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Verse 1 Most of the earlier part of this letter has been addressed to that part of the church loyal to Paul. The apostle now turns to deal with his accusers. He had included Timothy in previous thoughts, but now stands alone (1) for his defense. To show the spirit of his writing, Paul accepts their charge that he was weak in their presence. He says he is writing in the meekness and gentleness of Christ.
Verse 2 Paul pleaded with them to change so he might again come to them gently. He did not want to use the power God had given him to prove his spirituality and disprove the charges that he served only his fleshly desires.
Verse 3 He admitted that he was a man, but denied using human tactics (slander to destroy enemies; adjusting speech to please others) to satisfy personal desires.
Verse 4 All of Paul's power was from God and based on His word ( 1Co_4:19-21 ; 1Co_5:5 ). This is a possible reference to the "crow" that was a great claw used to pull down strongholds and castles.
Verse 5 The purpose of Christianity is to throw out all human thinking and place God in complete control. Every part of the Christian is to be subject to God's uses and intents.
Verse 6 The power previously mentioned, was going to be used by Paul to punish those who insisted on disobeying God's inspired apostle. He did, however, pause to give all those who would obey a chance to repent.
Verse 7 Some were looking at the outside to determine value. Such is a shallow measure. Paul was at least equal to those who opposed him ( Act_9:15 ; Act_15:25 ; Gal_2:9 ).
Verse 8 Paul knew that he could boast in his authority over against theirs and his boast would be backed up. He would not fall to his shame. However, God gave him that great power to build up the church, not tear it down, as others with less power apparently would do.
Verse 9 Paul could back his strong letters with power if it was necessary when he arrived.
Verse 10 Some falsely accused him of being powerful in his writing, but weak when present.
Verse 11 Clearly, Paul wants them to know he will back his words with power and prompt action when he is present with them.
Verse 12 Paul did not see himself as an equal to his opponents in their ability to exaggerate their own power and authority. Apparently they had accused him of commending himself ( 2Co_3:1 ; 2Co_5:12 ), but they were describing their own problem. Within their own narrow circle, they looked big to themselves, but showed their lack of knowledge of the way things were else where. We will be judged by Christ's word ( Joh_12:48 ), not our own consciences. ** Written on side - We should not compare ourselves to the world, but to Christ.
Verse 13 Paul did not measure himself by men. Rather, he measured himself by the area God had given him to work in. His sphere of preaching was the area where Christ had not been named ( Rom_15:20 ), which included Corinth when he started the work there.
Verse 14 He did not go out of the sphere assigned to him when he preached at Corinth. He even went to Corinth to fulfill his mission.
Verse 15 He did not have to build on other men's labors to find work. In fact, he could, and had to, confine his labors to them until they grew. Their lack of growth kept him from furthering the gospel elsewhere.
Verse 16 Paul intended to go on and establish churches in other lands needing the gospel when he finished at Corinth. he did not need to seize someone else's work as his opponents had done.
Verse 17 This rule comes from Jer_9:23-24 . Paul gave all the glory for his success to the Lord, unlike those challenging him.
Verse 18 Self-approval and commendation carries no weight. God's approval is based on service actually rendered and carries lasting value.
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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 10". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18