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Bible Commentaries

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible

2 Corinthians 10

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. I’ve always loved Weapons. I remember as a kid visiting Olivera Street & getting my 1st pop-gun. I remember my first Daisy BB-gun. I remember shooting my 1st real gun with my dad, a High Standard Duramatic 22 pistol. Then finally his 12 gauge SHOTGUN! What Power!
      1. I never went back to the Pop-Gun again!
      2. Interesting as Christians though, we taste of heavens mighty weapons…but then revert back to our human...popguns, paint-guns, & pee shooters.
        1. I was like a kid last night receiving my very 1st Marshmallow gun. [demonstrate]
          1. See how easy it is to revert back? :)
      3. We’ll read, God has given us an arsenal, a collection of heavenly weapons. To revert back is as foolish as grabbing for our earthly pop-guns, in a real war.
    2. Title: God’s Weapons or Worldly Weapons!
    3. Outline: Pop-Gun Warfare; X-Ray Vision; Seek One Commendation.
  2. POP-GUN WARFARE! (1-6)
    1. (1) The old adage is true here, “you can’t win for losin”!
      1. Paul you’re too harsh & you’re too soft! [you’re softy in person; a bully in letters!]
      2. So he starts with that combo in Christ “meekness & gentleness”.
        1. Meekness = Power under control + Gentleness = thoughtful & considerate (used of a person who looks for a way to make peace in a calm, decent way).
          1. So, if you see weakness in me…it is really meekness that Christ taught us!
        2. Just because he didn’t use carnal methods but spiritual one’s, he was seen as weak???
    2. (2) Paul must again defend & vindicate his apostleship office, in these last 4 chapters.
      1. The attacks are coming from these self acclaimed “super-apostles” (11:5) in which he later identifies as “false apostles”(11:13).
    3. (3-6) We, like Paul, all walk in the flesh (i.e. we all have the weakness of the flesh) but he did not war after the flesh by depending on “fleshly wisdom, human abilities, nor physical prowess.”
      1. Moses had to learn that God’s weapons are spiritual!
        1. Remember Moses 1st warred after the flesh & “struck down the Egyptian”.
        2. Later, God showed him how to war after the spirit & he watch Gods hand move against the heart of Pharaoh & the nation of Egypt, w/God’s signs & wonders…not Moses’!
    4. There is no truce in Satan’s invisible war. There are daily clashes with him & his cohorts, especially the battle with & for your mind!
      1. That bloodless battle is fought where no one can see…on the battle field of their mind.
      2. Slide#5 In C.S.Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, it is an imaginary correspondence between an older devil, Screwtape & his ambitious young nephew, Wormwood. Lewis lifts the veil on the inner workings of Satan’s dark hierarchy.
        1. You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
    5. Satan loves to blind minds to God’s light! (2 Cor.4:4)
      1. Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
    6. Satan loves to fortify minds against God’s truth! (vss.1-6)
    7. Satan loves to corrupt minds against God’s Son! (2 Cor.11:3)
      1. As the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity(purity) that is in Christ.
    8. Paul gives great advice here to ensure a victory in spiritual warfare.
      1. The only way to wage successful spiritual warfare is by abandoning worldly ways & worldly attitudes.
      2. How do you war?…According to the flesh? - Do you buckle on the belt of verbal abuse? Strap on your breastplate of self-righteousness? Put on your shoes of fake-quick-peace? Place on your helmet of heartache? Slays others w/the sword of your tongue? Praying always…“Lord, fix them!”? Is watchful…“of all their mistakes”? And persevere till you win the argument, or till the other party is exhausted & forfeits the win to you?
      3. Why won’t we fight fair with the weapons of warfare God gave us?
        1. “Truthfulness, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, His Word, Prayer, being watchful, & persevering.”
        2. How will that type of fighting help your marriage? Help your employee issues? Help your coworker issues? [speaking truth,...etc]
    9. (4) Pulling down strongholds – Maybe Paul was thinking of Joshua & the victory of Jericho’s walls?
      1. Our victory comes when we count on God! (see, in God)
      2. Maybe Paul was thinking of Prov.21:22 A wise man scales the city of the mighty, And brings down the trusted stronghold.
      3. That’s why it was important for Nehemiah to get to Israel to rebuild the wall! And that’s why the strategy of Joshua against Jericho was to 1st get it walls to fall!
    10. (5) Captivity – (LKGNT) “to take one captive w/a spear, to bring into captivity, to bring into subjection.” [also it’s pres. tense, which points to the continual struggle & warfare]
      1. Let’s get the picture. To protect against attacks a few high towers were constructed within the wall of a city. During a siege, military intelligence would give commands from these observation towers to those on the wall itself.
