"THE SECOND EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Chapter Ten OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To understand the nature of the war in which we are engaged, and to appreciate the weapons we have that are "mighty in God" 2) To see the folly of judging others by outward appearance, and in comparing ourselves with others SUMMARY Having concluded his discussion on the collection for the saints, Paul now returns to his own defense, especially as it pertains to his conduct and authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ. He pleads with them in the meekness and gentleness of Christ, hoping that by so doing it will not be necessary to use boldness in their presence against some who think Paul conducts himself according to the flesh (1-2). While he admits that he walks in the flesh, he does not war according to the flesh since he has weapons that are mighty in God and effective for winning arguments and bringing others to obey Christ (3-6). He then responds directly in regards to his detractors. Some were evidently judging Paul on outward appearance, that while he sounded weighty and powerful in his writing, his physical presence was weak and contemptible. But Paul's authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ was real, and what he was in word when absent, he could be in deed when present (7-11). We can also infer that some of Paul's detractors took pride in comparing themselves with others. Such a practice was unwise, and Paul was one who would boast only in those areas in which God had appointed him to serve. That would include the Corinthians themselves, for Paul would only go to areas where the gospel had not been preached and that is how they had come to believe. Reminding them of this, Paul had hope that they would assist him in preaching the gospel in regions beyond them. He then admonishes them to boast only in the Lord, and to remember that not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends (12-18). OUTLINE I. PAUL PROVIDES AN EXPLANATION FOR HIS CONDUCT (1-6) A. HE PLEADS WITH THEM IN MEEKNESS AND GENTLENESS (1-2) 1. With great emphasis, he stresses that he himself is pleading with them by the meekness and gentleness of Christ (1a) 2. It appears that some misread Paul's humility in person as weakness, and that only in absence was he bold (1b) 3. But he is hoping that it not be necessary for him to have the confident boldness he is prepared to use against those who misread Paul (2) B. THE NATURE OF THE WARFARE, AND WEAPONS MIGHTY IN GOD (3-6) 1. While walking in the flesh, he does not war according to flesh (3) 2. For the weapons he uses are not carnal, but they are mighty in God (4a) 3. Such weapons are capable of: a. Pulling down strongholds (4b) b. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God (5a) c. Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (5b) d. Being ready to punish all disobedience when their obedience is fulfilled (6) II. PAUL'S RESPONSE TO HIS DETRACTORS (7-18) A. TO THOSE WHO JUDGE ON OUTWARD APPEARANCE (7-11) 1. No matter how it might look, rest assured that Paul is Christ's (7) 2. Even if it were necessary to boast about the authority the Lord gave him, Paul would not be ashamed (8) 3. There were some who thought Paul hid behind his letters, while in person he was weak (9-10) 4. Yet Paul was ready to be in person what he was in his letters (11) B. TO THOSE WHO BOAST OF THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS (12-18) 1. Paul considered it unwise to compare himself with those who measured themselves by others around them (12) 2. If Paul boasted, it would only be in that area God had chosen for him, which included the Corinthians themselves (13-14) 3. He would not boast in other men's labors (15a) 4. He had hope that the Corinthians would help him to preach the gospel where others had not gone (15b-16a) 5. In that way he would not boast in another's man accomplishments, but only in that which the Lord enabled him (16b-17) 6. In the end, only the one whom the Lord commends is approved (18)
REVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE CHAPTER Move your mouse pointer underneath each question to see the answer.
1) What are the main points of this chapter? 2) With what two qualities of Christ-like character does Paul plead with the Corinthians? (1) 3) What does Paul hope would not be necessary when he was with them in person? (2) 4) Though Paul walks in the flesh, what does he not do? (3) 5) In what four ways are the weapons of our warfare "mighty in God"? (4-6) 6) Upon what basis were some people evidently evaluating Paul? (7) 7) What accusations were being made against Paul? (10) 8) What did Paul tell such people to consider? (11) 9) What did Paul say was an unwise practice? (12) 10) In what area was Paul willing to boast? (13-16) 11) In whom should we glory? (17) 12) In the end, who is it that is approved? (18)