Is it a war against flesh or sprits or both?


#1

Hi, Please help me to read 2 Cor, 10:31, Peter 2:11, & Eph 6:12 in context. Is it a war against flesh or spirits or both? Is it both? If so, why does Paul say spiritual battle only in those verses, and not include fleshly battle?

There are probably other verses some saying we war against flesh and others spirits…

God Bless You,
Brian

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

and

1 Peter 2:11
Living Before the World ] Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,


#2

We fight temptations that arise in our own body, lust and such (disordered desires). Its not that the flesh is bad, its just that we can focus on these desires and forget to actually Love people, then we are simply using them.

In regards to a spiritual battle Saint Paul is talking about fallen angels. Principalities and powers are names given to some of the choirs of angels (choirs being a bit of a tradition referring to the angels, an order in the angelic race as there is a kind of order in the universe, matter<animals<humans)


#3

I am still confused. So is it that we war against Spirits or the Flesh or Both?

Or against the spirits that can tempt us to sin? But Peter said Fleshy lust war against the soul (another word for spirit?)


#4

The body is an outer covering that is animated by the soul. It is the soul that has the dysfunction which can cause bodily dysfunction.

Ephisians and Corinthians is talking about the war in the spiritual realm…our wills which are part of the soul, and the the demonic and and angelic. These two readings are talking about a spiritual battle that is happening around us AND within us!

The reading from Peter is also speaking of a spiritual war. It’s different because it mentions the outward sin as “fleshy” …this is in regards to the acts the people of the day were commiting. But ALL sin…comes from the soul…because it is thing that animates the body to do ANYTHING and because it is the first thing that becomes disordered.

God bless


#5

Thank you for your help, Michael.

I think i remember reading Catholics don’t teach we are embodied souls, not sure all of what that entails. But that isn’t what you are saying, right?

I am not sure I can rightly compare the contexts of these verses based on the words used?
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood
we do not war according to the flesh
abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul

Ephesians 6:12
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

2 Corinthians 10:3
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
and

1 Peter 2:11
Living Before the World ] Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,


#6

[quote="GodHeals, post:3, topic:311135"]
I am still confused. So is it that we war against Spirits or the Flesh or Both?

Or against the spirits that can tempt us to sin? But Peter said Fleshy lust war against the soul (another word for spirit?)

[/quote]

I think it's more against our selves more than anything else. Spirits are attracted to you by the way you are thinking.


#7

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood

God made out bodies “good”. The “hungers” of the body are good…it’s what’s inside…it’s the soul that distorts.

Example: A man getting an errection when he sees a beautiful woman. This is not a disorder of the body…it’s how God made us. We were made to see the TRUE beauty of woman and wish to be one with her and be life-giving (thereby imaging the trinity in which we were made in their image). Now, a disorderd soul will wish to take a woman and objectify them and use them for their own selfish gain. … It’s not the body that EVER sins…it’s the soul.

we do not war according to the flesh

I think this points to two things: 1 - we, now being Christians…have more on our side than just bodies and 2 … I think it relates to the spiritual combat (essential a spiritual…not a fleshy combat).

abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul

He calles them “pilgrims and sojournors” because they are souls animating bodies in an earthly world…(this comes from the united states catholic conference of Catholic Bishops website) …in that way, we are spiritual beings in an earthly world.


#8

Temptations have three sources: world, flesh, devil.

From the world: money, power, fame.

From the flesh: lust, gluttony, envy. Our resistenance has been weakened thru sin.

From the devil: imagination, thoughts. Using ideas from the world and the flesh against us.

With God’s actual grace, we are able to see temptation for what it is and our will is strengthened to make virtuous choices. Prayer, especially sacramental prayer, brings this about.

War is just another word for fight. Our fight is against all temptations whatever the source. It is a constant struggle to remain in good.

When St. Paul mentions Principalities and Powers that we war against, he is reminding us that we are fighting angels who have fallen that are tempting us in every way to make us fall.
He wants us to be aware of it and not be caught off our guard.

Knowing what the source of our temptation is not always clear at the moment.

Just some thoughts.


#9

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