Bringing Thoughts Into
Captivity To Christ
- Second Corinthians Ten -
There were some at Corinth that did not value Paul and his apostleship. However, "the meek-ness and gentleness of Christ" saw him through their attacks. With his apostolic power Paul could have inflicted punishment upon his attackers. He did not do so because he maintained the disposition of Jesus Christ. The false teacher were saying that when "Paul is present he is humble and lowly. When he is not here look how he boasts and brags!" They accused Paul of having some fleshly goal in mind. However, that was not the case. Paul had a righteous cause, an excellent Leader, in the Lord Jesus Christ and of course, he had been blessed of his King with all kinds of courage and strength.
The Devil works to get just a small entrance and then he can take over. At Corinth he found a way in by convincing some that Paul was not an apostle. Paul"s opinion was that those people should have at least acknowledged that he was an apostle! He had proven by his preaching and by his miracles that he was an apostle. He also had apostolic power that he had never shown these brethren. These false teachers said that Paul"s letters were powerful, but that his presence among them was weak, and his speech was contemptible. However, try as they might, they could not find one single thing in Paul"s conduct or character to support their charges against him.
As long as a man only compares himself to himself and to his peers and not to the Christ there can be no limit on his high opinion of himself. What we must realize is that no man is indispensable. The world does not revolve around us or depend on us for its continuation. Paul wrote, "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." (Romans 12:3) Some want to brag about what they have done even if they are building on another man"s foundation. Paul"s view was that he would speak only of that work that God was able to do through him. Paul"s prayer for the brethren at Corinth was that they would be granted by God the freedom to be able to speak the Gospel plainly to anybody and everybody that wanted to hear it!
Paul stated his apostolic authority - : False teachers at Corinth accused Paul of being a coward when he was with them and brave when he was far away from them. Paul wanted it understood that he wanted to be humble and gentle like Christ Himself. He faced the charges of the Judaizing teachers at Corinth with the strength of his apostolic authority. He met the charges of these false brethren with some very strong language. Paul admitted that he was mild in his outward appearance. However, he could be bold and if necessary he would be bold when he came to Corinth by making use of his apostolic authority. He begged the brethren not to make him treat them in a firm and forceful manner. These brethren also charged Paul of acting out of some fleshly interest.
In answer to the charge that Paul was acting out of some fleshly desire he wanted it known that he lived in the world, but that he did not act like people of the world. His activities were spiritual instead of being after the flesh. The battle Paul was fighting was not with carnal weapons of this world. He used the word of God given to him by divine power to destroy strongholds. We must likewise use the word of God to attack sin and pull down the strong holds of Satan. Every argument and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God must be destroyed and brought into captivity to Christ. In this spiritual battle we must capture people"s thoughts with the gospel and bring then into obedience to Christ.
Paul reasoned with the Corinthians - : Paul"s critics were saying that you could just see that they belonged to Christ. He wanted it understood that he belonged to Christ just as much as any of them. He could even boast about his apostolic authority. He wanted to use this authority for their edification and not for their chastisement. His motive in writing was to bless the people and not just frighten them in some way. The critics attempted to belittle Paul by saying, "His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account."
Paul wanted these critics to understand that what he promised he would do. These people should know that when Paul was with them that he would do exactly what he said in his letters. His teaching and dealing with error would be the same whether present or absent. This was true because as an apostle he spoke as the Spirit guided him. It was not his message but he spoke for God.
Seeking the glory of God - : Those that criticized Paul were inclined to think highly of themselves and praise themselves. He said, "But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding." Their standard of conduct was other people and they were content if they were as good as others. They should have measured themselves by God"s word instead.
Paul would never brag about himself or about anything that he had no right to brag about. He would only brag about God and the work that He sent him to do. All of the brethren at Corinth were a part of that work. This was especially true because Paul"s mission was to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. He had a right to boast because he did share the gospel of Christ with these people.
Seeking to be approved of God - : Paul did not brag about the work others had done in the kingdom. He did not try to take credit for their work. His desire was that these brethren increase in the faith in order that both he and they might influence others with the gospel. Paul"s attitude was that he wanted to preach the gospel in other lands also. However, he would not take credit for work someone else had already done.
Paul said, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." That is the way it should be, "If you want to brag, then brag about the Lord." Give the Lord credit for any and all good works that might be accomplished. We should never be happy unless what we are doing glorifies God and brings honor to His name. "You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord"s approval."
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 10". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Easter