“A Call to Spiritual Warfare”
INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.10-20
Ephesians chapter 6. We are beginning a new section this morning, the section on spiritual warfare in verses 10-20. This message will be an introductory message on this passage so we won’t be expositing verses this morning, but we’ll prepare ourselves for a proper understanding of this passage by confronting errors and acquainting ourselves with ancient Roman warfare and the spiritual battle in Ephesus.
But since the beginning of chapter 4, Paul has been applying truths he taught us in chapters 1-3. We were told back in chapter 4:1 that we are to “walk,” or live in unity. Then in chapter 4 verse 17, we’re told to walk in holiness, not like the Gentiles walk. Then in chapter 5 verses one and two we’re to walk in love, and then walk in the light in chapter 5:7-8. And then from 5:15-18 we are to walk in wisdom, controlled by the Holy Spirit. In this last section we were to learn the commands that Paul gave to us as we live in our homes: Spirit-filled husbands, wives, children, parents, employers, and employees.
Now Paul begins a final section in this book and we know that because of how he introduces it. Instead of using the word “walk” which is what we’ve been used to, he uses the word finally.
Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.”
Now, in verses 10-20, Paul is giving his concluding thoughts as he ends the letter. This section summarizes parts of the letter and gives an emotional call to action based on what he has already written in the letter.
It is an emotional call to action because he draws upon the imagery of the Roman soldier. And the armoury….truth, righteousness, gospel of peace, faith, salvation, the word of God … all of it draws upon previous passages in the book of Ephesians. So again, Paul is summarizing and giving a call to action using the Roman soldier and Roman warfare as an illustration. This section is, as it were, a speech of a general given to his soldiers to use what they’ve learned in their training, just previous to going into fierce warfare. Use what you’ve learned in this letter to the Ephesians!
Let’s read Ephesians 6:10–20, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm 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 spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. “Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, “and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; “in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. “And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, “and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, “for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Paul draws upon the imagery of the Roman soldier and he describes parts of the armor and the equipment. And he does this in order to draw a point of similarity between a Roman soldier who fights in physical battles with Christians who fight spiritual battles. We have here what we would call spiritual warfare.
And because Paul draws upon the image of the Roman soldier, I’d like to fill out the description so that we can get a fuller idea of the soldier’s dress, armor, and weaponry. This understanding would have been common knowledge to the Ephesians and it’s helpful for us to have this in mind as well.
In ancient Rome, the military was highly regarded and so the men who served were equally honored in Roman society. And so Paul’s illustration hits close to home for everyone. So, let’s acquaint ourselves with the Roman soldier.
The Roman Soldier
A Roman soldier was required to sign up for the Roman army for at least 20 years. During that time, he would have seen much of what we know of as Europe.
The Roman soldier would dress in what is called a tunic and sandals. A tunic was a long woolen shirt, girded around the middle with a leather belt.
His military sandals are called in Latin caligae, [Cali-guy]. They are cut from a single piece of leather and have thick soles with hobnails which help prevent the sandals from wearing down and they give him a firm grip on slippery ground. In addition he wears a scarf to protect his neck and shoulders from the sharp edges of his armor. During the cold winter months he may wear several longsleeved tunics, trousers, and wool socks with a wool cloak that protects him from the wind and rain.
As a soldier, he is well protected with his armor.
His armor consists of a helmet, body armor, and shield. The body armor, called lorica (lor-ika), is made of iron plates riveted to heavy leather straps, so they won’t break easily during a fight. The lorica consists of four parts. Two shoulder pieces and two body pieces can be taken apart for easy maintenance and transportation. When it’s assembled, it is put on like a jacket. It’s fastened together with leather straps that run through hoops in the front and back.
It weighs about 10 kg and the weight is spread evenly across his upper body and can be worn quite comfortably all day. Since it is segmented, it offers great protection against slashing and stabbing weapons.
The military belt is called a cingulum (king-u-lum). It ensures the weapons remain firmly in place. It is made of leather and has metal plates for decoration and reinforcement. At the front is an apron of leather straps decorated with metal discs.
