In 1 Corinthians 10, the Apostle Paul took the opportunity to defend the authority he had in Christ. And you could say, he did it with authority.
I’m not trying to frighten you by my letters. For some say, “Paul’s letters are demanding and forceful, but in person he is weak, and his speeches are worthless! 2 Corinthians 10:9-10
Today texting has become a common way to communicate. I use it because it is easy and convenient. But sometimes it’s difficult to know the emotion or attitude behind a text.
I believe Paul experienced that with the Corinthian church. So he appealed to this church by telling them his emotion and attitude behind his writings.
Now I, Paul, appeal to you with the gentleness and kindness of Christ—though I realize you think I am timid in person and bold only when I write from far away. 2 Corinthians 10:1
In the next short verse, the apostle relayed two facts about us. Our humanity serves as our weakness. But our strength comes because we can overcome that weakness.
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 2 Corinthians 10:3
Then in the next few verses, Paul tells us how he has overcome his weaknesses. He said his strength comes through the authority he has in Christ.
- We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
- And we destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.
- We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.
- And after you have become fully obedient, we will punish everyone who remains disobedient. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
Who are You Boasting About?
I have had conversations with people who have sounded very boastful. But after listening to some of them, I could hear the confident authority they had in Christ.
I made some wrong initial conclusions just like the Corinthian church made about the apostle. Thus Paul took a moment to explain how his authority in Christ benefitted them.
I may seem to be boasting too much about the authority given to us by the Lord. But our authority builds you up; it doesn’t tear you down. So I will not be ashamed of using my authority. 2 Corinthians 10:8
Boasting about ourselves should not be seen in the scope of a Christian. God spoke the following words through the Prophet Jeremiah.
This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. Jeremiah 9:23
Boasting of one’s self is linked to pride which is a sin. God, however, continued through Jeremiah by spelling out to us permissible boasting.
But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord. Who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth. And that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken! Jeremiah 9:24
Paul stayed within the boundaries outlined through the Old Testament Prophet. He adamantly declared his boasting would stay within the authority he has in Christ.
We will not boast about things done outside our area of authority. We will boast only about what has happened within the boundaries of the work God has given us, which includes our working with you. 2 Corinthians 10:13
What Authority do We have in Christ?
Paul gave his testimony to King Agrippa in the latter part of the book of Acts. In it, he quoted the Lord by saying the following.
I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me. Acts 26:17-18
That same authority resides in all who call Jesus Christ their Lord and Savior. With that said, our first order of business is to live a God-inspired life.
He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. Titus 2:14
The next verse in Titus contains our second order of business.
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you. Titus 2:15
Lord, help us to live our lives in the authority made available to us through Christ your son.
Check out these related posts on the authority of Jesus
Check out the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 10.
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