Attaining Your Potential • The redemption of your purpose • Complete in Christ • A dwelling of God • Ephesians 6:10-20 – a final word regarding spiritual warfare
Spiritual Victory Attaining Your Potential
I. Warfare in the Unseen Realm – vs. 10-12 • Imitate God (5:1) • God’s power • God’s armor • God’s weapons
Stand firm against all strategies • 2 Corinthians 2:11 • Satan cannot outsmart us • Not ignorant of his schemes
Not flesh and blood enemies • People are not your enemy • Evil spirits in the unseen world (spiritual realm) • 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 • We don’t wage war as humans • We use God’s mighty weapons • Knock down the strongholds of human reasoning
Discernment into the unseen • Between spiritual struggles and other social, personal and political difficulties • 1 Corinthians 2:15 “Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things…”
II. The Armor of God – vs. 13-17 • Able to resist the enemy in the time of evil • Revelation 12:12 “…But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” • After the battle – still standing firm
Belt of Truth • Belt – holding things together – attach weapons • Jesus, the way, the truth, the life (John 14:6) • Truth brings freedom (John 8:32)
Body armor of righteousness • Body armor – protecting vital organs • Made right with God • 2 Corinthians 5:19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
Shoes – the peace that comes from the Good News • Shoes – for stability and mobility • Colossians 1:23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.
Shield of Faith • Shield – defensive against enemy weapons • Extinguish flaming missiles • Faith – trust • 1 Peter 5:8 - 9 8Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.
Salvation as your helmet • Helmet – protect brain/mind • Salvation – born of the Spirit • 1 Peter 1:13 "Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
The sword of the Spirit – the word of God • Sword – offensive weapon • “It is written…” – Jesus’ offensive weapon of warfare against the temptations of the devil • How important is it that you know the word? • 2 Timothy 2:15 "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth."
III. Power Weapon of Prayer – vs. 18-20 • Armor protects but believers must advance • God’s battle strategy for spiritual victory - Prayer
Pray in the Spirit • Other tongues • Our spirit prays with help of the Holy Spirit • At all times • Stay alert • Matthew 26:41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” • Be persistent • For all believers everywhere
Prayer for bold explanation of the Good News • 2 Corinthians 4:3 - 4 3If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
Interaction Time • Why is it that if Jesus has conquered Satan we still have spiritual warfare? • How does the idea that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood conflict with your concept of fighting the world system? • How has an overall understanding of Ephesians changed your understanding of the place of the church in God’s plan for the world?
Coming soon – Living the Spirit-Formed Life • Spirit born • Spirit filled • Spirit formed – calling believers to growth in Christ likeness and discipleship under his lordship