions, difficulties, for Christ sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." It was his weakness in dealing with such things in the flesh that made him strong in spirit.

This was a weakness that kept Paul humble. But Paul was rarely gentle when it came to sin problems.

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 02:42 PM
Well, I guess we do know this much:
it was because of the greatness of the revelations?
The thorn was there to keep him from exalting himself, and it must have been a weakness for he said that the Lord said that His grace was sufficient for him and that power is perfected in weakness....
I wonder how many of us will ask Paul what his thorn was when we meet him? We probably won't even have to ask because it will be gone!

Actually, again, we don't know this. Was it because of great revelation? Yes. Was it because he would have exalted himself? I don't believe so.

As far as the statement that the Lord said His grace was sufficient. The reason I believe His grace is sufficient for Paul here is because God never gives us freedom from persecution under His grace. In fact, He warns us repeatedly throughout Scripture that we are going to be persecuted.

This is just another reason why I believe Paul's thorn was persecution. If you ask for something that's not covered under God's grace, then you can expect to get the answer, "My grace is sufficient."

Steve M
Sep 17th 2007, 02:53 PM
Actually, again, we don't know this.

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. 8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Was it because of great revelation? Yes. Was it because he would have exalted himself? I don't believe so.

I like your turn of phrase, here, VR. We DON'T know what we AREN'T told. We DO know what we ARE told.

So either Paul said HE would exalt himself too much, OR he said that otherwise WE would exalt him too much. One way or the other. I like the passage you posted about the gate beautiful; it certainly lays the stage. However, there is another clue directly in Paul's words.

"My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Care to speculate as to just what that means?

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 03:12 PM
"My strength is made perfect in weakness."

Care to speculate as to just what that means?

My personal opinion . . .

I believe it was a mighty testimony and demonstration of the power of God working through Paul when he decided to waltz right back to the place he was just stoned and continue preaching the gospel in power and boldness. Here was a man that was continously broken in the flesh that would continue passionately preaching the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of the frailty of his flesh. He didn't care what they did to his body. He only cared about delivering the truth.

Therefore, I believe his brokenness and weakness of flesh demonstrated that power of God through him.

Steve M
Sep 17th 2007, 03:14 PM
My personal opinion . . .

I believe it was a mighty testimony and demonstration of the power of God working through Paul when he decided to waltz right back to the place he was just stoned and continue preaching the gospel in power and boldness. Here was a man that was continously broken in the flesh that would continue passionately preaching the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of the frailty of his flesh. He didn't care what they did to his body. He only cared about delivering the truth.

Therefore, I believe his brokenness and weakness of flesh demonstrated that power of God through him.
That certainly is a powerful witness, isn't it?

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 03:20 PM
That certainly is a powerful witness, isn't it?

Indeed it is. I can only pray that one day if/when we are all faced with the same circumstances we can all continue on in truth regardless of the adversity surrounding us.

My heart's Desire
Sep 17th 2007, 04:02 PM
Regardless of what the thorn was, I find it interesting that the whole thing about boasting actually started in Chapter 10 about verse 8. The subject of boasting leads up to his subject of a thorn in the side. I believe the subject verse is probably 2 Cor. 10:17

But He who Boasts is to Boast in the LORD. NASB

Equipped_4_Love
Sep 17th 2007, 04:16 PM
Maybe. Except the thought in Numbers was said to be the case IF Israel did not kick them out. It's worth examining. It is definitely worth looking into because of what Paul says about persecutions in the verses after speaking of his thorn. But again, the thorn in Numbers is about a thorn of persecution for not following God by killing them. But the point is interesting.



Ya, that makes sense....but I don't think the reason FOR the thorn is the issue.
I guess my point was that we are trying to figure out just what this thorn was, and in both cases, the thorn was a physical enemy rather than a physical ailment

SIG
Sep 17th 2007, 06:15 PM
Brother Mark: "Is God telling him here "You have a sin but it is my will that you NEVER conquer this sin". Then we are saying that God desires for none of us to ever be able to walk a sinless life."

SIG: God also desires that none perish--but many DO perish. God also desires that His elect lead sinless lives--but none do, at least not this side of Heaven.

Because we still inhabit bodies that are perishing, we still have a sin nature lodged in us--like a thorn in our flesh. To say that Paul, because of his exceeding blessings, could completely overcome this sin nature would be to exalt him way too highly (as we may tend to do).

I guess I am maintaining that even though it is God's desire that we be sinless, He allows a sin nature to remain in us, so that we continue to rely on Him and His grace--which, through our weakness, we are able to see as perfect.

Brother Mark
Sep 17th 2007, 06:17 PM
Brother Mark: "Is God telling him here "You have a sin but it is my will that you NEVER conquer this sin". Then we are saying that God desires for none of us to ever be able to walk a sinless life."

SIG: God also desires that none perish--but many DO perish. God also desires that His elect lead sinless lives--but none do, at least not this side of Heaven.

Because we still inhabit bodies that are perishing, we still have a sin nature lodged in us--like a thorn in our flesh. To say that Paul, because of his exceeding blessings, could completely overcome this sin nature would be to exalt him way too highly (as we may tend to do).

I guess I am maintaining that even though it is God's desire that we be sinless, He allows a sin nature to remain in us, so that we continue to rely on Him and His grace--which, through our weakness, we are able to see as perfect.

The difference in those other cases is that is man telling God no. Here, a man is humbly coming to God and God is telling him no. ;)

VerticalReality
Sep 17th 2007, 06:54 PM
If Paul's thorn was a sin, God wouldn't have responded to Paul that His grace is sufficient.

Victory over sin is covered under God's grace.



Romans 6:14
For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

SIG
Sep 18th 2007, 04:05 AM
Well--we know it was a "weakness."

?????

nzyr
Sep 18th 2007, 08:53 AM
I don't know why people say the thorn in the flesh was a sin. The scripture doesn't seem to imply this.

there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me - 2 Corinthians 12:7

I think I read somewhere that one tradition said that Paul had developed epilepsy after surviving a stoning. And that's what he was describing.

SIG
Sep 18th 2007, 10:45 PM
Could sins not be seen as messengers of Satan that buffet us?

VerticalReality
Sep 19th 2007, 01:05 PM
Could sins not be seen as messengers of Satan that buffet us?

I think Paul goes on to make it clear that what he's going through is a physical issue when he talks of his infirmities. This same infirmity I believe Paul talks about in 2 Corinthians 11 in greater detail . . .



2 Corinthians 11:22-30
Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. 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. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 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; 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; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness— besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.


Here Paul discusses his infirmity at length and gives us a good indication of what he is speaking of in context. Paul gives us a description of many persecutions that he has endured for the gospel's sake.

Brother Mark
Sep 19th 2007, 01:10 PM
Well--we know it was a "weakness."

?????

Yes. But not necessarily in a sinful sense. Why? Because when Paul recognized that God worked through his weaknesses, he then experienced the power of God. When he learned this, he was happy for his weakness. So the weakness is more an inability on his part than it is sin, imho. Moses had a weakness with his tongue. Unlike Paul, he did not experience the power of God through his weakness as God intended. Intead, God had to appoint Aaron.

SIG
Sep 20th 2007, 04:15 AM
I can live with any of these explanations...

This is, of course, an issue that has not been settled by anyone--so it's always speculative. (Which tells me it's not essential ?)

We can find out in Heaven--except at that point, we won't really care...