The Agora
Bible Commentary
2 Corinthians

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2 Corinthians 10

2Co 10:1

MEEKNESS: See Lesson, Gentleness.

2Co 10:3

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).

2Co 10:4

STRONGHOLDS: This word used only once in LXX: "the fenced cities" like Jericho (Jos 10:20).

2Co 10:5

WE TAKE CAPTIVE EVERY THOUGHT: Our thoughts are portrayed as runaway "slaves" -- which must be pursued, captured, and forced back into obedience to Christ.

2Co 10:10

Frailties of Paul: 2Co 11:6; 12:7,9.

2Co 10:12

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 2:18).

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 3:1).

"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).

2Co 10:14

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).

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