The 10th chapter of 2 Corinthians is but 18 verses in length, but as the Word of God is the content is much more than can be unpacked here. Please read this chapter in its entirety in order to gather the content for yourself. However, in short, Paul gives to the reader the standard for facing difficult people and situations. The standard being that of God.
In verse one the Apostle writes, “Now I, Paul, make a personal appeal to you by the gentleness and graciousness of Christ—I who am humble among you in person but bold toward you when absent.” He appeals to the Person of Christ whether in person or in writing; he is the same. His physical appearance is apparently not much to approve of, but his words are with authority given him by the Lord. Obviously, Paul ‘is coming to town’ in order to marshall the error of some who are present in Corinth. His measuring stick is of God, “For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ.” vv. 3-5.
Oftentimes there are those in the local church who deem it necessary to rise above the pastor that God has called to be the Shepherd and feel it their job ‘to keep him in line.’ Most pastors have come to a particular place because, in fact, God has moved them to be there both physically and spiritually. His weapons are spiritual in nature in order to ‘demolish arguments and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God.” For this reason Paul also writes that Believers are “to put on the full armor of God.” Ephesians 6:10-18. Some of the most ungodly people known are found to be the ‘self-righteous’ stewards of a physical location and are an abomination. And as Paul explains, “And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.” v. 6. But the punishment comes from God, not the Shepherd.
Paul continues to explain the Standard that he follows is that of God and not of his own making, “Look at what is obvious. If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should remind himself of this: Just as he belongs to Christ, so do we. For if I boast some more about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I am not ashamed.” vv. 7-8. Personally, I have known only a few men who were filling the shoes as Pastor and were not honoring the Word of God and the call of God in life. If they failed to do these things they, indeed, were miserable creatures.
Paul’s remarks here in vv. 8-7 speak directly to what he had written to the Corinthian church in his first letter, 1 Corinthians chapter 12. Within that chapter the Apostle outlines and explains in great detail the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the purpose of them within the Body of Christ. “For I boast some more about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up…” and this is the reason for each Gift of the Spirit. We are to use those gifts for edification and not for destruction within the Body. These are given to give support to the Standards God has given His Church.
Here is Paul’s suggestion of his authority being based upon the Standards of God, “We, however, will not boast beyond measure but according to the measure of the area of ministry that God has assigned to us, which reaches even to you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we had not reached you, since we have come to you with the gospel of Christ.” vv. 13-14. His authority comes only through the Gospel of Christ and this remains true today for the majority of those men who stand behind a desk to proclaim the Truth of God’s Word. For like Paul they will proclaim, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith. For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them.” Romans 1:16-19.
How many of you have heard this, “And in closing?” As a preacher, I attempted NEVER to use this phrase for to me it was annoying when heard. But, here I am…let me say it this way, as I finish up I will do so with this, “Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these 40 years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you by letting you go hungry; then He gave you manna to eat, which you and your fathers had not known, so that you might learn that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:2-3.
You may be asking yourself, “What did he mean by that?” Do you know that the Hebrew word for ‘manna’ literally means, “what is that?” There you have it, I have given you some ‘what is that?’ Enjoy!!
Jesus is Lord!!