Five Struggles Of Man
There are five types of struggles that involve men (or women). The unbeliever is involved in the first two types of struggles which he always loses.
Satan and the man against God.
Satan and the man*s flesh against his conscience.
When a man becomes a Christian he changes sides and gets on God*s side. He then has three new types of struggles which he always wins.
God and the man*s renewed spirit against his flesh.
God and the man*s renewed spirit against the world.
God and the man*s renewed spirit against the Devil.
All men have a conscience. The conscience is God-given. The conscience has a purpose. It is meant to be a moral compass. All men violate their own conscience at times. All men are aware that they have violated something, whether or not they recognize that it was God*s law or a standard of their own making.
Sometimes the flesh wins -- other times the conscience wins. The oftener the flesh wins, the more the conscience is weakened. The Bible calls it a seared conscience. Man condemns himself when he violates God*s law. When he violates his own conscience he simply lowers his standards. And then he violates them again. Unless Christ intervenes, the sinful flesh defeats the perverted conscience and the man ends up in the lake of fire.
There is also the struggle of the flesh (man) against God. If the man wins the struggle, he ends up in the lake of fire. If the man surrenders to God, he ends up in paradise. The man who surrenders to God becomes a Christian. Then he begins the struggles that will end in victory.
Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
The spirit in the Christian man is that part of him that has been recreated (regenerated) when he became a Christian. It has been recreated with some things that did not exist in the man before. There is an ability to appreciate God, communicate with Him and obey Him. It is that part of the man that will now begin to control the flesh righteously. The struggle will go on until the flesh (body) dies or is changed at the return of Christ.
The most significant part of a man before salvation is the flesh. The most significant part of a saved man is his spirit. Before salvation, the non-material part of you, the earth-bound soul, the flesh, was the real you. After salvation the regenerated, heaven-connected, heaven-bound spirit is the real you.
Perhaps the simplest way to describe this struggle is to say it is between the old you and the new you.
1 Corinthians 9:25-27: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
If someone with the credentials of the Apostle Paul had this struggle we shouldn*t be surprised that we have it also. He gives us instructions to win the battle by walking in the spirit.
Galatians 5:16-17: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
2 Corinthians 4:7-9: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;