2 Corinthians 10:1-18 - Paul's Ministry Defended

1 I who am a person of a mean presence, when among you, but exert myself upon your account, when absent; I Paul intreat you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, not to let me exert that authority, 2 when I am present, which I think to exercise against some, who censure me, as if I was actuated by worldly views. 3 for tho' I am involv'd with the world, I don't sustain the war with their poor arts: 4 our military arms are not so defective, but divinely effectual to demolish all their ramparts; 5 to level all the barriers they contrive for obstructing the divine doctrine, and to make their pride captive to the authority of Christ. 6 and I am prepar'd, when you have discharg'd your duty, to make examples of the rest for their disobedience.

7 Do ye judge of things by the outward appearance? if any man is confident in himself, that he is Christ's, let him from himself conclude too, that as he is Christ's, even so are we. 8 for though I should more than ever magnify my authority, which the Lord hath given us for your improvement, and not for your ruin, I should have no reason to be ashamed; 9 but that I may not seem as if I would strike a terror in you by letters: 10 (for 'tis objected that my letters are weighty and powerful, but my bodily presence weak, and my preaching 11 contemptible) let such a one depend upon this, that the same authority which appear'd in my letters, when I was absent, will appear in fact, when I am present.

12 for I dare not rank or compare my self with some who vaunt themselves: but they making their self-conceit the only standard whereby to judge of themselves, show their want of judgment. 13 I will not boast of any thing done without my province, but confine myself within that line by which God has mark'd out my bounds, and in which you are included. 14 for I do not stretch beyond my limits to take you in; since in preaching the gospel of Christ, we are advanced even to you. 15 I don't assume to myself the credit of other men's labours in another province, but hope, that when your faith is increased, the bounds now prescribed will be enlarged by you yet farther; 16 so that I may preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not assume the credit of things ready prepared to my hand, in another man's province. 17 but he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. 18 for not he that commendeth himself, but he whom the Lord commendeth, is the approved.