Paul Defends His Apostolic Ministry
2 Corinthians 10:1-12
(1) I, Paul, appeal to you by the humility and gentleness of Christ. As you say, I am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when I am away! (2) I beg you that when I visit you again I will not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people in Corinth who think that we live by the ways of this world. (3) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as this world does. (4) The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary, our weapons possess God’s divine power to destroy (tear down) strongholds. (5) We overcome arguments and every arrogant opinion that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (6) And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
(7) Some of you in Corinth are judging according to outward appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should be reminded that we belong to Christ just as much as they do. (8) So even if I boast openly about the authority the Lord gave us to build you up—not to tear you down—be assured, I will not be ashamed of it. (9) Do not think that I am trying to frighten you with my letters. (10) For as some in Corinth say, “His letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive, and his speaking amounts to nothing.” (11) These people should know that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.
(12) For we will never classify or compare ourselves with some in Corinth who enjoy praising themselves. They are foolish when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves.
Paul’s Desire to Go to Unreached Regions
2 Corinthians 10:13-18
(13) We, however, will not boast beyond our proper limits, but we will limit our boasting to the mission field (sphere of influence) that God has assigned to us—a mission field that also includes you in Corinth! (14) For we are not boasting beyond what we should, as would be the case if we had not come to Corinth, because we were the first to bring the gospel (good news) of Christ to you (see Acts 18:2-11). (15) Neither do we boast beyond our limits by boasting about the mission work done by others. As your faith continues to grow, it is our hope that our mission activity will abundantly expand among you, (16) so that we can proclaim the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about the mission work already done in someone else’s mission field (territory). (17) But as it is written in Jeremiah 9:24, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (18) For it is not the person who takes pride in himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord honors.