2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves…
I. THE FOLLY OF ADOPTING A FALSE, WORLDLY STANDARD OF CHARACTER AND CONDUCT. The folly, viz., of —
1. Self-righteous reliance on ourselves, or our supposed excellences. See this in the parable of the Pharisee. "There is a generation pure in their own eyes, and yet are not washed from their filth." Paul was once one of these Pharisees. "I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." The death of legal hope became the life of evangelical obedience. The true Christian rests in Christ only and wholly.
2. Dependence on the opinion of mankind. A fatal indolence is apt to creep upon the soul when once it has attained the good opinion of religious men. Pursuit is at an end when the object is in possession. If at the judgment we were to be tried by a jury of fellow mortals, it would be but common prudence to secure their favour at any price.
3. Dependence on morality without religion. Society is a gainer from the absence of vice and the presence of virtue. We are, however, careful to mark the distinction between the morality which has for its only source the motives which begin and end in time, and that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord, which has its root and origin in Christian motives and principles.
4. Dependence on religion without morality. Christianity must be received as a whole. Christianity is something more than a mere set of rules, it is a living principle of action. Faith works by love and purifies the heart. In acknowledging Christ as Redeemer we must not forget that He is Lawgiver.
II. THE WISDOM OF ADOPTING THAT STANDARD OF CHARACTER WHICH THE GOSPEL REVEALS.
1. As it regards the rule of our faith.
2. As it regards the test of practice.
Parallel VersesKJV: For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
WEB: For we are not bold to number or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves. But they themselves, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding.