Paul’s Footsteps #193

Footsteps #193

In 2Cor 8 & 9 Paul had addressed the issue of generous giving. It’s related to the rest of the book because the reason he’s having to address the subject is that certain leaders have come into the church after he founded it, undermined his authority, and caused the people to neglect the faith promises they had made a year earlier to the poor, persecuted Jewish Christians in Jerusalem. Now in chapter 10 (which you should read) Paul decides it’s time to take these false teachers and antagonists on and expose them for who they really are. In the next two chapters he will be very confrontational, accusing them of preaching another Jesus and a different Gospel; he will even call them false apostles, deceitful workmen who are masquerading as apostles of Christ. Paul would never choose to be so blunt if the Gospel itself were not at stake!

Read v1 which reveals that Paul has been accused by his detractors of being a coward. He quotes them directly in v10.  Just like Jesus they had mistaken his meekness and gentleness for weakness, but like Jesus he could overturn the money-changers tables in the temple and drive them out with a whip.

What are the standards of the world he talks about? – Paul doesn’t say, he just assumes they know what he is talking about. Even today we know the culture and society we live in values different things to what God expects of His people. Notice vs3-5.

This passage is actually discussing the reality of the spiritual warfare that is being waged for the hearts and minds of God’s people. It is about the battle of world-views that raged in their culture just as it does in ours. Our culture is full of godless worldviews, like evolution, abortion, materialism and atheism, or religious ideologies like Islam or Eastern religions. It is not about demon possession or satanism, though certainly the devil wages these momentous wars. Paul has introduced the notion that there is a battle for the hearts and minds of God’s people, and immediately he moves to the question of how we are to fight that battle.

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