Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Corinthians
Book: 2 Corinthians
Chapter: 11

The Apostle gives the reasons for speaking in his own
commendation. (1-14) Shows that he had freely preached the
Gospel. (5-15) Explains what he was going to add in defence of
his own character. (16-21) He gives an account of his labours,
cares, sufferings, dangers, and deliverances. (22-33)

1-4 The Apostle desired to preserve the Corinthians from being
corrupted By the false apostles. There is but one Jesus, one
Spirit, and one Gospel, to be preached to them, and received By
them; and why should any be prejudiced, By the devices of an
Adversary, against him who first taught them in Faith? They
should not listen to men, who, without cause, would draw them
away from those who were the means of their Conversion.

5-15 It is far better to be Plain in speech, yet walking openly
and consistently with the Gospel, than to be admired By
Thousands, and be lifted up in pride, So as to disgrace the
Gospel By evil tempers and unholy lives. The Apostle would not
give room for any to accuse him of worldly designs in preaching
the Gospel, that others who opposed him at Corinth, might not in
this respect gain advantage against him. Hypocrisy may be looked
for, especially when we consider the great power which Satan,
who rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, has
upon the minds of many. And as there are temptations to evil
conduct, So there is equal danger On the other side. It serves
Satan's purposes as Well, to set up good Works against the
Atonement of Christ, and Salvation By Faith and Grace. But the
End will discover those who are deceitful workers; their work
will End in ruin. Satan will allow his ministers to preach
either the Law or the Gospel separately; but the Law as
established By Faith in Christ's Righteousness and Atonement,
and the partaking of his Spirit, is the test of every false

16-21 It is the duty and practice of Christians to humble
themselves, in obedience to the command and Example of the Lord;
yet prudence must direct in what it is needful to do things
which we may do lawfully, even the speaking of what God has
wrought for us, and in us, and By us. Doubtless here is
reference to facts in which the character of the false apostles
had been shown. It is astonishing to see how such men bring
their followers into Bondage, and how they take from them and
insult them.

22-33 The Apostle gives an account of his labours and
sufferings; not out of pride or vain-Glory, but to the honour of
God, who enabled him to do and suffer So much for the cause of
Christ; and shows wherein he excelled the false apostles, who
tried to lessen his character and usefulness. It astonishes us
to reflect On this account of his dangers, hardships, and
sufferings, and to observe his patience, perseverance,
diligence, cheerfulness, and usefulness, in the midst of all
these trials. See what little reason we have to Love the pomp
and plenty of this world, when this blessed Apostle felt So much
hardship in it. Our utmost diligence and services appear
unworthy of notice when compared with his, and our difficulties
and trials scarcely can be perceived. It may Well lead us to
inquire whether or not we really are followers of Christ. Here
we may study patience, courage, and firm trust in God. Here we
may learn to think less of ourselves; and we should ever
strictly keep to Truth, as in God's presence; and should refer
all to his Glory, as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is
blessed for evermore.