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The Flesh Fights the Fruit

The deeds of the flesh war against the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. For any authentic indwelt believer to manifest the Fruit of the Spirit, each must be in the habit of submitting to authority.

#Culture. The Flesh Fights the Fruit.

Most believers “say” they listen and harken to the authoritative Words Jesus speaks within the souls of the born-again. Needless to say, the evidence rarely shows up in the believer honorably submitting to governing authorities God established.

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (Romans 13:1)

As they say, the proof is in the pudding. The best litmus test for determining if a believer is lying when they say they honor Christ’s authority from within is in watching how they manage their respect for governing authorities. As our passage states, all authority exists because God instituted them. You dishonor one; you dishonor God. When we dishonor God, there is a price to pay - judgment.

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:2)

The best liars in the world are the self-proclaimed Christians. The logic is elementary. They first lie to themselves to prove they are justified by NOT honoring all authority. Then they use picket signs to provoke authority to demand “rights” God never gave them. The flesh loves demanding self-manufactured “rights.” Only those with borderline or fully seared consciousnesses claim to love God while dishonoring the authorities He allows or established.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. (1 John 4:20)

Loving your brother does not mean fellow authentic believers in Christ. It is in loving the brothers of humanity. This mandate is how we reach the lost, which reveals the love of God in and through our personhood. When we insult authority figures with our course jesting and rude remarks, we are not demonstrating the love God used to save us from eternal damnation. It is overtly or covertly telling people to go to Hell. Jesus addresses this issue in a statement in the sermon on the Mount.

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. (Matthew 5:22)

When we look into the brazen world of punitive opinionate Christians, do we see love? Or do we see clever demonstrations of calling others “fools?” The deeds of the flesh enjoy fighting injustice, and the leading modality of this fight is in leaving the listener with the conclusion that they are fools.

Christianity teaches the necessity of patience, meekness, and forbearance in the endurance of all wrong - whether from private individuals, the oppressions and exactions of government (Rom. 13:1-7), or amid hardships and cruelties of perceived slavery. Please keep in mind that these peaceful injunctions, however, did not demonstrate that Christ approved the act of strong masters or that Paul regarded the government of Nero as a good government, but they do demonstrate the power of submission.

“Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart” (Eph. 6:5-6, KJV).

God uses masters according to the flesh to control the deeds of the flesh. That is a fact. To legislate policies of anti-homosexuality, adultery, and other flesh modalities, is a good thing. While those who house their identity in such deeds of the flesh will fight against such governing policies, the fact remains – when the masses won’t listen to God, God uses the policies of man to restrict the man from sinning. When such guidelines or policies are removed, it ignites God to remove man – which is the end goal of the End Times.

Be obedient to your masters - This is the uniform direction throughout the New Testament.

In our relationships with strong authority, we are to show the excellence of Christianity that we profess. If we could be made free, we should prefer that condition to a state of bondage (1 Cor. 7:21). But while the relationship remains, as Christians, we are to be kind, gentle, and obedient. The parallel passage, Colossians 3:22, says that slaves were to obey their masters “in all things.” But evidently, this is to be understood with the limitations implied in the case of wives and children. For example, a master or husband/father has no right to command that which is morally or illegally wrong. Or when a government commands you to break the Laws and mandates of God. In these cases, you and I are to serve God over man honorably.

According to the flesh, the Father gave us this design to limit the obligation to obedience. The meaning is that authority figures control “the body, the flesh.” They have the power to command the service, which the body can render, but they are not lords of the Spirit. This is a critical point for us to embrace, as it will assist us in maintaining the balance of submission to strong authority. Our soul acknowledges God as Lord. And to the Lord, we are subject in a higher sense than our masters.

With fear and trembling – The Greek definition here is “to do this with a dread of offending them.”

Masters have authority and power over us, and we should be afraid to incur their displeasure. Whatever might be true about the correctness of perceived slavery, and whatever might be the duty of the master, it would be more to honor our beliefs in Christ for us to perform our tasks with a willing mind than to be disrespectful and rebellious. We could do more for the honor of Christ by patiently submitting, even with what we felt to be wrong than by being punished for what would be regarded as rebellion. These directions were addressed to us as servants, not to our masters.

In singleness of your heart - With a simple, sincere desire to do what is right, as unto Christ, we render proper service to our masters. In fact, we are serving the Lord and doing what will be well-pleasing to Christ (1 Cor. 7:22). Loyalty, in whatever situation we may be in life, is an acceptable service to the Lord. A Christian may serve the Lord Jesus in the condition of a servant as if a minister of the Gospel or a king on a throne. Besides, it will miraculously lighten the burdens of such a situation, and make the toils and sufferings of a humble/strong condition easy, if we remember we are then “serving the Lord.”

Not with eyeservice – This term means “not with service rendered only under the eye of the master, or when his eye is fixed on you.”

When we, as slaves, are walking after the flesh, we will usually only obey when the eye of the master is upon us. In other words, people-pleasing. This is impossible to avoid when we are “driven” by a master who tends to be excessively strong- except where true Christianity prevails. Christians who agree to labor for stipulated wages may be trusted when the master is out of sight, but this is not true for a slave. In this, we find no acts of Christ service; it is obligatory for financial gain or job security. As children of the Father, we are at liberty to serve with the heart of Christ. This commandment is of great importance to all under the service of a master. A servant is bound to perform their duties with as much faithfulness as if the eye of their master was always upon them. Remember, man's eyes may be turned away, but the eyes of God never do. Obedience shown in privacy is obedience revealed in the Kingdom of God.

Christianity is filled with “men-pleasers” - It is sad to see that most children of the Father purpose to please people instead of pleasing and honoring God. When a person focuses on pleasing a master instead of the Master directly, he places himself in the position of idol worship - their master becomes the god of their life. What, or to whom, we give our pleasure to is the one we are saying is our God. As you and I serve our strong masters, we need to do it unto Christ (1 Cor. 7:22). If we do, we will be doing the will of God with a pure heart. When we render acceptable service to God from a pure heart, we can manifest the Fruit of the Spirit freely in and through us, however humble or strong. Until next time.

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