The Spiritual Warfare
There is a spiritual battle which goes on daily between the flesh and spirit.
The battle ground for this battle is the mind, in order to gain possession of it. Now since the mind controls the body, the objective of this battle is to gain control of the mind, so that the individual will use the members of the body to fulfill the will of his chosen master.
Our master is the one to whom we yield ourselves servants to obey. As free moral agents we choose our master, we surrender ourselves to whomsoever we will to obey, and the master has sovereignty only over what his subjects have surrendered.
Humans are not independent beings: they are servants either to the flesh, or to the spirit.
All mankind was born with a natural, carnal mind which is hostile to God, not subject to the laws of God, and neither can it ever be.
This natural mind is unspiritual. It does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is unable to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
In order for the natural carnal mind to understand the things of the Spirit, it must be revealed by the Holy Spirit, for this reason, “No one can say Jesus is Lord, except by the Holy Spirit.
But the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has now made it possible for whosoever will, to have a spiritual mind. As it is written, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.’
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
We can learn a lot from the apostle Paul concerning the reality and severity of this battle. He said, "I speak to you in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness" (Rom. 6:19).
The apostle Paul experienced the same struggle in life, he said, "I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, warring against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members".
Then he lamented and said, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Then he breathed a sigh of relief and said, "Thank be to God through Jesus Christ our lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin" (Rom.7:21-23).
Human beings are creatures of habit. We grow and develop to become the individual we are, in the area we have trained ourselves to become, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
For example we have been instructed saying, "Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as he is righteous"(1Jn. 3:7).
We practice to become what we want to become. Practice makes perfect, not in the sense of being flawless, because if one practice doing the wrong thing, he/she will end up as a complete failure, but perfect in the sense of adaptation, of mastering the art.
The flesh has an insatiable desire which cannot be contained. It becomes addicted to whatever practice/s it engaged itself in.
The inner drive of this sinful nature is so powerful that the Lord said, "Now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them"(Gen.11:6).
Human beings are free moral agents, having the prerogative to choose their master. They are not an independent being operating on their own. They are either a slave of sin, or a slave of righteousness.
Quoting the Apostle Paul again he said, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey - whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thank be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted.
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness (Rom.6:16-18).
Our free moral agency is the power we have as God to choose. It is the power to choose good over evil, the kingdom of light over the kingdom of darkness, the life in the spirit over the life in the flesh, the commandment of God [righteousness] over lawlessness or vice versa.
Neither God nor Satan will force anyone to do anything. God will inspire thoughts in our mind, and Satan will tempt us through the passions and desires of the flesh, but it is left to us to yield. Because of the nature and power of our free moral agency, we are essentially a part and parcel of everything that happens to us, without our express permission, and the use of the members of our body, nothing comes to fruition.
The battle of the mind and for the mind is for the purpose of using the members of the body as instruments of construction or destruction of the human body, and we are therefore, all co-workers with the one who destroys the temple, or with the one who constructs the temple.
Satan will entice us to use the members of our body as instruments of sin, by sowing to the flesh, fulfilling its lusts and desires, in order to reap at the end corruption.
On the other hand the Holy Spirit inspires us to use the members of our body as instruments of righteousness, by mortifying or put to death the deeds of the body, in order to reap at the end immortality.
Our call of duty is to become co-workers with Christ. This we do by assisting him with the construction of God’s temple, when we totally surrender our lives to him, thus allowing him to mould and shape us into his very image. We are God's fellow workers, we are God's field; we are God's building.
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