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THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS - Chapter 3 - Verse 5

Verse 5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves. This is evidently designed to guard against the appearance of boasting, or of self-confidence. He had spoken of his confidence; of his triumph; of his success; of his undoubted evidence that God had sent him. He here says, that he did not mean to be understood as affirming that any of his success came from himself, or that he was able by his own strength to accomplish the great things which had,. been effected by his ministry. He well knew that he had no such self-sufficiency; and he would, not insinuate, in the slightest manner, that he believed himself to be invested with any such power. See Barnes "Joh 15:5".

 

To think any thing. logisasyai ti. The word here used means, properly, to reason, think, consider; and then to reckon, count to, or impute to any one. It is the word which is commonly rendered impute. See it explained more fully See Barnes "Ro 4:1".

Robinson (Lexicon) renders it in this place, "To reason out, to think out, to find out by thinking." Doddridge renders it, "To reckon upon anything as from ourselves." Whitby renders it, "To reason;" as if the apostle had said, We are unable by any reasoning of our own to bring men to conversion. Macknight gives a similar sense. Locke renders it, "Not as if I were sufficient of myself, to reckon upon anything as from myself;" and explains it to mean that Paul was not sufficient of himself, by any strength of natural parts, to attain the knowledge of the gospel truths which he preached. The word may be rendered here, to reckon, reason, think, etc.; but it should be confined to the immediate subject under consideration. It does not refer to thinking in general; or to the power of thought on any, and on all subjects—however true it may be in itself; but to the preaching the gospel. And the expression may be regarded as referring to the following points, which are immediately under discussion:

(1.) Paul did not feel that he was sufficient of himself to have reasoned or thought out the truths of the gospel. They were communicated by God.

(2.) He had no power by reasoning to convince or convert sinners. That was all of God.

(3.) He had no right to reckon on success by any strength of his own. All success was to be traced to God. It is, however, also true, that all our powers of thinking and reasoning are from God; and that we have no ability to think clearly, to reason calmly, closely, and correctly, unless he shall preside over our minds and give us clearness of thought. How easy is it for God to disarrange all our faculties, and produce insanity! How easy to suffer our minds to become unsettled, bewildered, and distracted with a multiplicity of thoughts! How easy to cause everything to appear cloudy, and dark, and misty! How easy to affect our bodies with weakness, languor, disease, and through them to destroy all power of close and consecutive thought! No one who considers on how many things the power of dose thinking depends, can doubt that all our sufficiency in this is from God; and that we owe to him every clear idea on the subjects of common life, and on scientific subjects, no less certainly than we do in the truths of religion. Comp. the case of Bezaleel and Aholiab in common arts, Ex 31:1-6; Job 32:8.

{a} "sufficient of ourselves" Joh 15:5 {b} "but our sufficiency" 1 Co 15:10; Php 2:13

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