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Verse 5. Casting down imaginations. Marg., reasonings. The word is probably used here in the sense of device, and refers to all the plans of a wicked world—the various systems of false philosophy, and the reasonings of the enemies of the gospel. The various systems of false philosophy were so entrenched, that they might be called the stronghold of the enemies of God. The foes of Christianity pretend to a great deal of reason, and rely on that in resisting the gospel.

And every high thing, etc. Every exalted opinion respecting the dignity and purity of bunyan nature; all the pride of the human heart and of the understanding. All this is opposed to the knowledge of God, and all exalts itself into a vain self-confidence. Men entertain vain and unfounded opinions respecting their own excellency, and they feel that they do not need the provisions of the gospel, and are unwilling to submit to God.

And bringing into captivity, etc. The figure here is evidently taken from military conquests. The idea is, that all the strongholds of heathenism, 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. Christ was the great Captain in this warfare. In his name the battle was waged, and by his power the victory was 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 heathen world; all the systems of philosophy, and all forms of opinion among men; all the purposes of the soul; all the powers of reason, memory, judgment, fancy, in an individual, were all to come under the laws 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 Christ. All the plans of life should be controlled by the will of 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, heathenism, and sin should be demolished, and all the opinions, plans, and purposes of the world should become subject to the all-conquering Redeemer.

{2} "imaginations" "reasonings" {f} "every high thing" 1 Co 1:19 {g} "thing" Ps 18:27; Eze 17:24 {h} "captivity" Mt 11:29,30 {i} "to the obedience" Ge 8:21; Mt 15:19; Heb 4:12

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