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There are two primary errors when it comes to spiritual warfare-over-emphasis and under-emphasis. Some blame every sin, every conflict, and every problem on demons that need to be cast out. Others ...
Spiritual warfare is a life of believers, followers of Jesus's teaching (Ephesians 6:10-19) It involves the whole of man's parts; spirit, soul and body (Deuteronomy 6:5; 1Thessalonians 5:23) and the objectives of the spiritual warfare are for gaining us a salvation in the earth (Psalm 23:1-6) and in heaven.(Revelation 3:14-22).. How we should wage the spiritual warfare?; through prayer of our soul (Mathew 6:5-14); a fellowship of our spirit with the Holy Spirit (John 6:60-66) and fasting through our body (Ezra 8:21; Psalm 69:10; 1Peter 5:6-11).
Ephesians 6:12-18 gives a good description of spiritual warfare and the relevant warfare tools. The first armor is the belt of truth that protects the loins (Ephesians 6:14). The loins are a very sensitive part of the human body which contains the male reproductive organs and any damage to it can be fatal. The truth of Christ which we have received through the holy Word and by His Spirit is the most sacred of all divine sacraments and must be preserved in its purity. Unless our spiritual foundation is laid down under Christ; our profession is of no effect. To preach heresy or false doctrines is to make an expose of one’s loins. It will promote false morals and avarice and demean the truths of Scripture. Matthew Henry states that girding our spiritual loins “will restrain from libertinism and licentiousness, as a girdle restrains and keeps in the body. This is the Christian soldier's belt: ungirded with this, he is unblessed.” The second armor protects the chest. This is the breastplate of righteousness (Ephesians 6:14). This area of the human body also covers critical body organs such as the lungs and the heart and the liver and kidneys. If these organs are damaged, life as we know will cease. The righteousness of Christ is what gives the believer his right standing with God. It is a gift of God, an unmerited favor which we must do well to guard against the contaminations of this wicked world. It is never earned through any other means (cf. Ephesians 2:9). Without this righteousness, we have no salvation and indeed no hope of redemption. While God has freely granted us this righteousness by his grace, we have a duty to guard our walk in Christ so that the enemy does not make intrusions into our spiritual life. The third armor is the shoe of preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). In ancient military warfare, the soldier’s military boots have to be strong enough to protect his feet as he traverses the rough terrains he has walk in battle. In the same manner, believers must demonstrate the readiness to take the gospel to a dying and lost world. The soldier walks through the waters and rocky terrains and if the shoes are not strong they will expose him to harm and this will weaken his military effort. God’s people have to be ready always to make their defense of the gospel but more so to take the gospel to where it is most needed; the field of harvest. Unlike the conventional warfare where the battle is adversarial in nature, this warfare speaks the peace of God along with the healing and restoration that Christ has opened to humanity at Calvary. The fourth armor is the shield of faith (Ephesians 6:16). This is a defense weapon. Faith is described as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). A Christians must watch that their faith remains steadfast in the midst of tribulations and trials. It is the most effective weapon in a wicked and violent world where the sacred things of God are scorned and the saints are persecuted. We have to hope against our circumstances that one day we shall stand before Christ and receive the crown of glory having overcome all the battles that God permitted our way. This faith is the motivation that keeps us moving on. It is the ultimate tool for our forward match against the tsunamis and windstorms of the enemy. Once our faith is assaulted and lost, our defense is gone and we shall be the most pitied people on earth. Remember that Paul teaches in 1 Cor 13:14 that there are three sacraments of our faith that will abide forever, namely faith hope and love. The fifth is the helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17). The human mind is the most sensitive place that the enemy seeks to control or influence. Yet with the salvation that Christ has given us, we are crowned for his glory. However, we need to watch our salvation and walk it out with fear and trembling! (Philippians 2:12). Knowing that our salvation is a gift of God and not earned by our works, we must do all it takes to keep the purity of our faith. The enemy has many false religions and doctrines that attract the attentions of millions and by which millions others are deceived and lost. Even the house of faith needs to guard their doctrine. John warns that not every spirit is of God and hence we need to test every spirit (1 John 4:1-5) and reject those that are driven by antichrists and demonic spirits. The battle ground is the human mind. It is often where the battle for obedience is either won or lost. The purest religion is one that exalts Christ and places Him at the centre of all its objects while acknowledging the depravity of sinful mankind so long as they remain separated from God. The sixth armor is the Word of God which is described as the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). The Word is the means of advancing our warfare. We overcome the world by the power of the anointed Word of Christ (Rev.12:11). Scripture declares that the word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89). It also describes the power of the word in Hebrews 4:12 which states “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” How often we neglect this Word! We should never underestimate spiritual power of this Word in convicting sinners and guiding the saints. There is power in the Word and this power can only be overlooked by the believer to his peril. The greatest way to wedge war is to use the Word. Jesus used the Word to overcome the temptations of Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). A believer who has all armor without the Word will be ineffective and cannot make meaningful advances for God’s kingdom. The Word is the armor that helps us to accomplish the great commission of Matthew 28:19-20.
