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Paul's Approach to Relationships (2 Corinthians 10,11)

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2 Corinthians 10

Paul threatens the Corinthians with Divine authority
Now I Paul, I myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I who in your presence am lowly among you but being absent am bold toward you: 2 I beg you now, so that when I am present I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some, who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight in a fleshly way 4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), 5 casting down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 6 And being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full.
   7 Look at the things that are before your face, staring at you. If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ's, let him remind himself that, even as he is Christ's, so also are we! 8 I could boast, unashamedly and somewhat abundantly, concerning our authority- authority which the Lord gave for building you up and not for casting you down. 9 But I will not, lest I appear to terrify you by my letters. 10 For they say: His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech of no account. 11 Well, let such a person reckon this, that what we are in word by letters, when we are absent, such will we be also in deed, when we are present.
   12 For we are not bold enough to class or compare ourselves with those that commend themselves. These are without understanding, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, which is unwise. 13 But we will not boast beyond our measure but rather according to the measure of the province which God apportioned to us- a measure to reach even to you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves in our boasting, as though we did not reach unto you. For we were the first to come as far as you in preaching the gospel of Christ. 15 So we are not boasting beyond our measure in other men's labours; but rather we hope that as your faith grows, our influence among you may be greatly increased, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence. 17 But he that boasts, let him boast in the Lord. 18 For it is not he that commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.


10:5 The essence of Christianity is to be spiritually minded, to bring all our thoughts under control.

10:7 So also are we- Whatever we know of our own experience of Christ, not least His gracious love, presence and forgiveness of us, we should recognize is also experienced by our brethren in Christ with whom we may have differences.

10:8 Authority, be it in a church, over children, in a marriage, in the workplace, is a gift from God to be used positively to build others up, to serve others with, rather than for our own glorification and negative destruction of others thereby.

10:10 Paul may have had some physical weakness or deformity which made him unattractive (10:1; 11:6)- a "thorn in the flesh" (12:7). God delights to use those with weakness to do His work, and Paul was a great example of this.

10:12 We tend to spiritually compare ourselves against other people and conclude that we're not bad. But the standard of comparison must be with Jesus. He was of our nature, our representative, so that we can realistically do this.

10:16 So that...- If Paul's converts at Corinth grew spiritually, then he felt he would be used to take the Gospel to other new areas. Their immaturity was therefore an obstacle to the spreading of the Gospel and the salvation of others.