This is from the Book of Galatians in the Bible. Galatia was an ancient city. It would be in present-day Turkey. It was a center of culture. And there was a great church there. The founder of that church was Paul.
He came. He preached the Gospel. He established a church.
The Galatians were joyfully saved by grace through faith.
Then, Paul moved on to another city to plant a church there, and right away, false teachers moved into Galatia. These false teachers began undercutting the teachings of Paul.
Specifically, they were undercutting grace through faith.
Paul taught salvation by grace through faith. The false teachers taught salvation by obedience through works.
Tragically Galatians believed the false teachers.
Paul literally says they were bewitched. This means they were hypnotized by lies, and those lies were demonic. This is shocking to him. Paul says, "I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel." (Galatians 1:6)
So Paul writes this letter, this Book of Galatians, to bring them back to their senses, which means to bring them back to grace. He is going to knock the self-deception out of them.
I hoping today that you will etch this truth into your consciousness: The essence of all self-deception is living in denial of your Father's all-sufficient grace.
Let's look at how this works: The Triangle of the Soul
Let's look at the blueprint of the human soul. This is the spiritual machinery going on inside your soul, your heart, your brain.
This triangle is your soul. We'll draw a line across it.
Below the line, this is your dark side. This is the part of you that pulls against God and against God's truth. The Bible calls this part of you The Flesh. Not your body or your skin or even your appetites or sexuality, though it influences all that. This is the part of you that stores all the broken stuff, the selfish stuff, the angry stuff, and the "I give up" stuff of your life.
Above the line, this is your Noble Self. It is the part of you that wants God and wants God's truth. The Bible calls this part of you the spirit, or the Human Spirit. This is the part of you that interfaces with God, through the Holy Spirit.
So, in this same book of Galatians, Paul explains this. He says, "For the flesh has strong desires against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you really want." (Galatians 5:17 [BG paraphrase])
This is the tug of war you feel inside your soul, pretty much all the time.
Back down to the Flesh. We'll divide the flesh into two halves.
On the left, is when you are whiny, weak, and wimpy. We'll label that Passive.
On the right, that is when your flesh is aggressive, grasping, demanding, and mean. We'll label that Aggressive.
So, if you want to understand the inner workings of your heart, please understand that you have a dark side that is polarized into passive and aggressive attitudes.
Over this Giant Steps series, this set-up will apply in a whole lot of ways.
We'll come back to this.