August 23rd 2 Corinthians, 10
1: Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: 2: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. 3: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 6: And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. 7: Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. 8: For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: 9: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. 10: For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.
Here Paul makes a personal appeal apart from his fellow workers. He says I plead with you in the enabling power of the meekness and gentleness of Christ. He says in my presence I am little among you but in my absence to you I am bold toward you. Paul says I plead with you that I will not need to be bold to you when I come to see you. I do not want to need to be bold with you when I come even to those who think of me as if I am just another believer in the flesh. Even though we live our daily lives in the flesh we nevertheless do not war in the flesh. Because the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but they are mighty through Gods power to the pulling down of strongholds. Our warfare demolishes vain ideas of men and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and brings everything into the captivity of submission to Christ. And our warfare is always ready to bring the revenge of God on all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. Paul is saying that when the Corinthians have proved themselves to be obedient to the Lord then he is quite prepared to wage spiritual war against their enemies. Paul asks, do you only see the outward appearance? Then he says, if a man thinks that he is in Christ then let him think again, that just as he is in Christ so we are in Christ. Because though I might boast much in our authority – which the Lord has given us for your building up in the faith and not for your pulling down – I do not want to be ashamed. I do not want to frighten you by my letters. Some say my letters are ‘weighty and powerful but his physical presence is weak and his speech is loathsome’.