…toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
Paul was struggling with people. Imagine that! Their criticism of was that Paul was worldly. That he lived according to the world’s standards. That he was motivated by the same things as those who do not know Christ. It’s possible that they heard the high standard that Paul was calling them to live by, but said that he didn’t live that way. “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Paul, of course, writes that he is following Christ. That although he lives in the world, he does not wage war as the world does. It is interesting that Paul equates living in this world to warfare. It’s a battle! Living by the standard of Christ is, by default, opposed to the standards of this world. The world is waging war… and so is the Christ-follower! There is no happy co-existence. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matthew 28:18) and until every knee bows and every tongue confesses that He is Lord (Philippians 2), there will be conflict. Everything that sets itself up against the Lordship of Jesus is torn down, taken captive, demolished.
The Lord gives authority to His people to do this warfare. Paul had authority from Jesus and said it was “for building you up rather than pulling you down.” So the battle is waged through demolishing arguments that are against Jesus and encouraging people higher – to live by the standard of Christ.
Lord, help me to wield the sword of authority well.. honoring you as the Source while building up other people. Thank You for this life that is entirely different than the systems of this world.