Chapter 10 verses 1 to 6

Chapter 10 verses 1 to 6Tuesday 9th May 2017

Posted by Neil Todman

Read 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Chapter 10 marks the start of a new section which runs all the way to the end of the letter. Once again Paul is forced to defend his ministry. 

There is a lot of debate about why, having seemingly been joyfully reconciled with the Corinthians in chapter 7, just a few pages later there has been a further breakdown in the relationship.  Perhaps the most likely explanation is that having written chapters 1 to 9, Paul received new information about a group of so-called “super apostles” (see chapter 11 verse 5) who were seeking to undermine not only Paul’s ministry but the outworking of the gospel among the Corinthians.  This was so serious that as Paul concludes his letter he challenges those in Corinth to examine themselves “to see whether you are in the faith” (see chapter 13 verse 5).  No wonder he is at his most passionate in these four chapters!  The eternal destiny of these people whom he cared so much about is at stake.

Right at the start of chapter 10 we can see the outline of the accusations against Paul.  The style and substance of his apostolic ministry were attacked. He was accused of being bold in his writing but timid in person (verse 1 and see also verses 10 and 11). His critics said he claimed to be living for Christ but actually was living “by the standards of this world” (verse 2).

In these verses, we can also begin to see how Paul will deal with these criticisms.  He will continue to display the character of Christ, in all his seeming weakness (verse 1).  He will continue to use the power of the gospel (see 1 Corinthians 1:21-23), not any worldly power, to breakdown every demonic stronghold and every false idea, until “every thought” is aligned with the gospel of Christ (verses 3 to 5).  For those who reject this correction, they can expect to be disciplined when the apostle Paul comes in person (see verse 6 and chapter 13 verses 2 to 4). This is a battle for the soul of this church that Paul is simply not prepared to lose.

Reflection

Are you critical of your church leaders?  Repent if needs be.   Give thanks for Christ’s work in and through them.