Summary: Every believer should know that they were born again into a battlefield. In order to successfully live as a believer we need to know our enemies and understand how battles are won for God’s kingdom.
Every believer should know that they were born again into a battlefield.
In order to successfully live as a believer we need to know our enemies and understand how battles are won for God’s kingdom.
The vacuum of Paul’s absence in Corinth had allowed some false teachers to come in and criticize his ministry and him personally. They were saying things like:
Paul doesn’t have any authority.
He’s not very important to the Corinthian church.
He writes one thing, but when he’s around, he’s another.
Paul deals with these charges by answering them in a way that allows him to teach the church about what true spiritual warfare is. True Spiritual warfare is:
1) WALK in MEEKNESS – Live in this world with the attitudes of Christ
2) WAR by MINISTRY – Let the power of the Spirit win the battles we face
3) WORK thru a MINDSET – Learn obedience to the things of God
1 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! 2 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.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
5 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, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
WALK in MEEKNESS – Living with the attitudes of Christ
1 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!
2 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.
Paul is dealing with attacks and criticism and must decide what his appropriate response is to be. He is being accused of being very strong in his letters but much more gentle when in person. Although his response carries a hint of a jab at their criticisms yet Paul directs us to two important words which were true of Jesus and should be a part of our own dealing with difficult times and people in this life. MEEKNESS - power under control GENTLENESS
If we are going to into battle for the Lord we must go in with the right attitudes.
I am not only amazed at the miracles Christ did while on the earth but also amazed at the things He did not do.
1) Why didn’t He call down 10,000 angels
2) Why didn’t He have the ground open up and swallow large gulps of Pharisees?
3) Why didn’t He call Lazarus from the tomb with ‘Lazarus come forth’ and then follow that up with ‘Judas go in’. And then put the stone back in place.
Just because Paul was not a spiritual Rambo did that make him weak? He often compared himself to a nursing mother caring for her children.
Sometimes a family will have a dog like a German Shepherd that will scare visitors to death and if not controlled would take a few legs off. That same dog will allow children in the family to sit on its back or lay on it or it will even lay on its back in a submission position.
What the dog is doing is not a sign of weakness but of meekness or gentleness. Literally it is ‘power under control’. The dog could do just as much damage to a family member as to a stranger but has chosen to become meek and gentle in its relationship to them.
Jesus chose to walk among us in a fashion that was controlled. He could have immediately removed all mankind from the face of the earth.
He could have said, ‘No more gravity’ and watched us all rocket to outer space.
Imagine if you took a great tennis player and asked them to teach your child some aspects of the game. They stepped onto the court with your 10 year old son and then as the ball came to them they returned it with all their might hitting your child in the middle of the forehead.
They certainly had the power to do just such a thing but in gentleness that power is under control for the sake of the one they are dealing with.