For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4
2 Corinthians 10
Paul has been accused by some in Corinth of being a “weak” leader. Even now he appeals rather than commands. It seems they expect leaders to be more forceful and demanding. Paul notes that Christ himself was meek and gentle – but never weak! Paul is engaged in a spiritual warfare, so he can never rely on worldly methods. It requires divine power to demolish the inner strongholds and bring hearts and minds into an obedient relationship with the Lord.
The Corinthians “look only on surface things.” Paul’s authority is real, for it has been given to him by God. It is significant that Paul identifies his authority as “authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down.” No spiritual leader is called to lord it over others and thus keep them in spiritual childhood. Authority is for building others toward spiritual maturity.
Apparently some in Corinth are comparing themselves with others and boasting of their leadership ability. Paul seeks no commendation, except from the Lord.
Because Christ is real, spiritual leaders can abandon worldly approaches in leadership. God’s goal is to accomplish inner transformation in each of us. Thus human authority structures, such as the “chain of command,” which is designed to control others’ behavior, simply have no place in the life of God’s people. Those with spiritual authority claim no right to control others. Instead they exalt Christ as Lord and seek to build up others by teaching and example, each communicated in a context of love.
* Richards’ Complete Bible Handbook, Lawrence O Richards
Two Different Types of Authority
In this chapter, Paul shows how Christ as a leader is different from the leaders of this world. The former is meek and gentle, leading by example. The latter is forceful and authoritative. The former is motivated by His love for us and the latter is motivated by their desire to gain power by controlling us.
God’s intention is building us up. He wants to grow us sky high like a beautiful tall tree.
So, while we live in this world, groaning under selfish and corrupt leaders, we can still be joyful with this knowledge. We have a more powerful leader, God himself, willing to be on our side to defend us and make us strong.
By being a meek and gentle leader, yet strong with his words and teachings, Paul is following the footsteps of Jesus. Each one of us can also be an imitator of Christ in this way. Meek yet strong.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 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. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5