Pulling Down Strongholds- 2 Corinthians 10:4-6

In our previous post, we examined the importance of setting our minds, that what we set our minds on is the critical factor in determining what we end up saying and doing. In this post, we will examine 2 Corinthians 10 in order to see how we go about setting our minds, to get a biblical description of what it looks like and how it plays out on our lives. We will begin in verse 4, in which Paul is describing a battle for us, and it is a battle which is unique to the Christian, and it is not fought with material weapons, but with spiritual weapons. He begins by telling us that the “weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world”, they are of a different type and have a different power. These are spiritual weapons and they have spiritual power, divine power, literally “the power of God”. Those who fight this battle according to Paul’s instructions have the power of God on their side, fighting for them. These weapons have divine power to “demolish strongholds”. The word demolish here means to “tear down or totally destroy”, a picture here of total destruction. The power of God works to totally destroy or tear down any and all “strongholds”, Greek ochuroma, literally a fortress or bulwark, the power of God is the power to tear down anything that has a strong hold on us, to free us from any fortress we are imprisoned in. In verse 5, Paul then tells us just what sort of strongholds he primarily has in mind, what kind the power of God works to “demolish”. and we find that they are referred to here as “arguments and pretensions”. What we find then is that the battle Paul refers to here is mental, it is in the mind, and in the area of arguments and pretensions. Arguments here is the Greek logismos, literally to figure or compute, and refers to our way of thinking. Pretensions is hypsoma, which refers to a false claim or pretense. Each of these “exalts itself against the knowledge of God”, or puts itself in the place of God and what we know about Him, and it is these which must be demolished and every thought must be taken captive to the obedience of Christ. Having examined the details in the text, we will now summarize this process in order to get a clearer picture of what happens and how we are to respond. The strongholds here are ways of thinking which are in us from growing up in the world and are contrary to the word of God. These strongholds make us their captives and control us, and we tear them down by rejecting thoughts from the old way of thinking and taking captive thoughts from the word of God. Each believer has two contradictory sets of thoughts, one from the flesh and one from the Spirit, and we can only “take captive” one thought, and the thought we take captive is the one that will determine what we do or say, serving either to tear down or reinforce the stronghold. We will finally look at a common stronghold in order to see just how all of this works in real life. Many struggle with the stronghold of a poor self image, of thinking they are a failure or a loser, and when they are faced with a new situation they think “I’ll never be able to do this”, which is a thought from the flesh, a thought meant to further fortify the stronghold and keep them a prisoner of the stronghold and keep them from being all God intends for them to be. This thought must be cast down and replaced with the truth of the word of God, which says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). In this way we demolish the stronghold and become free from it, free to be all God intends for us to be. We learn to replace the lies of the old stronghold with the truth of the word of God, and as we do so we become free, free from the many strongholds that have been built up in our lives, demolishing them through the truth of the word of God, freeing us from the arguments and pretensions we had been enslaved by and becoming all God intends us to be.

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