2 Corinthians 10

2 Corinthians 10:2

I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh.

As if we walked according to the flesh. As if we operated way the world operates.

2 Corinthians 10:3

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

(a) We walk in the flesh. We live in the world.

(b) We do not war according to the flesh. We do not fight in the way the world fights. We don’t claw and grasp and manipulate. We don’t throw people under the bus or shoot those who oppose us.

2 Corinthians 10:4

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

(a) The weapons of our warfare. The way we deal with things. “The tools of our trade” to quote the Message Bible.

(b) Are not of the flesh. Are not worldly. We don’t fight our battles by manipulating people, playing politics, or pulling rank.

(c) Divinely powerful. We are not defenceless lambs at the mercy of the devouring lion. We are armoured with Christ himself, and his shield of faith is able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one (Eph. 6:16). Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

(d) The destruction of fortresses. Fortresses or strongholds speak of mindsets that are opposed to the things of God.

2 Corinthians 10:5

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

(a) We are destroying speculations. We demolish or pull down thoughts and mindsets that are contrary to the knowledge of God.

Most spiritual warfare takes place in the battlefield of your mind. Since we are facing a defeated foe (Col. 2:15), the only way Satan can win is if he gets you to take his side. Swallow his lies and fall for his schemes, and you empower a disarmed enemy. Worse, you end up with a distorted picture of your heavenly Father’s good heart. This is why we need to guard our hearts and watch our thoughts.

(b) Taking every thought captive. Not every thought that comes into your mind is good. Some thoughts come from the world. Others come from the demonic realm. When a dark thought or lie enters your mind, grab it by the scruff of the neck and make it bow down to King Jesus. Often this will involve speaking out or declaring the promises of God over your life. Say the following thought comes into your head: “You are not doing enough for God. You are a miserable sinner.” You can reply, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. My Father is well pleased with me and I have nothing to prove.”

(c) The obedience of Christ. Usually condemning thoughts point to our behavior. “Look what you did.” An effective response is to point to what Christ did (the obedience of Christ). Because Christ obeyed, you have been reconciled, justified, and made right with God. Your obedience or performance doesn’t come into it.

2 Corinthians 10:7

You are looking at things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we.

He is Christ’s. You belong to God (1 Pet. 2:9). This means your welfare and your future are God’s concern. It is he who will sustain you and keep you to the end (1 Cor. 1:8-9).

2 Corinthians 10:15

not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you,

Faith grows. You may say, as the disciples did, “Lord, increase my faith” (Luke 17:5). But you don’t need extra faith any more than you need extra arms and legs. You just need to use the faith you have. Just as you build your muscles with use, you can grow your faith by putting it to work (2 Th. 1:3).

You can be weak in faith (Rom. 4:19, 14:1) or you can be strengthened in the faith (Acts 16:5, 1 Th. 3:2) and grow strong in faith (Rom. 4:20). You can waver in unbelief or you can be established and standing firm in your faith (1 Cor. 16:13, Col. 2:7, Tit. 1:13, 2:2, 1 Pet. 5:9). You can be lacking in faith (1 Th. 3:10) or you can build yourself up in the most holy faith (Jude 1:20) until you are rich in faith (Jas. 2:5) and full of faith (Acts 11:24).

One of the ways we strengthen our faith is by growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18). As our understanding of God’s love deepens, it strengthens our trust in him. As God gets bigger, our faith in him grows stronger.

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