STUDY II Corinthians
10:12-18 (click here for
We do not dare to cloassify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but wilol confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. 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 with the gospel of Christ. Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man's territory. But, "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord." Fop it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (NIV)
Paul is defending his ministry by addressing the fact that his detractors have been saying he is timid and weak in person while bluffing boldness in his letters. Such is not the case, he asserts. Rather, he is fighting with weapopns of "divine power". The same divine authority, he says, is with him in person as well as in his letters. He continues by saying he is not in the category of those who commend themselves.
To Boast or Not To Boast
1. Why does Paul feel at a disadvantage in the eyes of the Corinthians when they compare him to the imposters who freely boast about themselves? (see 2 Corinthianss 3:1; 5:11-12; 12:10-11)
2. According to Paul, how is one to view one's own work? (verses 13-16; Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 12:12-26)
3. Why does Paul feel that, if boasting were in order, he has the right to "boast" about his work with the Corinthians, but the false teachers don't? (see 1 Corinthians 3:5-6; 2 Corinthians 3:2-6; 5:20; Romanss 15:20)
4. Why does Paul feel so confident that his work among the Corinthians is above reproach? (see 1 Corinthians 2:2-5; 3:7-8; 2 Corinthians 4:1-2; 5:16-21)
5. What are some basic boundaries God established for his people to honor? (see Exodus 20:2-17; Leviticus 18:1-28; Lev. 19; Matthew 5:21-22; 27-28; 31-32; 33-35; 7:1-2; 1 Cor. 10:23-24; 2 Cor. 6:14; James 1:26; 2:5-6; 8-11)
6. Why are boundaries so important?
7. How were the false teachers breaking boundaries by infiltrating the Corinthian church?
8. If we are to procalim the gospel wherever God placed us, what is the significance of Paul's concept of "limits" and of a "field God has assigned to us"?
Expanding Faith, Expanding Territory
9. Paul hopes to expand his preaching territory as the Corinthians' faith grows. What accompanies growing faith that helps make it possible for the gospel to spread to new territories? (see 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12)
10. Paul hopes to be able to preach the gospel in the "regions beyond" Corinth. Where was this "region beyond" where Paul hoped to preach? (see Romans 15:24, 28)
Boast in the Lord
11. Paul does not want to boast "about work already done in another man's territory. But 'Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.' " What does it mean to boast in the Lord? (see Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 34:1-3; 44:4-8; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2:2)
12. "It is not the one who commends himself who is approved," Paul states, "but the one whom the Lord commends." What kind of person does the Lord commend? (see Romans 2:29; John 5:41-44; 12:42-43; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4-8; Hebrews 11:5-6, 39; 1 Peter 2:19-21; 3:3-4)
13. How are boasting in the Lord and being commended by the Lord related?
14. In what circumstances have you observed people boasting about their work for the Lord?
15. What is the "territory" in which God has placed you to do His work?
16. In what ways have people crossed your boundaries, either in ministry or in your personal lifre?
17. In what ways do you tend to cross other people's boundaries?
18. In what areas of your life do you struggle with taking control when it's not your business to control?
19. About what do you tend to boast or to feel superior or better qualified than others?
20. What situation do you need to surrender to Jesus, letting Him be sovereign and allowing Him to assign His work to you and to others according to His will instead of according to your perception of qualification?
21. Ask Jesus to reveal to you the areas in your life where you are controlling or arrogant. Ask him to put his humility into you and to fill you with his love. Surrender your heart to Jesus and allow His Spirit to fill you with a servant's heart. Praise God for not only redeeming you but also for accomplishing his transformation in your heart.
Copyright (c) 2002 Graphics Studio, Redlands,
CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted October 6, 2002.