Notes on Christian Warfare (12)

“Fighting the Good Fight”

The way, the truth and the life!

The Spiritual Warning  (Ephesians Chapter 6 Verses 10-20)

This our present text is of great value when faced with people who are ruthless and merciless. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Those that is who are driven by the enemy, Satan, determinedly against us as Christian, and against the cause of Jesus Christ. If we can see, discern the tools, instruments and the dupes of Satan it helps. If we can understand that all the human ferocity will not stop them it helps. Because behind such evil men, there is a spiritual wickedness driving them. But with Christian discernment, and an understanding of the warfare we’ve been called into we can learn to cope, to fight and even conquer through Christ Jesus our Lord. We don’t make excuses for evil and the people who are the perpetrators of it. But perhaps understanding sometimes can ease the personal hurt, grief that we ourselves may experience as a result of their deeds. If we begin to realise that evil people are sometimes taken captive, blinded even by the enemy. “The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4). If we can but remember that we are at war and not simply warring against flesh and blood (v12). O yes, against flesh and blood, but not only, cosmic powers, spiritual forces of evil as well (v12). There is our own flesh for instance and that of others that we have to fight against. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” (Galatians 5:16-17). But over and above the opposition of flesh and blood there is a worldwide network of cosmic powers, spiritual forces of evil at work (v12).

This conflict extends beyond the confines of this world even, it extends to heavenly places (v12). Of course, such concepts stretch our minds beyond their limits. We live in a day when there is a lot of unseen activity in what we call outer space. Because this activity is out of sight we seldom give much thought to it, but it is there nonetheless. There are satellites circling the earth that provide us with much of the technology we use. It is we are told used by governments to spy on us, watching our every move, monitoring our activities on earth. In fact, the development of this technology some find to be quite scary. It is all I’m sure part and part of the development of the totalitarian state, the pursuit of man’s sovereignty without God. It’s all ripening for the coming Antichrist and his short reign (2Thessalonians 2:3-4; Revelation 13:1-10). However, all of this is not to occasion fear. The revelation of God’s word is given to his people to counter such fear. For the entire kingdom of these cosmic powers and forces of evil has been defeated, overcome. And shown clearly to have been so, “he (Jesus) disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:15). On the cross. In the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we have the victory. There is absolutely nowhere in all of the scriptures that suggest to us that the throne of God has been disturbed or even uncertain. Let alone assailed or toppled. Our God reigns, supremely, sovereignly! There is no doubt about this, the God of peace rules. Picture if you will as we close this note and this verse, “then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1). That is a picture of Jesus, God’s Lamb, standing in the midst of the entire church on earth. He is there in the midst of his blood-bought people, defending them, fighting for them, dealing with these cosmic powers, forces of evil. We have the mighty warrior God, our Jesus, on our side, thus we are assured of the victory. Just hold on to Jesus and ride out the storm.

(© James R Hamilton, written Summer, 2014)
Sermon Audio

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