Knowing Your Enemies

Lesson 5

Spiritual Warfare

Eph 6:10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Eph 6:11  Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Eph 6:12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Eph 6:13  Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

When a person commits his life to Jesus Christ and desires to follow him through life he not only gains the greatest friend anyone can have but he also gains an enemy who with an entire array of forces will try to destroy the commitment and sabotage that person’s relationship to Christ.

Let’s begin by looking at the reality of spiritual warfare. Paul points out that the Christians enemies are spiritual enemies because we are engaged in a spiritual warfare. 1 Tim 1:18 19, 1 Tim 6:12 

Twice in the same letter Paul instructs his associate Timothy to “fight the good fight of faith” emphasising to this young pastor- teacher the reality of spiritual warfare in the Christian life. Once again, we read Paul telling Timothy that he is a soldier of Jesus Christ and therefore must be prepared as all soldiers to suffer hardship. As well he must not allow his life to become so entangled with worldly pursuits that he can no longer effectively serve the lord Jesus his heavenly commander.  2 Tim.2: 3-4.

The bible makes us aware of at least three major enemies to our spiritual life:

  • Satan a spiritual enemy
  • The flesh which is all our old thoughts, attitudes and actions
  • The world and all its ideologies and philosophies

The Origin Of Our Spiritual Enemy.

Satan was one of God’s angels who decided that he wanted to take God’s place and become the ruler of the universe, thus his principle sin was pride: Isa.14: 12-17.

As a result of his rebellion his nature became totally corrupt and he became the ultimate source of evil in the universe.

  • The good news is found in Col 1:12-13
  • In becoming the enemy of God, Satan also became the enemy of every human being who wants or has ever wanted to serve God.1 Peter 5:8.

His Activity

Satan exercises an influence over all people by means of his ability to tempt them to sin and to blind them to the light of the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Eph. 2:1-3, 2 Cor.4: 3-4.

The only way that Satan can influence the Christian is by deceiving him into thinking that he actually has power over us. John. 8:44.

The Christian can still therefore be tempted and deceived by Satan if he fails to remain alert in this spiritual warfare and employ the spiritual weapons and armour God has Provided while trusting in God’s strength to make him victorious.

In overcoming Satan’s attacks through temptation and deception, here are some things we need to know:

In Warfare One Must Constantly Be On The Alert

Peter after warning us to be alert tells us to resist Satan by faith, which is to refuse to listen to his tempting suggestions. 1 Peter 5:9.

James tells us that in order to resist Satan in this way. We must first be sure we are submitting to God. That is, we are seeking to obey him and to live by trusting Him and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to overcome sin and temptation.

James.4:7 tells us also that when we resist Satan, he will flee from us. The reason Satan flees when resisted is because Christ has already defeated him and delivered us from his power by dying for us on the cross.  Therefore, we do not need to defeat Satan ourselves, but only to stand up to him and let him know that we know (by faith) that he has no power over us. Col.2:13-15, I John 4:4.

Our principle offensive weapon to use against Satan is the Word of God. Eph.6:17.

For this reason, we should be studying the bible daily, especially those verses that will strengthen and encourage us in our spiritual battles. Jesus gave us a fine example of how to use the Word of God to overcome Satan’s temptations. Matt. 4:1-11

Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan is the “accuser of our brethren” he tries to tell us that we are sinners who are condemned before God and must be punished.  Here is where the Word of God comes to our rescue to reassure us that God has forgiven us. Rom. 8:1.

2 Cor. 2:10-11 emphasises the importance of forgiveness within the body of Christ for satan is constantly seeking to cause dissension among Christians and to destroy the bond of love between believers which is the most important proof that we are true disciples. John 13:34-35.

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.