Summary: We are at War! When we receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior we are commissioned to stand in a battle. Victory only comes when we know who and how we face the battle.
Intro: Video intro from sermon Spice – Spiritual Warfare
What are the three biggest mistakes you can make in warfare?
1) Not knowing you enemies strategy 2) Not having a strategy of your own 3) Not knowing you are at war.
Paul has told us about riches of being in God’s family and now we close his letter to the Ephesians with the responsibilities we have as his children. He gives us a solid strategy to face and foil our enemy Satan.
I. Strategy: Know you are in a spiritual war
Does it surprise any of you today as followers of Jesus that we are in an all-out war? It has been said that the Christian life is a battle ground not a playground. So Paul says,
• In light of all that God has done for you.
• In light of the glorious standing you have as a child of God.
• In light of His great plan of the ages that God has made you part of.
• In light of the plan for Christian maturity and growth He gives to you.
• In light of the conduct God calls every believer to live.
• In light of the filling of the Spirit and our walk in the Spirit.
• In light of all this, there is a battle to fight in the Christian life.
Why is it a good sign that you are fighting battles as a Christian? Because it usually means you are maturing and Satan is attacking. C. H. Spurgeon used to say, “Satan never kicks a dead horse!” We must know that we are involved in battle. Today we don’t need sermons that make us comfortable we need a call to arms. We are at war. There is no more time for playing around. We need a reality check. We must know who to fight.
II. Strategy: Know who you are to fight (Ephesians 5:11) “for our battle is not against flesh and blood.”
A) People are not the problem
One of the enemy’s greatest strategies is to get us to focus our energy and effort on the wrong target. The struggle we face is not political, social, economic or religious. His point is that the relationships we have are not the battleground. When we allow people to become the problem then we are clearly ignoring God’s clear commands and teaching from the Bible.
Galatians 6:1-2 (read) – Restore
Matthew 18:15-17 – Forgive without limit
Matthew 22:36-40 – Seek restoration
When we allow the enemy to divide and distract us we are directly disobeying God. The clear teachings in this book of Ephesians and the Bible is unity so we can face the enemy together.
Dr. David Jeremiah “Physical conflicts have spiritual roots.”
Ephesians 2:14 makes clear, The very work of the cross of Jesus was to tear down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. Jesus is always seeking to restore and unite!
Ephesians 4:2 Makes clear we are to accept one another in love – no condition given!
Ephesians 4:32 (read) The atmosphere of the church is controlled by the thermostat of love and forgiveness.
Genes Simmons (a Jew) while speaking of the conflict in Isarel, “It’s about mothers and their children.”
B) Satan is the enemy
The enemy has been called the sinister minister the doctor of division, the dean of distraction, the don of destruction. The names given to Him in the Bible are Satan which means adversary. Devil which means accuser of the brethren. Abaddon and Apollyon, which means destroyer. (Revelation 9:11) Beelzubul (Matthew 12:24) means lord of the flies, or lord of the idol sacrifice.
1) Don’t inflate Satan’s abilities
We give Satan way to much credit for the chaos we bring to our own lives. Who is God’s opposite? (If Satan no!!) God has no opposite and its certainly not Satan. Satan is a fallen angel who cannot create or control. He can manipulate, distort and destroy. Blaming the Devil and his demons is a way that many do not take responsibility for their actions.
Galatians 1:4 – we are rescued from the Devils dominion and power now.
2) Don’t ignore Satan’s abilities
Satan is powerful. Don’t ignore the fact that he used to be the chief anointed cherub. He has power to steal, kill and destroy. If you have not been born again by confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior you are open to anything demonic.
If you are a child of God greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.
What is Satan’s most powerful weapon? John 8:44 Lies. Jesus called Him a liar and the father of lies. False teaching that appeals to the flesh and human pride. Pride keeps us from forgiving, humbling, serving, obeying God.
Satan lies to us to lead us into sin. He makes it seem and sound appealing. When in truth it is a trap that will leave us in imprisoned to our own lusts and desires. He comes as an angel of light attractive but ultimately deadly. Daniel 10:5-6 reveals how the power of the enemy is active against God’s angels and people.