Saturday, July 20, 2013

True Spiritual Warfare: Knowledge and Obedience

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete” (2 Corinthians 10:3-6).

Spiritual warfare: contending for the truth of the faith (Jude 3) and discipleship (a mutual commitment as a community to obedience to Christ, Matthew 28:19,20). God the Holy Spirit works through the truth of the Scripture that He inspired, and His most potent, profound, and eternally fruitful battle is in the arena of false versus true in our minds and lives (John 4:23,24; 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; Ephesians 1:13; 6:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; Hebrews 4:11-13; 1 John 4:6 – note here that the Spirit of truth speaks through the apostles; 5:6).

It results in deeper submission to the authority of the apostles, the inspired authors of the New Testament (Acts 2:42): “...our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up” (2 Corinthians 10:8; 13:10)

It results in the support of the expansion of Christ-boasting mission: “But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. For we are not overextending ourselves, as if we did not reach to you, for we were the first to come even as far as you in the gospel of Christ; not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men's labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another. But he who boasts is to boast in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:13-17).

It results in a Church dedicated to being “as a pure virgin” betrothed to Christ, focused on “the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:1-3), finding her completion in the Trinity (2 Corinthians 13:14) and a life together as unified as the one-God-in-three-Persons she worships (13:11,12).

This is the battle and fruit of spiritual warfare. May we not be distracted by other things.

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