2 Corinthians 11

* The apostle gives the reasons for speaking in his own

commendation. (1-14) Shows that he had freely preached the

gospel. (5-15) Explains what he was going to add in defence of

his own character. (16-21) He gives an account of his labours,

cares, sufferings, dangers, and deliverances. (22-33)

1-4 The apostle desired to preserve the Corinthians from being

corrupted by the false apostles. There is but one Jesus, one

Spirit, and one gospel, to be preached to them, and received by

them; and why should any be prejudiced, by the devices of an

adversary, against him who first taught them in faith? They

should not listen to men, who, without cause, would draw them

away from those who were the means of their conversion.
5-15 It is far better to be plain in speech, yet walking openly

and consistently with the gospel, than to be admired by

thousands, and be lifted up in pride, so as to disgrace the

gospel by evil tempers and unholy lives. The apostle would not

give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching

the gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in

this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked

for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan,

who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, has

upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil

conduct, so there is equal danger on the other side. It serves

Satan's purposes as well, to set up good works against the

atonement of Christ, and salvation by faith and grace. But the

end will discover those who are deceitful workers; their work

will end in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach

either the law or the gospel separately; but the law as

established by faith in Christ's righteousness and atonement,

and the partaking of his Spirit, is the test of every false

system.
16-21 It is the duty and practice of Christians to humble

themselves, in obedience to the command and example of the Lord;

yet prudence must direct in what it is needful to do things

which we may do lawfully, even the speaking of what God has

wrought for us, and in us, and by us. Doubtless here is

reference to facts in which the character of the false apostles

had been shown. It is astonishing to see how such men bring

their followers into bondage, and how they take from them and

insult them.
22-33 The apostle gives an account of his labours and

sufferings; not out of pride or vain-glory, but to the honour of

God, who enabled him to do and suffer so much for the cause of

Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who

tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us

to reflect on this account of his dangers, hardships, and

sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance,

diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all

these trials. See what little reason we have to love the pomp

and plenty of this world, when this blessed apostle felt so much

hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear

unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties

and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may well lead us to

inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here

we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we

may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever

strictly keep to truth, as in God's presence; and should refer

all to his glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is

blessed for evermore.

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