“The Believer’s Call to Spiritual Warfare.”
Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 59:1-21
New Testament Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2:1-16
“The Believer’s Call to Spiritual Warfare” # 2
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
- Spiritual warfare has nothing to do with physical weapons or battles, although our physical bodies will be affected by our victory or defeat.
- Spiritual warfare is that intrinsic and extrinsic battle Christians face every day with the enemies of God, including Satan and his minions – i.e., demons or fallen angels, who can invade the souls of men and possess them for his use.
- Once we are born again by the Holy Spirit, the warfare begins between the Holy Spirit, who indwells us, and the evil spirit who wants to destroy us.
- As Christians, we must understand the severity of this battle, for the results of this war affect not only our lives but our relationship with and witness to everyone around us.
The Three sources of conflict every person must deal with daily:
- The curse God placed on the earth because of Adam and Eve’s sin – Genesis 3:17-19
- While the earth would produce the sustenance of life for man, man would have to fight with the forces of nature to produce it.
- The sinful nature that indwells every person – Romans 5:12
- Even though we desire to do right, our sinful nature fights against us, so that we do the things we do not want to do and do not do the things we ought to do.
- The god of this age who never gives in – 1 John 5:19, 2 Timothy 3:13, 1 John 4:1-3, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
- Satan uses the three sources of contention, the curse, our sinful nature, and our daily war with Satan’s demons, to distract, defraud, and deceive us, to keep us from doing the very things God left us here to do
- We live in a world saturated in wickedness, where evil men, imposters, and false prophets are doing their best to destroy anything and everything God created, where Satan’s legion of demons has integrated his evil schemes into every facet of our society, and where the spirit of the antichrist is at work in global affairs.
- The next event on God’s prophetic calendar is the rapture of the Church. Until that day, God may allow us to suffer persecution, and some to be martyred for our expressed faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must be prepared.
The spiritual warfare we face each is the battle between worldviews.
- A worldview is a framework through which we view the world and the things going on in the world.
- To have a secular worldview is to deny the existence of God, which means this life has no spiritual dimension, there is no such thing as absolute truth, and each person has the freedom to live according to their desires, for this life is all there is.
- To have a biblical or Christian worldview is to believe in the existence of a sovereign God, that the Bible is the divinely inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God, and as such, it is the final authority on every moral issue of life, and it shows us the meaning and purpose of this life.
- The secular worldview is communicated through the public education system and promoted through the media/entertainment venues and the marketplace.
- As we walk through this wicked world, we are bombarded with opportunities and temptations designed to pollute our minds, weaken our faith, and destroy our testimony, if not our lives.
- If we are to survive in this evil and wicked environment, much less be God’s witnesses in it, we need to put on the whole armor of God every day and put each piece on through prayer.
The Belt of Truth – 1 Peter 1:13 –16 – “Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
- To put on the belt of truth is to walk in the truth of God’s Word.
- While the sword of the Spirit is the word of God that applies to a specific sin, the belt of truth is the overarching truth about God and His plan for our redemption.
- According to George Barna, Director of Research at the Cultural Research Center at Arizona University, not only is the belief in an absolute moral truth eroding among American adults, whether churched or unchurched, only 43% of evangelicals who identify as being “born again” embrace the concept of absolute truth.
- According to the same survey, only 1% of those under 30 identify with a “biblical (or Christian) worldview.”
- To succeed in our warfare with Satan, we must be able to counter his lies with the truth of God’s Word, and Jesus was the embodiment of that truth.
- So, when we put on the belt of truth, we are, in effect, storing up the truth of God’s Word to counter the lies that Satan will use to attack us each day, and to store up that truth is to consistently study the Word of God, memorize it, and meditate on it, so we can quote the very passage we need to refute Satan’s lies.
The Breastplate of Righteousness – Ephesians 6:14 – “Stand firm then with the belt of truth, buckled around your waist, and with the breastplate of righteousness in place.”
- The soldier’s breastplate was made of leather, covered with brass, embossed with various decorations, and protected his vital organs, including the heart and intestines.
- The breastplate of righteousness refers to the righteousness of Christ that He purchased for us by His death on the cross and imputed to every sinner who repents of their sins and receives Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord.
- To put on the breastplate requires us to:
- Declare our righteousness as being insufficient to make us acceptable unto God or to stand against the attack of Satan.
- Declare our faith in Christ’s righteousness alone to allow us to stand before God’s throne and to repel any attacks from Satan.
- When we put on the breastplate of Christ’s righteousness, we are, in effect, telling the world that Jesus is our Lord and that our life goal is to conform our lives to the standard of righteousness which has been given to us by God’s grace alone, through our faith alone, and in Christ alone.
- Even though we are covered with the righteousness of Christ, we can nullify its effectiveness through:
- Carelessness – 1 Peter 5:8
- Unbelief – Hebrews 3:12
- Cheap Grace – Romans 6:1-2
- Disobedience – 1 John 3:4
- Unforgiveness – 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
- Trusting in our righteousness – Titus 3:5
- Negligence – Hebrews 2:2-3