2 Corinthians 10:1-18
A woman has twins and gives them up for
adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named
Amal. The other goes to a family in Spain. They
named him Juan.
Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his
birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells
her husband that she wishes she also had a picture
of Amal.He responds, “They’re twins! If you’ve seen Juan,
you’ve seen Amal.”
For the past three weeks we have talked about Paul ‘s
encouragement of the Corinthians to give generously to
the church at Jerusalem. He wanted them to take part in
a grace giving to a church that was struggling.
Chapter 10 of 2 Corinthians takes an abrupt turn from
Paul’s previous topic of grace giving. For the next 4
chapters Paul is going to defend his apostolic authority.
2 Corinthians 10:1-6
The false teachers are doing everything they can to steal
Paul’s converts at Corinth. They have brought many
accusations against him and Paul has had enough of it.
In these verses Paul appeals to the believers at Corinth to
remember what he taught them.
He came to preach Christ and Him crucified.
He defends himself in the same way Christ did.
With meekness and humility.
Some people incorrectly interpret meekness as
weakness, but it is far from that.
Meekness is power under control.
Jesus was meek. Remember, He was God in flesh.
He had all power to do all things but humbled Himself
while He was on earth so He could reconcile man to the
He described Himself as gentle and humble.
Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn
from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and
you will find rest for your souls.”
Yet Jesus would not allow sin to go unpunished.
In the temple He drove out the vendors with whips and
turned over their tables telling them they were making
His house of prayer a den of robbers.
He knew exactly when to use His power and when to hold
Choose your Battles Wisely
The false teachers accused Paul of being harsh through
his letters and weak in person.
This was simply not true.
Paul’s desire is for the church to recognize the false
teachers for what they are and to exercise church
Paul lets Corinth know he is prepared to be severe when
he arrives but he hopes the group is small who is
defaming his name.
They are accusing Paul of walking according to the flesh.
It’s ironic because that is what they are doing yet they
are accusing Paul of doing it.
Choose your Weapons Wisely
Paul realizes that this is not a physical battle but a
Paul understands that the false teachers aren’t going to
come at him with guns and swords, but they are still
fighting a spiritual battle with earthly weapons.
They are using their intelligence, their influence and
authority to attack Paul.
Paul knows he needs to Put on the armor of God and
stand for the truth against the false teachers.
They are fighting in the flesh but Paul is defending in the
He knows that greater is he that is in him than he that is
in the world!
Notice the way Paul describes the battle.
The weapons of warfare are not of the flesh but have
divine power to destroy strongholds!
God has all power.
He also writes that they destroy arguments and every
lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God.
This goes back to what Paul wrote back in 1 Corinthians
about the wisdom of God versus the wisdom of man.
The world’s wisdom doesn’t even compare to God’s
Next, Paul writes about taking every thought captive.
The world sees it as foolishness when we preach Christ.
But the truth is that when we keep our eyes fixed on
Christ we take every thought captive which makes us
When we let our thoughts stray we will fall victim to the
lust of the flesh, the lust of our eyes and the boastful
pride of life.
Then in verse 6 Paul mentions being ready to punish
every disobedience when their obedience is complete.
This is referring to them being ready to exercise church
discipline against the false teachers.
But only when they are truly obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:7-11
Choose your Words Wisely
The false teachers were accusing Paul of having insincere
They accused him of being bold in letters but weak in
They accused him of having a weak physical presence.
Paul writes that he used words to encourage the church
not to tear them apart.
The false teachers were trying to rip the church apart.
Paul was trying to hold it together.
Choose your Ways Wisely
Paul defends himself by saying that he is going to do
what he says he is going to do.
He will let his yes be yes and his no be no.
If there are any in the church that are teaching contrary
to God’s word Paul will back up his word with action.
He is a man of integrity.
2 Corinthians 10:12-18
Choose your Boasting Wisely
Paul here gives a warning against boasting.
The false teachers are commending themselves which
Paul says that they will never do.
The false teachers have also fallen in the trap of
comparing themselves to others.
They can easily find fault in someone else rather than
acknowledging their own shortcomings.
It’s like Jesus’ words in His sermon on the mount about
seeing the speck in our brother’s eye while not noticing
the log in our own eye.
Comparing ourselves to someone else will often make us
feel better but never makes us more holy.
God said our standard is to be holy just as He is holy.
Jesus modeled it on earth.
Paul also told the church at Ephesus to “Be imitators of
God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1
He also told the Corinthians in his first letter,
“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” I Corinthians 11:1
The false teachers were modeling judgment and criticism.
Paul understands that God is responsible for the fruit that
we bear as we follow Him in obedience.
Paul knows that God alone allowed him to reach the
Gentiles in Corinth with the gospel.
They faithfully brought the good news to Corinth because
God ordained it. Paul knows that all glory belongs to God
for any and all salvations. He is doing the work that God
called him to.
Paul also hoped that the faith of the Corinthians would
increase so that they might be able to reach more with
the good news of the gospel. .
Next, Paul warns against boasting in the work of others.
That is what the false teachers had been doing in Corinth.
They were taking credit for Paul’s converts by defaming
Paul would never claim credit for work he did not do.
Sadly in the business world this happens a lot. People
take credit for the work of others as if it were their own.
Finally, Paul mentions anyone who boasts should boast in
the Lord. Again, God is responsible for the fruit that we
bear. It is not our own work. It is God’s work.
Also, we should be concerned with being commended by
God, not ourselves.
Our application this morning is simple.
Seek to Glorify God in All our Ways
Our job is to pay attention to God’s lead and the
prompting of the Holy Spirit.
What is He telling you to do to bring glory to His name
MacArthur – After Martin Luther’s death, his friends found
a scrap of paper in his pocket on which the great
Reformer had written, “We are all beggars.”
Humble men of God realize that they have nothing to
boast about. If they preach the gospel, it is because God’s Word is a
fire in their bones (Jer. 20:9) and they are compelled to
preach (1 Cor. 9:16).
They serve the church only because Christ puts them into
service (1 Tim. 1:12), and any success they have is
attributable solely to the grace of God at work in them (1
Cor. 15:10). They cry out with the psalmist,“Not to us,
O Lord, not to us, but to Your name give glory” (Ps. 115:1).
(2 Corinthians Commentary)