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In this chapter we have the character of Paul's ministry, "bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." I suppose Paul was some poor-looking man instead of being a fine commanding person - "in presence am base among you." In verse 5 I have put "reasonings" for "imaginations." The word has the force of both. In verse 6 "when your obedience is fulfilled," means he waited for them to go with him in all. There is the greatest grace in this, for he comes with authority behind, and has what I may call a rod for them, if needed. 353 In chapter 10, we have a clue to all these difficulties with these false people, and also to what his thorn in the flesh was. "We will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us," v. 13. These people had come and acted as if they were originally authorised, where God had not give them any measure. Paul had had all the difficulty, and persecution, and danger; and then it was all very comfortable for them to step in and try and spoil his work. He had not gone outside his measure. All very right in a good spirit that apostles should water what Paul planted, but that is if it is done in a right spirit. These were coming without being asked, and that to spoil the thing. Paul did not boast of things without (that is, outside) "our measure," things of other men's labour. "Enlarged by you" (v. 15) simply means, they were to help hum to go on to other places. It all shews how the apostles went through the same kind of difficulties that we do. Suppose we saw all the churches of the country giving up justification by faith, how we should feel it! We should think it was all no use. But God met this at Corinth, and would now. Here were people drunk at the Lord's supper, and puffed up about wickedness, and so on. All these things were there, but power by the Spirit of God met them. Now people try to take an advantage of it in this way; they say, All these churches are just as bad as the Established Church, or anything else now. It is a great mistake, for now we find all is the world, and not the church at all. We have no church to appeal to, no grace or life to appeal to. It is not a question of more or less outward wickedness; they are not out from the world to walk in the Spirit, so that the exercise of the power of the Spirit may come in.

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