Ephesians Spiritual Warfare: Defeating the enemy with the victory of faith and knowledge of god
In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
Knowledge Really is Power. The more we learn God's holy word, the more His power will transform us into the image of His Son, Christ Jesus, and help us defeat the enemy of our souls. The power is to transform us, yes, we can help change the world, but that begins when we become the likeness of Christ Jesus. We must leave the old former ways to the newness of life in Christ (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 6:4, 8:29; Ephesians 2:11-22; Hebrews 10:20). This will require we don't think too highly of ourselves using a sober judgment (Romans 12:3). As we learn in Ephesians and Corinthians, there is a spiritual battle taking place. If we try to hide or deny it, it doesn't go away. It only defeats us. Living in fear keeps us captive (2 Timothy 2:26), but we don't have to stay defeated because Christ won the victory (1 John 4:18, 5:4; Isaiah 43:1; Psalm 3:8, 18:2), which is why He is so glorious. Jesus already defeated the enemy and has given you the victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; Deuteronomy 20:4; Romans 8:31). Jesus told us all these things so we could have joy and peace (John 16:33). You can joyfully die to yourself and be raised to a new life in Christ, which requires the knowledge of God.
The Old Life. Before God came into our lives we were alien to Him and the knowledge of truth (Ephesians 2:19; Colossians 1:21; Romans 5:10). Now that we are children of the light, we must examine ourselves. In Ephesians, we are told the life we formerly had was corrupted by deceitful desires, which made us callous towards the best interest of others, and we greedily pursued our own sensuality (Ephesians 4:17-22; Romans 1:24-32, 3:9-18). We cast away the care of others for our own ambitious desires. That doesn't sound too bad, does it? I mean, I only have one life and I have to live it today for tomorrow I may die. Let's look a little closer at our desires and sensuality, as the bible commands.
The Spiritual Battle. How does that taste? It should be utterly detestable to see yourself under such light of the scrutiny of truth. Down deep in the soul, there should be a sickened feeling of dread; that you were once such a way, and perhaps you're still trying to kill this man or woman who lingers inside you, still waging war against your soul. As Paul said, what a cursed man that I am to do what I don't want to do; and do not do what I want to do (Romans 7:14-25). These ways are completely opposite of God's ways for God looks after the interests of others in the bonds of peace and love. We must understand the holy scripture if we are to fight this war at all. Ephesians teaches us the word of God is our only offense against the schemes of the devil; it's our sword (Ephesians 6:17). The battle is real and it's within our very own flesh, namely in our minds. We are to take every thought captive and into the obedience of Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 10:5). As if that isn't hard enough, need I remind you that there is an enemy always lurking looking to lead you astray. In our former life, we were children of the enemy: we were once slaves to him and his ways but now we are children of God, if we are true believers (1 John 3:10); (1 Corinthians 7:22; John 8:44-47; Acts 13:10; Genesis 15:13).
Avoid The Devil's Ways. The devil's way is to seek after his own glory and not the glory of God. His ways are full of deception: filled with bends, twists, kinks, and steps to the left and steps to the right. It's the inward looking upon the self for glory and gratification, instead of looking outward towards the glory of God and the interests of others. It's closed, not open. It is any deviation from the truth of God, which is His holy word. His thoughts are ripe with temptations and schemes; always plotting in secret what he is going to do to get what he wants. Secret thoughts and hidden intents are always his ways; concealed in darkness. His children are easy to spot for they do the same. Children of the light are open, fresh, without hidden agendas, open and honest. The children of the light, once trained can discern good from evil. They can smell the stench of death on others; they can sense their evil ways for the light within comes pouring out to expose the evil schemes of those who lurk near them. The path of the enemy is a path of destruction and it leads to ruin; those who follow in his ways will be lead to his same fate.
The World System is Controlled by Satan. When we understand Satan has been given authority to rule the earth (Ephesians 2:2; John 8:44-47, 12:31-33; Revelation 12:12; Matthew 4:8-9), we can understand the ways of this world. We can watch and see the culture pushing Satan's evil agenda. Men has been granted permission to pursue the the desires of his heart and the enemy is helping to lead mankind astray, so it's easy to understand why the world is where it is today. With the enemy having power over this world, we became prisoners to him through fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-15) for we only live once and we better get what we need in this life. We must battle against these principalities and forces of darkness which want to take us back into captivity of self glorification (1 Peter 5:8-10; Ephesians 6:12-13). It tastes good in the mouth but it will burn your belly.
Rise and Fall of Satan. He was anointed and ordained as a beautifully adorned guardian cherub mounted upon a holy hill of God and he walked upon the fiery stones of heaven. He was created and found blameless up to the point when wickedness was found in him, for he found himself beautiful. He then wanted to be admired, so he thought he could make himself like God by raising his throne higher than the stars of heaven. He was driven from his mount to earth in disgrace. (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-17). He has already been judged at Christ first appearance (John 16:11) and is awaiting his final defeat and punishment at Christ's second coming, when he will be chained in the pit for a 1000 years (Revelation 12:12, 20:1-6), then released for a final defeat in battle (Revelation 20:7-9, and then he and his followers will be thrown in the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:9-15). God's holy word is the only thing that will stand forever.
Death to the Self. Once we examine ourselves against a holy God, it's no wonder every Old Testament saint dropped to the ground in fear in the presence of the Lord. You must die to yourself and be raised to life in Christ. Who can stand the self examination of the fiery light of a holy righteous God? None. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:11; Romans 14:11). It will do us well to drop to our knees in repentance, now, before His second coming. And how many times did we curse God with our lips when we charged Him with creating man with such strong and unnatural sexual desires. We charged our sins to God's account and found Him worthless as a God for it; how wicked we really are. All the while, praised ourselves as being something to value and admire. Utterly detestable! The Almighty was always sacred and holy: being set apart from such filth. The very definition of holy is to be set apart: as He is, so also must we be. It's not hard to understand why a righteous God should declare that He is completely opposite of man's ways and how He is light and we darkness. The bible teaches us that we must die to ourselves and be raised to life in Christ (1 Peter 4:1-2; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 3:8; Colossians 3:5; Luke 9:23; 14:33). Is it any wonder why a simple remedy of patchwork won't suffice (Matthew 9:16; Luke 5:36)? No, the new wine cannot be put into the old wine skin or it will burst (Matthew 9:17; Mark 22; Luke 5:33-38). So it is that any man who looks upon God will die; do you understand why?
Raised in Newness of Life. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy - do only these (Philippians 4:8). For this world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17).
Dear heavenly Father, if we may accept the blessing of Paul for our lives, "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21).
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