2 Corinthians 12

2 Corinthians 12  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The apostle gave the account in which the flesh could not glory-the being caught up into the third heaven (paradise). The thief was taken to paradise in his spirit. We need not think of this as the same as what the apostle experienced, nor the same place. The thief was not a part of the Church of God.
Paradise could be spoken of as a condition, not necessarily a place. It is a condition of ecstasy, joy, and happiness.
The body had no part in this experience, of such a one, the new man, he would glory. All exaltation on earth must go; being in Christ was his glory, his joy.
In paradise he heard unspeakable words unlawful for man to utter. But the apostle would not glory; he would not be a fool.
In order that Paul be not exalted above measure because of the abundant revelations given him, a thorn in the flesh was given, the messenger of Satan, to buffet him. He asked the Lord three times to remove this handicap; the answer was, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness." The apostle would rather glory in his infirmities that the power of Christ might rest upon him. He says, "When I am weak, then am I strong."
Paul affirmed his apostleship by saying, "In nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing."
The fathers ought to lay up spiritual things for their children.
"The more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved," says the apostle.
Paul did not receive fellowship from these through Titus. Titus had the same reserve as the apostle in taking nothing from them. All is done, Paul says, for your edifying.
The apostle feared that when he came again to them, things would not be as he would like them to be, but that the flesh would be active. When he would come, God would humble him among them as he would find much unjudged sin.