2 Corinthians 10:1 “…in presence am lowly among you, but being absent am bold toward you”
I wonder why the difference in stance between his letter and seeing them in person. Commentary expressed reasons why he was mentioning it at all, but no help with this. Perhaps there is timing involved. He’s saying he was lowly while present, but now absent he must be stern due to problems arising while he’s not there.
2 “…by which I intend to be bold against some…”
He’s back to referencing some who have challenged his authority based on earthly standards. He intends to deal with them accordingly.
3 “…we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh”
In the world, but not of it. We are physical beings, but we deal with the spiritual.
4-6 “…weapons of our warfare…mighty in God…pulling down strongholds…casting down arguments…every high thing…punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled”
I’ve heard this section used to preach regarding spiritual enemies only, not the physical aspect of problems, but the spiritual cause behind them. From the context, it sounds like Paul includes both. Strongholds and arguments sound like he is dealing with those that human opponents to Christ would bring up, which the word of God can easily bring down. Every high thing seems to refer to the spiritual opposition behind most issues. The word of God is so rich and deep, we sometimes have to break down sections to study them fully. But it is also rewarding to see all the aspects brought out in the context.
Once all the information has been examined, he’ll see who has been obedient and who hasn’t, instituting punishment for the latter.
7-11 Had to check the commentary and read this section several times to get a clear view. Dealing with one or more of those opposing his authority. Paul’s demeanor when he was with them in person was humble and meek in order to bring as many to Christ as possible, whereas his letters were more bold, forceful, and authoritative in presentation. He says his authority is from Christ, and Paul is not afraid to state that. When he visits them in person, all will see that he can be just as forceful in person as he is by letter.
12-16 Paul’s opponents used their own supposed knowledge to commend themselves as teachers, being their own references. Paul received his appointment as teacher from Christ. He came to the Corinthians to reach them with the gospel and with the hope that once they knew Christ, they could assist Paul in reaching others for Christ. Paul’s work among them speaks for itself.
18 “…not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends”
It is easy to fall into the trap of looking at a person’s outward appearance or their abilities when we see them being used by God. We may compare them to ourselves and think why are they being used when we or others are more qualified. We know that God looks beyond the outward appearance to the heart of man and judges him accordingly. But the most important aspect to remember is God’s choice. He is not bound by any rule, regulation, or accumulation of talent. He can use whomever He chooses, irrespective of any other criteria. He is sovereign.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.