This is what God gave me today in his word:
I, Paul, myself entreat you, by the meekness and gentleness of Christ–I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold toward you when I am away!– I beg of you that when I am present I may not have to show boldness with such confidence as I count on showing against some who suspect us of walking according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. (2 Corinthians 10:1-3)
Well, it’s fairly clear Paul had gotten some sort of letter from the Corinthians in response to his first letter to them by this point (this is clear for several reasons that I’ll leave to another time). In the letter Paul apparently has found out that people were saying that he was bold in his letters to them, where-as he’s a weakling in person. So he simply responds by saying, “would you rather I come and treat you as I do those who think we’re walking in the flesh?”. Then he seems to say that the people who claim he walks in the flesh are in the right! – If Paul walks in the flesh, why shouldn’t we?
First, does Paul walk in the flesh? … Isn’t this the same Paul who said, “we’ve died to the sinful nature”?
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)
Paul, when he says, “For though we walk in the flesh,” isn’t saying that he does walk in the flesh, he’s only using it to make his point (which is that we don’t wage war as the flesh does, but instead with divine power). But how does the flesh wage war? Well, he listed a couple of ways. By infiltrating your thoughts. By inciting disobedience. Arguments and lofty opinions raised against God? All part of the package. – What Paul is saying is that we can destroy these, “strongholds” with the Holy Spirit; we can take every thought captive to Christ.
Second, what’s the point?
I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. (2 Corinthians 10:9-11)
His actual point is writing this part in particular was to deal with the people who were saying he was powerful in letter but not in presence. However, within that main point of writing this, he’s worked in another point, which is what we just “talked” about. But as usual, he’s hinting at something. Also as usual, the thing he’s hinting at is the Gospel of Jesus.
Look at what is before your eyes. If anyone is confident that he is Christ’s, let him remind himself that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. (2 Corinthians 10:7)
How is it that one could destroy strongholds in that person’s actual head? How can someone take captive their “own” thoughts? What force works in a person to make them destroy arguments and lofty opinions against God? Is it their own self? Well that can’t be, everyone’s, “self,” is from birth against God. So what is it? It’s the Holy Spirit who works in us to will and to do, but how did we receive the Holy Spirit? When Christ was crucified and died on our behalf, that’s when the Holy Spirit came. All this to say this, through his death, we are saved both now and forever, in Spirit and mind.
You are Loved!