Paul finds himself rebuking those who oppose him in Corinth, for their malicious intent to derive the blessed vessel bound for the needy in Jerusalem. The apostle shares his wish for a loving reconciliation rather than a confrontation upon his forthcoming visit to Corinth.
Addressing the Judaizers in Corinth, Paul writes about the authority given onto him by the Lord Himself. That a man born and raised as Saul now reborn as Paul, then in darkness now in light, should serve Christ as the leader of the Gentile church to whom he would unveil the mystery about salvation through Jesus Christ.
“7 Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, even so we are Christ’s.” (2 Corinthians 10:7)
The Judaizers who opposed Paul claimed to know the Lord, being themselves from Judea where they spent time in the presence of Christ. Their claim, that they were in Christ could very well be validated by anyone else blessed with spiritual rebirth in Jesus, such as the apostle and his fellow laborers.
“8 For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed— 9 lest I seem to terrify you by letters.” (2 Corinthians 10:8-9)
Paul describes his work and mission as one meant to build up, to edify others rather than destroy them, since this is left to those headed for the lake of fire in spite of God’s love and desire for all his creation to be saved from eternal life in hell.
“10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.” (2 Corinthians 10:10-11)
Paul’s opposers apparently spread rumors about Paul’s authority, now they are warned the apostle presence will be in tune with the tone of his written rebuke upon his next visit to his beloved Corinth.
“12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Paul alludes to his opposers a self-serving individuals who used their lives as a measure by which all Christians should compare. Instead Paul and his fellow laborers compare themselves to humble servants, to be gauged according to the standard set by Christ, not men.
“13 We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us—a sphere which especially includes you.” (2 Corinthians 10:13)
Paul now addresses the matter of boasting about the Corinthian church, who was planted by the apostle and his fellow missionaries during his first visit to the Greek region around AD 50-52.
“14 For we are not overextending ourselves (as though our authority did not extend to you), for it was to you that we came with the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting of things beyond measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but having hope, that as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere, 16 to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.” (2 Corinthians 10:14-16)
Putting it simply, Paul calls out the Judaizers for their boasting about a church they had little to do with, including the opposers as part of his ministry, to whom he was appointed by God to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“17 But “he who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” 18 For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)
The apostle brings his rebuke full circle by mentioning the ultimate truth about one fate, that judgment is the Lord’s and not of our own accord. Those in Christ will be commended and rewarded, while self-serving hypocrites will burn in hell in eternal agony as the price for their sins and denial of God’s deity. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre