Faithlife Sermons

Our Battle

Prepared for Spiritual Warfare  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

June 6, 1944 was very likely the most important day of World War II. It was on this day that Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy France in the largest amphibious assault in world history. Known now as D-Day.
A total of 132,715 troops from the USA, Great Britain and Canada took the beaches after furious fighting with the Nazis. About 3,400 Allied troops died that day.
With the victory at Normandy, the Allied Powers were, for all intents and purposes, assured of final victory against the Nazis. However, victory in Europe, or V-E Day wouldn’t come until May 8, 1945, almost one year later. Many battles would commence and many men would die in that year, but the war was essentially won on June 6, 1944.
Our spiritual battle was won on a cross, on a hill called Golgotha, as Jesus became the very embodiment of sin, taking upon Himself the full wrath of God for the sins of His people.
As Jesus cried out, “It is finished”, the full sin-debt of all those who believed and who would believe was once and for all paid in full.
Truly, it is finished.
And yet, our spiritual warfare will continue until that day when:
Revelation 21:1–7 ESV
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
So, if spiritual warfare will continue until that amazing day when Jesus makes all things new, what do we need to know as followers of Jesus Christ?
Our next three sermons will explore this question.

Body: Ephesians 6:10-20

Followers of Jesus will surely experience spiritual warfare.

Satan hates God, and therefore he hates you...
Satan is not omnipresent, omnipotent, or omniscience, so he uses his wicked emissaries.
We don’t know the identity of each of these listed. But the point is they are evil and part of the spiritual realm.
Satan wants nothing more that to keep people from coming to Christ, or to have a Christian’s walk falter and fail. (Thus the call to stand firm…)
1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
V. 11 - The word for “schemes” here is the same word where we get the English word “methods.”
The devil has many methods he uses against God’s people...
What schemes does he like to use against you? Distraction, sloth, lust, selfishness, refusal to forgive, pride, gossip, etc...
We must be on guard!
If you are attempting to live your life for the Lord, and especially if you are looking to make an impact in the world for Christ, the devil will attack you through his emissaries.
The devil won’t waste his flaming darts on unproductive people who are no threat to him or his dominion.
But, is that really the kind of follower that Jesus wanted? Is that really a follower of Jesus at all?

Our battle is never with each other.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood...
See Ephesians 4:1-7
What do we do when are struggling with someone in the church?
Ephesians 4:29-32
Jesus tells us in Matthew 18 to go to that person privately; then if that doesn’t work bring one or two others who will serve as mediators (i.e. not people to back you up!); then, if that doesn’t work you bring it to the church (i.e. the pastor and other leadership).

Our battle is not with people outside the church.

We do not wrestle against flesh and blood...
It’s tempting, especially in this day and time, to think that people outside the church are the real issue we face. In fact, there are many today that revel in the idea of being enemies of the church.
Paul’s point is not that there won’t be human enemies of the church (In Acts 19 Paul is run out of Ephesus by the rioting crowds after a man named Demetrius saw Paul as a threat to his business creating statues of the god of the city, Artemis). His point is that their warfare is a spiritual warfare in which the devil and his emissaries use various different means, including non-believers, to attack God’s church and mission.
Thus, instead of looking for human strength, we need to seek heavenly strength for spiritual warfare.

Our strength for the battle comes from the Lord alone.

Satan knows your weaknesses too well, and thus your strength is ineffective against him.
Thus, if we stand alone, we are defeated. If we stand in the Lord’s strength, we can never be defeated.
God equips His people with defensive and offensive equipment for the battle that is actually effective.
The literal translation of this verse would be: “be made strong in the Lord continually.”
This is important, since we are not made strong by self-effort alone.
In fact, our real source of strength is supplied by the Lord’s mighty power.
More on this next week!
The Lord has already defeated Satan at the cross, so the outcome is assured.

So What?

Followers of Jesus will surely experience spiritual warfare.

Our battle is never with each other or with people outside the church.

Our strength for the battle comes from the Lord alone.

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