Summary: Satan is not a little god, but a fallen angel. This sermon takes a closer look at the power we have in Christ to fight spiritual warfare.
Lets begin by looking at Ephesians 6:10-13:
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Most of us have heard of spiritual warfare, but what does this mean and how does it apply to our daily lives as Christians? Often times the issue of spiritual warfare gets convoluted by sensationalism, superstition and now by the new wave of ‘Jerry Springer’ style spiritual programming carried on many religious cable TV stations today. These only serve to misguide believers and drive the world away from the true message of the gospel. Does satan hold such great power that he can distribute to his followers and use to oppresses the Christians? My goal today is to take a no-nonsense approach to examining what the scriptures say about spiritual warfare and how we should equip ourselves to stand in the heat of battle. I want to expound on three principles of spiritual warfare as it affects our lives. 1) We have the power to stand through God’s might. 2) What is satan’s power and how does he use it? 3) How do we stand?
1. We can stand through His might.
Verse 10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and the power of His might”. The word in which we get ‘be strong’ literally means to receive strength. It is not your strength that equips you to stand; it is God’s strength invested in us when we submit to God. That is why James 4:7-8 tells us that the power of resisting is found through submitting to God. The devil does not flee from your power, but from God’s power within us that overcomes him. We have the promise that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Resistance is no longer measured by our strength, but the strength of God who draws us out of temptation. To make sure we don’t miss the point, James 4:8 concludes with the instruction to “cleanse your hands you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded”. To be double-minded means to have a divided interest. Those who are divided between living for Christ and living for the world will never experience the power of God in their lives until they allow God to cleanse, purify and renew them with a Christ-centered focus. Look at 2 Timothy 2:2-3:
3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.
You cannot be a soldier of Christ and abandon Him and entangle yourself in the world. Strength comes from God and you must abide in Christ to live in his strength. You must receive your strength from God. The Bible says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”(1 Corinthians 10:12) Your strength will only stand as long as your opposition is weak or temptation is small. When the battle rages, those who stand on the rock of Christ have the power to stand even when their own strength fails.
2. How satan wields his power.
Before we can accurately understand satan’s power, we have to look at his limitations. Many people view satan as being the opposite of God and on par with God. Satan is not an evil god; he is merely an angel and a fallen one at that. Power belongs to God and when satan rebelled there is no logical reason to believe that he was allowed to keep the power that was invested in him for the purpose of fulfilling God’s will. We are given a glimpse of the devil’s power in Revelation 20:1-2. After the Great Tribulation, an angel was given a chain and sent to bind satan and cast him in a pit for 1,000 years. It is interesting to note that it didn’t take an army to subdue satan. It wasn’t even an angel of great authority. When God uses high ranking angels to proclaim a great event, they are named. God didn’t send Michael the Archangel or Gabriel who carried God’s message to both Daniel in the Old Testament and appeared to both Zacharius and Mary in the New Testament to proclaim the good news of the coming Messiah. God sent an angel of average stature to bind the ‘mighty’ satan.