I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be towards some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:2-5 (NIV)
In my previous post we looked at the wisdom of the world and compared this to Jesus’ wisdom from Matthew 5. From this we concluded that we can either follow the world’s wisdom, or God’s wisdom. When the world tells you to do something, always ask yourself if that is what God would want you to do.
Paul’s words taken from 2 Corinthians 5 indicate that as Christians we ‘live in the world’, but that our actions should be spirit led. Paul tells the members of the Corinthian church that although they are part of the world, the standards they adopt are to be different.
The analogy Paul uses is one of waging war. The problem with this is that many Christians want an easy life, they want an easy God and they don’t actually want to fight. It’s not that they are battle weary, it’s just that they have never begun to fight in the first place. This may be because they don’t like the idea of a loving God asking them to engage in battle.
Paul is not talking about a physical battle. As Christians we are engaged in a spiritual battle and Paul tells his readers that the battle does not use the weapons of this world. He speaks of the spiritual weapons having divine power to:
- demolish strongholds;
- demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God;
- take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Applying this to our situation today where Christianity is portrayed in the media as narrow-minded and intolerant, the need for engagement in the spiritual battle is very real. Christians need to engage with the world and not let every negative comment go unchallenged. The church should not be the last to challenge the world’s standards, but should be taking the lead.
So what are these weapons that we can use and which are backed up by divine power? In Ephesians 6:10-18 we discover that these spiritual weapons are the:
- belt of truth;
- breastplate of righteousness;
- gospel of peace;
- shield of faith;
- helmet of salvation;
- sword of the spirit (word of God);
So the question is: are you equipped and ready for battle? In the military they are taught to keep their equipment in good order. In the Christian life we need to do the same.