On his head is his helmet, called a galea (gah-le-ah). It is made of iron or a kind of brass alloy. It is designed to offer maximum protection of the soldiers head, with a neck plate in the back, ear guards, cheek pieces and a brow band. These all help to defer or cushion the blow of an enemy weapon. The helmet is tightened with a leather strap under the chin.
The shield, or scutum (scoot-um), is about 1 m high and weighs 6 kg. It is constructed of three different wooden layers glued together. It is covered with linen or leather and painted in bright colors. The edges are protected by metal strips making the shield more solid. It is lifted with the left hand and it has an iron shield boss at the front that can be used to punch the enemy in the face.
And because the shield is held by a horizontal grip, the soldier can easily maneuver it and use it in different ways. It’s curved shape provides excellent body coverage. With the helmet, armour, and shield, the solider is well protected.
The soldier carries different weapons as well. During long training sessions he has learned to use them well. When confronted with an enemy army, the soldier starts his attack by throwing his javlin, called a pilum (pie-lum). This javelin is remarkable. The iron tip has a shape of a pyramid. It can inflict nasty wounds, and can make it difficult for the enemy to pull it out of his shield, leaving the enemy with no other option than to throw his shield away.
This javelin is very thin and can penetrate through a shield to even attack the enemy behind it. After the pilum is thrown at his enemy, the solider takes out his primary weapon, the gladius, a short stabbing sword.
Like every soldier, he carries the gladius on the right side to prevent injuring other soldiers when he pulls it out of the scabbard, a sheath made of 2 thin wooden planks covered with leather.
The grip of the gladius is made of wood or bone. The metal decorations on the scabbard not only make it more beautiful but they make the scabbard stronger. The gladius is small but can inflict terrible wounds. Because is it a small, he can stab more quickly and precisely. On the left side of his belt he carries a dagger, called a pugio (poog-e-o). This is not a standard weapon of the Roman soldier, but many soldier purchased it with the money they saved. It too is finely decorated.
A Roman soldier must be ready in short notice when enemies would rise up against them. They must carry their heavy equipment and personal belongings themselves. Everything that the soldier owns, he carries with him in several bags and a net. They carry things like money, dice, a tinderbox, plate, cup, pans, food, knife, spoon, razor, canteen, and a wax tablet with a pen.
In addition, he carries spare clothing and sandals. When the march begins, the shield is carried in a goatskin leather shield cover, carried on the back with a leather strap. All the other luggage is attached to a pole called a furca. It is carried over the right shoulder. If that’s not enough, he also carries trenching tools, like a pickax and shovel, for the construction of a camp.
All in all, he would carry around 35 kg armor and equipment. That’s about 77 lbs. It is no wonder they were called “Marius’ mules” after the famous Roman general who instituted these reforms in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.
Ancient vs. Modern Warfare
But we are far removed from ancient warfare. Think of the differences between modern and ancient warfare. Today, you have tanks, planes, machine guns, and snipers and even drones … All this warfare from a distance. Push-button warfare behind a computer and watch and wait until the blip on the screen disappears. The fierceness would be more rare, confined to just some aspects of warfare, like the gun battles.
But in ancient times, warfare was much more personal and, well more deadly. It was more personal. You take your sword and plunge it into your enemy and you watch him either die in front of you or you watch him writhe in pain from the wound.
In ancient warfare in general, one author calculated that up to 60% of the soldiers could die, compared to just 1% today. This author estimates that ancient warfare was 20 times more deadly than 20th-century warfare … that if 20th century warfare was fought like ancient warfare, 2 billion people would have died last century.
Fierce, upfront, in your face, with all the sights and sounds of intense warfare… you can hear the swords clashing, the horse hooves pounding, and the savage battle cries.
And Paul is using this intense scene to describe spiritual warfare…our spiritual warfare…your spiritual warfare! Paul is definitely giving an emotional appeal to us to practice what we’ve learned already and the training we’ve received! Paul says we are in a spiritual battle…and he’s issuing a call to arms. So, I’d like to introduce verses 10-20 this morning with a message entitled “A Call to Spiritual Arms.”
Take up your armory, fight, act like men…be strong!
What we’ll do this morning is describe what spiritual warfare is and discuss common erroneous beliefs about spiritual warfare.
