SPECIAL TOPIC: WEAKNESS (Paul's Use in 1 and 2 Corinthians)

Here is the contrast.  The false teachers boast in their credentials and rhetorical style, but Paul knows the value of "weakness" (astheneō).  Notice how often these terms (or their various forms) are used in 1 and 2 Corinthians.

Boast Weak
1 Corinthians 1:29, 31
3:21 
4:7
5:6
 9:15, 16
2 Corinthians 1:12, 14
5:12 (twice)
7:4, 14 (twice)
8:24
9:2, 3
10:8, 13, 15, 16, 17
11:12, 16, 17, 18, 30
12:1, 5, 6, 9
1 Corinthians 1:25, 27
2:3
4:10
8:7, 9, 10, 11, 12
9:22
11:30
12:22
15:43
2 Corinthians 10:10
11:21, 29, 30
12:5, 9, 10 (twice)
13:3, 4 (twice), 9

Paul uses the concept of weakness in several different ways.

1. weakness of God, 1 Cor. 1:25

2. weak in the world, 1 Cor. 1:27

3. Paul's weakness and fear, 1 Cor. 2:3; 9:22; 2 Cor. 11:29,30; 12:5

4. Paul and his mission team, I Cor. 4:10; 2 Cor. 11:21

5. weak believer (cf. Rom. 14:1-15:13), 1 Cor. 8:7,9,10,11,12; 9:22

6. physical illness, 1 Cor. 11:30

7. parts of the human body, 1 Cor. 12:22

8. physical body, 1 Cor. 15:43

9. Paul's physical presence or his rhetorical skills, 2 Cor. 10:10

10. Paul's weakness amplified God's strength, 2 Cor. 12:9,10; 13:4,9

11. Christ's message through Paul, 2 Cor.13:3

12. Christ's physical body, 2 Cor. 13:4

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