2 Corinthians 10:3-6
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:…
I. A WARFARE ILLUSTRATING THE CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANITY.
1. Christianity cannot get into any man's heart but it makes a warrior of him. The grace of God is completely at variance with the spirit and practice of the world. What does Paul call his life as he looks back on it? An extended scene of unbroken serenity and enjoyment? No — "a good fight."
2. But observe, is it not of a defensive warfare that the text speaks? "Pulling down," "casting down," "bringing into captivity" are the operations of an aggressive army. A religion of benevolence is an amiable and useful thing, but if it is unaccompanied with a hatred of sin and a striving against it, we must not call it Christianity.
II. THE OBJECT OF THIS WARFARE.
1. The demolition of evil. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." And that must be ours too. Think of a country so strong in its natural defences as to be impregnable — there is a picture of Satan's dominion. No created power can wrest it out of his hand. But there is One before whom natural obstacles are all as nothing, and so Satan strengthens them with fortifications and citadels. These in one age or country are of one kind, in another of another kind. Satan accommodates himself to the nature of the ground. There is —
(1) Superstition, one of Satan's oldest fortresses. In the apostle's days it appeared as paganism. When Christianity began to triumph, it assumed a new character, paganising Christianity in the form of error.
(2) Infidelity, no longer, however, coarse and scoffing, but cultured and professedly reverent.
2. The entire subjugation of the human mind to Christ. When soldiers besiege a fortress, and, battering down its walls, take possession of it, the men within it become their prisoners. And Christ aims His gospel at the strongholds of Satan, and calls upon His followers to beat them down in order to rescue men from Satan's bondage and to make them captives to Himself. "Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ." How low are our ideas of Christianity when compared with St. Paul's. Such texts as these make us feel sometimes as though we had never yet learnt anything of it.
III. THE WEAPONS.
1. What are the "carnal weapons"?
2. What then will do the work? This the apostle does not say. We are, however, at no loss. "We preach Christ crucified," says this apostle; and what does he immediately call that? a carnal weapon? No, "the power of God and the wisdom of God." I do not say, lay all other means aside. Form societies, build schools, erect churches, circulate books — but remember still, all these will not damage materially one bulwark of Satan among us unless our one main object in them is to make known the gospel.
(C. Bradley, M. A.)
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