2-corinthians 10:18


King James Version (KJV)

For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

American King James Version (AKJV)

For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

American Standard Version (ASV)

For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

For the Lord's approval of a man is not dependent on his opinion of himself, but on the Lord's opinion of him.

Webster's Revision

For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

World English Bible

For it isn't he who commends himself who is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

English Revised Version (ERV)

For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

Clarke's 2-corinthians 10:18 Bible Commentary

Not he that commendeth himself - Not the person who makes a parade of his own attainments; who preaches himself, and not Christ Jesus the Lord; and, far from being your servant for Christ's sake, affects to be your ruler; not such a one shall be approved of God, by an especial blessing on his labors; but he whom the Lord commendeth, by giving him the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, and converting the heathen by his ministry. These were qualifications to which the false apostle at Corinth could not pretend. He had language and eloquence, and show and parade; but he had neither the gifts of an apostle nor an apostle's success.

1. Dr. Whitby observes that the apostle, in the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th verses, (2 Corinthians 10:13-16) endeavors to advance himself above the false apostles in the three following particulars: -

(1.) That whereas they could show no commission to preach to the Corinthians, no measure by which God had distributed the Corinthians to them as their province, he could do so. We have a measure to reach even to you, 2 Corinthians 10:13.

(2.) That whereas they went out of their line, leaping from one Church to another, he went on orderly, in the conversion of the heathens, from Judea through all the interjacent provinces, till he came to Corinth.

(3.) Whereas they only came in and perverted the Churches where the faith had already been preached, and so could only boast of things made ready to their hands, 2 Corinthians 10:16, he had labored to preach the Gospel where Christ had not been named, lest he should build on another man's foundation, Romans 15:20.

2. We find that from the beginning God appointed to every man his promise, and to every man his labor; and would not suffer even one apostle to interfere with another. This was a very wise appointment; for by this the Gospel was not only more speedily diffused over the heathen nations, as we have already remarked, but the Churches were better attended to, the Christian doctrine preserved in its purity, and the Christian discipline properly enforced. What is any men's work is no man's in particular; and thus the work is neglected. In every Church of God there should be some one who for the time being has the care of it, who may be properly called its pastor; and who is accountable for its purity in the faith, and its godly discipline.

3. Every man who ministers in holy things should be well assured of his call to the work; without this he can labor neither with confidence nor comfort. And he should be careful to watch over the flock, that no destroying wolf be permitted to enter the sacred fold, and that the fences of a holy discipline be kept in proper repair.

4. It is base, abominable, and deeply sinful, for a man to thrust himself into other men's labors, and, by sowing doubtful disputations among a Christian people, distract and divide them, that he may get a party to himself. Such persons generally act as the false apostle at Corinth; preach a relaxed morality; place great stress upon certain doctrines which flatter and soothe self-love; calumniate the person, system of doctrines, and mode of discipline, of the pastor who perhaps planted that Church, or who in the order of God's providence has the oversight of it. This is an evil that has prevailed much in all ages of the Church; there is at present much of it in the Christian world, and Christianity is disgraced by it.

Barnes's 2-corinthians 10:18 Bible Commentary

For not he that commendeth himself ... - Not he who boasts of his talents and endowments. He is not to be judged by the estimate which he shall place on himself, but by the estimate which God shall form and express.

Is approved - By God. It is no evidence that we shall be saved that we are prone to commend ourselves; see Romans 16:10.

But whom the Lord commendeth - see the note on Romans 2:29. The idea here is, that people are to be approved or rejected by God. He is to pass judgment on them, and that judgment is to be in accordance with his estimate of their character, and not according to their own. If he approves them they will be saved; if he does not, vain will be all their empty boasting; vain all their reliance on their wealth, eloquence. learning, or earthly honors. None will save them from condemnation; not all these things can purchase for them eternal life. Paul thus seriously shows that we should be mainly anxious to obtain the divine favor. It should be the grand aim and purpose of our life; and we should repress all disposition for vain - glory or self-confidence; all reliance on our talents, attainments, or accomplishments for salvation. our boast is that we have such a redeemer: and in that we all may glory!


1. We should have no desire to show off any special boldness or energy of character which we may have; 2 Corinthians 10:1-2. We should greatly prefer to evince the gentleness and meekness of Christ. Such a character is in itself of far more value than one that is merely energetic and bold; that is rash, authoritative, and fond of display.

2. They who are officers in the church should have no desire to administer discipline; 2 Corinthians 10:2. Some people are so fond of power that they always love to exercise it. They are willing to show it even by inflicting punishment on others; and "dressed in a little brief authority" they are constantly seeking occasion to show their consequence; they magnify trifles; they are unwilling to pass by the slightest offences. The reason is not that they love the truth, but that they love their own consequence, and they seek every opportunity to show it.

3. All Christians and all Christian ministers are engaged in a warfare; 2 Corinthians 10:3. They are at war with sin in their own hearts, and with sin wherever it exists on earth, and with the powers of darkness. With foes so numerous and so vigilant, they should not expect to live a life of ease or quietness. Peace, perfect peace, they may expect in heaven, not on earth. Here they are to fight the good fight of faith and thus to lay held on eternal life. It has been the common lot of all the children of God to maintain such a war, and shall we expect to be exempt?

"Shall I be carried to the skies.

On flowery beds of ease,

While others fought to win the prize,

And sailed through bloody seas?

"Are there no foes for me to face,

Must I not stem the flood?

Is this vile world a friend to grace,


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