The Ministry Of Spiritual Warfare (2 Corinthians 10:1-18)Rev. William L. Barron, February 14, 2021
Preached at a Sunday Morning service
Spiritual warfare makes discipline stemming from divine authority necessary. Paul was criticized for writing strong letters but displaying weakness in person. Paul truly was humble, loving, caring and shepherding. The church must exercise humble discipline, with Biblical authority mixed with the love of Christ. Spiritual warfare is part of a spiritual battle. Satan is a formidable foe, and he is a liar. We overcome him by preaching the cross. Satan has one goal--to lead us away from God. He uses false teachers. We must not fight like the world does; we use God's ways. There is a parallel between earthly battles and spiritual battles. We use spiritual weapons, as described in Ephesians 6. There is a bigger conflict going on. Discipline is connected with discipleship. We must deal justly, in an effort to restore the offender. We must not use discipline as a weapon. Discipline builds up, restores and brings together. We must take every thought captive in obedience in Christ. We bring offenders to the light of truth. The Bible is the Word of God, the authority, through the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. Christ is the cornerstone. Paul was called out, made the apostle to the Gentiles, as testified to by Ananias. There is no hierarchy in the church. We do not boast in ourselves but in the Lord; we give Him the glory.
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2 Corinthians 10 (Listen)
10:1 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!—2 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. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
7 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. 8 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. 9 I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.” 11 Let such a person understand that what we say by letter when absent, we do when present. 12 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.
13 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. 14 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. 15 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, 16 so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another’s area of influence. 17 “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.