The Weapons of Our Warfare

June 23, 2014

 The Weapons of Our Warfare

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:   (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)   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.” (II Corinthians 10:3-5)

The Apostle Paul tells us that our weapons shouldn’t be carnal.  What is meant by carnal weapons?  They aren’t those that demand an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth (Matthew 5:38).  They are those that are threats of vengeance.  They are also those that use deceit, lies and character assassination.  Victories are often won by means of these weapons, but it isn’t just.

If we can’t use carnal weapons, what weapons can we use?  We find them in Ephesians 6:13-17.  “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.    Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;    And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.    And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” For the most part, these speak of our armor that defends us.  The sword is also mentioned.  It serves for both defense and offense.  God wouldn’t give us this armor unless he knew that we are in danger of being attacked.

Many Christians around the world are suffering persecution.  Not only is their character being attacked; sometimes their lives are taken.  When Christians suffer persecution there is often confusion about who is the victor.  If a Christian loses his life due to persecution, we often say he was a victim.  The truth of the matter is, in one sense he was   the victim, but in a greater sense he was the victor.  He stayed true to the end.  He didn’t surrender.    In Bible times crowns were given to the victors.  We learn that from I Corinthians 9:24-25.  “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.   And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” In Revelation 2:10  those who give their life for the cause of Christ are promised a crown.  “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”

A noticeable difference between spiritual and carnal weapons is that carnal weapons are destructive and the spiritual are constructive.  In Galatians chapter five we find a contrast between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit.  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,    Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,    Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,    meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  How could anyone do harm to others by practicing the fruit of the Spirit?  It isn’t hard to see how harm could be done by means of the works of the flesh.

More than once the Apostle Paul was attacked by his enemies.  They used carnal weapons.  In II Corinthians 10:10 we see how they criticized him.  “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” Most likely they were trying to put Paul down and gain merit for themselves.  It is never commendable to gain favor with others at the expense of someone else.  Politicians do it all the time, but that doesn’t make it right.

It is unfortunate that carnal believers sometimes resort to carnal weapons when they are attacked.  Their reaction is an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  A better and proper way to respond is to use the fruit of the Spirit. If we do, those who know us will defend us.

Instead of being quick to pull out your sword and do battle with carnal weapons, it is better to let your testimony be your defense.  In I Corinthians chapter six Paul told the Corinthian Christians that they were doing wrong by taking their fellow Christians to court.  He asked, “Why do ye not rather take wrong?  Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?”  (I Corinthians 6:7)

At times we may be called upon to face enemies that are so overcome by sin and empowered by Satan that they will not respect gentleness, meekness or love.  Even then we are not justified in using carnal weapons.  Romans 12:21 says, “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Our e-mail address is rusandmararetgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

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