Summary: Paul has clearly communicated the great riches we have in Christ. That is our identity. Then he communicated the walk we should have in Christ that is activity. Now he speaks of the spiritual reality of war with an enternal enemy Satan. Realize the rea
Intro: Ephesians is a book of identity. It is a book that can be split into two parts believe and behavior. You can say that in many ways. Identity who we are in Christ, activity how we act as Christ followers. Watchman Nee breaks Paul’s letter into three parts, sit, walk, stand.
Paul has wonderfully communicated the blessings of election and redemption, the joy of salvation and spiritual resurrection, the celebration of God’s matchless power in the Christ followers lives, encouragement to unity and use of their gifts to God’s glory.
Paul has given some really nice relaxing feel good stuff, blessings, celebration, unity, bang reality.
I. The reality of spiritual warfare
There are two inherent dangers in studying spiritual warfare. First we will blame everything on the devil or demons. The devil made me do it. That takes away our responsibility for decisions we make and actions we take. Taken to an extreme instead of passing the spiritual off as superstition we become preoccupied with the supernatural and possibly the occult.
Second we dismiss the spiritual battle that rages around us all the time and run the risk of oppression by the Devil and his demons.
2 Kings 6.17 Elisha prayed that his servant would see the armies of God that protected them from the Arameans.
John 3.3 no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again(above)
2 Corinthians 4.4 “The god of this age 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.”
Ephesians 6.12 “for our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
There are three specifics we need to see about this struggle
1) The struggle is supernatural not against flesh and blood
2) The struggle is personal
The word translated struggle is used to describe a hand to hand fight. Mano a Mano.
The root idea reminds us of how Jacob wrestled with God. It pictures us in hand to hand combat with our spiritual enemy, this is sweat against sweat, pushing and shoving personal combat.
3) The struggle is futile if fought in our own strength, or with our flesh
The devil would love to distract us by having us struggling against each other over trivial matters that don’t make a hill of beans difference in eternity.
In the past some of you have said that a certain person(s) needs to leave for this church to move forward in its mission to reach people with the Gospel. I wholeheartedly believe you’re wrong.
In the past some of you have said that a certain person(s) needed to stay here for this church to move on and fulfill its mission. I also believe wholeheartedly that you are wrong as well.
You see the devil has already done a dandy job getting you distracted from the main thing. The main thing is our position in Jesus. Whether you realize it or not regardless of your desire you are involved in spiritual warfare as a believer in Jesus Christ.
II. The restrictions on our enemy
From the oldest book in the Bible we learn that our enemy is not all powerful. Remember that Satan is a created being. He may command a horde of demons but He is still only a fallen angel. As such he is not omnipotent, omnipresent, or omniscient. He does not have all power, he is not able to be everywhere at once, and he does not have all knowledge. Instead as a counterfeiter of what God does he uses his horde of demons to cause havoc in all the cultures of the world.
The tools of his trade are doubt, distress, division, distraction, destruction, etc whether physical, mental, social, etc the devil is not a creator he is a destroyer. Jesus said in John 1 0.10, the enemy has come not but to kill, and steal, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.
God is not a taker He is a giver. He gives life and gives it full, He gives joy unspeakable, He gives peace, He gives self-control, on and on. He is the giver of every good and perfect gift. He even gives us the ability to make bad decisions then gives us the right to live with the terrible consequences of equally tragic choices. God has and always will be a giver.
The devil has and always will be a taker. Our enemy is powerful but not all powerful. Never underestimate the enemy he has been perfecting his schemes from the dawn of creation.