2 Corinthians Chapter 10

August 17, 2012

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on 2 Corinthians. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

2 Corinthians 10:1-18 (NIV)
1 By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you–I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” when away! 2 I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. 3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 7 You are looking only on the surface of things. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as he. 8 For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it. 9 I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters. 10 For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.” 11 Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present. 12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in another man’s territory. 17 But, “Let him 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.

As we enter the last four chapters of 2 Corinthians Paul is going to deal with the toughest subject of all. He has to confront the false apostles and make sure that the church in Corinth is devoted to Christ and will see and listen to Paul as His apostle. Because these four chapters are so different from the previous nine chapters, some have conjectured that they were from a different letter dispatched at a different time. But, often when you are transitioning into a difficult subject, it is a little awkward, and it is often left for last which is the case here.

2 Corinthians 10:1-2

In these verses Paul appeals for the obedience of the Corinthians to the gospel that was preached to them and to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 10:3-6

This is a fascinating portion of scripture which needs to be examined in context because they are dealing directly with the false apostles. The weapons the world uses are learning, personal influence, impressive credentials, oratory skills, etc. Paul, however, says that these are not the weapons we use and we don’t wage war the way the world does. The weapons of the church are the gospel, the proclaimed Word of God, and prayer. These weapons have divine power. These weapons, when combined with a dependence on God, which seems silly to the world, are in fact the weapons that are able to demolish the arguments and lies of the enemies of the church. No evil thing and no one can stand against the knowledge and power of God.

In this battle, Paul is engaged in a battle for the hearts and minds of the Corinthian church in order to help them see the lies of the false apostles and return in obedience to Christ. Their responding appropriately to Paul would be a step in their obedience to Jesus.

2 Corinthians 10:7-15

In these verses Paul takes in the false apostles head on. Remember, these guys had come saying that they were recommended and endorsed by some sort of super-apostles and that they had been sent out from the church in Jerusalem and they were insisting that they had more authority then Paul.

Paul goes on to remind the Corinthians that it was Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit who had actually come to Corinth and started the church there. All these so called super-apostles could do was talk about something other people had done.

The story continues next time in 2 Corinthians 11.

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