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2 Corinthians 10 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 7, 2024 6:00 am

2 Corinthians 10 - Part B

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 7, 2024 6:00 am

Pastor Skip warns you about Satan’s scheme to get you into a losing position.

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Satan always seeks to move you to do battle in the flesh. To react, to get angry, to take things in your own hands. Instead of staying in the position of a spiritual person fighting it with spiritual weapons. And the reason he wants to move you in the realm of the flesh is because he knows if he gets you to flesh out that he's going to win.

Take time. Today on Connect with Skip Heitzig, Pastor Skip warns you about Satan's scheme to get you into a losing position. But before we get started, here's a fascinating biography you're sure you want to add to your library. That almost every problem that a person has in their life stems from an inadequate view of God. In Skip Heitzig's book, Biography of God, learn to recognize and remove the limits you may have placed on your idea of who God is. The truth is, I am a fellow traveler on this same road that you are on.

And we have access to the same information, the same documents, but I hope to offer a fresh perspective on God himself. Biography of God is our way to thank you for supporting Connect with Skip Heitzig as we reach a lost world with the gospel. Request your copy with a gift of $50 or more when you give securely online at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Or call 800-922-1888. That's connectwithskip.com slash offer.

Or call 800-922-1888. Now we're about to get started. So let's turn to 2 Corinthians 10 as we join Skip. Meekness is not weakness. Though many of us think of the attribute of meekness as weakness. We think of a meek person as sort of being Casper Milk Toast. He's spineless, you know, doesn't really put his foot down. That's not meekness.

That's weakness. The word meekness, praos in Greek, means literally power under control. That term, the Greek term praos was used of a horse, a wild stallion who had been broken by a trainer and was now useful and writable. Very powerful creature but now under the control of the trainer, under the control of the master. So a meek person is a powerful person who's under God's control. And when you get a powerful individual but who is under God's control, that's a great asset to the body of Christ, a great need in all areas of life. So the meekness of Jesus Christ, I am pleading with you in the meekness and the gentleness of Christ. So a meek person, this includes Paul, is God's gentleman. And a meek woman is God's sweetheart, trying to think of an equivalent of gentleman. So can be powerful, can be assertive in personality, nothing wrong with that if that's your personality, but under God's control.

Power under control. And he says, but I beg you, verse 2, that when I am present, I may not be bold with that confidence by which I intend to be bold against some who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. Throughout the book, Paul hints at this idea that, look, you guys by the fact that you entertain these antagonists and these false apostles, you're forcing me to a position of being harsh.

I don't want to be, but I'm ready to be harsh against some. I intend to be harsh against those, but I don't want to be that way toward you, the greater body of Christ. But I will against some who think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though, verse 3, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

Yes, we live in our fleshly bodies. Yes, we are beset by trials and temptations of the old fallen nature, the flesh, all of us are. But when it comes to spiritual battles, spiritual warfare, we don't engage in anything but the spiritual realm. In spiritual warfare, Satan always seeks to move you to do battle in the flesh.

To react, to get angry, to take things in your own hands instead of staying in the position of a spiritual person fighting it with spiritual weapons. And the reason he wants to move you in the realm of the flesh is because he knows if he gets you to flesh out that he's going to win every time. If he can't move you to the arena of the flesh, but you fight the battle using spiritual means, word of God, prayer, accountability, fellowship, et cetera, that he can't win, that he's done for. You will win if you keep the battle in the arena of the spirit, not in the flesh. Paul the apostle said we do not war with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual places.

So because of that, we should fight it with not fleshly weapons, but spiritual weapons. In the book of Ephesians, Paul gives a list of the armor that we wear when we engage in spiritual battle. Put on the whole armor of God, do it with the might that he gives you, a helmet of salvation, sword of the spirit, shield of faith, et cetera, having gird your waist with the right belt, et cetera.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit. One of your greatest weapons in a spiritual battle is prayer. When you pray, you're gaining the advantage. You're bringing a gun to a knife fight. You're out there with knives, suddenly you just say, wait a minute, God, now you've just outgunned the opponent. Because you're not using your own power, your own might, you're calling on God.

It really is decisive. You know the Bible says that the angels desire to look into the things of the church? And I got to figure that some of the angels are scratching their heads when they look at the way we fight our spiritual battles. And they probably look at each other and go, why isn't Skip praying?