So, first this morning what is spiritual warfare? There is great confusion today about the nature of our spiritual warfare. What does the Bible actually teach? Are we to bind Satan, rebuke him in Jesus name … Can demons influence believers or indwell us? What is the role of prayer in spiritual warfare, and how do we go about doing spiritual warfare, whatever that even is? Is spiritual warfare simply growing in Christ or is there something else?
To best understand any passage of Scripture, it is necessary to put the passage in its context. And so with spiritual warfare in Eph. 6:10-20, we must put the passage in its context. There are different contexts a passage can have. This passage, like every passage, has its literary context, the verses surrounding it. This also includes the letter to the Ephesians itself, as well as Paul’s other writings.
As we do that, we come to understand that this letter to the Ephesians contains proportionately more references to the demonic and to spiritual powers than any other NT book.
Ephesians 1:21, ” [Christ is] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
Ephesians 2:2, [before Christ, believers are dead in their sins] “in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”
Ephesians 3:10, “…the manifold wisdom of God [is to be] made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.”
Ephesians 6:12, “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 spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
Why is it, then, that this letter to the Ephesians contains proportionately more references to the demonic and to spiritual powers than any other NT book? We’ll answer that … but we also have a theological context, taking the whole of Scripture into account as we study a passage…interpreting Scripture with Scripture. But the one we’ll focus on now is the historical context. What was going on in Ephesus when Paul established the church in Ephesus?
And as we look at the historical context in Ephesus during this time, we come to understand that there is a clear spiritual battle for the city of Ephesus.
Spiritual Warfare in Ephesus
I’d like to ask you to turn to the book of Acts so that we can observe this spiritual battle.
And let’s turn to chapter 19. Previously, Paul preached in the synagogue of Ephesus and was well received. He left and went to Caesarea and then went to Antioch. He went through the Galatian region and Phrygia strengthening the disciples.
In the meantime, Apollos, the eloquent preacher, came and preached in Ephesus, refuting the disobedient Jews.
Apollos leaves and Paul returns to Ephesus at the beginning of chapter 19. And he meets some disciples of John, who were baptized into John’s baptism. Upon their confession that they trust Jesus, Paul then baptizes them in the name of Jesus. And the Holy Spirit came upon them and they spoke with a new language and prophesied.
Paul continued his ministry in the synagogue of Ephesus for three months but when some became harden and disobedient, he left them and took with him the disciples from there and left a minister in the school of Tyrannus.
Now let’s pick up beginning in Acts 19:10 and we’ll read through verse 20. And as we read, note the miraculous nature of Paul’s ministry. Take special note of the evil spirits and those who are called exorcists, those who cast out demons. Also note the blatant idolatry and the magic cult. There is a clear battle, a spiritual battle for the hearts of the people of Ephesus.
Acts 19:10–20, “This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. “God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, “so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. “But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, “I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.” “Seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. “And the evil spirit answered and said to them, “I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” “And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. “This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was being magnified. “Many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. “And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.”
And that last sentence is Luke’s point. Even in the midst of evil spirits, idolatry, magic, demon possession… Even in the midst of all of this, “the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.”
In other words, the Christians of Ephesus were well aware of spiritual warfare. The demonic forces were clearly at work in their idolatry and magic, the demon possession … And who was going to win out? Was it going to be Satan and his demons who win over in the city of Ephesus or was it going to be the Lord and his word that grows mightily and prevails? That’s the battle!
Importance and Geographical Position of Ephesus
And there’s no wonder that there is this spiritual battle for the hearts of the people in Ephesus. Ephesus was probably the fourth greatest city in the Roman empire. It had a population of about 250,000 in the first century. Its importance was well-known. Because of its position on the West Coast of Asia minor, in modern day Turkey … Because it was right there on the coast and just south of an important river and positioned between two mountains, it was a major commercial city. Trade routes would go through Ephesus.
