Spiritual Warfare - 4

Updated: Nov 21, 2019

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Written by Louis Roth


The “old self.”

The “old self’ or “old man” or “sin nature” describes our former state before salvation: a subject in Satan’s kingdom, obeying what Satan and his fallen angel’s commands (Rom. 6:1–11). When a person does accept Jesus as their Savior, the old nature is still present (Rom. 6:12–14) and always seeks to regain the control it had before salvation. God allows us to make both good and bad choices knowing the consequences of each choice. As this spiritual war rages both within us, we become frustrated because we know what to do; but can’t seem to get (Rom. 7:14–25). This battle will plague us as long as we occupy the physical bodies inherited from Adam with the sin nature that comes with it (1 Pet. 2:21–22, Rom. 3:23–26).[1] So, you might think that not participating in this confrontation between God and Satan would solve your problems. The battle rages between our soul and the Spirit we have from God. As Gregory Peck says in the movie Guns of Navarone, “you are in it now, up to your neck!”


How did this happen?

Gen. 3 has the account of the Fall of Adam and Eve. God gave one rule about eating from the “tree of knowledge of good and evil.” The serpent had a single motive in this account, to trick the couple into desiring knowledge that God knew they shouldn’t have This enemy portrayed the protection as withholding knowledge from the couple. Even though there were opportunities to repel this attack, the deceived couple disobeys God, resulting in spiritual death for Adam and all his descendants. It’s a sin nature that comes from Adam’s spiritual death that separates humanity from God. Adam’s descendants can never do works to reconcile to the Father. Proof of this comes in the form of the Law given to Israel by Moses. The Jews, to be temporarily righteous, had to bring offerings continually throughout the year. This process had to be repeated year after year. Christians have the once and for all offering of Jesus Christ on the cross to permanently declare us innocent of our sins. As we said before, as long as we live in the physical realm with human bodies, the sin nature is still with us. The temptations in our lives continually tempt our souls to rebel and turn back to our former selves.[2]



How does the sin nature in believers manifest itself?


Using the diagram “Personal Sins,” we can see the most common nature of these sins (If you cannot see any of the diagrams, navigate to https://www.louisrothministries.com/444149678 and locate the diagrams there): Most sin comes from both weaknesses and strengths. Areas of weakness tend to affect the following areas:

• Mental attitude sins: pride envy, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, vindictiveness, implacability, guilt, feelings, fear, worry, anxiety, self-pity (Prov. 8:13, Isa 41:10, Phil. 4:6, and 1 John 2:11)[3]

• Sins of the tongue: (James 3:5–6).[4]

• Overt sin: (Gal. 5:19–21).[5]


The areas of strength occur when a person chooses to sin and comes under the control of their sin nature. Now that we have the definitions covered, let us examine the diagram:


1. Personal Sins (Gal. 5:19–21), which result from in Heb. 12:1

2. Legalism (Col. 2:16–21) or the arrogance of self-righteousness, see 2 Cor. 11:13 for an example. This lust is an area of strength (Rom. 6:12, Eph. 2:3).

3. The trend of Antinomianism (Mark 7:21–23) or the arrogance of self-indulgence, see 1 Cor. 6:9–10) for an example. This lust pattern is also from the same area of strength.

4. Human good (Heb. 6:1) is an area of strength that is rejected at the cross (Titus 3:5).


Spiritual warfare takes place with different combinations on three fronts: the world (Satan’s kingdom), the flesh (participating in the desires in Satan’s kingdom), and Satan himself. [6]

How do we get out of this mess?

Salvation in the name of Jesus is the way. As the diagram below indicates, when we accept Jesus as our savior, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Salvation guarantees eternal union with the Father (Eph. 5:8), eternal union with Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), an eternal relationship with the triune God, and eternal security (John 10:28).


How do we get out of this mess?

Salvation in the name of Jesus is the way. As the diagram below indicates, when we accept Jesus as our savior, we are baptized by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). Salvation guarantees eternal union with the Father (Eph. 5:8), eternal union with Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), an eternal relationship with the triune God, and eternal security (John 10:28).


OK, What happens while I am alive on earth?

The diagram above indicates a kind of “to do list.”

1. Keep fellowship with God (1 John 1:3).

2. We are to walk in the light (1 John 1:7).

3. Be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

4. Grow spiritually in Christ (1 Cor. 3:1).

If you doubt that believers can be carnal, go no further than 1 Cor. 3:1–3, 1 Sam. 16:7).[7]


What happens when we backslide?