        1. In Neh.3:1 the Tower of the Hundred & the Tower of Hananel, later came to be the Antonia fortress.
      2. God wants us to take every thought captive. He wants us to scale those lofty observation towers & overcome the military strategists that occupy them.
        1. This actually sounds like we/with His help can do this? Bring every thought into captivity!
      3. F. B. Meyer, “Christ counts evil thoughts as traitors not only to us, but also to Him. Like the psalmist, you may say, ‘I hate vain thoughts; not only because of the curse they bring to my heart, but for the grief they give to my King.’ Their intrusion is forbidden by the double barrier of our own choice and the keeping power of Jesus. “Let the peace of God keep the door of your heart and mind, scrutinizing each intruder and turning back the unfit. Let the Holy Spirit bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Let the faithful Savior have the keeping of the soul entrusted to Him, that He may watch every menacing thought which lurks in the shadow or steals up the glen.He is well able to keep what is committed to Him. He will not fail the supplicant whose lips are familiar with the prayer: ‘Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name.’”
    11. The weapons of the world can be: intellectualism(not intelligence); personal influence; impressive credentials; rhetorical polish; and the like. These things Paul had discounted and discarded. He did not wage war as the world does or use their weapons. BKC
      1. The weapons Paul used were the proclaimed Word of God and prayer, weapons with divine power.
      2. In dependence on God these weapons, frail by worldly standards, are able to demolish(pulling down) the arguments and every claim of the gospel’s foes.
    12. X-RAY VISION! (7-11)
      1. ​​​​​​​Remember on the back of the old comic books you could actually purchase a pair of glasses, w/concentric circles painted on the lenses, which had small holes to look through, & you could actually have X-Ray vision & see through things…“guaranteed!”
        1. ​​​​​​​The Lord wants us to use His X-Ray vision glasses if we are to look at other believers lives.
      2. (7) “The person who judges by appearance always lives to give a good appearance.” (www)
        1. Paul lived to please God & never tried to be a man-pleaser.
        2. He was confident in his calling & his credentials from the Lord.
        3. Are you confident in your calling & your credentials from the Lord?
          1. Do your best to be settled in that, because that’s one of Satan’s favorite tools.
      3. (8) The spiritual leaders authority (whether in the church, or home) is given for a purpose… building up not tearing down! [edification/destruction]
        1. A leader is not to try to “control behavior” but instead “influence response”. And like giving in the last 2 chapters…never grudgingly or of necessity (9:7).
      4. (10) They even rip on Paul’s physical appearance!
        1. “Paul doesn’t have the physical stamina of Peter” one might say. Another says, “He sure isn’t an orator like that Apollos is he?
          1. On those days you just want to say…“I’m going back to tent making. Tents don’t complain, they don’t sin, & they can’t criticize!”
        2. An Asian Presbyter during the 2nd century said of Paul, “Paul was a man small of stature, w/a bald head & crooked legs, in a good state of body, with eyebrows meeting & nose somewhat hooked.”
        3. Carnal Christians are “preacher judges” & like to compare one servant of God w/ another.
      5. (11) Paul warns that his next visit would be as powerful as his letters!
  3. SEEK ONE COMMENDATION! (12-18)
    1. ​​​​​​​What has been your highest honor of commendation thus far in your life?
      1. Being in the electrical trade only 1 year & being advanced to journeyman’s pay in the company I worked for when I moved out here.
      2. Becoming an elder in this church back in 1986.
      3. Becoming your pastor at age 29!
        1. Slide#16 But no matter how long your list of acclamations & commendations, achievements & accomplishments, trophy’s & ribbons; the only real commendation worth its salt will be THE LORD’S commendation to us…Well done thou good & faithful servant…enter into the joy of your lord!
        2. We need to learn to live for HIS approval!
      4. Of course you really don’t know where your success lies.
        1. You may seem like a failure in your eyes & the eyes of others; but God may see you & your work as a great success for His Glory.
    2. (12) Every Christian soldier has a place to fill in His kingdom! (i.e. Nehemiah’s wall)
      1. What is the problem w/comparing ourselves w/others?
        1. We can do better than the other person, & still fall short of what God wants for us!
      2. These guys were card-carrying members of the “mutual admiration society”, comparing themselves w/themselves!
    3. (16) Paul wanted their assistance in taking the gospel to the regions beyond. [i.e. Spain]
    4. (17,18) Paul quotes Jeremiah 9:24 to remind us where the glory belongs. [Read]
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Corinthians 10". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-corinthians-10.html. 2017.