The Idolatry in Ephesus
And their idolatry was infamous. They worshipped the Roman Emperor and honored various gods and goddesses. As we saw, they turned to magic. There was more magic and more sorcerers in Ephesus then in any other Roman city, according to one author. And that’s illustrated in Acts 19:19 which told us the amount of money that went into the magic books that were burned: 50,000 pieces of silver. And one piece of silver is one day’s wage. So if you do the math, that would be the equivalent of multi-millions of dollars.
You could buy magical spells that were supposed to ward off evil demons and you could buy charms that where supposed to protect you spiritually and give you success. And magic practices in Ephesus was simply a set of rituals that enabled people to “twist the arms” of the gods and spiritual powers to make their idols do whatever they wanted them to do. It would not be surprising if some who trusted Christ struggled with giving up their former practice of magic.
And later on in chapter 19 we see the idolatry of the cult of Artemis, the god of Ephesus. They also worshipped Zeus, Aphrodite, and Apollo as well as other gods and sexual immorality was associated with this idol worship. So this is why Paul is exhorting and commanding the Ephesian believers not to live like how these unbelieving Gentiles live, in the vanity of their minds.
So there is spiritual opposition to the word of the Lord.
On top of this you have Jewish opposition to Christianity. In Acts 19:9, we read of the hardening of the Jews against the Way, the Way of the Truth of Christ. Plus, the Jews spoke against Christ in front of Gentiles. They didn’t want the Gentiles on the Lord’s side! They actively dissuaded Gentiles from following Christ.
Now, it’s in the midst of this spiritually hostile environment, that the church of Ephesus is established.
And this historical backdrop to the city of Ephesus is important as we understand our text in Ephesians 6:10-20. Christ clearly has the power over demonic forces and clearly has the victor over Satan.
Now with this background in mind, Christians in Ephesus are challenged to put on the whole armor of God in order to stand firm against Satan’s schemes. Think about following Christ in that sort of environment. The church at Ephesus was made up of former followers of John the Baptist, former idol worshipers of Artemis and other gods and goddesses, as well as those who practiced magic and the occult. And we even learn from the book of Ephesians and the book of Acts that there is ethnic or racial tension between Jews and Gentiles … And just pile on all the other social and sin problems as a result of all of these different backgrounds!
So what’s the battle? What’s the temptation? The temptation is to return or to be influenced by those idolatrous, occult-ish, and sinful practices. There would be unbelieving pagans who would constantly say to them … “Why don’t you come to our drunken immoral worship services anymore?” And so the fleshly temptations not to stand for the Lord was great!
TRANS: And so what was Paul calling on the Ephesians to do in this context? What is he asking of the Ephesians with this historical background in mind? Let me first address what he is not saying.
Errors in Spiritual Warfare
And so I’d like to refute some of the errors concerning this topic of spiritual warfare.
Spiritual warfare is hocus pocus
Some, because the great amount of false teaching in our day about spiritual warfare … some view the whole thing as hocus-pocus, as magic itself!
Or they say that it is limited to the first century and is irrelevant for us. But since it is found in Ephesians 6, we know it is normative, meaning spiritual warfare is for today.
William Gurnall, a Puritan in the mid 1600’s, wrote a book on spiritual warfare called The Christian in Complete Armour. It was originally over 1000 pages, and some volumes now have it in 1,700 pages with really small print! He pastored a church in Lavenham, Suffolk. At that time, the town had 1800 inhabitants. Half them attended the church where he pastored!
The area was famous for its deep attachment to the doctrines of the Reformation. Here is the subtitle of the book… “A treatise on the saints’ war with the devil, wherein a discovery is made of the policy, power, wickedness, and stratagems made use of by that enemy of God and his people : a magazine opened, from whence the Christian is furnished with spiritual arms for the battle, assisted in buckling on his armour, and taught the use of his weapons, together with the happy issue of the whole war.” Nice subtitle.
Spiritual warfare is a reality today. It would be Satan’s plan to tempt us to think that there is no battle. If he can get us to think that, that there is no battle, then he can easily win.
Spiritual warfare is carried out in a public service with physical visible and dramatic manifestations
But also, many charismatic and Pentecostal Christians believe that spiritual warfare is held in public services in order to put on display physical, visible, dramatic manifestations of something.
