For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 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, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:6)
We first examined flesh fighting, then the battlefields of our minds and hearts. In today’s verse, Paul concludes his exhortation with a promise to restore order in the church. He has confronted the Corinthian flesh fighters in his letter to them, instructed them as to how to correct their behavior and prevent it in the future by capturing and casting down thoughts before they become sin. He now offers both a carrot (whenever your obedience is complete) …..and a stick (and we are ready to punish all disobedience).
Paul’s expression punish all disobedience may have originated with the Roman military tribunal. Roman troops camped, lived, played, ate and fought in tight knit groups of ten. Their military discipline was exceptional. Battlefield rules of engagement stood on the principal that no soldier could take even one step backward in battle. In fact, observers recorded any movement that would constitute the most minuscule notion of retreat. When the battle ended, if one from a group of ten had taken a single step backwards, the remaining nine were required to immediately and personally beat him to death.
That kind of unyielding lack of forgiveness opposes the reconciliatory message of Christ. When he says, whenever your obedience is complete, Paul is saying that he will allow time for them to think and pray about his teaching, knowing that most of the anti-Paul Corinthians will repent and allow the witness of the Holy Spirit to correct them. It is always proper to approach a fellow mature Christian and confront them regarding sin. It may be uncomfortable, but it is necessary that we both give and receive that kind of pointed biblical correction
I have received and administered correction both well and poorly. The final desired result should always be reconciliation and restoration. Sometimes, returning to the flesh battle mode, we fail to confront sin and resort instead to simply verbally beating one of our own who has failed in battle to death behind their backs. The line between correction and gossip is determined by who you are facing when you report the need for correction. It does no one any good and the kingdom of God harm to report sin to everyone who will listen except the sinner.
If you need to confront someone regarding sin remember these things:
Pray first, then – –
Confront gently and with love.
Confront with an aim of restoration and reconciliation.
If you are confronted by someone about sin:
Your response needs to be directed to God.
Receive the correction with Grace, knowing God will forgive and restore.
Look for the sin’s conception thoughts and cast them down.
Repent and rest in God’s forgiving Grace.
Thank them for blessing you with correction. (Hardest one, by far)
Solomon put it bluntly — Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 1211 NKJV)