THE CHURCH: GODíS
Equipped for Spiritual Warfare
Jerry A Collins
v Who is our greatest enemy and why?
v What system does Satan use to tempt us?
v What is the only way we can wage war?
Anytime you prepare for war you do so with life and death implications. The purpose of war is to kill the enemy and break things so that the war will end and the right side have victory. We are in an unseen warfare waging about us every moment. You cannot smell the smoke, see the bloodshed, or hear the screams of the wounded and dying. But it is being waged nonetheless. An enemy has his eye on you and skillfully maneuvers attempting to attack you and destroy you. You are a target and you need to know that. However, we have been equipped with gear capable of resisting his attacks and protecting us from his evil intent. We have combat gear to ward him off and establish us in the conflict. We are going to learn the nature of this warfare, itís purpose, and the gear at our disposal to wage a victorious fight.
THE STRUGGLES IN
1. Believers should be strong with Godís power 10.† Here we have three basic words used for toughness: power, strength and might. Here we are commanded to be strong. The implication is that this strength is essential for the conflict we are engaged in. Notice that it is power in the Lord and His might. So we are not be asked to make ourselves powerful form our own resources or connections. It comes only from God as the source. His might connects us to the inexhaustible source of power available. So we never have to worry whether we possess the essential ability to make it through this warfare. It is possible to pass through the artillery hurled against us, the ambushes set for us, the targets we have become, and not become a casualty. That is the kind of power we can draw on and survive. The nature of the warfare demands this ability. Now that we are commanded to possess this power, we learn how to get this strength.
2. Put on Godís armor to†† withstand
Satanís attacks against us 11. This is special armor designed to increase our options in this warfare. My responsibility is to take a hold of this armor and out it to use in my life. I must take advantage of the Full armor. Since I am already in the Lord, I can put it on now. But I must wear all of it not just some of it. This is the key to the ability I will have to resist and wage battle. It is with all of the battle gear on. The purpose is quite surprising. The power of the armor is so I can stand against the methods and schemes of the devil. The devil has specific strategies in play just as he did in the garden and in the wilderness. He has one for you. Also notice that this powerful armor is to help us stand firm against these strategies. So our basic posture is not to engage the enemy but to defend ourselves. We are not fighting the devil but we are resisting Him.
3. The spiritual battle is not s physical one 12. This is very surprising. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood. But I tend to think that it is! I tend to see my struggle against the person lying about me, suing me, stealing from me, cheating me, mistreating me. But it says our struggle is against Satan and demons, spiritual forces of darkness. We are commanded to contend and struggle. We are not to overlook evil. We are to fight, wrestle, take a stand. But that stand is against spiritual satanic forces not flesh and blood people. Not everyone who opposes sins or us in general is demon possessed. We all have a sin nature and we do not need Satan to sin. But when one carries out a satanic agenda, which opposes God and His righteous character, they are only agents of the sin. They are responsible for their sin but if we only deal with them we will not become spiritually stronger.
4. Godís armor is the only protection we have 13. Dealing with flesh and blood does nothing to make us able to resist and stand firm. The goal is that we have the power to stand and do so in the evil day. That requires discernment that prepares us for the battle. So what is the difference between struggling with flesh & blood vs spiritual darkness?
WE CANNOT RESIST SATANíS WORLD SYSTEM IF WE FAIL TO USE THE ARMOR AVAILABLE
Three times we are commanded to stand firm 11, 13-14. So, we are vulnerable and need to stand firm but can fail to do so.
1. That can happen if we tell lies 14. Lies are attempts at permanent long-term real deception instead of being truthful. Donít live your life this way. God is truth and Satan is the Father of lies Jn 8:44. Lying is a world system solution.
2. That can happen if we compromise on righteousness 14. You must guard your heart from anger and evil emotions that you can justify your sinful responses. You must not compromise a righteous response to any unrighteous issues you that come your way in life. Donít sin in response to sin.
3. That can happen if you try fixing the world instead of spreading the gospel 15. The gospel will not bring peace to the world but is an offense to it, foolishness to it and makes us enemies of it. All discipleship is for the spread of the gospel. All ministry efforts should have eternal values in mind and open the door for the Good News message of redemption only in Jesus. Social works, programs, or teaching detached from eternal values are not biblical ministry for this age.
4. That can happen if we only have
faith some of the time 16. Faith is a risk of gamble taken in the direction of oneís hope. Where our hope is, there our faith is. Faith in God is taking a risk based on the word of God. The world says take risks that give you advantage now. God says take risks that give eternal advantage and do that every time.
5. That can happen if we are not assured of our salvation 17. Putting on this helmet is not eternal security because Jesus gives us that. But a person puts on, by free will choice, to receive Christ and then to live in obedience to Him. So obeying Christ doing everything He commands is living in the assurance we are His and is essential piece of this armor.
6. That can happen if we do not use the Word of God 17. The Word of God is the only weapon the believer should use to attack Satanís world system. All other weapons are defensive in nature. The Bible is our attack sword. Studying this record of Godís revelation is the best source to strengthen your faith.
1. The power we have is in the armor we wear. Godís power is available to us through these disciplines.
2. The armor we wear is the only way we can resist the system. These are the tools of our trade. Use them.
3. the world system driven by Satan and the demons is on a constant and relentless pursuit of us.