On June 16, 1838, John Quincy Adams, the former president of
the United States, stood before the House
of Representatives and gave a three-week speech opposing the
annexation of a little country that had
fought and won its freedom just two years before; that c
ountry was Texas. Maybe he was right. I think
Texas would have made a fine country. Some still do.
Twenty years after Adams’ speech, June 16, 1858, Abraham Linco
ln would make a statement that would
identify him throughout history. He said, “A house divided agains
t itself cannot stand.” These were the
rumblings of the War Between the States that would rip t
his nation apart and pit brother against brother;
no family escaped unscathed.
There is a similar war we fight every day, a war bet
ween flesh and spirit, and the whole family of God is
enlisted. The words Mr. Lincoln quoted were the words of Jes
us in Matthew 12:25, and they reduce this
war to its lowest common denominator – a conflict betw
een Christ and Beelzebub; it is an uncivil war.
Satan’s villainy knows no boundaries; he will use any a
nd all of the most prurient, unprincipled tactics to
attack the mind of humanity, including treason.
“Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves
slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of si
n leading to death, or of obedience
leading to righteousness? … For just as you presented your members as slave
s of uncleanness, and of
lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your mem
bers as slaves of righteousness for
(Romans 6:16, 19b). This uncivil war does get ugly.
Even Paul struggled in his warfare. He said,
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no
good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which
is good I find not. For the good
that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do”
(Romans 7:18-19). Living in this fleshly,
material body is merely a preparation for living with G
od in an incorruptible, immaterial body.
The good news is that Christ has won the war, even tho
ugh our battle rages on in this fleshly life.
now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you hav
e your fruit to holiness, and
the end, everlasting life”
(Romans 6:22). This is a battle we can win!