As promised, here is the first of the follow up Nuggets on Sunday’s sermon. There were many things I didn’t have time to say or had to cut short to fit the bare bones in. I will make this series interactive like the Bible Gems when they are being written “live”. You can respond and ask questions or make comments to add to the process. Or you can ignore what I give you, thinking that you are one of those who are free of strongholds and already an overcomer. If you on the recipient list for Gems and Nuggets but don’t wish to receive these Nuggets on Overcoming Strongholds simply tell me and I will remove your name from the list. If on the other hand you wish to be put on the list of recipients or have a friend who wants to receive what you receive, you or they have only to ask.
The verse chosen for the Overcomers series is:
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.1 John 5:4
As I said at the beginning of the sermon, behind the words in blue is the Greek word nikē [νίκη]. Or course we know it as Nike, the brand name – with the tag line – “Just Do It”. I wore my Nike tank top over my dress shirt to illustrate the point of the word which lies behind the English translation of this verse. But also to make the point that many think they are free of strongholds when in reality they have no idea of what is involved in dealing with strongholds. It is not a case of wearing the t-shirt or saying the words. To be free of strongholds one has to realise what you are dealing with, identify the things that are strongholds for you and persevere in defeating the work of the enemy in your life.
Let’s investigate further using Deeper Bible methods. Let’s look at the versions of the Bible to give us a clue as to what strongholds are. Here then is the key verse I used in my sermon that we need to understand in multiple versions. Taken straight from E-Sword on my computer. E-Sword is free and allows you to load numerous multiple versions and then use them in many different ways.
2 Corinthians 10:4,5
- We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle (high and lofty thought) that is raised up against the knowledge of God and taking every thought or pretension captive in order to obey the Messiah. (2 Cor 10:4,5) [IVV – Ian Vail’s Version] I am a Bible Translator – This one is not on E-Sword.
- For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds), casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; [ASV]
- For the arms with which we are fighting are not those of the flesh, but are strong before God for the destruction of high places; Putting an end to reasonings, and every high thing which is lifted up against the knowledge of God, and causing every thought to come under the authority of Christ; [BBE]
- or fight our battles with the weapons of this world. Instead, we use God’s power that can destroy fortresses. We destroy arguments and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God. We capture people’s thoughts and make them obey Christ. [CEV]
- because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God’s power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah. [CJB]
- The weapons we use are not human ones. Our weapons have power from God and can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments, and we tear down every proud idea that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We also capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ. [ERV]
- For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, [ESV]
- The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ. [GNB]
- The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people’s defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ. [GW]
- For the weapons of our warfare are not those of the world. Instead, they have the power of God to demolish fortresses. We tear down arguments and every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive in order to obey the Messiah. [ISV]
- (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the destruction of strong holds), casting down reasonings and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and leading captive every thought into the obedience of the Christ [JUB]
- (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; [KJV]
- for the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful to God to the demolition of strongholds, the demolishing of arguments and every high thing lifting up itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ, [LITV]
- For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, pulling down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought into the obedience of Christ; [MKJV]
- The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. [MSG]
- For the arms of our warfare are not those of the flesh, but those of the power of God; by which we subdue rebellious castles. And we demolish imaginations, and every lofty thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and subjugate all reasonings to obedience to the Messiah. [Murdock]
- We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. [NLT]
- (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strong holds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; [RV]
- I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ. [TLB]
- For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds. We are tearing down false arguments and every high-minded thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah. [TLV]
- For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, [TS2009]
The Key to the Versions used above:
(ASV) – American Standard Version,
(BBE) Bible in Basic English, (CEV) – Contemporary English Version, (CJB) – Complete Jewish Bible, (ERV) – Easy to Read Version, (ESV) – English Standard Version, (GNB) – Good News Bible, (GW) – God’s Word , (ISV) – International Standard Version (A free equivalent of the NIV), (JUB) – Jubilee Bible, (KJV) – King James Version, (LITV) – Literal Version of the Bible, (MKJV) – Modern King James Version , (MSG) – The Message, (Murdock) – Murdock’s Version, (NLT) – New Living Translation, (RV) – Revised Version, (TLB) The Living Bible, (TLV) – Tree of Life Version, (TS2009) – The Scriptures 2009 Version
The various versions of the Bible are your friend and not your enemy. Some people are confused by the differences between the versions when in fact using multiple versions gives you a clearer understanding of the meaning of the Greek behind the English text. I am sure you will understand the idea of Strongholds better after reading through the versions I have given you above. But if not there is more help coming. That is as much as I want to give you in this first Nugget so that I don’t overwhelm you. I want you to be able to Overcome Strongholds not to be overwhelmed by the Nuggets I send you. I will continue the explanation and give you more details in the next Nugget. Don’t worry for those who have asked. I will give all examples, quotes, stories etc that I used in the sermon and more. The sermon is now available on Sermons Downloads/watch and listen on the MCBC website – https://www.citybaptist.org.nz. That means even those of you who don’t attend MCBC can access the sermon. (Unfortunately the quality of the recording is not great so you may well need volume enhancement (like a UE Boom speaker) to listen to it.) These weekly Nuggets will explain and add more to the sermon. They will cover things I didn’t have time to explain in the sermon.
The next Nugget will explain in detail what a Stronghold is.
The following week I will explore where Strongholds come from and how they develop, complete with Ian stories of course.
Thank you to those readers and those after the sermon who encouraged me for my honesty and willingness to share the raw stuff and for your input to me in terms of how much you like the real life testimony to my experiences or the stories of others. As I have said many times, tell me the theory by all means but let me know first hand how you dealt with things in real life, as opposed to theoretical approaches. I have years of other people’s sharing (which will always be anonymous) as well as my own personal experience.
My Wedding Anniversary gift to you,