2 Corinthians 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

King James Bible
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

Darby Bible Translation
not that we are competent of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our competency [is] of God;

World English Bible
not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God;

Young's Literal Translation
not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God,

2 Corinthians 3:5 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves - We do not arrogate to ourselves any power to enlighten the mind or change the heart, we are only instruments in the hand of God. Nor was it possible for us apostles to think, to invent, such a scheme of salvation as is the Gospel; and if we even had been equal to the invention, how could we have fulfilled such promises as this scheme of salvation abounds with? God alone could fulfill these promises, and he fulfils only those which he makes himself. All these promises have been amen-ratified and fulfilled to you who have believed on Christ Jesus according to our preaching; therefore, ye are God's workmanship and it is only by God's sufficiency that we have been able to do any thing. This I believe to be the apostle's meaning in this place, and that he speaks here merely of the Gospel scheme, and the inability of human wisdom to invent it; and the words λογισασθαι τι, which we translate to think any thing, signify, properly, to find any thing out by reasoning; and as the Gospel scheme of salvation is the subject in hand, to that subject the words are to be referred and limited. The words, however, contain also a general truth; we can neither think, act, nor be, without God. From him we have received all our powers, whether of body or of mind, and without him we can do nothing. But we may abuse both our power of thinking and acting; for the power to think, and the power to act, are widely different from the act of thinking, and the act of doing. God gives us the power or capacity to think and act, but he neither thinks nor acts for us. It is on this ground that we may abuse our powers, and think evil, and act wickedly; and it is on this ground that we are accountable for our thoughts, words, and deeds.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


2 Corinthians 2:16 To the one we are the smell of death to death; and to the other the smell of life to life. And who is sufficient for these things?

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Exodus 4:10 And Moses said to the LORD, O my LORD, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you have spoken to your servant...

John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit...


2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...

Exodus 4:11-16 And the LORD said to him, Who has made man's mouth? or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD...

Jeremiah 1:6-10 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child...

Matthew 10:19,20 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak...

Luke 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem...

1 Corinthians 3:6,10 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase...

1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain...

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss...

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Gospel Transcends Law.
Text: 2 Corinthians 3, 4-11. 4 And such confidence have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God; 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written, and engraven on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look stedfastly upon
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

The Letter and the Spirit
(Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.) II COR. iii. 6. God, who hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. When we look at the Collect, Epistle, and Gospel for to-day one after the other, we do not see, perhaps, what they have to do with each other. But they have to do with each other. They agree with each other. They explain each other. They all three tell us what God is like, and what we are to believe
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Note F. Note from Bengel on Rom. I. 4.
According to the Spirit of Holiness. The word hagios, holy, when God is spoken of, not only denotes the blameless rectitude in action, but the very Godhead, or to speak more properly, the divinity, or excellence of the Divine nature. Hence hagiosune (the word here used) has a kind of middle sense between hagiotes, holiness, and hagiasmos, sanctification. Comp. Heb. xii. 10 (hagiotes or holiness), v. 14 (hagiasmos or sanctification). So that there are, as it were, three degrees: sanctification,
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Authority and Utility of the Scriptures
2 Tim. iii. 16.--"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." We told you that there was nothing more necessary to know than what our end is, and what the way is that leads to that end. We see the most part of men walking at random,--running an uncertain race,--because they do not propose unto themselves a certain scope to aim at, and whither to direct their whole course. According to men's particular
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Cross References
Genesis 41:16
"I cannot do it," Joseph replied to Pharaoh, "but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires."

2 Chronicles 30:12
Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the LORD.

Romans 15:18
I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done--

1 Corinthians 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

2 Corinthians 2:16
To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?

2 Timothy 2:2
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

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