Four Essential Words - Conflict
The first of the four essential words that the follower of Jesus Christ needs to know and practice is presentation. That is, the daily intentional presentation of our bodies to God as instruments of the righteousness we now possess through faith in Christ Jesus. The follower of Jesus Christ will immediately be aware of a phenomena that works contrary to the daily presentation of ourselves and our bodies to Christ for the purpose of living according to His righteousness. That phenomena is embodied in the word - conflict.
Romans chapter seven is a full discussion of the conflict that rages in the follower of Jesus Christ who is daily presenting his / her body to Christ to live according to His righteousness, a righteousness we now possess as a central element of our new nature, our new creatureliness. Paul states in Romans 7:23 "I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members." Paul speaks of warring which means to be at war, conflict or opposition. The "warring" is not light or token conflict or opposition. It is intense ongoing conflict. The flesh, the sinful nature, an ultimately defeated foe, still nonetheless wages intense warfare against the use of our body as an instrument of the righteousness we possess in Jesus Christ. Prior to conversion the body was the sole domain and servant of the flesh, the sinful nature. Paul makes that abundantly clear in Romans seven. The flesh / sinful nature does not want to give up its monopoly on our bodies. This is the reason for the conflict. The conflict ensues as we daily present ourselves and our bodies to Christ to live for Him.
However, the dynamics of that which is occurring in the follower of Jesus Christ does is not limited to that which is stated in verse 23. Paul goes on to state in Rm. 7:24 - 25 that daily enablement we possess. The enablement is found in a person. "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin."
Daily we must, of necessity, present ourselves and our bodies to Jesus Christ to live according to the righteousness He has given us through our faith in Him. Daily we must deal with the reality of the conflict that inevitably is present which wars against the righteousness of Christ. No one likes conflict, but it is the dally reality in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ.
JBC Senior Pastor