Look at, he's on the phone, he's getting angry, he's shuffling his feet, he's trying to make these decisions. If he would just, why don't they pray? You know, I just think sometimes they marvel at what we don't do when it comes to spiritual warfare. So Paul doesn't want to fight these battles against them in the flesh, like I'll use crowd manipulation and crowd dynamics, and I know how to use my voice to get what I want and get their attention and all of that kind of stuff. He wants to fight it spiritually. Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For, here's the reason why, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments in every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity, to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

In verse 5, he talks about casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. My mind immediately goes to a few areas of our culture, our society, when I think of this verse. I think of universities, how difficult it is to be a student in a modern institution of higher learning, given what they will go out of their way to promote and insist that you buy into and believe. Their arguments, their high sounding philosophical intellectual snobbery because you believe in the Bible, but they hold a science and a higher learning and we know better. I think of government institutions, same thing. Very difficult to live out your Christian witness in these areas. The woke training that both of those areas and almost now every segment of society is pushing and forcing. A transgenderism, even though it's so contrary to any sense or scientific sense. These are institutions and a world apart from God.

And yet, we can be casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and you start by bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Now that's your thinking, it could also be their thinking. Your thought life, aren't you glad I don't know your thought life?

I'm glad you don't know mine. But that's where the battle is fought. That's where we must do battle. And it really does come to the ability to take thoughts that wander and go in areas that are bad and unhealthy and impure and immoral, bringing them back to the obedience of Christ. But also other people's thoughts. So in a conversation, don't be afraid to say, well, you know, you just mentioned that, but I don't necessarily hold to that view and here's why.

Sometimes when you challenge a person's thinking and you force them to really think it through can be very helpful. So don't be afraid to engage and don't be afraid to bring their thoughts into captivity if possible to the obedience of Christ as well. And being ready, verse six, to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled, do you look at things according to the outward appearance?

Now I'm going to be sharing with you what I think he's referring to here. If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ's, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ's, even so we are Christ's. It could be that what Paul has in his thinking when he writes this is something he mentioned in 1 Corinthians chapter, I think one, at least one and two, one or two, where he said, some will say I'm of Paul, some say I'm of Apollo, some will say I'm of Cephas, some will say I'm of Christ. You know, they kind of think, well, you follow human leaders, but we just follow Jesus. And it was that super holy group perhaps that he is thinking about here when he says, hey, if you guys think you're in Christ or they say we're of Christ, so are we. We're all on the same page, we're all under the same authority. We all belong to Jesus Christ.

No one has an exclusive corner on the market. But notice this whole idea about the appearance. Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?

You know what the answer to that is? Yes, we do. We do. We are by nature as humans appearance oriented. We look at a person, we notice what they wear, we notice how they do their hair, we notice how they talk, and we start assessing background, education, frame of reference, coolness factor or not. Whatever it might be, we start making judgments and sizing that person up.

That's how we are. We look at the outward thing, we look at the outward appearance. We are appearance oriented. You have mirrors in your home. I can almost probably say without exception, everyone here looks in a mirror.

What are you doing? You're looking at your appearance. Now when you look in the mirror, some of you are pleased.

Most of us are not. Because the mirror is telling us truth and at least it's telling us, listen, before you leave the house, there's a few things you can notice that you may want to just pay attention to. And so you do because you buy into the fact that we do judge by outward appearance. When the prophet Samuel came to the house of Jesse and was looking for a king, he noticed the firstborn Eliab and he was tall and handsome and he looked, you know, Schwarzenegger-esque. He looked, this was kingly material.

This was royal stuff. And he thought, surely the Lord's anointed is performing. God spoke to him and said, uh-uh, wrong one. For God does not see as man sees. When man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart. Some were judging Paul by appearance, especially this group, and feeding that into the ears of the Corinthians. For even, verse 8, for even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, and he did have apostolic authority, goodness, he founded the church.

In Corinth, he founded most of the churches we know about that we read about in our New Testaments. For even if I should boast somewhat more about our authority, which the Lord gave us for edification, or to build you up, and not for your destruction, I shall not be ashamed, I don't mind speaking about the authority that God gave me, lest I seem to terrify you by letters. If you want me to do it in person, rather than by letter, happy to do it, happy to oblige. You want me to come and express authority in person?

I can do that. You know, they're saying, well, those letters are tough, but he's a wimp up close. He goes, well, I'm coming, I'm happy to take up that challenge, for his letters, they say, are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Man, poor Paul, he knew that they were gossiping this way, that people were talking about the way he looked. Don't look at him.

What was he referring to? Well, we can't be sure, but we can be almost sure, because he doesn't say exactly. You know, we have no description of what Paul looked like in the New Testament. For that matter, we don't have a description of what Jesus looked like. I'm glad.

