Loading

Two Corinthians Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Navigate to Verse

2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

2 Corinthians 10:2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.

2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

war after the flesh. Paul often used a military metaphor to describe the Christian life (e.g., 2 Timothy 2:3-4). In this verse, “flesh” is not used theologically, but physiologically, referring to our natural human abilities. We “walk” like all natural men physically, but our warfare is conducted in the realm of the spirit, not with swords or guns.

2 Corinthians 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

not carnal. Our weapons are not “fleshly” weapons, but spiritual. In fact, Paul enumerates them in Ephesians 6:13-18, as “the whole armour of God,” namely truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer. All too often, Christians and their churches try to do God's work in ways that appeal to the flesh—great organizations, Christian entertainment, human wisdom and philosophy, beautiful facilities, glamorous advertising, and the like. These are “carnal” weapons, not the weapons provided by the Lord, and those who use them are in danger of eventual spiritual defeat, even if outward appearances seem impressive.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

imaginations. The spiritual panoply of weapons ordained by God may not appear impressive outwardly to a humanistically oriented society, but it is only these that can pull down the strong holds of Satan in this world, casting down the humanistic “reasonings” (literal meaning of “imaginations”) of the leaders of this world's educational and political systems. Otherwise the enemy will “spoil” us—that is, defeat us and despoil us of the carnal weapons we have tried to use (see Colossians 2:8).

every thought. “Thought” here is the same word as “mind.” Judicious use of our spiritual weapons—especially the one offensive weapon, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17)—will result in opening the blinded “minds” (note 2 Corinthians 4:4) of those who have rejected God and His Word, and capturing them for Christ. Thus, we are not to use such carnal weapons as bullets—or even ballots—in our battle for the human mind, but the mighty spiritual weapons in “the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:11).

2 Corinthians 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.

2 Corinthians 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:

2 Corinthians 10:9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.

2 Corinthians 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.

weak. Paul was evidently small and unimpressive in appearance, though certainly not a weakling (in view of the many hardships he had to overcome). Neither was he an eloquent orator. He probably would seem outwardly to compare very unfavorably to many charismatic preachers and evangelists today. Nevertheless, by both his spiritual power and his intellectual ability, he was probably the most effective missionary who ever lived. And his writings, of course, the so-called Pauline epistles, are indeed “weighty and powerful”—among the greatest ever written, even by secular standards.

2 Corinthians 10:11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.

2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

2 Corinthians 10:13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.

2 Corinthians 10:14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:

2 Corinthians 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,

2 Corinthians 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.

regions beyond. Paul earnestly desired that the gospel be preached, as Christ had commanded, to “the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

2 Corinthians 10:17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

he that glorieth. Compare Jeremiah 9:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:31.

2 Corinthians 10:18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.