Christians war spiritually “against the rulers of the darkness of this world” (KJV) is a phrase containing the keyword “rulers”, kosmokrator, a "world-ruler (Ephesians 6:12) (lord of the world, prince of this age and by extension the devil and his demons). The angels of the devil (Matthew 25:41; 12:45) or Satan, the prince of this world (John 12:31), participate in his power; they are his tools, their sphere of action being "this darkness," i.e. the morally corrupt state of our present existence. The phrase world-rulers of this darkness does not refer to human rulers but the evil spirits that rule over the world. The phrase thus stands in apposition to what follows (the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens); see note on heavens at the end of this verse. We must resist the devil (and his demons) thusly as in the story of: Crafty Coyotes “Like many sheep ranchers in the West, Lexy Fowler has tried just about everything to stop crafty coyotes from killing her sheep. She has used odor sprays, electric fences, and ‘scare-coyotes.’ She has slept with her lambs during the summer and has placed battery-operated radios near them. She has corralled them at night, herded them at day. But the southern Montana rancher has lost scores of lambs—fifty last year alone. “Then she discovered the llama—the aggressive, funny-looking, afraid-of-nothing llama. ’Llamas don’t appear to be afraid of anything,’ she said. ‘When they see something, they put their head up and walk straight toward it. That is aggressive behavior as far as the coyote is concerned, and they won’t have anything to do with that. Coyotes are opportunists, and llamas take that opportunity away.’” Apparently, llamas know the truth of what James writes: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The moment we sense his attack through temptation is the moment we should face it and deal with it for what it is. Barry McGee, Denver Post Compare my James 4:7 reference to a cross-reference to Ephesians 6:10-12 – —ἀντίστητε δὲ τῷ διαβόλῳ, καὶ φεύξεται ἀφʼ ὑμῶν: the two ideas contained in these words are very Jewish; in the first place, the withstanding of the devil is represented as being within the competence of man; the more specifically Christian way of putting the matter is best seen by comparing the words before us with the two following passages: Luke 10:17, Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ … λέγοντες· κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου. And the passage in 1 Peter 5:6 ff. Which is parallel to the one before us, is prefaced by the words. “Casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He careth for you,” and followed by the words, “And the God of all grace … shall Himself perfect, stablish, strengthen you”. The difference between the Jewish and Christian doctrines of grace and free will here cannot fail to be observed. It is useless to cite the words, “Be subject unto God,” as indicating divine assistance in withstanding the devil, because the subject of thought in either passage is quite independent; the meaning is not that ability to withstand the devil is the result of being subject to God; but two courses of action are enjoined, in each of which man is represented as able to take the initiative.—In the second place, the representation of Satan (the devil) here is altogether Jewish; the Hebrew root from which “Satan” comes (שׂטן) means “to oppose,” or “to act as an adversary”; the idea is very clearly brought out in Numbers 22:22, where the noun is used: And the Angel of Jahwe placed himself in the way for an adversary (literally “for a Satan”). This is precisely the picture represented in the words before us; the ancient Hebrew idea of something in the way is to some extent present in the Greek ὁ διάβολος, from διαβάλλω “to throw across,” i.e., the pathway is impeded (cf. Ephesians 4:27; Ephesians 6:11).
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