Summary: The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6: 10-20 teaches that the greatest battle we face is a spiritual battle. The instructions Paul gave the Ephesians Christians can help us today find victory over the schemes of Satan.
Jesus Sets You Free From Satan’s Schemes
Ephesians 6:10-20 (Message)
Several years ago I went on a Holy Land trip to Israel with stops in Cairo, Egypt and Athens, Greece. Our first night was in Israel. We landed in Tel-a-vive and took a bus along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to Nahareyah near the boarder of Lebanon.
During the night I was awakened to the sound of helicopters and jets flying overhead. I looked out and saw sky flares lighting up the entire area. I went back to beg thinking the Israeli’s were practicing night training and went back to sleep. I felt very safe.
The next morning I looked out the Hotel windows and saw soldiers walking around and half-track tanks moving up and down the street. I decided to go down and find out what was going on. I found a group of soldiers talking and of one them spoke English. I asked what they were doing and he told me that during the night four Lebanese Commandos had come ashore in rubber rafts looking for tourists to take captive and use as hostages to get some of the prisoners out of jail in a trade.
They couldn’t find any American tourists so they kidnapped a father and two of his children. Two of the commandos were killed and the other two were captured. The father and children were okay.
Jesus taught that as long as we live in this world there will be wars and nation will fight against nation.
The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6: 10-20 teaches that the greatest battle we face is a spiritual battle. The instructions Paul gave the Ephesians Christians can help us today find victory over the schemes of Satan.
Paul tells us how to become equipped for spiritual battle.
1. Know Your Enemy. Ephesians 6:10-12
“Finally, be stone in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Who is our enemy? Our enemy is a fallen angel. God created the angels to be his ministering spirits. Before the creation of the visible world; God created a definite number of heavenly hosts, angels. In the Old Testament angels walked the face of the earth in visible form. Abraham talked with angels. Jacob wrestled with an angel. Angels appeared to certain disciples after the resurrection of Jesus. An angel helped Peter escape from prison.
God created Angels. They are not omnipresent like God. After God created the angels they went through a probationary period. They were confirmed in their devotion to God. Some proved their devotion while others asserted their freedom and rebelled against God. The leader of the war in heaven was Lucifer an archangel on the level of Michael and Gabriel. In the war in heaven Lucifer and his followers were cast out of heaven and sealed in their chosen estate.
II Peter 2:4, “God spared not the angels that sinned but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”
The devil’s mission is to keep people from believing and accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord. Peter declared in I Peter 5:8 “Be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Satan’s scheme is to become all things to all people. Satan will try to fool some people to think they are doing God’s will when in fact they are representing the devil. 2 Corinthians 11:13-14 “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”
Satan’s strategy is to use division. He diverts our attention from the things of God to work, pleasure or possessions. 2 Corinthians 4:4, “…The god of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Satan uses Delusion. He tempts people to believe they don’t need God. “I’m okay, I’ll go to heaven if anyone goes.” Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that seems right unto a man, but in the end it leads to death.”
Satan uses Doubt. He persuades people to believe that God is only a figment of their mind. Why read the Bible, why pray, why go to church. It is a waste of time.” It’s okay to doubt, but you can have all your questions answered and still refuse to believe and become a follower of Jesus.