Gal. 5:19–21 and Prov. 6:16[8] show the activities that cause us to lose fellowship with the Father. 1 John 1:6 says that the believer walks in darkness at this point. The danger is that the believer continues on the path of sin and appear like the world around them. See the diagram below:



We can see the descent into increased carnality with the numbered levels of “arrogance.” At each step, the believer has the opportunity to rebound by confessing their sin. Basically acknowledging that their behavior was rebellion against God. We can show Jealousy and bitterness and become good at self-justification. The next level is Implacability and anger — the arrogance skill of self-deception. As the believer plunges into the road to ruin, the last arrogance skill is self-absorption. The manifestations are hatred, malice, revenge, vituperation (abusive language), vilification, violence, abuse, and vindictiveness. The diagram calls the person that continues down this road a “loser believer.” At each level, we all have a chance to rebound and move on, but get stuck in the malaise and never mature in Christ.


Build your life on solid foundations.


The foundation for victory in Christ comes first through salvation in Jesus Christ. The next level cannot have any effect on an unbeliever. Strang list the following Scriptures as a way to renew your mind. His book is about sexual sin, but applies to almost any realm: 1 Cor. 6:18, 2 Tim. 2:22, Jame 4:7. 1 Cor. 6:13, Rom. 13:12, Rom. 5:6, John 8:34, 36, Eph. 5:10–11 and 1 Cor. 9:26–27. The author points out that this does not happen instantaneously. It takes years. For example, Jesus spent three years with the disciples and another three years with Saul.[10]




Think about the future!

• Every level of growth requires a new level of sacrifice. When you quit sacrificing, you quit growing. Changing the thinking polluted by years of teaching from the world, schools, universities, the media takes time. You are not alone if a person takes care of themselves by the filling of the Spirit.

• When you’re wrestling with compulsive addictions, you have a lack of vision. Because you do not have the big-picture vision, you will also lack the little picture visions — who you are and what God wants you to do.[11]


If you recall the account of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11), you will remember that David was not doing what kings should do during the war against the Ammonites. I want you to observe the number of times both could have averted this major sin. David is on his roof and sees a naked woman bathing. He could have averted his eyes; instead, seeks to go further and commit adultery with Bathsheba. Bathsheba is married to an officer in David’s army. Bathsheba delayed the process by finishing her purification process from uncleanness. That was the second opportunity. She does come to the king’s chambers and gets pregnant. I would imagine that the entire household knows what they did in “secret.”

David makes matters worse by trying to pass the child as Uriah’s by bringing him home to have relations with his wife, Bathsheba. Uriah will not do that as long as his comrades are still fighting. Since David has gone down this sin path, he further makes things worse by having Uriah killed in battle. He could have come clean with Israel, and now the Lord will expose David as an adulterer and a murderer. God takes away the child but allows the two to marry. Their son Solomon is the heir to the throne, and the couple writes Proverbs as a warning to the future generation. The damage we create when we take our eyes off God and to fleshly desires can span generations. We do much better when we have a task for the Lord, something to occupy our time. Strang provides ideas about how to proceed with Godly endeavors:


• When you have a clear vision, you can risk your own life.

• What is your vision worth?

• Great athletes train hard for a gold medal. People who run to win are willing to pay the price.

• The reason most people quit growing is that they are not willing to pay the price.

• Faith equals risk. Without faith (not without spirituality or without Scripture memorization), it’s impossible to please God.

• God has big plans for you. Don’t take what God meant for you and ruin it with mediocre living.

• What are you willing to give up to get what you want?[12]














Notes:

1. Thieme, R.B. Jr.. (2000). Rebound and Keep Moving! (pp. 5-7).Houston, TX: R. B. Thieme, JR., Bible Ministries

2. Thieme, R.B. Jr.. (2000). Rebound and Keep Moving! (pp. 5-7).Houston, TX: R. B. Thieme, JR., Bible Ministries

3. Thieme, R.B. Jr.. (2000). Rebound and Keep Moving! (pp. 7-10).Houston, TX: R. B. Thieme, JR., Bible Ministries

4. IBID

5. IBID

6. Dean, R., Jr., & Ice, T. (2000). What the Bible Teaches about Spiritual Warfare (p. 15). Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications.

7. Thieme, R.B. Jr.. (2000). Rebound and Keep Moving! (pp. 13-15).Houston, TX: R. B. Thieme, JR., Bible Ministries

8. Thieme, R.B. Jr.. (2000). Rebound and Keep Moving! (pp. 16-17).Houston, TX: R. B. Thieme, JR., Bible Ministries

9. Strang, S. (2000). Old Man New Man (pp. 167-8). Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, A part of Strang Communications Company.

10. Strang, S. (2000). Old Man New Man (pp. 165-6). Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, A part of Strang Communications Company.

11. Strang, S. (2000). Old Man New Man (pp. 152). Lake Mary, FL: Creation House, A part of Strang Communications Company.

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