Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament1 Corinthians 4:7
- Maketh thee to differ (se diakrinei).
- Distinguishes thee, separates thee. Diakrinw means to sift or separate between (dia) as in Acts 15:9 (which see) where metaxu is added to make it plainer. All self-conceit rests on the notion of superiority of gifts and graces as if they were self-bestowed or self-acquired.
- Which thou didst not receive (o ouk elabev).
- "Another home-thrust" (Robertson and Plummer). Pride of intellect, of blood, of race, of country, of religion, is thus shut out.
- Dost thou glory (kauxasai).
- The original second person singular middle ending -sai is here preserved with variable vowel contraction, kauxaesai=kauxasai (Robertson, Grammar, p. 341). Paul is fond of this old and bold verb for boasting.
- As if thou hadst not received it (wv mh labwn).
- This neat participial clause (second aorist active of lambanw) with wv (assumption) and negative mh punctures effectually the inflated bag of false pride. What pungent questions Paul has asked. Robertson and Plummer say of Augustine, "Ten years before the challenge of Pelagius, the study of St. Paul's writings, and especially of this verse and of Romans 9:16, had crystallized in his mind the distinctively Augustinian doctrines of man's total depravity, of irresistible grace, and of absolute predestination." Human responsibility does exist beyond a doubt, but there is no foundation for pride and conceit.