|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:1-6 While others thought meanly, and spake scornfully of the apostle, he had low thoughts, and spake humbly of himself. We should be aware of our own infirmities, and think humbly of ourselves, even when men reproach us. The work of the ministry is a spiritual warfare with spiritual enemies, and for spiritual purposes. Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. Conscience is accountable to God only; and people must be persuaded to God and their duty, not driven by force. Thus the weapons of our warfare are very powerful; the evidence of truth is convincing. What opposition is made against the gospel, by the powers of sin and Satan in the hearts of men! But observe the conquest the word of God gains. The appointed means, however feeble they appear to some, will be mighty through God. And the preaching of the cross, by men of faith and prayer, has always been fatal to idolatry, impiety, and wickedness.
Verse 3. - We walk in the flesh. St. Paul does not disclaim the possession of human infirmities, but maintains that such trials and temptations were not the guiding force of his life. We do not war after the flesh. His campaigns (Luke 3:14) were fought with spiritual weapons. The metaphor is a constant one with St. Paul (2 Corinthians 2:14-16; 1 Corinthians 9:26; Ephesians 6:10-17, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For though we walk in the flesh,.... The apostle removes the calumny of walking after the flesh, by owning that they were in the flesh, in the body, in a state of imperfection, attended with many weaknesses and infirmities, and surrounded with a variety of afflictions and sorrows; in this sense they were, and lived and walked in the flesh; but then he denies the charge exhibited against them,
we do not war after the flesh: every Christian's life is a warfare with Satan, and his principalities and powers, with the world, the men and lusts of it, and with the corruptions of their own hearts; and much more is the life of a minister of the Gospel, who is called forth to meet the adversary in the gate; to stand in the hottest place of the battle, and sustain the whole fire and artillery of the enemy; to fight the good fight of faith, endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ, and with the weapons he is furnished with to war a good warfare: which is not done "after the flesh"; in such a manner as the men of the world wage war with one another; or upon carnal principles; or with carnal selfish views; or in a weak way and manner; but in a spiritual way, with all simplicity and disinterested views, with great courage and intrepidity of mind.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. For—Reason why they should regard him "beseeching" them (2Co 10:2) not to oblige him to have recourse to "bold" and stern exercise of authority. "We walk IN the flesh," and so in weakness: but not "ACCORDING TO the flesh" (2Co 10:2). Moreover, though we WALK in it, we do not WAR according to it. A double contrast or antithesis. "They who accuse us of walking after the flesh, shall find [to their cost] that we do not war after the flesh; therefore compel us not to use our weapons" [Alford].
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