The Second Epistle to the Corinthians chapter 10 has Paul defending his character to the people of Corinth. There are still many that are questioning his qualifications to be an apostle to the Lord.
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Paul Defends Himself
There were some naysayers at Corinth who pointed out the lavish writings of Paul and his ability to express himself in the written form in a powerful way. Yet, his outward appearance was very meek and mild, which was a true contradiction in their eyes. Paul warned against judging people by what was on the outside and insisted that he only worked for the glory of the Lord.
Paul Reiterates His Purpose
Paul knew that he was small in stature and quiet in comparison to some others claiming to be apostles. However, he reminded the people that Jesus Christ is real. He expressed to them that his purpose was to spread the word of the Scripture. He admitted that although he was a human being, the war he was fighting was not of the flesh. This war was about saving souls and helping people to repent before the Day of Judgment was upon them.
Comparing Yourself to Others
Many of the people who doubted Paul’s ability to lead the people were looking to themselves as examples of what an apostle should be. This practice of comparing oneself to another person is dangerous and it displeases the Lord. Paul points out that this leads to bragging and boasting about one’s own abilities.
Paul told them that he only boasted in the power of the Lord and he only goes where the Lord has directed him to go. That is how he ended up in the city of Corinth. God directed him to go to this place where there where nonbelievers. He came there to preach the word and boast of the grace and glory of God. Paul told his detractors that he would not give credit to man’s accomplishments, but only that which the Lord has approved.
2 Corinthians 10 (King James Version)
1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ’s, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ’s, even so are we Christ’s.
8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.
17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.