v1-6 - The first 'bold' assertion Paul makes in this passage is not too shocking: even though we live in the world we don't fight like they do (v3). The world wars over prestige and transitory wealth that will soon fade away. This is a message that the Bible communicates quite often, and we have varying decrees of success in avoiding being sucked into that vacuum.
The second 'bold' assertion Paul makes here is one that is quite surprising because we don't dwell on it enough. As Christians, we're not commanded to hunker down and hide from the 'weapons of the world,' we're commanded to take the offensive! We have weapons that "have divine power to demolish the strongholds" of the world:
We must then set about demolishing anything that sets itself against God;
We are to "take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ."
Remember, before you go out to wage war against the world, you must first have accomplished these tasks in your own life.
You are bombarded by these wicked ideas every time you turn on your TV or the internet, but yet most Christians just passively let themselves be immersed in these ideas until they've been totally infected and any semblance of Godly values or true knowledge of who God is has been sucked out of their mind. Don't let this happen to you. Discipline yourself to use the powerful intellectual weapons you've been given to fight back.
v7-14 - We've seen in these letters to the Corinthians that Paul felt inferior to the other apostles, especially Apollos.
In v10, he even refers to himself as being unimpressive and he understands that he's a boring preacher (remember the story back in Acts about the young man who zonked out and fell out the third story window while Paul "preached on and on?").
This is the man God chose to build His Church: a man that was dull and put his audience to sleep. But everyone instantly noticed that "his letters are weighty and forceful (v10)."
That's because these letters are inspired by God Himself, and these letters, like the book of 2nd Corinthians which you are reading through now, are the power of God which has the ability to save you from your sin and this corrupt, messed up world.
Reading these letters, and all of the other books of the Bible, is what energizes the divine weaponry you've been given, so read them often.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE: Jeremiah 9:23-24 contrasts what the world boasts about with what Paul means when he writes of what it means to take all of our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In the first verse of this chapter, Paul mentions two qualities of Christ. One is meekness. What is the other one?
Name one way the 'weapons' mentioned in v4-5 can be utilized today, and then what we should be doing to train ourselves to use these weapons.
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who demonstrates divine humility and gentleness in His Son, Jesus Christ (v1)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the discipline to "take every captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (v5)."
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: