Paul’s Apostolic Authority
1Now I, Paul, myself, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ — I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent.
2I beg you that when I am present I will not need to be bold with the confidence by which I plan to challenge certain people who think we are living according to the flesh.10:2 Php 3:3
3For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh,
4since the weapons of our warfare10:4 1Tm 1:18 are not of the flesh, but are powerful10:4 Ac 25:5 through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments
5and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge10:5 Jn 17:3; 1Jn 4:8 of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
6And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience is complete.
7Look at what is obvious.10:7 Or You are looking at things outwardly If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ,10:7 1Co 3:23; Gl 5:24 let him remind himself of this: Just as he belongs to Christ, so do we.
8For if I boast a little too much about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up10:8 1Co 14:3 and not for tearing you down, I will not be put to shame.
9I don’t want to seem as though I am trying to terrify you with my letters.
10For it is said, “His letters are weighty and powerful, but his physical presence is weak and his public speaking amounts to nothing.”
11Let such a person consider this: What we are in our letters, when we are absent, we will also be in our actions when we are present.
12For we don’t dare classify or compare ourselves with some who commend10:12 Gl 2:18 themselves. But in measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves to themselves,10:12 Pr 26:12; 27:2 they lack understanding.10:12 Mt 13:13
13We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned10:13 Rm 12:3; 1Co 7:17; Heb 7:2 to us, which reaches even to you.
14For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we had not reached you, since we have come to you with the gospel of Christ.
15We are not boasting beyond measure about other people’s labors. On the contrary, we have the hope10:15 1Th 1:3 that as your faith increases, our area of ministry will be greatly enlarged,
16so that we may preach the gospel to the regions beyond you10:16 Ac 19:21 without boasting about what has already been done in someone else’s area of ministry.10:16 Rm 15:20
17So let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.10:17Jr 9:2410:17 Jr 9:24
18For it is not the one commending himself who is approved, but the one the Lord commends.10:18 1Th 2:4