FLESH vs SPIRIT
Paul tells of a great battle taking place within man in the 7th and 8th chapters of Romans and the 5th chapter of Galatians. This is a battle between material desires and man's efforts to serve God. It is flesh vs spirit. When man becomes a child of God, he is a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17); he walks in newness of life (Rom. 6:4). Christ, by the Holy Spirit given unto the apostle, fills man with his word. Man's spirit then carries on the battle against the flesh.
When man's spirit causes him to walk in the ways of the Lord, he is said to be spiritual (Gal. 6:1). He overcomes the lusts of the flesh, the material desires that sometimes win the battle. But the spiritual man always comes back and is, possibly, stronger than before. Satan, the Devil, uses every material means available to gain followers. The spiritual man has one weapon, the word of God. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds" (2 Cor. 10:4). Some want to fight that battle with ballots, bullets, courts and they put their trust in such but we have all we need--the Word of God. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel ofChrist: for it is the power of God ..." (Rom. 1:16).
Our biggest problem in fighting this battle is that we don't have enough trust in our weaponry. But remember, "the worlds were formed by the Word of God." And only with the Word of God, Jesus defeated the Devil in the wilderness.
The spiritual man is "filled with the Spirit," is "set for the defense of the gospel," is ready to "contend for the faith," will overcome the "lust of the flesh." To be filled with the Spirit is letting the word of Christ dwell in you. Two parallel verses will prove that point and complete this epistle. Look first at Ephesians 5:18-19: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord." Then, Collisions 3:16: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."
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