I'm glad. I'll tell you why I'm glad about Jesus on another time, but let me talk about Paul. There is a book, or was a book, it's an apocryphal book. That is, it's not a book that we would consider to be a scriptural book of authority written by the Holy Spirit, a pen by any apostle, but it's an apocryphal book, extra biblical book, known as the Acts of Paul and Thecla. And in this particular piece of correspondence, there is an account of Paul's physical appearance. This is the only historical document of what Paul looked like.

But if this is accurate, you will understand the meaning here. Paul, and I am quoting, he was a man of little stature, thin haired upon the head, crooked in the legs of good state of body, with eyebrows joining and nose somewhat hooked. So if this is accurate, he's a short, balding, bold-legged unibrow with a hooked nose. Some other accounts that I've read, though I can't substantiate them, say he had kind of a high voice.

Can't substantiate that. He continues on and says, but he was full of grace, for sometimes he appeared like a man and sometimes he had the face of an angel. So if that is accurate, now you understand when they say, for his letters, they say are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak and his speech contemptible. I mean, the guy's a short little unibrow and, you know, I mean, come on, there's nothing impressive about Paul.

Even his speech is contemptible. I don't exactly know what they mean by that, but let me venture a guess. Corinth, part of Achaea, was a Greek city. The Greeks placed a high level of importance on eloquence, golden-tongued oratory, the ability to move a crowd persuasively by one's words. And they had many examples of that and they placed a high premium on that. And so, you know, here's Paul, this Jewish guy trained in Jerusalem from Tarsus, coming to Corinth, coming to Athens.

They're not impressed with that. Now, that's not to say that he wasn't a gifted speaker. He was. He was very persuasive. In Acts 9, it says that he confounded the Jews that dwelt at Damascus and proved to them that Jesus was the Christ. That's powerful speech.

If you can stand in a synagogue filled with Jewish antagonists and be able to hold your ground and confound their arguments and prove that Jesus is their Messiah, you've got to be pretty skilled. Also, when he is in Lystra, Acts chapter 14, they say the gods have come down to us. So he was a powerful, persuasive speaker, but he lacked the Greek refined eloquence that we are so fond of. That's probably what the reference is.

His speech is contemptible. When Paul did go to Athens, by the way, he went to Mars Hill, the Areopagus. Down below the Mars Hill, below the Areopagus, was the Agora, the marketplace.

And I've stood on Mars Hill, I've stood on the Areopagus, and I've looked down toward the Agora, and I've imagined Paul sharing his faith there and there. And it says when he went down into the Agora, the marketplace, that he was having conversations with different people in the marketplace, and some of the Stoic philosophers, the Athenians, the Stoics and another group of philosophers, said, what is this babbler trying to say? And that term babbler is an interesting term, spermalagas in Greek means a seed picker. A seed picker, one who picks up a little philosophy here, picks up a little nugget of knowledge there, picks up this, that, and then he kind of mixes it all up and spits it out. He's a babbler, a spermalagas, a seed picker.

So he didn't match up to the Greek level. So his letters, they say, are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, his speech is contemptible. Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters, when we are absent, such will we be indeed when we are present. See, he's taking their challenge of, oh, really, I'm weak in person? Guess who's coming to dinner? Guess who's coming to your town? I am. Don't want to have to exercise authority?

Will if I need to. So it's really a warning to the false teachers, but also to the people who are entertaining those antagonists against Paul. That's Skip Heitzig with a message from the series Expound, 2 Corinthians.

Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, we want to let you know about a unique opportunity you have to pursue biblical studies in a way that works with your schedule. Imagine turning your desire to make a difference for the kingdom of God into a purposeful and fulfilling career in ministry. Calvary Church of Albuquerque is pleased to announce a partnership with Southeastern University, a fully accredited Christian university. The Southeastern University partnership with Calvary launches with the fall 2024 semester, offering online degrees from Southeastern University in general education as well as several ministerial leadership degrees. Visit calvarynm.church slash schools to learn more about available degree programs, tuition, and financial aid details, and to start your application. Fall classes begin soon, so check out the SEU at Calvary webpage to learn more about this incredible new partnership with Southeastern University and begin your Christ-centered flexible degree program today. The website again is calvarynm.church slash schools.

That's calvarynm.church slash schools. We love to partner with friends like you to help share God's word with more people around the world through Connect with Skip Heitzig. You can play a vital role in this work today with a gift to support this life-changing ministry and expand its reach into more major U.S. cities. Visit connectwithskip.com slash donate to give generously and share the life-changing gospel with others. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate or call 800-922-1888, 800-922-1888.

Thank you for changing lives. Remember to tune in tomorrow to hear Skip's lesson about the one evaluation of your life that matters. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on his word, make a connection, connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-07 06:11:56 / 2024-05-07 06:20:28 / 9

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