The Battle Is Raging

Bible Book: Ephesians  6 : 10-13
Subject: Commitment; Dedication; Christian Soldier
Introduction

The Bible frequently uses the image of war to depict the Christian life. Paul encouraged Timothy to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. (2 Tim. 2:3) In fact, the first picture our Lord gave of the Church was a military one. He told the disciples that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the onslaught of the Church (Matt. 16:18). In ancient times, a common military tactic used by armies was to break down the gate of an enemy's fortress with a battering ram. Once inside, they could then destroy the opposing enemy. Jesus told us that Satan and his forces are not able to withstand, or prevent, the onward march of Christianity (Christ in you).

I. The Solider And How He Gets Ready 10-11a

A. His Preparation 10

"be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" - the unprepared believer becomes the defeated believer. The strength of the Christian life is dependence on God

We read in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

B. His Provision 11a

That which the Lord supplies.

"put on" - speaks of permanence. There is never a time to take it off. It serves as the Christian's lifelong companion. It provides believers with divine power from "Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory of exceeding joy." Jude 24

Paul was probably chained to a Roman soldier when he penned the words of Ephesians.

C. His Position 11b

"you may be able to stand against" - when used in a military sense, had the idea of holding a critical position while under attack.

George Duffield, Jr. wrote:

"Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Stand in His strength alone; The arm of flesh will fail you - Ye dare not trust your own; Put on the gospel armor, Each piece put on with prayer; Where duty calls, or danger, Be never wanting there."

II. The Solider And His Reality 11c-13

A. The Schemes 11c

"the wiles of the devil" - method; carries the idea of craftiness, cunning, and deception. The term was often used of a wild animal who cunningly stalked and then unexpectedly pounced on its prey.

Satan's evil schemes are built around stealth and deception.

One of the devil's schemes is seen in the increased disbelief of his existence. "Satan is not just a symbol of evil but is a real, living entity."

George Barna's questions:

22% of born-again Christians believe the devil is just a symbol of evil; only 13% of unsaved did not believe in the devil.

Yet, the Bible is clear about the devil's personal existence. He was the chief angel, the anointed cherub, the star of the morning, who sparkled with all the jewels of created beauty. Jesus spoke of him, as did Paul, Peter, James, and John.

In Scriptures we see him:

  1. Opposing God's Work
  2. Perverting God's Word
  3. Hindering God's Workers

52 times he is called Satan - adversary 35 times he is called devil - slanderer

The schemes of the devil include propagation of individual beliefs and life-styles that corrupt and damn.

Note Paul's concern for the believers in Corinth that he had led to the Lord.

Note in 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, "For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted - you may well put up with it!"

Because he is God's enemy, and the only way he can attack God is through us, we could become "artillery in Satan's hand, aimed at the heart of God."

B. The Struggle 12

1. The Fight 12a

"wrestle" - struggle; used of hand-to-hand combat and especially of wrestling

2. The Forces 12b

The Bible reflects a high order of demons.

  • Overt - obviously evil works; leaches in Sudan
  • Covert - behind the scenes; seemingly innocent and good works
C. The Standing 13

"be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand."

We find in 2 John 8, "Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward."

When the battle is over, the smoke has cleared, are we found standing true to the Savior. "Our enemies are more committed to their faith than we are to ours."