There is this public binding of Satan or the slaying in some “spirit” or rebuking demons or Satan in Jesus name… Some of these things seem to involve the same ecstatic ravings of the idolatrous back in Ephesus. This would include the likes of Binny Hinn, Rodney Howard Brown, Robert Tilton, Todd Bentley, Jon Crowder, and many others.
The same manifestations of the slaying in the spirit are found in the various cults and false religions, same things. You could go to various parts of the world and get a pagan guru to place his hand on your forehead and you may get a rush of emotion and feelings and may even fall down. This goes on in eastern religions like Hinduism and the Kundalini cult. The same laughter, even animal noises that we saw in the Toronto blessing. It’s the same things, it’s all paganism…these involuntary jerkings and movements is from pagan idolatry and has no place in the church.
This is just like the magic in Ephesus, it is self-centred and experiential. There is this desire for experience and spiritual control and there is this mechanical formulaic way of achieving some kind of success … Mankind is the ends and God is the means of achieving the person’s end goals. This is self-centered and it’s the same exact mindset of the magic cult in Ephesus.
And so this by itself is a spiritual warfare issue. People who claim Christ and who are involved in this kind of stuff have been sucked back into the pagan religions that the Christians of Ephesus were called upon to leave…to militantly leave it. Because of the obvious similarities between much of these practices in the charismatic churches with what goes on in pagan religions and in the occult, like the Ephesians, we need to stand firm against it. This is a stand firm in the Lord issue.
And these charismatics have gone back to paganism, which is exactly what Paul is addressing in our passage this morning.
C. Others believe spiritual warfare is a power encounter.
Others believe spiritual warfare is a power encounter … That is, that spiritual warfare is where we literally but spiritually do actual combat with the forces of evil. Like knowing and resisting demonic forces that are actually present. So, in other words, “I am presently being harassed by a demon and I need to fight against him.”
But this is not the focus of Scripture. We are not to be thinking that there are demons around every corner and under every rock. Nor is it our job every day to be aware of whether or not there is a demon present. That’s not the focus.
D. The Devil made me do it.
Finally, the devil made me do it. Blaming everything on Satan and the demonic. Of course, this is not the focus of Scripture. We’re not taught to attribute all of our sinful habits or temptations to Satan.
TRANS: Well, if these things are not the focus in spiritual warfare, then what is? What is the nature of spiritual warfare exactly?
III. What is Spiritual Warfare Exactly?
You remember that we said what the battle was. The spiritual battle in the city of Ephesus for Christians was the temptation to, in some way, return back to their former practices and sinful habits. They would be tempted not to stand firm against the schemes of the devil and to resist in the evil day.
So when we think of the city of Ephesus with the occult and idolatrous worship and magic… There is satanic demonic activity going on there. And there is a battle for the hearts of people. Those who have been regenerated have won the battle, but there is the temptation to fall back and return to the occult and idolatrous worship and magic.
And as we have discussed the current beliefs about spiritual warfare, we are not looking out for personal encounters with demonic forces. That’s not the focus. The focus is any sinful manifestation that is against God.
There may be demonic activity behind certain things in the world. And we are told of the demonic nature of idolatrous worship and magic in Scripture. There may be other things as well, but the point is that when it comes to our personal lives on a day-to-day basis, our focus is on the sin habit or a temptation that I may have that makes me want to go against God’s known written will.
ILL: To give an illustration of this, when Ruth and I were on our honeymoon, we visited a church in the mountains of North Carolina. We were living in South Carolina, but we stayed in a cabin in the mountains of North Carolina. Well, there happened to be what the folks called a revival service. We made our way to the town where this service was held.
Immediately when we got there, we noticed that this was an old-fashioned tent revival meeting! There was the sawdust trail and everything!
And the folks were very friendly as you would expect and the moderator of the revival service asked us about ourselves and we told him that we were on our honeymoon. The service was being broadcasted on the radio. And the moderator introduced the service and greeted the crowd and said and we have the Bartlett’s here who are on their honeymoon! …and everyone clapped as we were asked to stand up.
