Summary: I want to talk about the real war we’re in. You hear a lot on the news about the “War on Terror” and the possible “War with Iraq” but there’s another war that’s far more important that’s happening right now. It’s the spiritual warfare for the eternal so
“The ‘Real’ War”
Text: Ephesians 6:10-24
INTRO: Show clip from Matrix movie “What is real?” “Welcome to the desert of the real.”
Tonight I want to talk about the real war we’re in. You hear a lot on the news about the “War on Terror” and the possible “War with Iraq” but there’s another war that’s far more important that’s happening right now. It’s the spiritual warfare for the eternal souls of men and women.
Just like in the movie The Matrix, most people are oblivious that this war exists. They are blinded to it’s reality. We are often blinded to its reality as well. I often wonder what it would be like if our eyes would be opened and we could see what’s really happening in this room right now. Imagine if we could see the spiritual warfare going on.
You don’t have to be a Christian a long time to realize that the Christian life is a battleground, not a playground and that we face a enemy who is much stronger that we are- apart from the Lord that is.
Paul uses the military to illustrate the believer’s conflict with our arch enemy- Satan.
The Christian has three enemies: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
The world refers to the system around us that is opposed to God. A simple definition of the world would be- society apart from God. In 1 Jn. 2:15-17, John says:
15Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.
16For all that is in the world--the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]--these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].
17And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.
The flesh is the old sinful nature we inherited from Adam. A nature that is opposed to God and can do nothing spiritual to please God. We are born with this sinful nature and we will carry it with us thoughout this life.
By His death on the cross and resurrection, Christ overcame the world (Jn. 16:33; Gal. 6:14) and the flesh (Rom. 6:1-6; Gal. 2:20), and the devil (Eph. 1:19-23.)
Let’s look at THREE ASPECTS of this War We are in:
THE ENEMY (Eph. 6:10-12)
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For 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.
Intelligence plays a vital part in warfare because it enables the officers to know and understand the enemy. Unless we know who the enemy is, where he is, and what he can do, we will have a difficult time defeating him.
THE LEADER – THE DEVIL.
Our chief enemy has different names:
Devil means “accuser.” He accused God’s people day and night before the throne of God (Rev. 12:7-11.)
Satan means “adversary.” He is the enemy of God.
The Bible also calls him tempter (Mt. 4:3); murderer and liar (Jn. 8:44)
He is compared to a lion (1 Pet. 5:8); a serpent (Gen. 3:1); and an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14-15) as well as the “god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4)
14And it is no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light;
15So it is not surprising if his servants also masquerade as ministers of righteousness.
4For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.
Where did he come from? Scholars believe that in the original creation, he was “Lucifer, son of the morning” (Isa. 14:12-15) and that he was cast down because of his pride and his desire to be God.
Isaiah 14:12 How you have fallen from heaven,
O morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
13 You said in your heart,
"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.