Paul’s Defense of His Ministry

10 By the humility and gentleness(A) of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul,(B) who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away! I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold(C) as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.(D) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.(E) The weapons we fight with(F) are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power(G) to demolish strongholds.(H) We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God,(I) and we take captive every thought to make it obedient(J) to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.(K)

You are judging by appearances.[a](L) If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ,(M) they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.(N) So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us(O) for building you up rather than tearing you down,(P) I will not be ashamed of it. I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive(Q) and his speaking amounts to nothing.”(R) 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves.(S) When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us,(T) a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you(U) with the gospel of Christ.(V) 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits(W) by boasting of work done by others.(X) Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow,(Y) our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel(Z) in the regions beyond you.(AA) For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[b](AB) 18 For it is not the one who commends himself(AC) who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.(AD)

Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:7 Or Look at the obvious facts
  2. 2 Corinthians 10:17 Jer. 9:24
New International Version (NIV)

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10 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:

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.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

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;

And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

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.

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:

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.

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