Obeying God's Voice
2 Cor 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:
The Corinthians needed to hear Paul, he was speaking to them with Holy Ghost boldness. Jesus was meek and gentle and in their presence, Paul also was meek and gentle. God's message is powerful, even if the messenger appears as not being much in the flesh.
1 Cor 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1 Cor 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1 Cor 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
2 Cor 10:2 But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh.
I hope it won't be necessary, but when I come I may have to be very bold with those who think we act from purely human motives. (NLT)
Prov 1:22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?
Prov 1:23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.
Prov 1:24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
Prov 1:25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:
Prov 1:26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;
Prov 1:27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.
Prov 1:28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:
Prov 1:29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:
Prov 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
Prov 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Heb 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
We need to be careful about judging motives. Especially if it is God's annointed servant. Rebellion, puts another in a bad light while the rebel continues in error. God may be speaking to them through his servant, then they are rebelling against God. They are saying no to God. I want to say YES to God and listen for his voice, and sometimes it comes from one of his servants.
Casting down imaginations
2 Cor 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2 Cor 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Remember the devil is a liar. Christ Jesus has given us authority over satan's power. God has given us His power to destroy strongholds. Satan may control through feelings of fear, rejection, and bad thoughts. We are to cast down these negative things, taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and his word. If we do not control our thoughts by the word of God, they will control us. Our strength is greater then any power, our strength is the Lord.
Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
2 Cor 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The thoughts may come, or accusations from others but we are to cast them down if they are against the word and knowledge of God. Who is Christ Jesus? What is our relationship to him? He is Lord, we are in him, adopted sons of God, joint heirs with Jesus. We dwell with him in heavenly places.
Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Holy and without blame. Chances are that satan will put thoughts of unworthiness and accusations in our mind. We are to take every thought captive, not be captive of every thought. see the difference? We are what God's word says we are.
2 Cor 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
I see this as saying first get your thoughts and life together to fit God's view, then you will be able to punish the disobedient. This term was used in the military court martial. The offender is cast out. The one with false doctrine or rebellion, that seeks to divide the church, the false brethren.
2 Cor 10:7 Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's.
The Corinthians judged people by outward appearance. As the world favors "movie stars," even though they may have a terrible lifestyle, they are blinded by appearance. Paul asserted, If you think you belong to Christ, we a also are Christ's.
Foolish and immature "Christians" are fooled by the appearance. A white suit and alligator shoes don't make a leader, probably this type is false and living in the flesh and not the spirit of God.
2 Cor 10:8 For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:
Paul has been given authority as an apostle, but he is humble and does not like to use it for destroying another, but for building up the church.
2 Cor 10:9 That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.
2 Cor 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
The carnal people in the church were condemning Paul because he did not look powerful in the flesh, they said he appeared in body to be weak with contemptible speech, although his letters were powerful. In affect the were rebelling against him and more concerned about appearance then the word of truth. You can be sure satan was at work in these fleshly people.
2 Cor 10:11 Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present.
There is no contradiction in Paul. If they would observe his life they would see the word of God in action in his life. I doubt that any of these "pretty" people could endure the day to day hardships that Paul experienced. They were undiscerning and hypocritical.
Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
Mal 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
Mal 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.
Mal 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Do not be concerned with appearances, the Lord knows who love and serve him. He will bless his people unto a thousand generations. (Deu 7:9)
Many who come to Jesus are not comfortable with going to church, because they do not fit in as to appearance. We must not put appearance ahead of a heart that is seeking or serving God. The church must go beyond the appearances and love with a friendly heart all who come. Be as Jesus who touched the lepers with healing love. Many need his gentle touch.
2 Cor 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Paul's accusers in the church apparently thought their own group was special. Why else would they even think of criticizing one of the greatest men of the Bible? They were self deceived. So often in the Internet chats, bands of "wolves" will come in together, satanists, or cult members exalting themselves above God's word, even now hating the ministry of the apostle Paul. They are driven by the enemy of our Lord, the devil.
What is the measure of your success in ministry? I knew of one minister who could fill a church building because he had a great personality. Did he preach the gospel, or what the people wanted to hear?
2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound
doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears;
2 Tim 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
We should not measure our success in ministry by personal comparisons. By doing this a spirit of competition will replace God's spirit. Envy and jealousy will cause you to serve through satan's methods, instead of seeking the way of the Lord.
“Oh, pray to be preserved from this perilous pinnacle of self-exaltation. Look into the perfect law of liberty, and draw nigh to God. The nearer we come to God, the more rottenness we find in our bones.” (Trapp)
Avoid self comparisons, pride and failure come from doing this, neither is the way of the Lord. Serve the Lord not yourself. Seek the approval of God, not man.
2 Tim 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before
the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting
of the hearers.
2 Tim 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
Let the Lord exalt you as you serve him in humility and a pure heart.
Boundaries of Influence
2 Cor 10:13 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.
2 Cor 10:14 For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:
Paul was given a measure of authority as an apostle, to preach the gospel to the gentiles. This was a part of Paul's vision from Jesus:
Acts 26:17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
2 Cor 10:15 Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,
2 Cor 10:16 To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.
Not boasting of things outside of our sphere of influence, not boasting in another man's work. For example, a person may boast as being a member of a famous person's church, such as Calvary Chapel, Chuck Smith's church. Yet this is his work, what have you done to fulfill your ministry for Christ? It is good to be sent out by a local church as under their authority. Calvary Chapels are all over the world. This is Chuck Smiths calling and his influence as a servant of the Lord. Many have served under his direction and vision from the Lord. Our callings and visions must be supported by a local church. If not, find a church that is friendly to your vision from the Lord.
2 Cor 10:17 But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
The Lord receives the glory. He is the head of the church, the body of Christ. All ministries and callings are from him to build up the church. The Lord gives the increase.
1 Cor 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1 Cor 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1 Cor 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1 Cor 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
2 Cor 10:18 For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
Don't fool yourself and others with false pride, saying that you hear from Jesus or God and you do not believe in his word in the Bible. The fruit of your labour will perish, it is not of God.