March 8th, 2007
In today’s reading, Paul was attempting to defend his claim to authority. You might look at his claims and say that he is probably not worth listening to because he is not a good speaker and complains too much. But if you examine his claims through the filter of Jesus’s words and actions you might reach a different conclusion. Were the things which Paul said and taught consistent with what Jesus said and taught? Yes, they were. Was Paul’s way of life consistent with his teachings? Yes, it was. Was Paul demanding that people do things he himself wasn’t prepared to do? No, he wasn’t.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 10
10:1 I, Paul, appeal to you by the humility and gentleness of Christ, I who in your presence am humble, but am bold towards you when I am absent. 10:2 Please ensure that when I am present, I do not have to show boldness by daring to oppose those who think that we are living in a worldly manner. 10:3 Although we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 10:4 The weapons of our war are not worldly weapons. They have God’s power to overthrow strongholds, destroy arguments 10:5 and every obstacle that presumes to rise up against the knowledge of God, and bring every thought into captivity and obedience to Christ. 10:6 We are ready to punish all disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
10:7 Look at the obvious facts. If you have convinced yourself that you are Christ’s, remind yourself that, just as you belong to Christ, so do we. 10:8 Even if I exaggerate our authority, which the Lord gave us to encourage you and not to tear you down, I am not embarrassed about it. 10:9 I do not want to appear to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10:10 They say, “His letters are severe and weighty, but in person he is weak, and what he says is worthless.” 10:11 Such people should be aware that what we say in our letters when we are absent will be what we do when we are present. 10:12 We are not bold enough to classify or compare ourselves with some people who think highly of themselves. There is nothing clever in the way they measure themselves by their own standards, and compare themselves with themselves. 10:13 We will not make unlimited claims. We will keep within the boundaries which God set for us, which extend as far as you. 10:14 By extending to you we are not claiming more than we are entitled to, because we came all the way to you with the Good News of Christ. 10:15 We do not overstep our mark by making claims about other people’s work. What we hope is that as your faith grows, our sphere of influence amongst you will expand considerably, 10:16 so that we can preach the Good News in the regions beyond you. We do not want to make claims about what has happened in someone else’s sphere of influence. 10:17 “Someone who boasts should boast in the Lord.” 10:18 It is not the person who thinks highly of himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord thinks highly of.
Entry Filed under: Ungratefulness