Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


2 Corinthians 10:17

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord - Instead of boasting or exulting even in your own success in preaching the Gospel, as none can be successful without the especial blessing of God, let God who gave the blessing have the glory. Even the genuine apostle, who has his commission immediately from God himself, takes no praise to himself from the prosperity of his work, but gives it all to God. How little cause then have your uncommissioned men to boast, to whom God has assigned no province, and who only boast in another man's line of things made ready to their hand!

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But he that glorieth - He that boasts. Whatever may be the occasion of his boasting, whether in planting churches or in watering them; whether in his purposes, plans, toils, or success. Paul himself did not deem it improper on some occasions to boast 2 Corinthians 11:16; 2 Corinthians 12:5, but it was not of his own power, attainments, or righteousness. He was disposed to trace all to the Lord, and to regard him as the source of all blessing and all success.

Let him glory in the Lord - In this serious and weighty admonition, Paul designs, doubtless, to express the manner in which he was accustomed to glory, and to furnish an admonition to the Corinthians. In the previous part of the chapter there had been some severe irony. He closes the chapter with the utmost seriousness and solemnity of manner, in order to show on his part that he was not disposed to glory in his own attainments and to admonish them not to boast of theirs. If they had anything valuable they should regard the Lord as the author of it. In this admonition it is probable that Paul had in his eye the passage in Jeremiah 9:23-24; though he has not expressly quoted it. “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.” The sentiment is a favorite one with Paul, as it should be with all Christians; see the note on 1 Corinthians 1:31. On this verse we may here remark:

I. That nothing is more common than for people to boast or glory. Little as they really have in which to glory, yet there is no one probably who has not something of which he is proud, and of which he is disposed to boast. It would be difficult or impossible to find a person who had not something on which he prided himself; something in which he esteemed himself superior to others.

II. The things of which they boast are very various:

(1)Many are proud of their personal beauty; many, too, who would be unwilling to be thought proud of it.

(2)many glory in their accomplishments; or, what is more likely, in the accomplishments of their children.

(3)many glory in their talents; talents for anything, valuable or not, in which they suppose they surpass others. They glory in their talent for eloquence, or science, or gaining knowledge; or in their talent for gaining property or keeping it: for their skill in their professions or callings; for their ability to run, to leap, or to practice even any trick or sleight of hand. There is nothing so worthless that it does not constitute a subject of glorying, provided it be ours. If it belong to others it may be valueless.

(4)many glory in their property; in fine houses, extended plantations, or in the reputation of being rich; or in gorgeous dress, equipage, and furniture. In short, there is nothing which people possess in which they are not prone to glory. Forgetful of God the giver; forgetful that all may be soon taken from them. or that they soon must leave all; forgetful that none of these things can constitute a distinction in the grave or beyond, they boast as if these things were to remain forever, and as if they had been acquired independently of God. How prone is the man of talents to forget that God has given him his intellect, and that for its proper use he must give account! How prone is the rich man to forget that he must die! How prone the frivolous and the beautiful to forget that they will lie undistinguished in the grave; and that death will consume them as soon as the most vile and worthless of the species!

III. If we glory it should be in the Lord. We should ascribe our talents, wealth, health, strength, and salvation to him. We should rejoice:

(1)That we have such a Lord, so glorious, so full of mercy, so powerful, so worthy of confidence and love.

(2)We should rejoice in our endowments and possessions as his gift. We should rejoice that we may come and lay everything at his feet, and whatever may be our rank, or talents, or learning, we should rejoice that we may come with the humblest child of poverty, and sorrow, and want, and say, “Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth‘s sake;” 1 Corinthians 1:31.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
If we would compare ourselves with others who excel us, this would be a good method to keep us humble. The apostle fixes a good rule for his conduct; namely, not to boast of things without his measure, which was the measure God had distributed to him. There is not a more fruitful source of error, than to judge of persons and opinions by our own prejudices. How common is it for persons to judge of their own religious character, by the opinions and maxims of the world around them! But how different is the rule of God's word! And of all flattery, self-flattery is the worst. Therefore, instead of praising ourselves, we should strive to approve ourselves to God. In a word, let us glory in the Lord our salvation, and in all other things only as evidences of his love, or means of promoting his glory. Instead of praising ourselves, or seeking the praise of men, let us desire that honour which cometh from God only.
Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 346.3

There are men whom God has qualified with more than ordinary ability. They are deep thinkers, energetic, and thorough. But many of them are bent upon the attainment of their own selfish ends, without regard to the honor and glory of God. Some of these have seen the light of truth, but because they honored themselves, and did not make God first and last and best in everything, they have wandered away from Bible truth into skepticism and infidelity. When these are arrested by the chastisements of God, and through affliction are led to inquire for the old paths, the mist of skepticism is swept from their minds. Some of them repent, return to the old love, and set their feet in the way cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. No longer are they actuated by the love of money or by selfish ambition. The Spirit of God working upon the heart is valued by them more highly than gold or the praise of men. When this amazing change is wrought, the thoughts are directed by the Spirit of God into new channels, the character is transformed, and the aspirations of the soul reach out toward heavenly things. RC 346.3

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