October 2, 2011

Monday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

Monday after the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity


Morning - Ps. 75, 2 Sam. 19:24-39, 2 Cor. 10
Evening - Ps. 71, Mt. 7:1-12

2 Corinthians 10

Paul now returns to the problems caused by the false apostles who troubled the Corinthian Church. These men had done much damage, and, though the church had taken vigorous steps to drive them and their followers out, some of their influence remained. Consequently, some of the Corinthians still derided Paul and his teaching. Paul begins the chapter beseeching the church by the meekness and gentleness of Christ (10:1) and by addressing a charge that he writes bold letters but is weak in person (10:1, 10). He says his weapons are not after the flesh (10:2-6). Paul means it is not by personal power, the force of his personality, or his skill as an orator that the issue will be decided (10:10). It is the power of God that is mighty to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations (delusions of grandeur), and bring the thoughts of human beings under the obedience of Christ. Therefore, the Corinthians should not look on the outward appearance of Paul, for he belongs to Christ, who has given him authority to build up the Corinthians (10:8).

Paul makes two important points in the remainder of the chapter. First, he will not compare himself to the false apostles who measure themselves by themselves rather than by Christ (10:12-13). Second, unlike the false apostles, he does not boast "of things without our measure" (10:15). This means he does not try to take over a church founded by another Apostle. The false apostles are doing just that in Corinth. They are not brave enough to go into unevangelised areas and found churches. They prefer to take over another man's work. But Paul, a true Apostle, brought the Gospel to Corinth, and intends to take it further northward and westward where other evangelists have not been. He will glory in the Lord, not another man's labours. He closes with the telling remark that an apostle who commends himself is not "approved" (accepted by God). It is the man God commends who is accepted. The idea of this verse is that the Corinthians, and all Christians, should approve and accept those as teachers and spiritual leaders whom God commends, not those who commend themselves.

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