Identity, How We View Ourselves (pt 7)


Training in Righteousness:

Paul gives us some interesting insight as to how he participates in the process of renewing his mind in a fascinating passage:

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy stronghold. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6

Paul starts off by saying that though he lives in a physical body, he has spiritual weapons with divine power. These weapons destroy strongholds. Strongholds are encampments; places an enemy has fortified for himself that need to be flushed out. This perfectly describes the condition of the mind that is being renewed. There are places where thought patterns sown by the enemy have made encampments into our thinking that need to be broken down and flushed out.

How does Paul destroy these strongholds? He gives us three steps:

  1. Destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God. This doesn’t mean to make sure we have correct theology; it means to align our knowledge with God’s. the “knowledge of God” is not knowledge about God; it’s the knowledge that God has. God knows some things about us (who we are in him), and he forgets some things about us (who we were and our sin). Step one is to align our thoughts and opinions with God’s.
  2. Take every thought captive to obey Christ. This refers to guarding our thought life. There are many thought we have that aren’t yet in line with who we are. Paul admonishes us to make sure that every thought ends in obedience to Christ. If we have a thought about ourselves that’s not true, we recognize it as a lie (which we can do because of the first step); and because we know it is a lie, we rejoice in the truth that it isn’t true.
  3. Punish every disobedience to obedience. What we do with our thoughts; we do with our actions. Every time disobedience slips forth through our actions, we turn around and begin to reinforce the truth through our actions. We act on the truth and make the place we disobeyed a place of obedience.

Not every thought or action has its source in the renewed mind, but Paul admonishes us to make sure that every thought or action does end in the truth. We make sure that no lie of the enemy slips through the crack unnoticed; in everything, we train ourselves in the ways of righteousness.


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