Let us take a look at the contemptible nature of mankind.
Men are carnal. There is no good reason for supposing that the apostle Paul meant literally beasts. In (II.Tim.4:17) Nero was allude to as a lion. David often compares his enemies to wild beasts.
John the Baptist called some of his hearers “vipers ” and the great Preacher of all compared some such men to swine “neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Mt.7:6).
The carnal state is a state where the senses rule the soul. Are not the mass of people in this state? So many people live by there senses as John stated “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (Jh.2:16).
Many people are devilish. People have the power of getting lower than the beast “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:” (Rom.1:24).
By the faculty of imagination people kindle their passions into a diabolical heat “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. ” (Ex.32:24).
A fience struggle for human nature. The battle was unavoidable to Paul’s mission. “I have fought with wild beasts at Ephesus.” Like all the apostles of truth, Paul fought with men for men. “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Heb13:17).
The apostle Paul was the messenger of truths which struck directly against their prejudices, habits, and greed of people “And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18).
The battle was most sympathetic on his part. Love, not anger, was the apostle Paul his inspiration “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” (I.Cor.13:1).
He fought for them by fighting against their prejudices and their sins.
The battle was most unequal in circumstances. Numbers, authority, wealth and influence were all arrayed against one. Note what the book of Judges had to say about a man maned Samson, “He rent a young lion like a kid” (chap. 14; 6). “With the jawbone of an ass he slew a thousand men” (chap. 15: 15). He carried away the gates of the city of Gaza (chap. 16: 3).
In Samson that promise was literally fulfilled “One man of you shall chase a thousand” (Joshua 23:10). It is as easy for God to work with one man as with three hundred (Judges 7: 7).
In moral battles numbers are an inferior consideration. One person in truth may conquer a nation in error “So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”(Jon.3:5).
A solemn tendency of human nature. There is evil company in the social world.
Be not deceived evil company corrupt good manners “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go. Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.” (Prov.22:24,25).
We are social being. There are those who are drawn together in fellowship simply on the ground of devil doctrines, attitude, plans, purposes and pleasures “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (I.Tim.1:12).
There is an instinct in evil company to corrupt. Evil is a self-propagating power.
People who have yielded to temptation become the tempter of others “Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her…. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.” (Judges 16:5).
There is a susceptibility in people to be corrupted. Therefore the exhortation, “Be not deceived.” He that walks with wise men shall be wise, he that is the companion of the fool is foolish. One rotten apple may infect the store “a companion of fools shall be destroy” according” (Prov.13:20).
If I have found any good companions, I will cherish them as the choicest of men, or as angels which are sent as guardians to me. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (Jh.15:13).
If I have any bad ones, I will study to lose them, lest by keeping them I lose myself in the end “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” (Ps.1:1).