Wednesday, 18 November 2015
…to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment. 2 Corinthians 10:16
The words, “…to preach the gospel in the regions beyond you” are given in connection to the words of the previous verse which said, “…as your faith is increased, we shall be greatly enlarged by you in our sphere.” It is likely that Paul is saying that as the Corinthians grow in their faith, his ministry will benefit as it stretches out into other areas. There are a couple possibilities concerning what he means.
The first is that Paul will be less burdened in dealing with Corinth as they assume a greater role in the conduct of their own church. Or, it may be that Paul is hoping they will assist him in that ministry through prayer or some other means. These conditions though are based on their increased faith, something Paul is working on in his letter of instruction.
Even though he wasn’t present with them, his words would be valuable to them for right doctrine. And surely this is the case because even to this day those same words are being read by churches all around the world as a part of the Holy Bible.
In Paul’s preaching of the gospel in the regions beyond Corinth, he would be able to start new mission fields “and not to boast in another man’s sphere of accomplishment.” This is actually a continued response to the charge that he previously addressed. Verses 13 and 14 seem to imply that he was accused of over-extending his sphere of influence, which he refuted. In this verse he goes beyond that and shows that where he intends to go is certainly not in anyone else’s sphere of accomplishment.
Where he intended to travel is not totally certain, but it is likely that he is mentally referring to his comments in Romans 15:19-24. There he specifically mentions his desire to go first to Rome and then on to Spain.
Life application: It is so easy to take credit for things which we did not accomplish. Politicians are often caught lying about their past, claiming deeds they did not do. Pastors have been caught up in such things as well. Any of us can fall prey to this temptation, so let us always stand guard against it. Even if we haven’t done great things, we are still accepted by God because of Christ. If God has accepted us, then why should we worry about what mere men think of us!
Heavenly Father, help us to avoid the temptation of claiming things that we never accomplished. Politicians love to make up stories about their past which are untrue. Even Christian leaders have been caught in this. But You have accepted each of us who have received Christ, calling us Your children. If You have accepted us as we are, then why should we ever think we need to impress mere men? No way! Thank You for who I am, just as I am. Amen.