2 Corinthians 10:13-16
But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God has distributed to us…
I. THE TRUE SPHERE OF HUMAN USEFULNESS.
1. It is a sphere in which we are placed by Divine appointment. Paul teaches that his sphere of labour at Corinth was according to God's will (ver. 14). "I am not come to Corinth merely by my own inclinations, or as a matter of impulse or caprice, or as an intruder. I am licensed by God to this sphere."
2. The consciousness that we are in this sphere is a just reason for exultation. "Not boasting of things without our measure." Paul's opponents boasted of their influence in the Church which he had founded, whereas his rejoicing was that he was doing the work of God in the sphere to which he had been sent.
3. It is a sphere which widens with our usefulness. The increase of their faith would lead to an enlargement of his sphere of labour. The true method of extending the sphere of labour to which we have been sent is by the multiplication of our converts.
II. THE TRUE SOURCE OF HUMAN EXULTATION. Paul boasted —
1. Not in crediting himself with the labours of other men. He did not "boast in another man's line (province) of things made ready to our hand." How common it is for men to credit themselves with the labours of others! In literature there are plagiarists, in scientific discoveries and artistic inventions there are unjust claimants, and even in religion one minister is often found to claim the good that others have accomplished. Paul was above this. The genius of Christianity condemns this mean and miserable dishonesty.
2. Not in self-commendation. "For not he that commendeth himself is approved." That conscience approves of our conduct, though at all times a source of pleasure is not a true source of exultation; for conscience is not infallible.
3. But "in the Lord" (ver. 17). "God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross."
(D. Thomas, D. D.).
Parallel VersesKJV: But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.