Conflicting principles are now found within us. We have a "heavenly treasure" in an "earthly vessel" (2 Cor. 4:7). In that condition, it is not possible to be without the experience of fierce inner conflict and contradiction. That situation is the source of contradictory feelings, thoughts, and inclinations. Our "earthen vessel" struggles for dominance, and in its conflict with the "treasure" we have our warfare. The "treasure," like Abraham, is found in strange and hostile environment (Heb. 11:19).
Both "light" and "darkness" exist in us. The presence of these moral influences requires diligent effort to "walk as children of light" (Eph. 5:8). Light has no "communion" with darkness ( 2 Cor. 6:14). No place is this lack of communion as evident as it is within the believer. It becomes the source of incessant struggle.
"God and evil" wrestle within the reconciled, struggling for the dominance (Rom. 7:15-23; 1 Cor. 15:33). The influence of one of these cannot be experienced without the influence of the other. "Good" cannot be pursued without "evil" crying for attention, and "evil" cannot become the focus of attention without "good" objecting. Two contrary voices cry simultaneously, demanding our allegiance.
"The Spirit" and the "flesh" have mutually antithetic desires, and make them known within the redeemed (Gal. 5:17). They ":lust" against each other, pulling in opposite directions. Their contrariety is the cause of inner struggle and conflict.
The eternal and the temporal orders cry out for the attention of the saints. The sobering reality is that believers have the ability to behold them both (2 Core. 4:18). This condition requires spiritual vigilance and diligence in the child of God. It is not possible to be passive or casual in this struggle, and still be found "accepted of Him" (2 Cor. 5:9). The presence of warring principles creates a "valley of decision" (Joel 3:14).
There are an "old" and a "new" man within the saved. The "old" is to be subordinated and "put off" by the believer, and the "new" is to be "put on" (Eph. 4:22-24). This cannot be accomplished without hearty effort on the part of the believer. Neither will it be achieved is assemblies of believers do not contribute to their spiritual strength. The casual sharing of general information and news items will never give the saints an advantage in their warfare. Intellectual treatise of interesting subjects, historical analysis, and humorous anecdotes will not do it either. Leaders that take the warfare seriously will feed the flock. Those that do not should be discharged immediately, and without question. Eternal issues are at stake!
A struggle between life and death rages in everyone that has believed and obeyed the Gospel. It is something in which you are involved. It has to do with eternal life and condemnation, and it was initiated by the introduction of spiritual life.