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Bible Commentaries
2 Corinthians 10

Concordant Commentary of the New TestamentConcordant NT Commentary

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Verses 1-10

5 God has no need. Gifts acceptable to Him must spring from a pure motive is better not to give at all than to give with a heavy heart or from an unworthy motive. Extortion, whether by appeals to pride, competition, tithing, or anything except the voluntary, spontaneous response to His grace, is not in keeping with His attitude toward us now.

6 While giving should never be mercenary, in hope of some return, it is doubtless most profitable in every way. It brings immediate happiness and satisfaction and it bears a harvest in the future. The farmer who stints is seed will reap a spare crop. Many, of us, in that day, will wish that we had been more bountiful in our sowing for, no doubt, the harvest will be hundred fold.

7 Hilarious is the English adaptation of the Greek word we have rendered "gleeful". One may give with cheerful resignation, but more than this is desired by the Lord. When we do it with irrepressible joy, then we come into closest communion with the God who gave His Son and with Him gives us all.

12 Paul had promised James, Cephas and John, that, in carrying out his distinctive ministry, he would not fail to remember the poor saints among the Circumcision ( Gal_2:10 ). They may have had no higher thought than to relieve their distressed brethren. Paul impelled by a worthier motive. Jews of the Circumcision were continually harassing him and threatned to create a bitter antagonism between the Jews and the ecclesias he had founded. They were already at work in Corinth and Galatia. If he coulld carry to Jerusalem some signal proof of the good will of these foreign believers he might repair the widening breach, and bring glory to God through the mutual interest and the thankfulness it would create. But they responded by putting him in chains. When the apostle came to bring the alms to Jerusalem, instead of giving him an ovation and gladly sharing their spiritual wealth with the nations, the mere suggestion that Paul had brought one of the aliens into the temple precincts nearly cost him his life.

1 Paul now turns his attention to the minority in Corinth, who were still opposed to him. They may be that party which said, "I am of Christ" ( 1Co_1:12 ) and seem to have been led by an emissary of the Judaisers. These men were proud and imperious, quite unlike the Christ in Whom they boasted, hence Paul appeals to the meekness and lenience of Christ. They walked according to the flesh and were continually opposing him on that ground. They misinterpreted his gentleness, and called it cowardice, they said he was brave enough at a distance, but afraid to put his threats into execution when present. Paul, in reply, hopes he may not be called upon to exercise the authority he possesses in a destructive way, but makes it plain that he has the spiritual power to wage a campaign if necessary. By a bold figure he likens his spiritual warfare to the pulling down of the forts of the enemy, and leading all opposition into captivity.

The most powerful weapons are not material but spiritual. Neither are place and prestige as potent as truth. Paul alone was more than a match for the judaizing legates sent out from Jerusalem. False brethren such as these were his most virulent enemies.

7 The unspiritual, fleshly minded man looks only on the surface. But nowhere are appearances so deceiving as in things spiritual. Our Lord Himself had none of the superficial marks of greatness. Paul seems to have been specially deficient in those qualities which were demanded from those who aspired to leadership in the world. His public speaking seems to have been the special point on which his enemies attacked him. Greek orators were probably the most accomplished the world has ever seen. By comparison Paul's presence was weak and his delivery contemptible. But what has become of all those masters of forensic art? They are dead and their efforts have died with them. The few that remain are models of beauty but are devoid of all spiritual power. Paul's words transformed his hearers, not by his mode of delivery but by their truth and potency.

Verses 11-18

11 Even forbearance and gentleness have their limits. The apostle makes it clear that. when he came to them again he would act quite as severely as he wrote in dealing with those who still opposed him. He does not wish to be judged by their standard for it is of no use at all to measure man by men. Anyone can be great in a community of dwarfs. If the standard is false, so is the greatness.

13 These opponents of his were overstretching themselves. They never came as far as Corinth in proclaiming the evangel, but after Paul had toiled, then they came along and boasted as if they, not he, had outstripped others in bringing it to them. Paul was planning to carry the evangel beyond them into regions where it had never been proclaimed. Were they intending to outstrip him in reaching out to virgin fields, that they might have a real cause for boasting? It is evident that it suited them better to boast in what was already accomplished by another, rather than endure the toil and privation of a missionary journey with all its difficulties and dangers. Paul had a right to boast, if anyone had. He ought to have been so high in their esteem that no one could displace him in their regard, least of all those who had no real claim on them and who chose to defame the one who had toiled and suffered for them in their very midst.

1 Paul did not wish the Corinthians to divide their allegiance among a number of men, nor indeed, to yield it to anyone but Christ. When a virgin is engaged, she is no longer free to follow other men, but should keep herself for her affianced. So with us. Let us not follow men,

but be single toward Christ. The point in this figure is confined to the singleness and purity of the espoused virgin. It must not be overstretched into an allusion to the marriage state. The faithful in Israel are the bride of the Lambkin. Israel was Jehovah's wife, but was divorced for her unfaithfulness. John the Baptist introduced the bride to the Bridegroom. His disciples left him for his Lord. The new Jerusalem will be on earth, the home of the twelve tribes of Israel. Ours is a heavenly allotment.

4 The newcomers in Corinth did not have anything to proclaim more than Paul had already made known to them. Paul’s speech may have been plain, but his knowledge was not deficient by any means. In this, more than in anything else, he was far beyond any other apostle. He knew all that the Circumcision had to proclaim. They could tell him nothing that he did not fully apprehend already. They, on the other hand, had to learn of his commission and the truth he taught, from him. Peter, the greatest of them, found some things in his epistles hard to understand ( 2Pe_3:16 ). We may well go further than his own words, and ackowledge that he towers far above all the rest, especially in those later revelations which, at the time this epistle was penned, had not yet been made kown.

7 The only charge they could sustain against him was that he had proclaimed the evangel to them without receiving anything from them, not even enough to pay for his scanty wants. Poor Macedonia helped to supply his necessities in rich Corinth. Here is an excellent example for our modern evangelism. Where are the evangelists today who can say, I have preached the evangel gratuitously? Did these opponents of Paul in Corinth follow in his footsteps in this regard? Their mercenary motives would doubtless lead them in quite an opposite extreme.

13 Satan changes his tactics to conform to God's administrations. At times he deceives, and again he destroys. Peter speaks of him as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour ( 1Pe_5:8 ). Such will be his course in the judgment era following the present administration of grace, when the epistles of Peter will have their application. Now Satan is transfigured into an angel of light. He is not hideous, but beautiful. His servants stand for righteousness and pose as apostles of Christ. His world is not found in the sinks of iniquity, but in the efforts to educate and reform mankind apart from the blood of Christ. He deceives by assuming the very role which he is popularly supposed to oppose.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Corinthians 10". Concordant Commentary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/aek/2-corinthians-10.html. 1968.
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