Sermons

Summary: AN ISSUE THAT THE CHURCH, AND THE WORLD, IS GOING TO HAVE AN INCREASING STRUGGLE WITH, ESPECIALLY AS WE DRAW CLOSER TO THE RETURN OF THE LORD, IS THE ISSUE OF SPIRITUAL CONFLICT. THIS SERIES TAKES A CLOSE LOOK AT WHAT PUTTING ON THE AROMOR OF GOD MEANS.

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OUR SPIRITUAL BATTLE: PART ONE

EPHESIANS 6:10-20

AN ISSUE THAT THE CHURCH, AND THE WORLD, IS GOING TO HAVE AN INCREASING STRUGGLE WITH, ESPECIALLY AS WE DRAW CLOSER TO THE RETURN OF THE LORD, IS THE ISSUE OF SPIRITUAL CONFLICT.

I CAN REMEMBER, AS A YOUNGSTER, SINGING SOME GREAT HYMNS OF THE FAITH, MANY WHICH HAD HAD A MILITARY FLAVOR TO THEM. HYMNS LIKE:

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS

THE BANNER OF THE CROSS

SOUND THE BATTLE CRY

WE WOULD SING THEM WITH GUSTO, MUCH LIKE A MILITARY MARCH, AND WHEN WE WERE FINISHED WE WERE READY TO DO BATTLE WITH THE DEVIL. THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED A GREAT DEAL SINCE THEN.

TODAY THERE SEEMS TO BE A LACK OF RESPECT AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD. WE DON’T PREACH THAT MUCH ABOUT THE REALITY OF SATAN, AND THE WAY THAT HE ATTACKS THE WORLD. WE MAY KNOW WHAT SATAN’S FINAL DESTINATION WILL BE BUT WHERE DID HE COME FROM? WHERE DOES HE RESIDE NOW? WHAT POWERS DOES HE POSSESS?

ANOTHER IMPORTANT QUESTION WE MUST ASK OURSELVES IS WHERE DO THE SPIRITUAL BATTLES OCCUR? HOW ARE THESE BATTLES REPRESENTED ON EARTH?

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT FIGHTING SPIRITUAL BATTLES IN THE FIRST PLACE? I FEEL LIKE I’VE READ A TON OF RESEARCH GETTING READY FOR THIS SERIES AND ONE OF THE FEW THINGS THAT I AM CERTAIN ABOUT, IS THAT MOST OF US ARE NOT READY TO ENGAGE IN A SPIRITUAL BATTLE WITH THE FORCES OF EVIL.

PAUL, I BELIEVE, MORE THAN ANY OTHER AUTHOR OF THE NEW TESTAMENT BOOKS DEALS WITH THE ISSUE OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE. THE BOOK OF EPHESIANS GIVES A DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF HOW THE BATTLE CAME TO BE, WHO THE FOE IS, AND HOW WE ARE TO STAY THE COURSE.

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT I SAID WE ARE TO STAY THE COURSE, OR STAND OUR GROUND. PAUL DOES NOT TEACH THAT WE CAN WIN THE BATTLE, NOT DOES HE TEACH THAT WE CAN DEFEAT OUR EVIL SPIRITUAL FOE. INDEED WE CANNOT DO EITHER, AND ARE NOT CALLED TO DO EITHER. PAUL IS VERY CLEAR IN HIS DIRECTION IN THIS PASSAGE AND STATES THAT WE ARE TO “STAND” OUR GROUND. OUR POSITION IS A POSITION OF DEFENCE AND MAINTENANCE OF THE VICTORY THAT WAS ALREADY WON BY CHRIST ON CALVARY. WE NEED NO FURTHER ADVANCEMENT AND INDEED THERE CAN BE NO FURTHER ADVANCEMENT THAN CHRIST’S VICTORY AT CALVARY.

WE MUST BEWARE OF WELL-SPEAKING INDIVIDUALS WHO SPEAK OF BINDING THE POWER OF SATAN OR WHO MAKE ERRONEOUS CHALLENGES TO HIS POWER. LEFT TO OUR OWN DEVICES WE ARE NO MATCH FOR HIS GREAT EVIL. WE NEED NOT LOOK FOR THE BATTLE. WHEN WE ACCEPT CHRIST AS OUR SAVIOR AND LORD THE BATTLE WILL COME TO US.

I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU IN THIS SERIES, SOME OF THE DETAILS ABOUT SATAN AND HIS DOMAIN. WHO ARE THOSE SPIRITS WHO ALLY THEMSELVES WITH HIM? WHAT ARE THEIR POWERS? WHAT IS THEIR GOAL? WHY DOES THE WORLD NOT ACKNOWLEDGE SATAN’S WORK? HOW ARE SPIRITUAL BATTLES REFLECTED IN OUR WORLD? HOW DO WE MAKE OUR STAND?

THEN TOO, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE WRONGLY CREDIT TO SATAN, AS INFLUENCEING AREAS OF OUR LIFE THAT WE HAVE NOT ALLOWED CHRIST TO BE LORD OF. SOMETIMES WE WILL CHOOSE EVIL WITH LITTLE OR NO PUSH FROM SATAN.

WE MUST ALSO EXAMINE THE ORIGIN OF OUR SINFUL NATURE. WHY IS IT THAT THE THOSE IN THE WORLD, OR WORLDLINGS AS THE LATE RAY STEDMAN CALLS THEM, ARE ATTRACTED TO THE WORLD OF DARKNESS RATHER THAN THE WORLD OF LIGHT?


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