Series: “THE GOOD FIGHT: Perspectives on SPIRITUAL WARFARE”

Sunday, February 18th, 2018:  “The War Within” • Pastor David R. Stokes

 

Read: Galatians 5:16-23

 

READ: Devotional

 

Spiritual Warfare involves battles fought along three front-lines. It’s a battle against the devil
himself, along with his demonic army. It’s a battle against the world itself—the system aligned
against God and moving away from His glory. And it is also a battle against something called
“The Flesh.” That’s right, we are fighting part of our own nature.

I define the “Flesh” as is it is used in scripture as: “The part of our human nature that is self-
centered and rebellious against God and righteous standards.” It’s also referred to as “The Sin
Nature.” The Apostle Paul described THE WAR WITHIN this way:

“I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do
what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law
is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.”

 Romans 7:15-17 (New Living Translation)

I’m pretty sure most of us can identify with good old Paul.

Every moment of everyday we live with this very real conflict—one that rages within our hearts.

“These two forces are constantly fighting each other and your choices are never free from this conflict.”

Galatians 5:17 (New Living Translation)

The “works of the flesh” include behaviors—sinful behaviors—involving sensuality, false
“spirituality”, and social disruption.

The way to victory is through “counteraction”—something the Bible calls walking in the spirit.

 

 reflect:

  • To what extent to I make daily choices based on what “the flesh” urges (as opposed to “the
    Spirit”)?
  • How do specific “fruits” of the Spirit impact specific “works” of the flesh?
  • How important are rules when it comes to changing our behavior?

 

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