Watchman Nee’s outline of Ephesians:
· SIT = rest in the identity you have in Christ: Chap. 1-3
· WALK = live according to who you are in Christ: Chap. 4-6:9
· STAND: hold the spiritual ground Jesus won through His cross and resurrection: Chap. 6:10-18
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:10-13, esv
VS11 warns us about the schemes of the devil, but does not give us a listing of them. We will need to open our Bible’s to learn more about them.Today we will identify 8 SCHEMES Satan uses in attempt to dislodge us from the ground of victory we have in Jesus.
1. Accusations against God: Genesis 3:1,5
Satan insinuates that God’s motives in withholding the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, are less than virtuous. That He is keeping something good from Eve so He alone can enjoy it.
ACCUSER: it’s part of what the title SATAN means. He is the “accuser”, the “opposing one”, and he has no problem calling God’s character into question to get us to doubt His love and absolute commitment to us.
2. Mayhem: it means…chaos, extreme distraction.
The forces of darkness have super national power and at times will use it to generate a swirl of chaos around us. They want to see if we will lose faith in Christ, giving up the spiritual freedom He provides.
Truth Point: IN Christ we stand on solid, immovable ground. Through the cross and resurrection, Jesus took territory back that Satan stole in the fall and when He saves us, He places us on that on that stable ground. Colossians 1:13
In the Kingdom of Christ, we stand in freedom and victory. Satan can’t change where we stand, but he can manufacture a whirlwind of distractions that make us feel like life is coming apart at the seams.
Often times, the chaos that we find swirling around us, is a scheme of the enemy to get us running instead of STANDING in Christ
3. False Doctrine: Ephesians 4:14
Satan is not opposed to religion, in fact he loves religion, especially religion that is founded upon teaching that is “off the mark” concerning truth. For many the best scheme to move one from STANDING in the security of Christ is to introduce a nugget of knowledge, that isn’t wildly untrue, but enough so that in time one finds themselves off track.
Illustration: May 2011 – Harold Camping.
· His belief and teaching in the 2nd Coming of Christ was right.
· His teaching on setting dates was wrong because Jesus Himself stated that no man knows the day nor the hour of His return. Matthew 24:36
2 Timothy 2:15: Knowing and rightly “dividing – interpreting” God’s Word protects us from the scheme of False Doctrine.
4. Opposition to Service:
Truth Point: If you are walking with Christ, giving yourself to His service, you can expect opposition. If there is no opposition its likely you aren’t walking close in the Master’s footsteps. 1 Corinthians 16:9
5. Dividing The Flock:
Truth Point: Christ does not need us to get His work accomplished. But, He has chosen to use His church to reveal Himself in the world as they proclaim and live out the gospel.
Given that the gospel is all about UNION with Christ and right relationship with God The Father, believers divided against one another become an effective block in the gospel going forward with power and effectiveness. John 17:11; Ephesians 4:3
UNITY is the key to power and effectiveness and that’s why Satan will attack with divisiveness. If believers are at odds with one another, they cannot carry Christ to the world.
6. Trust in Self: 1 Chronicles 21:1-8 Satan tempts King David to trust in his own resources, rather than God’s
Yahweh had always been with David, giving him strength, victories in battle, favor with the people and David knew it was The Lord’s blessing on him.
The “numbering” has to do with the size of David’s army. Is it big enough to ensure I can be victorious over any foe? There is no mention of God here, no acknowledgement that He is their protector, their strength, their victory.
David yielded to temptation to look to his own resources, disregarding that God is his only reliable resource. This offended God and He judged David for it.
Truth Point: Regardless of the abundance or lack of human resources, if our trust or fear is in self, then we are neglecting the only resource that matters --- GOD!
7. Hypocrisy: is a condition where people are more concerned about their outward reputation than on the inward reality.
1 Samuel 15 records the tragic events that caused God to take ruler ship away from King Saul and give it to David. In VS 30 you find Saul admitting that he had grievously sinned against God, but asking Samuel not to allow him to fall under dishonor in front of the elders and people of Israel.
Hypocrisy is a scheme Satan employs to get believers to be satisfied with feigned faith as opposed to real faith, feigned obedience as opposed to real obedience.
8. Worldliness: Paul spoke of it as being “squeezed into the world’s mold” Romans 12:2
We must ask ourselves this question: how does my way of thinking and living differ from that of the world? 1 John 2:15-16
The point of this message is to reinforce that Christ-Followers have been given a position of victory and freedom in Jesus. We have been placed on solid, immoveable ground and we’ve been given the command; STAND.
We are commanded to STAND because our enemy, Satan, although defeated, will work hard to get us to doubt our ability to STAND:…
· he will work to get us to yield ground to him…
· he will work to keep us ignorant of what Christ has done…
· he will work to distract us through various schemes that tempt us to leave the solid ground of Christ, to chase after other things that leave us vulnerable to attack.
In the face of these things, what is a believer to do?
Put on the Whole Armor of God.
Next Sunday we will unpack God’s Armor and learn how to wear it, and use it, to STAND firm in the face of Spiritual attack.
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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