“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?”
that war in your members?
The word “members” here refers to fallen, sinful dynamics within our mind and body. This does not refer to church members. Every Christian has the potential for an army of lusts to encamp within his soul.
Ro 7:23, “But 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.”
“War” means to serve as a soldier, a soldier in service, to make war, do military service, serve in the army. The figurative idea here is spiritual warfare. Pleasure makes spiritual military expeditions in the soul; it makes incursions in the soul. Passion constantly fights to have its way with our souls. It does more than prowl in our souls; it wars against the will of God. Pleasure takes to the field of our hearts, but it breaks out in open warfare in the church. That is why we must go to spiritual war against it.
1 Tim. 1:18-20, “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”
1 Pet. 2:11-12, “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
Interpersonal tensions come from inner personal tension.
Strife in a Christian community occurs from within ourselves – from carnality, from satisfying self. Every Christian engages in the war of allowing his sin capacity to dominate him versus allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to control him.
2 Co 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”
Power lust, lusts of dominion, lust for pleasure, materialism lust all broil in the community of believers. All this comes from the corruption of carnality and the lack of spirituality. We need to lay the ax to these sins by confession and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit.
2 Tim. 2:3-4, “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”