Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-13, esv
Truth Point:As a believer learns who they are IN Christ and begins to live out that identity, it is guaranteed that they will come under the attack of spiritual forces who desire to destroy their life and quench their fire for Christ.
It’s in the face of this guaranteed conflict that The Holy Spirit inspired The Apostle Paul to instruct us on how to engage the battle effectively.
The Command – VS10
Facing the enemy begins here: …be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. VS10
Truth Point: It is IMPOSSIBLE to win in spiritual warfare in the power of our flesh. Living the Christ-life must be done in the power of Christ, by His Spirit.
“be strong in the Lord” …NOT just nice “religious” words, they are words of Divine Instruction, given to ensure that we fight the good fight according to the right power source.
Accessing His strength begins by daily bringing your struggles to His feet in prayer, refusing to use fleshly means to engage the battle.
The Equipment – VS11
VS11 directs us to God’s provision for doing spiritual battle… Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to STAND….
On Sunday, May 6, looking at VS 14-18, we will discover 5 defensive, - offensive pieces that guarantee your ability to STAND and remain STANDING when the enemy opposes you.
The Enemy – VS11
Paul identifies The Devil first, because he is the supreme leader of the spiritual forces of evil. What do we know about The Devil?
1. Created Being: Ezek. 28:13
2. Original name was helel=Morning Star = Lucifer Isa.14:12
3. Pride caused him to fall from his state of perfection: Ezek. 28:15-17
4. He is the chief enemy of God, the author of sin: Ezek. 28:15-16
5. Through Adam’s fall, he became the “god” of this world: 2 Cor. 4:4
6. He is not red with horns, fangs and a forked tail, nor is he the “king” of hell… he appears as an “angel of light” to deceive, capture, and destroy unwitting humans who are powerless against him in their flesh. 2 Cor. 11:14
Truth Point: Satan is NOT God’s “evil counter-part.”
Scripture seems to present him as the most beautiful and powerful spirit-being CREATED, but he is not:…
· all knowing (omniscient)
· all powerful (omnipotent)
· all present (omnipresent)
He is limited, under the power, control and authority Yahweh.
The Struggle – VS11b-12
VS11 identifies SATAN as our “named” enemy, but VS12 goes on to identify other spiritual enemies… rulers, authorities, cosmic powers, spiritual forces of evil --- Let’s unpack these.
In short these represent differing categories (ranks if you please) of demon spirits.
What are demon spirits? They are former holy angels, who followed Lucifer in his rebellion, becoming damned by God like Lucifer is.
2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6
Revelation 12:3-4 refers to as many as 1/3rd of the angels of heaven who fell and are now identified with Satan.
Mark 5:9-15 records Jesus casting out 1,000 demons from a single man.
What about these “ranks” found in Ephesians 6:12? They seem to represent a particular category of activity and authority. Satan’s forces are not chaotic, but well organized.
We can’t be too dogmatic here, but it has been suggested that…
Rulers/Principalities = highest ranking, the brain-trust of demonic work.
Powers/Authorities = demons who exercise authority over governments, people groups, geographic locations.
Cosmic Powers = demons who traffic in occultism, witchcraft, divination.
Spiritual forces of evil in heavenly places = the word “heavenly” is NOT “Heaven” as in the abode of God, but better understood as “spiritual.” In the realm of the spiritual there are demonic forces that carry out the plans of those above them.
What is The Point here?
NOT dive into the realm of the demonic to understand all of the in’s & outs of their realm, but to make sure that we understand that our struggle is NOT against other people.
As wicked as people can be, there is a spiritual component behind it all and it is that spiritually wicked force that is our real enemy.
Paul makes it clear that as followers of Christ, our struggle is a spiritual one and therefore we must access and utilize spiritual resources. We need The Armor of God
The Victory – VS13
May 6 we will identify and unpack the individual pieces of The Armor of God, but before we do that, I want to encourage you with this assurance…
Truth Point: When a believer walks daily in The Spirit, suiting up with God’s spiritual armor, they will WITHSTAND evil and they will STAND firm.
· Not saying Satan won’t attack… he will.
· Not saying that we won’t suffer… we will.
· Not saying that our emotions, intellect, spirit, soul and body won’t be taxed… they will.
· What I’m saying is, when the dust settles, and the smoke clears, in God’s Armor, and in step with The Holy Spirit, we will WITHSTAND and continue to STAND FIRM.
I KNOW THIS, first because God’s Word says it, but also because I have experienced it.
Does The Armor of God empower us to WITHSTAND and to STAND? – It does when we suit up for battle.
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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