Ephesians Study, Part 8

Ephesians 6:10-20; 3:10 – Called to Spiritual Battle

INTRODUCTION

Last week we talked about Walking in the Spirit. We saw that it is possible for us to Worship in the Spirit and to have genuine Spirit led relationships. As you meditate on these truths it becomes increasingly clear that God has wonderfully provided us with the means to live fulfilling and victorious lives. That means, it is His Holy Spirit who lives in us. Today we see Paul challenging the Ephesian Christians to stand strong in the battle that is sure to come. They are to stand in the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul knows all about spiritual warfare. He is actually writing this letter while a prisoner in chains. In his second letter to the Corinthian church he shares his battle experiences. He knows first hand the need for Christians to be prepared for battle. So let’s look at what the Bible says about the battle we face and then prepare ourselves for VICTORY.

MESSAGE

In the Old Testament book of Joshua we hear God telling Joshua that he has been chosen to lead the nation of Israel into the “Promised Land.” The instructions that he receives would seem to some to be inappropriate. He was simply told to be “strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” Joshua would face strong military opposition, but he was not given military strategy for battle. He is given a spiritual strategy. Paul shares with the Corinthian church that his experience was similar to that of Joshua. He says that he was hard pressed on every side. He was often perplexed. He was persecuted and struck down. Yet he said that he was not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned or destroyed because LIFE (Christ’s resurrection life) was at work in him. His testimony is that he fixed his eyes on Jesus. Paul’s word to the Ephesian church and to us today is to “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” This speaks to us of a vital relationship with the Lord that comes as we SIT in His presence and WALK in his Spirit. We are to STAND STRONG as we face the enemy.

Our enemy is identified for us in this passage of scripture. First of all he tells who our enemy is not. Our enemy is not people. Because opposition often comes from people, we tend to fight against people and think that this is the enemy. Paul tells us that we are battling against the Devil’s schemes. We are at war against the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world. We are battling the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Of course this is a formidable enemy and he does everything to defeat us in our Christian walk. This is a very real warfare that we are in. Jesus faced the same enemy during his time here upon earth. He defeated Satan and on the cross cried “It is finished.” Satan was not only defeated in his battle against Jesus, but the victory that Jesus won on the cross is also our victory. We need not fear the enemy when we are one with Jesus Christ. Christ is our commander in chief and He has already won the victory. We of course still live in this world and face daily skirmishes with the enemy so we need to hear Paul’s words to the Ephesians today.

He says, “Therefore put on the full armor of God.” God provides adequate weapons for our battle. Because this is a spiritual battle, we are given spiritual weapons. Paul in writing to the church in Corinth said, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” In verses 13-18 of Ephesians chapter six Paul lists seven weapons that can be used in our battle. He tells us to put the belt of TRUTH around us; To be clothed with the BREASTPLATE of RIGHTEOUSNESS; To have our feet fitted with the SHOES of GOD’S PEACE; To take the SHIELD of FAITH; To take the SWORD of the SPIRIT which is the Word of God; and finally to PRAY in the SPIRIT. With these weapons in place in our lives we are equipped for ANY eventuality that may come in this battle. God’s Holy Spirit equips and directs us and victory is sure.

CONCLUSION

There is never a doubt as to the outcome of our spiritual battle. Listen to Paul’s encouraging words to the Corinthian church in chapter four, verses 16-18. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Our final destiny is seen in the Book of Revelation chapter eleven and verse fifteen with this declaration: “THE KINGDOM OF THE WORLD HAS BECOME THE KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND OF HIS CHRIST, AND HE WILL REIGN FOREVER AND EVER.” Yes we face many difficulties in this life, but we know that ultimately we share in Christ’s victory. We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us. So be encouraged to STAND in the Lord’s victory today.

STUDY QUESTIONS

• Who is our enemy?
• Why should we be strong in the Lord?
• How can we be strong in the Lord?
SIT in His ____________________________
WALK in His _________________________
STAND ______________________________
• What does it mean to PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD?

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