Saturday, February 17, 2024

Orange Moon Saturday, February 17, 2024 "Paul and the Atheist" Part 2 - The Battlefield

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…

"Paul and the Atheist"

Part 2 - The Battlefield



      Walking with God through the Lord Jesus Christ does not presently involve the elimination of temptation, but rather the overcoming of it.    

    "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" (I John 5:5).

    This includes the challenge we face within our own being wherein spirit and flesh face one another (Galatians 5:17).  In terms of our present consideration, a theist and and an atheist square off against one another.  Our spirits, united to the Holy Spirit, "delight in the law of God."  Our flesh, inherited from fallen Adam, remains with us in conflict, as the Apostle Paul confessed…

   "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" (Romans 7:22-23).

    We do well to consider who it is that acknowledged the conflict of "when I would do good, evil is present with me" (Romans 7:21).  Certainly, no more devoted believer has ever lived than Paul.  God saved him by His grace, enabled him by the same, and the Holy Spirit led Paul to affirm just before his martyrdom, "I have fought a good fight.  I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (II Timothy 4:7).  We all rightly love and admire the Apostle.  However, he no less experienced the spirit/flesh challenge than do we ourselves.  Romans 7 serves as an autobiographical sketch that the wondrous experience on the road to Damascus and a long life of walking by faith in Christ did not annihilate Paul's fleshly desires and inclinations.  He had to learn engage in "the good fight of faith" known by all believers, whereby we "through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body" (I Timothy 6:12; Romans 8:13).  The Apostle had to confront the contrary thoughts, emotions, sensations, and desires of the flesh no less than does every believer in the Lord Jesus.  Life with an atheist - Paul's flesh - made such overcoming necessary.  "I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind" (Romans 7:21).

    Let us expect no time in this present life wherein we will not face the same conflict of spirit and flesh.  We awaken in every day to a spiritual battlefield, not only out there in the world, but in here within our own being.  In the perfection of His wisdom, God allowed our flesh to remain unglorified - "dead because of sin" - when we believed, even as He birthed our spirits in "newness of life" and as a "new man, created in righteousness and true holiness" (Romans 8:10; 6:4; Ephesians 4:24).  Like Paul, we live with an atheist.  And like Paul, we must discover more and more the theist we are in the depths of our being wherein we "delight in the law of God" through the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit who "worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  We are more than able through Christ  to overcome the challenge of the atheist with whom we live.  However, the challenge must be recognized for what it is.  Even more, the grace of newness of life in Christ must be known for what it is, namely, the power always abundantly available to overcome.  No less than the Apostle Paul discovered both the personal conflict and the glorious opportunity to honor our Lord by fighting "the good fight" on a battlefield nearer than any other, and whereupon we must personally "fight the good fight of faith."

"For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

(I John 2:16)

"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."

(I John 5:4)

Weekly Memory Verse

      If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 

(Galatians 5:25)


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