New Defender's Study Bible Notes
10:3 war after the flesh. Paul often used a military metaphor to describe the Christian life (e.g., II Timothy 2:3-4). In this verse, “flesh” is not used theologically, but physiologically, referring to our natural human abilities. We “walk” like all natural men physically, but our warfare is conducted in the realm of the spirit, not with swords or guns.
10:4 not carnal. Our weapons are not “fleshly” weapons, but spiritual. In fact, Paul enumerates them in Ephesians 6:13-18, as “the whole armour of God,” namely truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer. All too often, Christians and their churches try to do God’s work in ways that appeal to the flesh—great organizations, Christian entertainment, human wisdom and philosophy, beautiful facilities, glamorous advertising, and the like. These are “carnal” weapons, not the weapons provided by the Lord, and those who use them are in danger of eventual spiritual defeat, even if outward appearances seem impressive.