Faithlife Sermons

2 Cor 10:1-6 Spiritual Warfare

The LIght of the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

With humility and gentleness we wage spiritual warfare in obedience to Christ by his power.


Spiritual Warfare

2 Corinthians 10:1-6
Spiritual warfare as some quasi horror movie scenario or as a reality?
Engaged or surrendered.
Main Idea: With humility and gentleness we wage spiritual warfare in obedience to Christ by his power.
Stunning and confusing spectacle called the Presidential debate…decorum out the window. Display of the flesh.
How not to debate…how not to act as it relates to the text before us.

With humility and gentleness we wage spiritual warfare in obedience to Christ.

Despite the sharp turn in the argument, the beginning of this new section is marked grammatically as a continuation of that which precedes: “And I myself, Paul.…” (Seifrid 374)
10 I, Paul, myself entreat you,
Paul moves from talking about the team to referring directly to himself.
entreat you earnestly request, urge you..
by the meekness and gentleness of Christ by—through or because of the humility and compassion
Matthew 11:29 ESV
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
We have been given the spirit of Christ, walk in Him.
--tension...Does meekness and gentleness mean that you are a doormat and never speak boldly? Matt. 11 woe to you Corazin.
Should the next part of the verse be read as fact or sarcasm?…sarcasm. The accusation is that Paul is strong when he writes and weak when face to face.
—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!—
Calvin writes that the opponents “were making out that the vehemence with which he thundered in his letters was...the bravado of a cowardly braggart.” In short, the opponents disparage Paul for being a very unimpressive person when in Corinth--he has no public presence--and for playing “the confident leader” only when he is writing letters from a distance (i.e., when he doesn’t have to stand toe-to-toe with those opposing him in Corinth). The fuller form of this accusation comes out in 10:10. (Guthrie 468)
Even today it is easy to fall into the trap of equating public presence and presentation with spiritual power and authenticity of ministry. The false teachers were attractive in part because they fit the cultural norms of Corinth. (Guthrie 469)
In v. 2, He pleads with them not to force his hand to have to show them firm boldness toward those who accuse his ministry and that of his team as being a work of the flesh.
2 I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh.
He gets to the real heart of the matter of what is transpiring in the accusations surrounding Paul and the ministry of the gospel. Paul is fleshly man.
Paul immediately concedes that he “walks in the flesh.” In other words, he is subject to weakness, distress, and suffering. (Seifrid 379) Yet he does not concede that he “walks according to the flesh.” (Seifrid 379)
The ministry of the gospel, which is warfare, must not be carried out and waged in the flesh, not according to the flesh.
1 Timothy 1:18–20 ESV
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.
wage the good warfare check ourselves to see which side of the battle we are on.
How do you know that you are waging good warfare and not according to the flesh?
Answer v. 19-- holding faith and good conscience. know what we believe and should believe and obeying the Word. Not living according to the flesh.
How should we wage the good warfare?

With humility and gentleness we wage spiritual warfare in obedience to Christ by his power.

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
Different kind of weapons…not of the flesh
He does not name the weapons, he explains the effectiveness of the weapons.
have divine power to destroy strongholds imagery of a fortified place that appears to be impenetrable.
What is the divine power? power of the gospel born along by the Holy Spirit
Romans 1:16 ESV
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
The success of the gospel depends on its being presented, not as the word of man, but as the word of God; not as something to be proved, but as something to be believed. (Hodge 612)
salvation is the destruction of strongholds…the work of sanctification is the ongoing work of destroying strongholds.
strongholds…ideas and thinking that hold people captive. Strongholds are not people. We are not seeking to destroy people…v. 5 makes clear what we seek to destroy.
5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God,
How do we do this? illus: Mike Tyson and Peter McNeeley fight
2 Corinthians 4:4–5 ESV
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
His proclamation of the gospel, like our Lord’s preaching of the kingdom, was not bare declaration, but involved reasoning and arguing with his hearers in an effort to remove barriers erected against the truth (cf. Acts 18:4; 19:8–10). (Kruse 231)
Acts 18:4 ESV
4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and tried to persuade Jews and Greeks.
Acts 19:8 ESV
8 And he entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
Personal necessity of every believer.
and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Lack of thinking. Moses, let my people, let my people think.
Illus: When Fox news and msnbc disciple your people.
How do we capture every thought…the word of God.
Hearing, reading, meditating, memorizing
Obey Christ by believing what we should believe and doing what we should do.
6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Likely a reference to church discipline…only happens in a context of right believing and obedience.
Do we care about taking every thought captive to obey Christ?
Do we desire complete obedience?
Or, are we more concerned with what people think and being relevant.

So What?

Am I waging spiritual warfare in obedience to Christ?
The church in the West stands under the most grave attacks in terms of spiritual warfare, an attack in some ways worse than the physical and social persecution faced by our brothers and sisters around the world. False gospels offered by false teachers thrive in a context of biblical and theological illiteracy. Paul understood what was at stake for the church. The question is, Do we? (Guthrie 477)
Ephesians 6:10–20 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Recognize the source of strength…v 10
recognize the battle…v 12
Put on Christ by his Word…v. 14-17
Pray v 18
proclaim the gospel v 19
Are you waging spiritual warfare or are you tapping out?
8 am weather and plan for November.
9:30 and 11 seating please sit where you are more comfortable.
Recognition concerning the virus. Real
We desire to be as safe as possible while carrying on the work of ministry.
Related Media
Related Sermons