Summary: God said we should also be on the offensive.
The War We Wage
Our nation has known many wars, but Vietnam was an especially frustrating campaignrn. Think jungle terrain made the enemy hard to find, and guerrilla warfare made him hard to fight. Many Vietnamese who peacefully worked the rice paddles by day put on the black garb of the Viet Cong soldier by night and invaded unsuspecting U.S. Forces camped nearby.
The True Christian described in Ephesians chapter 1 through 3 who lives a faithful life described in chapter 4:1 through 6:9 can be sure that he will be involved in the Spiritual Warfare described in 6:10-20. The War is real and that God has given us all the resources we need not only to defend ourselves, but also to take the initiative and win the victory over the forces of darkness. The Apostle Paul closes this letter with both warning about that war and instruction on how to win it.
1. Our Problem v11b-12
Against the schemes of the devil, For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the
rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
A. God¡¦s Enemy, Our Enemy
„Ð Scripture is clear about Satan¡¦s very real and personal existence. He was once the Chief Angel, The Annointed cherub, The Star of the Morning, who sparkled with all the jewels of created beauty until he rebelled against his Creator and tried to usurp His power and glory. (Isa 4:12-17 & Ezek 28:1-10)
„Ð 52x He is called Satan, which means Adversary. 35x the Devil, which means Slanderer. Satan is an evil, formidable,cunning, powerful, and invisible enemy against whom no human being in his own power and resources is a match. He first appears in Scripture in the form of a serpent, as he tempted Adam and Eve.
„Ð Jesus not only spoke about Satan but spoke with him. Paul, Peter,John,and the writer of the book of Hebrews all speak of him as a personal being. We see him opposing God¡¦s work, perverting God¡¦s Word, Hindering God¡¦s servant, hindering the Gospel, snaring the wicked, appearing as an angel of light, and fighting with the archangel Michael.
„Ð Furthermore, the apostle here reminds his readers that the Christian struggle is not only against Satan himself but also against a host of his demon subordinates. a widespread array of adversaries who, like the devil, are not flesh and blood. Brother¡¦s and Sister¡¦s in Christ, our greatest enemy is not the world we see, corrupt and wicked as it is, but the world we cannot see.
„Ð Rulers, powers,world forces of this darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness describe the different rankings of those demons. Just to note Satan¡¦s forces of darkness are highly organized and structured for the most destructive warfare possible. Highly experienced supernatural enemy.
„Ã Rulers - no doubt reflects a high order of demons. They would correspond to the rank of Genrals.
„Ã Powers - are Privates who are the demons wanting to possess human beings.
„Ã World forces of this darkness - demons who worked in the worldly business
„Ã Spiritual forces of wickedness - demons who are involved in false religion.
Paul¡¦s purpose, however, is not to explain the details of the demonic hierarchy but to give us some idea of its sophistication and power.
B. Satan¡¦s Schemes
„Ð Jesus Christ - In Luke 4:2 Jesus earthly ministry began in a great battle with Satan in the wilderness that lasted forty days. As Jesus earthly ministry ended, Satan tormented Him again in the Garden of Gethsemane with such force that He sweat great drops of blood. (Lk 22:44) This two accounts teach us that the battle many not become easier as we grow in obedience to God. If anything, Satan will intensify (enhance) his efforts against those who continue to effectively serve the Lord. John MacArthur say¡¦s ¡§As believer¡¦s grow stronger, so will Satan¡¦s attacks.
„Ð The Greek work ¡§methodia¡¨ (schemes) from which comes the English word method, carries the idea of craftiness, cunning, and deception. The term was often used of a wild animal who cunningly stalked and then unexpectedly stalked its prey.
„Ð Satan & Demons - In our own day the world is rushing to accept such demonic deceptions as the; Woman¡¦s liberation movement, which denies God¡¦s order for the family. The New Morality, which is no morality, and homosexuality, which is total perversion of sexuality. All of these things are but manifestations of the schemes of the devil against mankind. Luke 8:12 the devil comes and takes away the word from thier heart, so that they may not believe and be saved. Matt 24:24 false Christ¡¦s and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.