The Measure of the Rule

2Corinthians 10:13-18 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God has distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends. 

‘Measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.’ Here Paul seems to be using the figure of a stadium or racecourse in the Olympic and Isthmian games. The measure [Greek: metron] was the length of the course, and the rule [Greek: kanon] 2Corinthians 10:13, 15-16] was like the white line which marked the boundaries of the stadium. The verbs of reaching and stretching in 2Corinthians 10:13-14 refer to the exertions in winning the race.

‘For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ.’ This verse simply means that Paul had not gone beyond them, further west in preaching the gospel, but had turned southward from Macedonia into Greece to establish their congregation.

‘Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly.’ They boasted only of things which God has done by them. They did not attempt to go where other men have laboured. They stayed within the bounds of the guidance of the Holy Spirit and worked according to this rule. Paul’s hope was that when they have grown in faith and grace enough for him to leave them that he could take the gospel to other places where it has not been preached (10:15-16).

‘But he that glories, let him glory in the Lord.’ Quoted from Jeremiah 9:24. The man who boasts, let him do so in the Lord. It is not the one who brags on himself that is approved, but the one whom the Lord recommends (10:17-18).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s