A custom of the natives in New Guinea is told. At certain times they have rituals, songs, and
dances. They work themselves up into a frenzy and the ritual culminates in what are called “the
murder songs,” in which they shout before God the names of the people they wis … More
We need to keep in mind that throughout this letter Paul is writing to a divided church, and a church that is being seduced by false teachers. These false teachers charged Paul with being very courageous when he wrote letters from a distance, but said that he was very weak when he was present with the Corinthians (v. 1). I remember a few years ago of hearing a great Christian leader of our day described as a person who had a poison pen when he wrote, but was like a gentle lamb when you heard him preach. If Paul was a weakling, then so was Jesus Christ; for Jesus was very meek and gentle (v. 2)(Matthew 11:29). However, our Lord could also be stern and even showed anger when the occasion demanded it (Matthew 15:1-2).
In this section of his letter, Paul confronts these false teachers and charges them with being ministers of Satan who want to destroy the work of God. Like many “religious personalities” today, these Judaizers impressed the people with their overpowering personalities. As you read these verses you could get the impression that Paul was bragging about himself; but such was not the case. His purpose was to exalt Christ and not himself (I Corinthians 2:1-5). Christians usually reflect the atmosphere of the church or fellowship they are associated with. If they are in an atmosphere of dictatorial leadership, they will depend on man’s wisdom and strength. If they are in an atmosphere of humility and love, they will learn to depend on the Lord. Paul wanted his converts to trust the Lord and not the servant, so he had deliberately “played down” his own authority and ability (vv. 3-6). We like Paul are weak humanly speaking but we don’t need to use human plans and methods to win our battles. God’s mighty weapons are available to us as we fight against Satan’s strongholds.
As a Christian I need to “cast down imaginations and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (v. 5).
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.
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II Corinthians 7:1-7The Church Makes Paul Happy
II Corinthians 7:8-16Godly Sorrow Produces Repentance
II Corinthians 8:1-6Giving is More Blessed Than Receiving
II Corinthians 8:7-15Christ Our Pattern
II Corinthians 8:16-24Collection For The Saints In Jerusalem
II Corinthians 9:1-5Exhortation to Readiness
II Corinthians 9:6-15The Cheerful Giver
II Corinthians 10:1-6Paul Defends His Authority
II Corinthians 10:7-12The Reality of Paul’s Authority
II Corinthians 10:13-18Limits of Paul’s Authority
II Corinthians 11:1-9Paul And The False Apostles
II Corinthians 11:10-15Self Appointed Teachers
II Corinthians 11:16-21Boasting as a Fool
II Corinthians 11:22-33Suffering For Christ
II Corinthians 12:1-10Paul’s Vision And Thorn in The Flesh
II Corinthians 12:11-18Paul’s Concern For The Corinthians
II Corinthians 12:19-21Sin in The Church
II Corinthians 13:1-10A Warning of Discipline
II Corinthians 13:11-14Paul’s Farewell Blessing