Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal
Lofty thing (5313) (hupsoma from hupsoo = to elevate, lift up, raise high) literally meant height, high place, something elevated. Hupsoma ("the exaltation") was a term in Greek which referred to the sphere above the earth. It is used of “a height,” as a mountain or anything definitely termed a “height". Thayer says hupsoma referred to an elevated structure, a barrier, a rampart, or a bulwark. Chrysostom says it meant something like "towering fortress". The figurative meaning of hupsoma in the present passage is that of an arrogant or proud obstacle which pictures these thoughts as "high towers". In the Septuagint it conveyed the idea of arrogance. Zodhiates says hupsoma is used here... Figuratively of a proud adversary, a lofty tower or fortress built up proudly by the enemy (Zodhiates, S.. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament: AMG Publishers ) There are only 3 uses of hupsoma in Scripture... Job 24:24 (LXX) "They are exalted a little while, then they are gone; Moreover, they are brought low and like everything gathered up; Even like the heads of grain they are cut off. Romans 8:39 (note) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Comment: No dimensions of any kind can separate us from the love of God.) 2Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, TDNT says that here in 2Cor 10:5 hupsoma is used by Paul to present the image of a “fortress with high towers” for the attitude which proudly resists the true knowledge of God but which the apostle overcomes with the gospel. Raised up (1869) (epairo from epi = upon + airo = to lift up) means literally to lift up, to raise or to elevate (as in 1Ti 2:8, Acts 27:40). In the present passage, epairo is used in the passive voice and means to offer resistance to, to be in opposition to or to rise up against -- the knowledge of God. James Butler describes some lofty thoughts raised up against the knowledge of God... The atheist Robert Ingersol in his lectures used to demand that God prove His existence by striking Ingersol dead in a stated five minute period at the close of an Ingersol lecture. When the five minutes were over, Ingersol claimed that his still being alive proved God did not exist. But God did not have to prove His existence on Ingersol's terms, for adequate proof already existed concerning God's existence. Ingersol simply would not believe the proof already given. The call for more proof only reflected unbelief. Plenty of proof is already available. "He showed himself alive after his passion [crucifixion] by many infallible proofs" (Acts 1:3). "God commendeth [proved, exhibited, demonstrated] his love toward us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). Mankind does not need more proof; he simply needs more faith. (Studies of the Savior) Jamieson comments on against the knowledge of God that... True knowledge makes men humble. Where there is exaltation of self, there knowledge of God is wanting [Bengel]. Arrange the words following thus: "Bringing every thought (that is, intent of the mind or will) into captivity to the obedience of Christ," that is, to obey Christ. The three steps of the apostle's spiritual warfare are: (1) It demolishes what is opposed to Christ; (2) It leads captive; (3) It brings into obedience to Christ (Ro 1:5; Ro 16:26). The "reasonings" ("imaginations") are utterly "cast down." The "mental intents" ("thoughts") are taken willing captives, and tender the voluntary obedience of faith to Christ the Conqueror. (2Corinthians 10) Phil Newton comments on... Lofty banners of human pride resisting knowledge of God, 2Cor 10:5 -- Ancient military forces raised their banners to identify themselves when in battle. Their standards or banners were intended to intimidate their enemies when at the front lines of war. Ancient kingdoms also built thick, high walls and proud battlements as defense against their enemies. An ancient citadel could intimidate an attacking army due to its seemingly impenetrable walls. And so that tradition continues, but in this case it is the banner of human intellect and the citadels of human knowledge raised in proud defiance against the knowledge of God. "We are destroying... every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God." Here are "the opinions or convictions of those who set themselves and the deductions of their reasons against the truth of God," as Charles Hodge expressed it [in Tasker 134]. Calvin points out that "every lofty thing" "denotes any kind of glory and power in this world." And then he encourages the Christian soldier, "There is no reason, therefore, why a servant of Christ should dread anything, however formidable, that may stand up in opposition to his doctrine. Let him, in spite of it, persevere, and he will scatter to the winds every machination of whatever sort" [Calvin's Commentaries, XX, 323]. These lofty thoughts of human pride must be cast down for the knowledge of the gospel to be received. Otherwise, man will continually find fault with the gospel or try to twist it and manipulate to fit into his own defiant lifestyle. "For nothing is more opposed to the spiritual wisdom of God than the wisdom of the flesh; nothing is more at variance with the grace of God than man's natural ability, and so as to other things. Hence the only foundation of Christ's kingdom is the abasement of men" [Calvin 323]. That's why the preaching, teaching, and instruction of God's Word regarding God's nature, the person and work of Christ, the nature of man as a sinner, the necessity of the cross and resurrection of Christ, and the gospel demand of repentance and faith must be set forth in the Spirit's power. All that have come to Christ have had their defiant banners and walls of human pride torn down by the message of the gospel. We've been humbled by the realities of God revealed in His Word. So, in spiritual warfare, we are dealing quite often with firmly held beliefs that are clearly grounded upon human pride and not the truth of God's Word. We can try our best to reason our way through such mindsets but only through spiritual weapons, those that are "divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses" will we know success. Consider that to wield such weapons we must humble ourselves to live in dependence upon the Lord. That's why prayer is called for as we recognize our own helplessness to change human hearts and the great power of God to conquer and subdue even the most stubborn sinner. It is much easier to satisfy ourselves by using some of the common manipulative techniques