Sacred Space: 1Corinthians 12:1-10

June 27,2021


Context

According to scholars, Paul wrote 2nd Corinthians approximately 22 years after his transformational encounter with Christ. Although he once persecuted Christians, Paul's life trajectory reversed, and he lived to share Christ's redemption and grace throughout the ancient world.



He planted a church in Corinth around 48ish AD, and although we only have two letters included in the Bible, he wrote four to them. After his first letter, Paul went to Corinth after hearing that the church rejected his teachings. He describes the visit as painful (2Cor. 2:11). Then, we read Paul reconciles with most of the church while writing to them in "anguish and tears"(2Cor. 1:3-4). Yet, there seems to be a group still dismissing him. He actually sarcastically refers to them as "Super Apostles" (11;5, 12:11). They challenge his leadership and even doubt how Spirit-filled he is. Throughout chapters 10-13, Paul defends his credentials.

  1. Pharisee (means he most likely had the whole OT memorized)

  2. Encountered the risen Christ

  3. Dedicated his life to Jesus

We pick up today in the middle of his defense. First, he tells the church about a remarkable vision of heaven he experienced further supporting his credentials. Second, Paul writes that he has a lot of reason to boast- but knowing pride may be an issue for Paul, God allows him weakness to experience Christ's strength.


Grab a journal and pen! Read through 1Corinthians 12:1-10 (below) three times and use the following prompts to guide you through each round.



Round 1


Read through the passage out loud if possible.

Look for the who, what, where, how of the passage.

Who is speaking and to whom?

What is happening?

What results?

Do you see a "But," "Then," or "However?" What are these words connecting?



Round 2

Read through the passage out loud if possible.

What verse(s) does Jesus highlight for you? (A verse that sticks out to you as you read, and you feel pulled to stay there awhile and think about it.)

Ask your Father,

What are you saying to me through this verse?

What do you want to show me about myself? You?


Write down whatever comes to your mind- trust that the Holy Spirit speaks through our mind with words and images. We have entered into His sacred space, and He will speak to your heart.


Round 3

Read through the passage out loud if possible.

Ask the Holy Spirit,

How should I respond to this truth today or this week?

How does this change how I think about you, myself, or my neighbor the world?

How do I align with your kingdom knowing this truth?



2Cor. 12:1-10 NLT


12 This boasting will do no good, but I must go on. I will reluctantly tell about visions and revelations from the Lord. 2 I[a]was caught up to the third heaven fourteen years ago. Whether I was in my body or out of my body, I don’t know—only God knows.3 Yes, only God knows whether I was in my body or outside my body. But I do know 4 that I was caught up[b] to paradise and heard things so astounding that they cannot be expressed in words, things no human is allowed to tell.

5 That experience is worth boasting about, but I’m not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. 6 If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won’t do it, because I don’t want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life or hear in my message, 7 even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.

8 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


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