2 Corinthians 10:1-6 ESV
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. 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.
Take Every Thought Captive
When we truly follow Jesus Christ with our lives, in obedience to his Word, and we walk in the ways of the Lord, we will have people questioning our motives and judging us falsely. They may accuse us of being “holy rollers” or they may call us “hyper-religious” or “legalistic.”
Or, they may accuse us, as well, of operating in our own flesh and of doing what we do for the praise of humans. They may even try to instill doubts in our own minds regarding our loyalty to our Lord, and they may even get us to question our own faith.
So, when we are accused falsely, and when Satan uses this opportunity to try to get us to doubt ourselves and God, and to back down from doing what God has called us to do, we must put on that spiritual armor of God and fight off Satan’s lies with the truth, but it must be the truth (Eph. 6:10-20).
We are all humans. We are all flesh. We are but clay in the Potter’s hands, but we don’t have to walk according to the pattern of this world and according to our fleshly desires. We don’t have to operate in the flesh, and to try to run our own lives our own way. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. In his power and strength, we can live victorious over the flesh and live holy and godly lives, pleasing to God.
We can take every thought and every action captive, and we can make them obedient to Christ, when we yield to his Lordship over our lives and we truly submit to his will. And, we can resist Satan and flee temptation and not give in to the doubts and fears which Satan regularly throws our way. For, we are mighty conquerors through Jesus Christ who loves us.
2 Corinthians 10:7-12 ESV
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. For even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be ashamed. 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. Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
They are Not Wise
Sometimes we have to defend ourselves against false accusations, because it is in defense of the truth and of the gospel, because what Satan is trying to do is to destroy us and the ministries God has given to us. He wants to destroy our reputations so that people will no longer listen to us. So, sometimes it is justified that we speak up for ourselves, because we are truly speaking up for the truth, for the truth is what is being questioned.
When people do accuse us falsely, sometimes it is because they are comparing us to themselves. They are assuming that we are altogether like them and they don’t really get us, so they judge us by their own hearts and attitudes, and that is not wise.
For example, you might be a person who is truly in love with Jesus, and your heart is fully in the right place, and so you desire to serve the Lord with your life. Yet, someone observing you may be a person who is entirely selfish, who thinks only of the praise of man, and who does what they do in order to be noticed, and because they want the accolades. And, since they don’t get you, they decide that you must be like them, and that you are doing what you do to get attention, but they would be dead wrong!
So, we should not let their judgments of us unsettle us. We have to be convinced of who we are in Christ, and that we are being led of the Holy Spirit, and that our hearts are in the right place. And, then we have to stand on the truth, and keep fighting the good fight of faith, even if people do falsely accuse us of wrongdoing or of having wrong motives. For, we can’t control what others think of us, or even what they will say about us.
2 Corinthians 10:13-18 ESV
But we will not boast beyond limits, but will boast only with regard to the area of influence God assigned to us, to reach even to you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach you. For we were the first to come all the way to you with the gospel of Christ. We do not boast beyond limit in the labors of others. But our hope is that as your faith increases, our area of influence among you may be greatly enlarged, so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
In Defense of The Gospel
Like I said previously, sometimes we are justified in defending ourselves because when we are being falsely accused, sometimes the gospel message and the ministry God has given us may also come into disrepute. And, thus we defend ourselves against Satan’s lies so that others will not be led astray by those same lies and not follow what is truth.
For example, one of Satan’s biggest lies against those who teach the true gospel is that what they are teaching is legalism. If Satan can convince people that the truth is a lie, and the lie is the truth, then he has them right where he wants them, in his ball court. And, he has done a great job of this, too, as is evidenced by so many people these days, who claim faith in Christ, who are totally convinced that God requires nothing of them and that anyone who teaches repentance, obedience and submission to God is a legalist, and so they are not to listen to them.
So, it is very important here that we stand strong on what is truth, even if our reputations are on the line, and even if people falsely accuse us of legalism or of wrong motives or of operating in our own flesh. For, it is the truth that sets people free! It is believing the lies which keeps them still in bondage to sin.
So, for the record, the truth of the gospel is that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died to transform us and to conform us to his image, not just to forgive us our sins. This is all throughout the New Testament. We must die with Christ to sin and live with Christ to his righteousness if we want to have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not live with Christ for eternity. So, know the truth, and obey the truth, and the truth will set you free from your bondage to sin, and will free you to walk in the Lord’s righteousness and holiness, too. Amen!
Thank You, Lord
An Original Work / May 19, 2011
Thank You, Lord, for saving me;
From my sins set free.
Crucified and risen Lord,
They hung on a tree.
They thought they had finished You.
You came back to life;
Triumphed over hell and sin;
You gave eternal life.
Thank You, Lord, for victory
Over all my sin,
So that I might live with You;
You cleansed me within;
Filled me with your love and pow’r;
Give me strength each day,
So that I might live for You,
To love You and obey.
Thank You, Lord, for your return.
Soon You will arrive
To receive Your bride to You;
Meet You in the sky.
You’ll wipe away all our tears;
Free us from our fears;
Crown our heads in victory.
We’ll praise You with our cheers!
Friday, August 17, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, for giving of your life for us in order that we might walk in victory over sin and in your holiness. Amen!