“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: 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. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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;” (2 Corinthians 10:1–5, KJV)
What do we key in here in this passage?
Paul begins this by contrasting his boldness among the Corinthians with the meekness and Gentleness of Jesus Christ. He’s almost apologizing for this.
The object lesson he’s trying to teach us is that we should be base among the peoples. Base means mean, of lowly stature, of little importance. We should me meek, humble.
That doesn’t translate well in American culture. Meekness in your demeanor is perceived by most people as weakness. But the man who first boldly witnessed to me about Jesus Christ used to growl at people, “Don’t mistake my meekness for weakness.” I’d have to make the same statement!
Let’s key in on the next part, and then we’ll get to the very lesson I want to impart today.
We do not walk according to the flesh. Seriously, this chapter needs to be discussed from every Evangelical pulpit in the US, because I can honestly tell you that the vast majority of false teachers out there are telling Christians they MUST walk according to the flesh, in direct contradiction to the Bible.
For though we walk in the flesh…. Yes, I’m a man living in a fleshly body. And I know that in my flesh dwelleth no good thing.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18, KJV)
So, obviously, the Bible tells us that walking in the flesh is a BAD thing. Christians can tell when they’re walking in the flesh – things blow up around us. We backslide at an amazing rate. You start thinking of the things of your former life in the flesh. You argue with people. But because you’re a Christian, you’re held to a different standard.
So, how to avoid that?
Do not war after the flesh. Do not walk in the flesh. Walk in the spirit.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7, KJV)
If you sew to the flesh, you shall reap of the flesh. That ALWAYS backfires to Christians.
Sew to the spirit. Spend time listening to sermons. Spend time watching Godly videos, like David Cloud’s video series on Bible study (I link to them on this web site). Listen to Alexander Scourby reading the Bible. Faith comes by hearing the word of God.
Where’s the primary battle fought?
Right in the verse I wanted to teach on today.
Bringing into captivity every thought…
Your battle is fought and won or lost in your thoughts foremost. This is something the Lord taught the Pharisees, and it’s funny that some of the Rabbi’s in the Talmud later on taught this. Gee, wonder where they got it?
When a fleshly thought comes into your mind, immediately recite a Bible verse in your head. The thoughts you’re battling may be your own evil inclination, or they may be from external sources. I’ve heard
Fundamentalist preachers like Danny Castle preach this, so it’s not just a Charismatic teaching. It’s Biblical.
Think a Bible verse. Is this hocus pocus? Nope.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, That I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11, KJV)
Do this. Get your thoughts right. Yes, it seems like every trap that Satan can raise against you when you decide to do this seems to happen. But be grimly dedicated to this.
Walk after the spirit. Bring into captivity every thought. Sew to your spirit, and your spirit shall get stronger. But sew to your flesh, and you lose the battle, time and again.