And at the end of the preaching, the moderator got back up to the mic and as you would expect there was an invitation for people to come forward and kneel and pray. It was a very sweet and tender time we had… One of the men who came forward was especially singled out. The moderator went over to this man who had come forward… And after a brief discussion, he asked for men to come over and pray over him and to lay their hands on him because he had quote… “the demon of alcohol.”
I think we all know what he means by that. The man was struggling with an addiction to alcohol. And I don’t know what those men prayed about that night, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if they were praying that this demon would leave the man.
Well meaning as these folks are, this is not the focus the word has given to us. For all we know, there could be some demonic activity going on, but the focus that we are to have is the standing firm… We’re not standing firm… Ephesians 6:11 says… We’re not standing firm against the devil, we’re standing firm against the schemes of the devil.
Our focus is not Satan himself, but against the schemes, the plans, the strategies that he uses.
And so spiritual warfare is this now … ready? Spiritual warfare is growing in Christ and resisting temptation, but it is also standing firm with the Lord, with His purposes and plans as they are written in his word.
As we take it into the battle scene, not only are we growing in Christ, we are resisting as verse 13 talks about. We’re growing in Christ, we’re resisting temptations, and we are standing firm with the Lord, with His purposes and his plans and his desires for us as they are written in his word.
Spiritual warfare is recognizing and standing firm against the many strategies of Satan. We are called upon to resist those strategies and to stand firm using the individual pieces of the armory given to us from God.
If we lived in Ephesus, we would need to be especially careful to stand against the success mentality of using God or a god or occult or magic practice to create success for me… and to turn from the pagan practices of the day.
It’s no different today! We must fight against the outward success at any cost mentality, the pursuit of pleasure in this life…eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. Paganism is the same here as it was in Ephesus just repackaged to look more sophisticated and modern. Turn away from selfish religious practices, turn away from filling up your wallet with little concern that your draining out your family.
And what we’ll discover as we go through this passage together is that we’ll be exhorted to live out the truth of God’s salvation. We’ll need to be unified through peace, focused on studying the Scripture, and focused on prayer.
CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Ephesians 6.10-20
But know this as you seek to stand firm in the evil day and having done all to stand … Know this that the victory is secure. Christ has already defeated Satan. He dealt him a death blow at the cross of Christ. And as well, when Christ was raised from the dead …
Ephesians 1:20–21, “[God displayed his great power in Christ] …when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.”
Christ has secured the victory! Christ has the highest power and the greatest honor; he reigns as king over all of the spiritual forces of this darkness. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom and he rules over all the universee. He is over every name that could possibly be named…. There is no demon and no power that he does not have authority over. He demonstrated his power over the demons when he came to earth.
If you are in Christ and you have trusted Christ, then you have the victory with him. Christ will lose none of his.
Ephesians 2:1ff “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, “in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. … “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, “even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), “and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, “so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Christ has given the victory; he has made us alive together with him; we are seated with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. We have this victory with him.
So raise up your banner! Fight the battle, Christ has won, stand now, stand in this evil day! There is coming a day when he will display his church for everyone to marvel … to marvel at the gracious, conquering Christ.
Rise up follow Christ and may the lightning of Christ’s glory be seen and the thunders of His voice be heard through His church from east to west as we fight for his great causes in the earth.
To be a real hero for Christ does not demand that you be some storybook spiritual combat fighter. Every soldier of Christ plays a vital role … Don’t ever let up in the battle. Don’t think that your service for Christ is unimportant.
Every soldier has his place. If one is down on the battle field, we could be outflanked and the enemy could come in. Let’s help each other stand firm. A call to follow Christ is a call to bravery and honor in the daily task of resisting in the evil day and standing firm against Satan strategies.
There is no room for playing … There is no room for playing at the Christian life… The Christian life is a battle. Are you on the Lord’s side or not? The satanic battle is real and we must stand firm with bravery and stand firm on the front lines.
We need to be devoted entirely to our duty, no matter how great we may think the odds, no matter how seemingly insignificant our duty may appear to be … We must resist we must fight on, we must go forward we must know the Lord and know his word and take up the whole armor of God follow what his word says and to do it.
Number 590, the banner of the cross
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Modified from George Patton’s speech to the Third Army, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_S._Patton%27s_speech_to_the_Third_Army ↑