Vv 3-6: "We do have to walk in this fleshly body which leads
to corruption. But so did Christ our Savior. The weapon we have against the
flesh is the powerful two-edged sword of the Word of God. Christ showed us how
to wield it against unpure thoughts. He also showed us that in prayer we can
find strength and answers to our dilemmas of this fleshly existence. These
weapons can help us to take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ!
What great assurance that is. These divinely powerful weapons can help us
through each day. We can not do it by ourselves, but we can give it to God and
he will prevail! We can walk today in Christ's path, guided by the Father, and
make our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ today because we are
assured that the divinely powerful weapons are able to destroy the fortress of
our flesh. We can be complete in our obedience to God and be willing to punish
our disobedience. It is not easy to let go of the flesh since it is part of who
we are. But obedience to God can create new parts in us as we become new
creatures to God. The new man can push out the old man. And the power to
accomplish this is from the Father -- not of ourselves. What a gracious and
loving Father who is willing to pave the way for us sinful, fleshly men. His
grace is unsearchable!" (CPv).
STRONGHOLDS: This word used only once in LXX: "the
fenced cities" like Jericho (Jos 10:20).
WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT: Our thoughts are
portrayed as runaway "slaves" -- which must be pursued, captured, and forced
back into obedience to Christ.
Frailties of Paul: 2Co 11:6; 12:7,9.
Let us not compare ourselves with one another -- that is, with
the brethren and sisters around us; that is not wise. Such actions foster
judgmentalism and pride. By this course, a community's standards of conduct and
holiness and service and sacrifice gradually and imperceptibly sink lower and
lower toward the way of the flesh, in blind complacence.
Let us rather constantly and honestly compare our service and
way of life with the holy precepts of the Word, and with the humbling and
mortifying examples of Christ and of Paul; these are specifically set before us
as patterns to copy and standards of comparison (cp 1Co 11:1). This way a
community's devotion and service are gradually lifted higher and higher, growing
and developing toward the Spirit of God, going on "from glory to glory" (2Co
WE DO NOT DARE TO CLASSIFY OR COMPARE OURSELVES...:
Paul contrasts himself with such as these. Earlier, he has observed that he did
not need -- as some seemed to think they did -- a letter of commendation (2Co
"I once heard the story of a boy who was short for his age and
wanted to be taller. All his friends were at least 10 cm taller than he was.
(No, it wasn't me!) He finally came up with an idea that appeared to solve his
problem. His solution was to make a new ruler to measure himself. His ruler
meant that he was now 20 cm taller than he was before because he had measured
himself with a different standard.
"As Christians, the standard we should be measuring ourselves
against is Christ. He was the model of perfection. Our aim must be to be like
him and even though we will never reach his standard, it must be our aim. But
sometimes we can lose sight of the standard we should compare ourselves to and
set up new standards for ourselves. We may measure our progress by what we were
like last week or last year or against our worst day. Or we may look at
ourselves and compare ourselves to the people around us. But Paul warns us about
doing that... Our standard is Christ. Let's not fool ourselves with our own
comparisons, but reach for the high standard of Christ" (RP).
WE DID GET AS FAR AS YOU WITH THE GOSPEL: By ct, the
Judaizers were "comic little men, still straining... themselves to reach
Corinth," while Paul had begun the work there but had now gone further yet, to
open up more new areas (WFB).