Summary: Examining the benefit of waling in the Spirit.
How To Win The War Within (Part II)
Leroy Eims tells about a time when he was serving in the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II: "Shortly after we hit the beach, our armored amphibious tank took two artillery shells broadside. We immediately evacuated our disabled vehicle and darted from hole to hole toward the enemy airstrip, which we were to take."The sergeant began to check on us to make sure that we were OK. He crawled over to me and asked, `You all right, Eims?' "I answered, `Yeah, I'm OK, Sarge.' "He looked at me and asked, `Eims, where is your helmet?' "I felt the top of my head and answered, `Must be in the tank, Sarge.' "`Where's your duty belt?' Our duty belts carried ammunition for our rifles, a canteen of water, and a bayonet. "`Must be in the tank, Sarge.' "`As a matter of fact, Eims, where's your rifle?' He looked at me with disgust and pity. Because of our hasty departure from the amphibious tank, I was dressed about the same way that I would be dressed for a game of volleyball. And there I was, hopping from hole to hole, from tree to tree !
We are told in Ephesians that we are to "put on the whole armor of God" that is very true but we also must know how to use our weapons! In any battle it is vitally important to understand the mission. We need to know how to recognize the enemy. And we need to know what we have in our own arsenal!
I would like to continue to examine "How To Win The War Within". In part 1 of this sermon we began to examine the battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Described in our selected text are the differences between the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. Tonight I would like to look at the lists that Paul provided and break them down word by word so that we can better understand the battle that we face. Let's begin by examining:
I. The Works Of The Flesh
1) Adultery - this refers to any kind of sexual immorality among those who are married.
2) Fornication - all illicit sexual activity, including adultery, premarital sex, homosexuality, incest, and prostitution. (ill. The common practice of living together without being married)
3) Uncleanness - this refers to physical or moral impurity.
4) Lasciviousness - any excessive behavior or lack of restraint (especially sexual excess and indulgence)
5) Idolatry - Worshipping anyone or anything other than the one true God.
6) Witchcraft - the original Greek word used here is pharmakeia, from which the English word “pharmacy” comes, originally referred to medicines in general, but in this context it refers to mood and mind-altering drugs, as well as the occult, witchcraft, and magic. Many pagan religious practices required the use of drugs to aid in the communication with deities.
7) Hatred - hostility and bitter opposition.
8) Variance - quarreling and hostile debate
9) Emulations - refers to hateful resentment, malice and indignation.
10) Wrath - outbursts of anger.
11) Strife - contention, dissention and conflict
12) Seditions - this speaks of division and discord
13) Heresies - organized division and/or cliques.
14) Envyings - jealously coupled with ill will toward someone.
15) Murders - speaks for itself.
16) Drunkenness - literally means intoxication
17) Revellings - rowdy, boisterous living (including wild parties).
This list describes in great detail many of the actions seen in the lost man. These actions are prevalent in those who are without Christ. The lost man has a void in his life and is trying to fill that void with anything that brings pleasure. When someone is living this lifestyle they may think that they are "living it up" so to speak.
Hebrews 11:25 tells us that there is "pleasure in sin for a season" - But the pleasure never lasts and there is no joy, contentment or lasting fulfillment in a lifestyle of sin. And a life lived in the flesh leads to destruction. Notice what Paul says at the end of verse 21...“I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”
This is devastating news! But it is true nonetheless! Those who refuse to surrender to Christ and remain in the depths of depravity that come from following the desires of the flesh are destined for Hell. Not because of the things that they do, but because of what they refuse to do (trusting in Christ for salvation). Understanding the context of this verse may help us in "Winning The War Within". Some people may look at this statement and say "there is no point in trying because there are some things in this list that describe me!"