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9/23/15 – Part 5 of 6: The soul is the center of the spiritual war with the flesh

Published: Wednesday, 23 September 2015 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although 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 me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 

The above passage explains why Christians continue to sin.  You must read through this passage several times and read it very slowly.  The passage is saying that your soul (mind and emotions) will enslave you to things that you think you must do as a Christian.  However, you fail and do what you do not want to do, and you do not do what you should do.  As a Believer, you are not alone.  This is a statement of the spiritual warfare of all Believers.  The flesh pulls at your will through your soul (mind and emotions).  Although the Holy Spirit can provide the spiritual answer, a Believer allows the flesh to be stronger and follows its directions that are always sinful.  You must put to death the flesh in your soul and rely only on the Holy Spirit.

 

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.  (Romans 8:6-8) 

This is another way of looking at the spiritual war that is ongoing in every Believer.  By the way, ALL believers are fighting this spiritual war.  The mind that is death means that only rotten stinking fruit is produced in your actions that others see.  If you allow your mind to control you, then you are in a state of hostility with God.  These are strong words, but the Bible makes it clear that you are either with God or against God.  Every time you make a decision based on what you think or how you feel, you are giving power to the flesh and will be controlled by the flesh ending in sin.  Consider the following verse:

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”  (Genesis 4:7)  This is what God told Cain before Cain killed his brother Abel.  The word “desires” is a Hebrew word that means to take control.  Cain had a choice to obey his emotions or to obey God.  He chose his emotions.  The moment he did that, sin took control of Cain, and he committed murder.  This is the same situation that occurs numerous times every day for Believers.  We are tempted by the flesh and choose to obey what our mind or emotions are saying instead of what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!  (Romans 7:24-25)  This is God’s answer to our war with the flesh.  He has given us Christ who was tempted in every way that we are tempted.  However, He remained sinless, because the Holy Spirit led Him in all of His actions.  God asks us to live a life in the image of Christ.

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