Faithlife Sermons

The Battle

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes
Transcript
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

We have Two Common Enemies

There are two primary issues to address regarding spiritual warfare and the Bible. First, does spiritual warfare exist? Second, what does the Bible say about engaging in spiritual warfare?

We have a real Enemy

1 Peter 5:8 ESV
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
The Tempter
1 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV
5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.
The Evil One
Matthew 13:19 ESV
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.
The Accuser
Revelation 12:10 ESV
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
The Ruler of the World
John 12:31 ESV
31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.
The god of this world
2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV
4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Prince of the Power of the Air
Ephesians 2:2 ESV
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV
And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
Ephesians 6:10–18 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
The Bible is very clear on the existence of spiritual warfare. Peter warns "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour" (). Our adversary or enemy, the devil, refers to Satan, who is a real entity, not a mythical creature or invention. Other titles of Satan include the tempter (), the wicked one (, ), and the accuser of the brethren ().
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
2 Corinthians 2:11 ESV
11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.
Spiritual warfare, the idea that humans battle in some way with supernatural powers, is also the testimony of the apostle Paul in . Here, Paul notes that believers battle against the devil's schemes and that this is a spiritual battle, not a physical one. We are to be fully aware of Satan's evil plans (). Paul further describes the warfare in which we are engaged as we battle throughout our lives "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (). Clearly, such powers exist.
The second question—what does the Bible say about engaging in spiritual warfare?— is somewhat more controversial. The problem typically arises when we either over emphasize spiritual warfare by seeing every occurrence in life as part of it or under emphasizing it by ignoring the spiritual realm altogether.

We are already conquerors

Romans 8:37–39 ESV
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
9

38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
Colossians 2:13–15 ESV
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Colossians 2:15 ESV
15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
2 Peter 3:22
1 John 4:4 ESV
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Satan can be allowed to attack believers

and that Satan has already been defeated (; 2 Peter 3:22). Second, the power of Christ within the believer is greater than the power of Satan (). We have no reason to live in fear of Satan or evil spirits as believers. Satan can harm, but he cannot defeat the believer in Christ.
2 Peter 3:22 Second, the power of Christ within the believer is greater than the power of Satan (). We have no reason to live in fear of Satan or evil spirits as believers. Satan can harm, but he cannot defeat the believer in Christ.
Third, we must not forget that Satan can be allowed to attack believers (; ) in order to fulfill God's perfect plan for His people. This was the case of Paul's thorn in the flesh and was also seen in the example of Job's life (). Satan's power over us is limited, however, to only that which God ordains for His purposes—to bring His children to maturity and bring glory to Himself.
2 Corinthians 12:7–9 ESV
7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
James 1:2–4 ESV
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
in order to fulfill God's perfect plan for His people.
This was the case of Paul's thorn in the flesh and was also seen in the example of Job's life ().
Satan's power over us is limited, however, to only that which God ordains for His purposes—to bring His children to maturity and bring glory to Himself.
James 1:13–15 ESV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

blind us to God's plan for our lives

2 Corinthians 4:3–4 ESV
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

We are tempted and enticed by our own evil desires

James 1:13–15 ESV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
James 1:13–15 ESV
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Ephesians 2:2 ESV
2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—

First - We are already conquerors

Romans 8:37–39 ESV
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Satan has already been defeated

Colossians 2:13–15 ESV
13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
1 John 4:4 ESV
4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

The general tactic used by Satan is to turn our eyes away from God's truth and toward self.

James 4:7–8 ESV
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
1 Peter 5:5–10 ESV
5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:7–9 ESV
casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
1 Peter 5:5–10 (ESV)
5Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

6Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
7casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
8Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
9Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
Ephesians 6:10–18 ESV
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
Ultimately, spiritual warfare is not about a technique to defeat Satan or demons, but a heart that walks closely with God. When God is first and foremost in our lives, Satan lacks power over us, despite his attempts to weaken our efforts to pursue Christ.
In summary, spiritual warfare is a very real part of the Christian life, but should not be an opportunity for either fear or pride. Instead, the reality of Satan and his evil forces should cause us to draw near to God all the more, realizing His power can conquer any foe we may encounter.
Related Media
Related Sermons