Friday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Corinthians 10:1-6

The Weapons of the Christian’s Warfare

Now in these last few chapters Paul will make one final appeal to the Corinthians of the genuineness of his apostleship.  It’s hard to imagine that those who came to saving faith through his ministry could now be so bold to denounce him, but they had allowed themselves to be misled by false brethren who slipped in behind Paul after he had left for another field of labor.  I suppose today people would call this “sheep-stealing” or “proselytizing.”  Those are really trivial terms to describe what Paul saw happening: Paul was not fighting to keep his church out from under someone else’s influence; Paul was fighting to keep this church in God’s family.  We can be sure that whoever these false apostles were, be they Gentile antinomians or Jews of the circumcision party, Paul was fighting for the very truth of the gospel as salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ made real through a Spirit-filled life of love to others.  This was the teaching and foundation of his apostleship, and to deny his apostleship was to deny the teaching that undergirded his apostleship, which was to deny the gospel itself.  We have simply become so accustomed to church-hopping in our culture that we can’t see the deeper issue.

What is so fascinating about this passage are the weapons which Paul employs in his fights.  Paul doesn’t want to fight; Paul doesn’t want to wage war.  Besides, as far as the Corinthians who oppose him are concerned, he’s a wimp, anyway: “His bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account” (10:10).  But Paul informs them that such estimation comes from the flesh, which ironically is what they accuse him of being concerned about.  On the contrary, the weapons which Paul brings to a gunfight “have divine power to destroy strongholds … arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”  Yes, Paul is humble, no doubt about that.  But it is this very humility which allows him to be bold with such powerful weapons as he has.  And it is these weapons which he will use against his opponents when he arrives, which are, in a word, the word of God.

And these weapons are still available today, but are quite useless without ammunition: prayer, Bible study and memorization, and all baptized in the Spirit for humble and timely use.  And let’s not forget personal holiness and walking with God.  Thus equipped, we take our own thoughts captive to obey Christ before we try the thoughts of others.  Remember, we do not fight flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), so our weapons cannot be of such.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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