Thursday, 5 November 2015
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:3
It is of note that Paul says, “For though we walk in the flesh…” Walking in the flesh is a term used several times to indicate living in a worldly way. For examples, see 2 Corinthians 1:17, Romans 8:12-13, 1 Corinthians 1:26. And yet, the same term is also used to show that we are simply temporal beings with limited human capabilities and with all of the associated frailties. A few such verses are Galatians 2:20, Philippians 1:22-24, and even 1Timothy 3:16 which is speaking of Christ.
Therefore, unlike the previous verse, here he is not equating a “walk in the flesh” with sin and worldliness, but with the frailties we possess which can lead to sin and worldliness. In this body of infirmity, “though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.”
The Greek word from which the idea of waging war comes from speaks of a soldier executing his duties in battle. This is a common theme that Paul uses in his writings. He will continue with this line of thought and explain it in the verses ahead. There is a real battle going on, and it is a battle in which we are engaged. However, it is not a battle that is waged on a worldly, fleshly level. Rather it is one that is waged in the Spirit.
This battle is spoken of by Paul in Romans 8 –
“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:8-10
Life application: We cannot deny that we are in fallen bodies and those bodies have frustrating limitations, some of which cause us to stumble. But God gives us more grace. We have been saved by the blood of Christ and are already seated with Him in the heavenly places. When we stumble, let us get up, brush ourselves off, and get back into the battle. We are in a war until we are called home. Therefore, as soldiers under authority, we need to conduct ourselves according to the word of our Leader.
Heavenly Father, we can’t deny that we’re in weak and frail bodies that easily stumble in times of temptation, stress, or distress. But we also know that You give more grace. Help us to not get stuck on the ground, but to re-gather our strength and reengage the battle set before us. Thank You for having already forgiven us for the times we have or will fall. Thank You for the immeasurable love You have shown us in the giving of Jesus to reconcile us to You. Help us in this daily battle to wage the good war until the day You call us home. Amen.