Summary: Message 16 in our exploration of the foundational elements necessary for a healthy walk. This message focuses on our need to resist the devil.
“Foot on the Devil’s Neck”
Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephes. 6:10-13
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 10:3-5
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
A continuous battle rages against us for control of our soul.
Spiritual growth depends on continual CPR.
I. Continually cultivate our relationship with Christ.
II. Persistently pursue meaningful community with the body of Christ.
III. Resolutely restore righteousness and resist all evil of the world the flesh and the devil.
Unless we learn and continually practice the principles of warfare on all three of the fronts from which attacks approach, we will continually suffer defeat.
A. Renew and purify Your heart
The basic instruction regarding our heart is and repent and confess
B. Refuse conformity with the World
The basic instruction concerning the world is to refuse conformity to it and focus on Christ.
C. Renounce the flesh
The basic instruction regarding the flesh is to renounce it and walk by the power of the spirit.
D. Resist the Devil
The basic instruction regarding the devil is resist.
In any war, there are soldiers, there are words, there are weapons and territory to win.
War requires training, support, weapons, energy, strategy, a cause.
But behind it all are rulers and powers.
This morning I want to touch on the Biblical truths regarding spiritual warfare with Satan.
We face a war between the kingdom of darkness and the Kingdom of God.
It is real.
The Bible teaches it.
Anyone who will openly read the Bible will soon discover that the principles of spiritual warfare (closely associated and even parallel physical warfare) flow all through the Scriptures.
Jesus taught it and waged it.
Every Christian must fight it!
I intend to provide only a brief overview of the principles regarding this war.
I have taught these principles in detail on previous occasions.
This morning, I remind you again of some of those principles.
I don’t know what teaching you have had before regarding Satan and his army of fallen angels called demons but the Scripture is clear that there is a war that is waged against every believer.
You cannot ignore the clear Scriptures read at the beginning of the service anymore than you can ignore the clear Scripture that instructs us regarding our relationship to the world and the flesh.
Neglect of any of those instructions is to our own peril.
This morning I offer five main exhortations regarding spiritual warfare.
I. Be Aware of the enemy
A. Existence (assumed by Scripture as angelic beings created by God)
Just as the existence of angels is assumed by Scripture and verified by the teaching of Christ, so the existence of Satan and his demons is assumed by Scripture and verified by Christ.
B. Fallen Character (Rebelled against God)
The Bible indicates that there were some angels who did not keep their “first estate” and were cast down along with their leader Satan.
It seems that the desire for recognition equal to God’s (pride) was the chief sin of Satan and the basis of all rebellion since. (Ezek 28)
Angels maintain the same basic nature as stated for all angels except they are now confirmed in their corruption and judgment.
It appears that when the angels fell they were deprived of an ability to appear in a physical form.