2 Corinthians 10:13-18
2 Cor 10:13 (KJB)
But we will not boast of things without our (1) measure, but according to the (2) measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a (2) measure to reach even unto you.
Of things without - Things beyond
(1) Measure - immeasurable or immense
(2) Measure - Rule or standard
Of the rule - Measuring rod or standard
Paul states that he will not boast outside the limits of his ministry or his knowledge. The false teachers had puffed themselves up with great knowledge and believed they knew far more than Paul. Paul realized to boast beyond his measure of understanding would have been futile plus it would have been on the edge of false teaching. Paul taught and lived by what he knew and that was the Gospel. This Gospel was given to Paul as in a measure and with it he was able to stand before kings and to bring the witness to different parts of Asia. The rule which God gave Paul was clear, in that, it was to bring the Gospel message to wherever God sent him. The standard which God gave Paul, in this case, included the Corinthians. The Gospel is our standard and with it we are to take it to all parts of the world.
2 Cor 10:14 (KJB)
For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
We stretch - Overextend or Overstretch
Paulís ministry did not extend beyond the limitís the Lord had set for him. It was not as though his ministry did not include the Corinthians. It did, which was evidenced by the fact that Paul had written two letters to them and had also sent missionaries to them and included them in the offering for the Jerusalem church. He reminds them that it was he who was the first to bring the Gospel to Corinth. We as Christians today must take the advice of this verse. We should never try to overextend ourselves in the area of ministry so we are able to do our primary ministry properly and to the best we are able. Letís say we have a speaking ministry. We must never book more speaking engagements than we are able to fulfill. If we try to keep an overly full schedule, it may cause us to burn out and then we will be of no use to anyone. We must always work within the confines of our humanity. Our spirits desire to bring the Gospel as much as possible to as many places as possible but we must be realistic that our flesh will slow us down and severely limit us.
2 Cor 10:15 (KJB)
Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
Without our measure - Beyond measure
Labours - Toils, weariness, or troubles
That we shall be enlarged - Magnify or make great
Paul did not boast of anything outside his sphere of ministry. He never took credit for the labors of other menís ministries. Paul was having great hope that as the faith increased of the Corinthians, that they would assist him in the ministry God had given him and that the Gospel would go far beyond Corinth. Paul was also hoping that as the faith increases in the Corinthian church, there would be a larger resistance to those who had desired to tear down the church and the true faith of the Christians would shine through. As they continued to support Paul, it would greatly enlarge his sphere of influence for the Gospel.
2 Cor 10:16 (KJB)
To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
Line - Rule or standard
Paulís great desire was to preach the Gospel to as many places as he possibly can but he was always careful to never boast in the works of someone else. He wanted to name the name of the Lord in places where He was not previously preached. The false teachers had come into Corinth after the church had been established and desired to draw them after themselves. They were attempting to take credit for the work the Apostle Paul did by supplanting the work with their false gospels. They would not try to build their own church, they wait until it is formed and then try to destroy it.
2 Cor 10:17 (KJB)
But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
The false teachers would boast about themselves and their great knowledge and their great achievements. The true believer does not boast in him or herself, they boast in what the Lord has done and is doing. When people become saved through our ministries, it is not us doing the saving, we glorify God for doing the saving. Our boast is in Christ and not ourselves.
2 Cor 10:18 (KJB)
For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Commendeth - Recommends
Approved - Acceptable or one who is tested
Here the Scripture gives us the acid test for whether a teacher is true or not. The false teachers who went to Corinth were always recommending themselves based upon their talents but not on the truth. This type of recommendation goes on today where one pastor might recommend another who is of the same ilk by not possessing the truth. It was the Lord who counted Paul as faithful and placed Him in the ministry. (1 Tim 1:12 KJV) And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; We do not place ourselves in the ministry but the Lord places us in the ministry and if He does then He sustains us with the truth and He is the one who recommends us. If we have to start pushing ourselves by our own talents, then that is a sign that the Lord has not recommended us. If He has empowered us to do certain ministry through the power of the Holy Spirit, then He is recommending us. Only those whom the Lord recommends is the one who is approved and those who promote themselves are not recommended and will no doubt begin to go apostate very soon.