Our Warfare And Its Weapons
2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Various figures of speech are used in Scripture to cause a person to gain deeper insight into the lesson being taught. The language used in our text shows how powerful the gospel can be when it comes to overcoming sin and the enemies of righteousness. Paul uses a military term that would stir the imagination of the Corinthians because they were very familiar with wars and victories.
Three points I want to examine from our text is: The Warfare, Weapons, and Victories.
The warfare that Paul is referring to is not a physical in nature. Instead, he is talking about a spiritual warfare:
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Our conflict includes truth against error, of knowledge against ignorance, of righteousness against unrighteousness and of light against darkness. If you are a Christian, it is not an optional war in which we can stay out of the fight. We have all been enlisted in the Lord’s army and the battle must rage on.
2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
A line must be drawn in the sand and you must choose which side you will be on. The side of good or the side of evil. You cannot be a double agent and work for both sides:
Matthew 6:24 " No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
As Jesus said:
Matthew 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.
As we fight for truth and the righteous way, we must remain focused on our task at hand because as soon as we get distracted our enemy will attack. We cannot relent in our fight and become tolerant toward the sin of worldliness.
Every physical warfare has worldly interests at stake, but in our spiritual warfare, there are eternal interests that are at stake including where we will spend eternity. These eternal interests stretch far beyond the bounds of this world and our limited lifetime. Knowing this, how can any Christian be unconcerned or lukewarm in his attitude toward this conflict?
The warfare in real, but the question is will fight for Lord and fight for your place in heaven?
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God
Every Christian is a soldier of Christ. On several occasions Paul refers to Christians as soldiers of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:25 Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier,
Philemon 1:2 to the beloved Apphia, Archippus our fellow soldier,
2 Timothy 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
One of the slogans of the U.S. Marine Corps is “Every Marine a Rifleman.” What is meant by this is that every Marine is trained to use his rifle for armed combat with the enemy. Even the Marine whose primary duty is to push papers across a desk in the personnel office is trained and equipped to be ready to go into combat.
Each Marine is trained as an infantryman first and his technical specialty second. Even Marine pilots must first serve in the infantry. Each Marine is required to memorize the Rifleman’s creed:
“This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is
mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my
life. Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire
my rifle true. I must shoot straighter
than the enemy who is trying to kill me.
I must shoot him before he shoots me.
I will. My rifle and I know that
what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, or the
smoke we make. We know that it is the
hits that count. We will hit. My rifle
is human, even as I am human, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strengths,
its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as
I am clean and ready. We will become
part of each other. Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my
country. We are the masters of our
enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So
be it, until victory is
We can draw certain parallels from this creed and apply them to our warfare and the primary weapon we use – the Bible, our only creed.
“This is my Bible. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it in order to master my life. Without my study, my Bible is useless. Without my Bible, I will be useless. I must divide my Bible true. I must shoot straighter than the enemy who as a roaring lion is seeking to devour me. I must fend him off before he devours me. With God’s Word I will. My Bible teaches that what counts in spiritual warfare is not simply the things I say or believe, but what I do. I know that it is doing the word and not being a hearer only that counts. I will do it.
God’s Word is alive, even as I am alive, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its strength, its promises, its books, its chapters and its verses. I will keep my Bible near and ready, even as I keep myself ready to defend its precepts. We will become part of each other.
Before God, I do make this promise. God’s Word is the defender of my soul. It will help me to master the devil, my enemy. It will bring the salvation of my soul. So be it, until victory is God’s and there is no enemy.”
As Christian soldiers, we are to be armed with weapons for both offense and defensive.
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;
Truth is his belt.
Righteousness is his body armor.
His firm footing is in the gospel.
Faith is his broad shield.
His helmet is the hope of salvation. So the hope of salvation will defend the soul and keep it from the blows of the enemy (1 Thes. 5:8).
The Word of God is his sword.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God will provide us with a way to fight against sin:
Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal weapons. The Prince of Peace never ordained that the gospel of peace should be spread by a physical sword (Jn.18:36), but that we should spread it by simply proclaiming it to the world.
Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
These weapons that God has made available to us are mighty in God (2 Cor. 10:4). Through the power of the gospel, its message provides salvation to all who believe it and obey it.
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
3. The Victories Of This Warfare 2 Cor. 10:4 … for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
I also want to add:
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord
Here are 3 things which mark the victorious effects of this warfare:
Matthew 23:4 "For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Matthew 23:13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
Matthew 23:15 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
There are many men and women today who are bent on moving us away from God, but in order for the gospel to be victorious these men and women’s teachings must be cast down by showing God’s truth from His Word.
There are several things we should learn from this lesson:
1. Christianity is not a system of laziness. It is a system of intense and determined combat against evil and error. If we relent in the struggle, if we become inactive, our armor will be useless and our weapons will rust. So, if you are taking your ease instead of fighting the good fight of faith then you are on terms of peace with Satan and well on your way of losing your home in heaven.
2. Our Christianity is not only defensive, but it is also aggressive. We must pursue the enemy; we must follow him up right into his stronghold. Gen. Patton once said,
“I don’t want to receive any messages saying we are holding our ground, let the Hun do that, we’re not holding on to anything except the enemey...we’re gonna hold him by the nose and kick him in the pants”
One reason the gospel has not made more progress in the
world today is because we are just being defensive without trying very hard to
push forward across the enemy line. Far too many Christians are at ease in
As we learned from Paul, the strongholds are not only attacked – they are pulled down! Destroyed!
Again, let’s look to the Marines for our example:
In the summer of 1918, the German Army was driving toward
They not only defended, but when the time came, they attacked and destroyed the enemy. So let us aggressively fight cause of Christ with truth and love instead of doing nothing.
The Marines dedication to their service is evident, especially in the Marine Corps hymn:
“From the Halls of Montezuma, To the Shores of Tripoli; We fight our country's battles In the air, on land, and sea; First to fight for right and freedom And to keep our honor clean; We are proud to claim the title of UNITED STATES MARINES.”
Let the soldiers of Christ have this same dedication to Christ. We must be willing to arise and fight with sword of the Spirit and go forth in battle with whole armor of God. Let us be Gung-Ho, “working together” and take the battle to the enemy, instead of just defensive and allowing the enemy to constantly attack us with no consequence.
If you are not a soldier of the cross, why not enlist today in the Corps of the Lord? God is always looking for “A Few Good Men”! The way you sign up is by believing that Jesus is the Son of God, repenting, confessing Jesus as Lord and by being baptized into Christ for the remission of you sins.
Or if you are here this morning and you have been caring the banner of Christ as you should because your life has been out of harmony with Christianity, why not renew your allegiance to the King of kings today by rededicating your life to His cause?