- Sermon Notes
Weapons For Warfare
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
Tonight we are going to talk about Spiritual Warfare…In order for this to be meaningful we must first believe it is going on all around us.
Paul was the first man to go to Corinth and preach…he brought the Good News…
•He would go and get a response – gatherings would result, small churches would form…
•Paul had to move on – always moving…
•In Corinth he needed to work hard to raise up elders to oversee the flock’s safety…
•Think of Corinth as a place where wolves always showed up to scatter the flock – the Believers…
•False teachers – the body needs to take steps to protect themselves…
•But what happens when the flock embraces the wolf – The danger is off the scales…that’s what was happening in Corinth.
There was unkind talk about Paul – this unfortunately won over many believers in Corinth -Be careful about the source of those influencing you…
This was not first time Paul needed to defend his ministry.
So Paul exposes these Jewish legalist.
In the letters Paul shares some personal comments about himself – He shares his heart with them – It gives us great insights into who Paul was.
Chapters 8-9 were about Money
Chapters 10 -13 Paul closes the loop on those attacking him – he has let them know I’m coming to town to get this straightened out.
Parenting – those who travel for work can relate to this message!
2 Corinthians 10:1-18
I. Do Not Wage War In The Flesh
Chapter 10 title at the top, “Paul’s defense of his ministry” or “Paul Defends His Ministry” on some of your bibles.
Whatever ministry you are in Paul has much for us to apply to our lives.Please know the truth here!We are all in ministry – all the time – 24:7
•Paul is reminding them of his boldness in person –
•He is saying, I hope I don’t have to show you my boldness…remember Paul stood up to Peter, called him out –
•He says by the meekness (power under control) and gentleness of Christ I address you…
•Meekness Jesus used but not “weakness” was He? He called people out!There was a need for gentleness among people but confrontation as necessary out of truth.
•Walking in the flesh – we’re walking in our humanity on this earth but in warfare I don’t walk in this realm of the flesh – don’t fight in worldly ways.
•Weapons not of the flesh – human weapons we know how to do that don’t we?
•Knowledge, being bold, loud and a good speaker lacking compassion or truth, orator skills alone are not divine weapons, debate with arrogance instead of meekness & gentleness like Christ and like Paul.
A.Be equipped with divine power
v4 “but they have divine power…”
We have nothing divine about ourselves – but in spiritual battle we have the blessing of God’s weapons.
Truth – the Word of God – Sword
John 8:32; …and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
B.Choose offensive weapons
3 things that ministry is built upon
First – Built on the right weaponry
Word and Prayer
Paul says ministry is warfare – you need weapons – not the world’s weapons but those divine.
Ephesians 6:11; Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:14-17; Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
•Note only 1 offensive weapon so far – all defensive – offense sword of spirit – the Word of God.
•Defense only won’t win wars – example; football you can’t win only with defense – you have to have offense – Paul calls that the Bible, the Word.
When people push back with strongholds how are we going to reach them…not counseling, not pressure…
Hebrews 4:12; For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Testimony – Word of God saved me
•Get people to read the Word – A great weapon
•Prayer – another offensive weapon – divine weapons; Word and Prayer – have to build around these two or you are not prepared for warfare.
Jeremiah 29:11-13; For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
•Never say, “all we can do is pray.” How about WE GET TO PRAY!
•Foundations for us to do the work of Jesus.
•When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane – He prayed more earnestly, in agony, while betrayed – He prayed more.
C.Have a biblical mindset
We must have the right mindset biblically.
Biblical worldview of our ministry and of life…has to grow out of the Word of God.
Romans 12:1-2; Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Without a biblical mindset we will miss the war or perhaps misunderstand the war – saturate our mind with the Word in order to do this.
II.Demonstrate Humility In Battle
v12 – Don’t compare yourselves to others
v17 – don’t boast – do so only in the Lord
v18 – Only the Lord commends, not we ourselves
Paul says in Corinth too many people think they are great because of people to people comparisons.
Paul always tells people what great things God has done, not ever about himself – be humble and thankful for how He is using you…give Him the credit.
A.Weapons of flesh lead to destruction
ILLUSTRATION – Macau china, Couples rescued
- Be Humble and the right weaponry
- We can look at our history and see good men & women of God who have failed…
Personal reflection –
•Our pastor in college?
- An influential mentor of mine?
- A couple we looked up to?
I get angry when the enemy wins a day in the life of a Believer who loses a spiritual battle or doesn’t maintain a healthy fear of the Lord.
Testimony about my dad…
Build your life on these foundations and you will be fine.
- Build on offensive weaponry
- We need to be praying more and in the Word more…
- Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane…he prayed more earnestly, even in agony talking to His father…
- Prayer and the Word will bear fruit in our lives
Proverbs 15:1-3; A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable, But the mouth of fools spouts folly. The eyes of the Lord are in every place, Watching the evil and the good. But a harsh word stirs up anger.
•Have a biblical mindset
•Have genuine humility
B.Exercise your birthright
The Holy Spirit…
It will stand up in battle – just ask Paul.
Ephesians 1:18-20; I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places
You all know I have a passion for marriage ministry and how our relationships represent Jesus in our present day.
•So many believers today who are not aware of or exercise the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives don’t understand their Birthright.
Let’s apply this power practically to Marriage
•Christians who struggle typically reach fleshly weapons.
•Counseling can be an idol – because some want worldly counseling.
•Rare to see a married couple in conflict incorporating divine power.
•Also rare that they sit down and say to one another, “how have I personally contributed to the problems of this marriage?”
•What if Jesus Himself were our physical counselor?
Ephesians 6:12; For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
This warring is designed to destroy our marriages, but are you ok with satan using it to impact your witness, God’s name, your legacy?
•Wrestling against flesh…real issues going on you can’t fight in the flesh – not possible – you will lose!
James 4:7; Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
2 Corinthians 10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Paul Describes Himself
10 Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am [a]meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent! 2 I ask that when I am present I need not be bold with the confidence with which I propose to be courageous against some, who regard us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but [b]divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.
7 [c]You are looking at [d]things as they are outwardly. If anyone is confident in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again within himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so also are we. 8 For even if I boast somewhat [e]further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I will not be put to shame, 9 [f]for I do not wish to seem as if I would terrify you by my letters. 10 For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his [g]personal presence is unimpressive and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when absent, such persons we are also in deed when present.
12 For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with [h]some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. 13 But we will not boast beyond our measure, but [i]within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. 14 For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for we were the first to come even as far as you in the gospel of Christ; 15 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, [j]within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, 16 so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast [k]in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another. 17 But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord. 18 For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.