that many practice in the name of Christian evangelism. We may go through the motions of evangelizing, talk someone into praying a prayer or signing on the dotted line, and then beam with pride that we have led someone to Jesus. All the while that person remains defiant to humbling himself before an omnipotent God that he has offended and trusting in the crucified and resurrected God-man, Jesus Christ, who alone can bring him to God. (Sermons from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians) (Bolding added) Charles Simeon observes that Paul's text speaks of “imaginations and of high things which exalt themselves,” not merely against the authority, but “even against the knowledge, of God.” We must therefore mark the rebellion of men as it shows itself in their “thoughts” which serve as “strong-holds” in which they are entrenched and fortified, and by means of which they exclude God from their hearts. They fortify themselves then, 1. By proud thoughts— [It is scarcely credible that such an insect as man should exalt himself with such impious presumption in the presence of his God. If we assert the authority of God, and vindicate his claim to their hearts, they reply, like Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord that I should obey his voice? I know not the Lord; neither will I obey his voice.” (Ex 5:2. See also Ps 12:4; Je 44:16)] 2. By unbelieving thoughts— [We declare what will certainly be the issue of the contest; and that, if they will not bow to the sceptre of his grace, they shall be broken in pieces with a rod of iron (Ps 2:9): and that, if they will not have Christ to reign over them, he will call forth his executioners to slay them before him (Luke 19:27). But not one word of this will they believe. They deny that God will ever execute his threatenings, or that they have any thing to fear at his hands. (Ps 94:7 with Mal 2:17)] 3. By worldly thoughts— [When we summon them to surrender themselves up to God, they tell us, that at some more convenient season they may listen to us; but at present they are so occupied with the cares or pleasures of life, that they cannot find leisure for such concerns as these. To all our pressing invitations, they either answer, more civilly, “I pray thee have me excused,” or, more rudely, “I cannot come.” (Luke 14:18, 19, 20)] 4. By self-righteous thoughts— [When they are driven, as it were, from their out-posts, they raise interior fortifications with great zeal and industry: they encompass themselves with “works of righteousness,” and there insist upon stipulations and agreements with God. They will pay him such a tribute; they will perform such services; they will surrender up a portion of their hearts, provided their old friends and allies may be permitted to continue unmolested in the remainder. The terms of the Gospel are too humiliating for them: and rather than they will come like Ben-hadad, trusting solely on the mercy of the king of Israel (2Ki 20:31, 32), they will die in the breach, and be buried in the ruins of their citadel.] 5. By desponding thoughts— [God’s entrance into the heart is not unfrequently obstructed by these, as much as by any other thoughts whatever. And it is surprising to see with what obstinacy they are defended. Sinners will even bring Scripture itself to support them against God, and to justify their rejection of his proffered mercy. They are as studious to persuade themselves that “there is no hope” for them, as once they were to assure themselves that there was no ground for fear. (Ezek 37:11. Jer 2:25)] But impregnable as these “strong-holds” appear, God can “cast them down.” II. The means by which God overcomes them— God in this warfare does not make use of “carnal weapons”— [The sword of the civil magistrate is not wanted in it. It may indeed be properly used to suppress any evils which injure society, and to protect the godly in the free enjoyment of religious liberty (Ro 13:3, 4): but it must not be put forth to propagate the truth (Zech. 4:6). Let Mahometans bathe their swords in blood, and Papists kindle their fires, to make proselytes to their religion; but God abhors such measures; and has declared, that “they who take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Mt 26:52) Neither are his servants to call in artifice (Stratagem; an artful or ingenious device, in abad sense, it corresponds with trick, or fraud) to their aid. They are indeed, in some sense, to “become all things to all men, that by all means they may save some (1Cor. 9:22):” but they are not to make any sinful compliances: they are to stand upon their own ground: they must “have their conversation in the world, not with fleshly wisdom, but with simplicity and godly sincerity;” (2Cor. 1:12) they must not attempt to exercise craft, or to “catch men by guile;” (2Cor 12:16) but, “renouncing the hidden things of dishonesty, they must commend themselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” (2Cor 4:2) Nor is oratory of any use in this warfare. St. Paul was qualified beyond most to fight with this weapon, if he had judged it expedient: but he laid it aside as an incumbrance: he knew that, instead of advancing the interests of his Lord, it would “render the cross of Christ of none effect:” (1Co 1:17) and therefore he determined to “preach not with the enticing words of man’s wisdom,” (1Co 2:4) or “in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but in those only which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” (1Co 2:13)] That which he renders effectual, is the simple preaching of the Gospel— [The law is usually that which first shakes the foundations of the citadel, and batters down the fortifications with which it was encompassed: yea, the Gospel itself also is at first alarming, because it proposes a remedy to persons perishing in their sins, and consequently apprises them of their danger, which they were not before aware of. But when it has convinced them of their guilt and misery, then it speaks peace unto their souls; and sweetly constrains them to yield up themselves unreservedly to God, as their reconciled God and Saviour (2Co 5:14, 15) — — — Not that it has this power in itself: it is in itself as weak as was the sound of rams’ horns which cast down the walls of Jericho: (Josh. 6:20) but it is “mighty through God;” and, when accompanied by the operations of his Spirit, it compels the stoutest rebel to deliver up the keys of his citadel, and surrender at discretion.] (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Efficacy of the Gospel)

Be the first to react on this!

Group of Brands