2 Corinthians 10:1-6 (NASB)
Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
I was sitting at the table, lunch in front of me, Bible opened off to the side, and continued reading on in 2 Corinthians, which I had started this morning. In my Bible is says Paul was defending himself. In a couple of the other Bible versions I checked, the header said he was describing himself. In a way, the opening seemed familiar. I am much bolder when I write than when I am face to face.
In continuing on, I was reminded how important it is to not take things out of context. That is why I like to take the verse notations out and read the paragraphs as the letters they originally were written.
I, like many, have quoted the section reading “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh. . .” Solid truth. But still, when looking at why the man was saying those things, it took on a whole new depth. Here was Paul, being accused of walking according to the flesh, and having to defend himself with the explanation I just took an excerpt from. Having the courage and confidence to admit that maybe he was walking in the flesh (not according to the flesh), but he did not war in the flesh. How exciting that as we face our accusers, we can demonstrate to them how we are not perfect by any means but are doing our spiritual warfare under the guidance of Paul’s teaching.
So many times it is easy to state we will “take captive our thoughts unto Jesus” when we are troubled, or bad thoughts flash through our minds, and not grasp all that went into this proclamation by Paul.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
So much we need to be doing. The destruction of speculations, pride, intellectual pursuits that go directly against the knowledge of God. To totally surrender every thought in obedience to Christ. To live in self-discipline. To do so continually, as he says “we are taking every thought captive. . .” It is a continual process of total surrender to Christ.
I had to raise a brow at the last portion of that statement. “and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.” Besides not remembering it, even though I have read this passage many times, it seemed out of place somehow, Rather than butcher it, I’m including something from Wesley’s Explanatory Notes.
Being in readiness to avenge all disobedience – Not only by spiritual censure, but miraculous punishments. When your obedience is fulfilled – When the sound part of you have given proof of your obedience so that I am in no danger of punishing the innocent with the guilty.
Makes a gal think, you know? I’m sure there are a lot more notes that I will be checking into.
Anyway, just some things rolling around in the mind this afternoon. When I’m “taking thoughts captive”, I’ll be more aware that it is not an occasional thing I do, but a life of submission.
By the way, lunch was a salad.
Blessings – Vicki