by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Study # 66 January 6, 1999 Harlingen, Texas
Thesis:Victory over internal lusts is only finally possible when the conflict is seen and responded to in the light of the greater cosmic conflict.
Introduction:Internal conflicts are a part of the way we are currently made. We have inner drivers that compete for our loyalty and submission. We cannot escape the reality of those kinds of conflicts. However, we CAN reduce both their power and length of presence by faith in the grace of God.
In our last two studies we have seen that we have an inner, fallen, spirit that is primarily driven to jealousy.
We have also seen that, in light of that fact, God has extended greater grace. We also saw, last week, that we must have a balanced confidence in both realities--not denying or denigrating the fact of the lustfulness of the spirit in us, but also not denying or denigrating the reality of the greater grace. James' point is that we can win the war of loyalty.
This evening we are going to look at the war of loyalty in its most critical terms as James casts the issue as a matter of choice between God and the devil.
I. The Issue of Volitional Boundaries.
A. There is a kind of submission that has no connection to volition.
1. Luke 10:17 and following -- demons were not willing to be in submission, but were in it anyway.
2. Romans 8:20 -- the creation has no choice about its submission to chaos.
3. Romans 8:7 -- the carnal minded person CAN not choose submission to the law of God.
4. This kind of submission is the outer boundary of God's sovereignty in which He permits no will to contradict His.
B. There is a kind of 'original' submission that is rooted in volitional choice, but gradually loses its connection to volition.
1. This is the power of "habit" that is originally chosen, but soon becomes necessity.
2. John 8:34 compared with 1 Timothy 4:2.
3. Romans 2:15 and 2 Corinthians 3:3 and following.
C. There is a kind of present submission that is rooted in present, greater grace and volitional choice.
II. The Ultimate Issues of Submission
A. The sense of the word "submit" has a fundamental connection to the question of the renunciation of one's own will and rights...Liddell-Scott.
B. Submission has a primary and secondary direction.
1. The primary direction is God-ward.
a. This direction is primarily influenced by love.
b. Then it is influenced by faith in His greater grace.
c. It's objective is loyalty to a covenant commitment.
2. The secondary direction is devil-ward.
a. This direction is primarily influenced by the residual leftovers of an earlier bondage: Ephesians 2:2-3.
b. It is empowered by deceit (devil) with a primary focus on God's willingness to give enough grace to win.
c. Its objective is to violate life through violation of the covenant union.
C. Submission typically has "intermediates" in the mix that SEEM to remove God and the devil from the primary considerations.
1. God primarily works through intermediate agents (people, words, inner Spirit).
2. The devil primarily works through intermediate agents (demons, people, words, inner lusts).
3. God IS omnipresent, and there IS a demon behind every bush. The problem is when the two are confused by people so that God gets credit for unbiblical things and the demons get credit for biblical things.