2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “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; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Hello, Friends. In this exhortation we will learn what it truly means (according to scriptures and biblical history) to capture every thought with its benefits …and… the dangers and judgments which comes from not bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
In our scripture above, the phrase “bringing into captivity” is used metaphorically, “to capture ones mind.” By implication, “to subdue, bring into subjection.” It is a precept to Romans 7:23, “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”
Think of it as every thought brought under arrest. The objective is to strive to take away the freedom of every thought that wants to think what (and how) it wants to think, and to keep it (every thought) locked away in solitary confinement — only to release the thoughts which pleases the Lord through obedience …and… to keep sealed away every other thought that displease Him. We aim to master this challenge so that we may be pure in heart to speak as we ought to speak; to speak God’s word without fear; to speak the mystery of Christ; to speak the gospel of God (Ephesians 6:20; Philippians 1:14; Colossians 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:2).
One important group of things that come to mind for us to think on is found in Philippians 4:8-9, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”
The concept is to bring the mind into absolute subjection to obey the Lord. Every thought must be treated as a prisoner of war until it lines up with the word of God through obedience, then from the abundance of obedient thoughts the mouth will be permitted to speak. This requires constant attention to self with conformity to the word and will of God—at the same time.
1 Timothy 4:16 says, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.”
Remember … the imagination and every high thing begin with the first thought. That being the case, if we strive to bring every first thought (so to speak) into captivity to the obedience of Christ, our chance of casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God will increase as we continue the process….
The Good Fight of Faith is On!
The Derivation of Captivity—
According to biblical history, the concept of bringing into captivity was evidently taken from military conquests. The idea is, that all the strongholds of paganism, and pride, and sin would be demolished; and that when this was done, like throwing down the walls of a city or making a breach, all the plans and purposes of the soul, the reason, the imagination, and all the powers of the mind would be subdued or led in triumph by the gospel, like the inhabitants of a captured city.
Jesus Christ is the Great Captain in this warfare. In His name the battle is waged, and by His power the victory is won. The captives were made for Him and under His authority; and all were to be subject to His control. Every power of thought in the pagan world; all the systems of philosophy and all forms of opinion among people; all the purposes of the soul; all the powers of reason, memory, judgment, fancy in an individual, were all to come under the principles of the doctrine of Christ. All doctrines were to be in accordance with His will; philosophy should no longer control them, but they should be subject to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.
All the plans of life should be controlled by the will of the Lord Jesus Christ, and formed and executed under His control — as captives are led by a Conqueror. All the emotions and feelings of the heart should be controlled by Him, and led by Him as a captive is led by a Victor. The sense is, that it was the aim and purpose of Paul to accomplish this, and that it would certainly be done. The strongholds of philosophy, paganism, and sin should be demolished, and all the opinions, plans, and purposes of the world should become subject to the all-conquering Redeemer, which is the Lord—the King of Glory (Psalm 24:7-10).
—End reference: Barnes’ Notes | Modifier: D. Rudolph Gibson
Jesus Christ achieved for us such a victory, and has subdued all the foes of man so that we should not be led away captive again into sin, but should regard ourselves as freemen dead to sin but alive with Him to walk in newness of life:
Colossians 2:13-15, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
Consider the following references of “thought(s)” in scriptures:
- (Psalm 139:2) Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
- (Proverbs 15:26) The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.
- (Proverbs 24:9) The thought of foolishness is sin: and the scorner is an abomination to men.
- (Matthew 15:19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies…
- (Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
If we walk upright and obedient in the Lord, we will become equipped to revenge all disobedience and bring every thought into captivity until we learn to think on things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report in abundance … because within these thoughts are virtue, praise, and freedom — the very things which glorify the Lord …and… build us up in Him unto perfection.
Remember, James 3:2 says, “For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.”
If our speech does not cause anyone to err, sin, or fail (in their salvation), it means that we placed no stumblingblocks before them …and… we are perfect and able also to bridle (or, keep in check) our thoughts, our tongue, and our whole being. Actually, it will be safe for others to be around us because we impose no risk to cause them to fall away from the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Let’s look at the fruit of the thoughts in scriptures:
- (Isaiah 33:6) And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
- (Malachi 3:16-17) Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.
- (Isaiah 55:6-9) Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
- (Psalm 10:4-7) The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them. He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity. His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
- (Proverbs 1:28-33) Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
- (Psalm 36:1-4) To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David the servant of the LORD. The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, until his iniquity be found to be hateful. The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: he hath left off to be wise, and to do good. He deviseth mischief upon his bed; he setteth himself in a way that is not good; he abhorreth not evil.
The Fruit of the Thoughts!
How is your thought life? As those who truly fear the Lord as their treasure, or, as those who say there is no fear of the Lord before their eyes? Do you seek the Lord while He may be found, or, do you hate knowledge and choose not the fear of the Lord? Think about it….
The fruit of our thoughts will be from the abundance of words in our hearts we believeth and yield to, that they may have free course to operate. The thoughts we keep and treasure are the basis to know whether we fear the Lord, or no.
We who fear the Lord according to the scriptures strive to think of Him in ways which pleases Him … as in thinking on things which are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report where there is virtue and praise …and… we think often of Him in secret and speak regularly of Him in fellowships with the saints of His household because we fear Him and treasure His word. There is also virtue and praise in our thoughts and words of love for Him and the brethren, and He is glorified! For these reasons, a book of remembrance is written before the Lord — we are His precious jewels!
On the other hand, those who do not fear the Lord do not think about Him; they do not seek after Him; their mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud—under their tongue is mischief and vanity; they do not seek the Lord until tragedy comes; they hate the knowledge of God and choose not to fear Him; they hate His counsel and despise His reproof; in their heart there is no fear of the Lord before their eyes; they hate good but love evil….
When all is said and done, whether they know it or not, they will eat the fruit of their own way and will be filled with their own devices … they will be cast out into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth — separated eternally from the Lord God Almighty!
Choose you this day either to strive to capture every thought (that is, strive to bring every thought into captivity) to the obedience of Christ and keep under your body and bring it into subjection …or… to remain in (or to be brought into) the captivity of disobedience which is under the influence of the angel of light.
Which ever one you choose, you will eat the fruit thereof, and you will be filled with either your own devices, or, the Spirit of the Most High God.
He/She who is able to receive it, let them receive it.
In Christ We Do Remain
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