Sunday, April 6, 2008
How Do We Fight Spiritually?
Spiritually Dressed For Success
Pr 20:18 (NIV) Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.
# The purpose of this Bible Study is to consider and meditate on the Scriptural meaning of each piece of the armor of God, so that we might stand firm in the battles of life.
Eph 6:10-17 (NIV) ...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 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. Therefore put on the full armour 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. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Why Spiritual Armor?
Rom 13:12 (NIV) The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Jer 46:3-4 (NIV) "Prepare your shields, both large and small, and march out for battle! Harness the horses, mount the steeds! Take your positions with helmets on! Polish your spears, put on your armour!"
1 Cor 14:8 (GLT) For if a trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who will get himself ready for war?
Luke 21:36 (NIV) "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."
Mal 3:2 (NAS) But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears?..
1 Cor 10:12-13 (NIV) So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
Jude 1:24 (Wey) But to Him who is able to keep you safe from stumbling, and cause you to stand in the presence of His glory free from blemish and full of exultant joy...
Jas 4:7 (NAS) Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
The Belt of Truth
Eph 6:14 (NRS) ...fasten the belt of truth around your waist...
Isa 11:5 (NIV) Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash round his waist.
Ex 12:11 (NIV) This is how you are to eat it [the passover lamb]: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand...
1 Kings 18:46 (NIV) The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and, tucking his cloak into his belt, he ran ahead of Ahab all the way to Jezreel.
Eph 4:25 (NKJ) Therefore, put away lying, "Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor."
# Ray Stedman: "No Christian has the right to a private life. Our lives are to be lived openly before all men, transparent, a spectacle unto all the world. We have no private lives and we must not expect to have. This is basically and fundamentally wrong. Christians are to be demonstrations of the truth."
John 4:24 (NIV) "God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Col 3:8-10 (NIV) But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.
2 Th 2:10 (NIV) ...They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
Php 3:9 (NRS) ...Not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.
Isa 59:16-17 (NAS) ...Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head...
Ex 28:15 (NIV) "Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions... Make it like the ephod..."
1Ki 3:9 (NIV) So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.
Ps 94:15 (NIV) Judgment will again be founded on righteousness, and all the upright in heart will follow it.
Pr 2:7-8 (NIV) He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair--every good path.
Standing on The Gospel
Eph 6:15 (NIV) ...your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Eph 6:15 (Wey) ...as well as the shoes of the Good News of peace--a firm foundation for your feet.
Rom 10:15 (KJV) ...As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"
# Imagine yourself standing barefooted in a rocky climate, like in the Middle East. You could move--ever so carefully--but without shoes you would be useless in battle. The weight of the other pieces of armor would only make your feet more sensitive if you had no protection. You would be a "push-over" for the enemy, as you would have no agility and be wincing in pain every time you attempted to move. This is why it is essential to have our "feet shod with the gospel of peace".
1 Cor 15:1-4 (Wey) But let me recall to you, brethren, the Good News [Gospel] which I brought you, which you accepted, and on which you are standing, through which also you are obtaining salvation, if you bear in mind the words in which I proclaimed it--unless indeed your faith has been unreal from the very first...-- that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures; that He was buried; that He rose to life again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
# This is the gospel as we have received it. It is foolishness to many, but life and light to those who believe in it and are willing to follow and be "included in" Christ's death. In practice, the Gospel means we are dead to our self-life with all of its lusts and instincts, and alive with new life in Christ. The good news is that by considering ourselves "dead men" in Christ, we can be put at peace with God in Christ. If we have truly died to self, then over time our instincts will be "dead" to the rocks and glass and thorns of this world which used to move us. Those standing on the gospel will not react in the flesh. Instead, we will move by God's Spirit with a protected disregard for such "fleshly" considerations, being "readied" by the "shoes" of the "death, burial, and resurrection of Christ", which is the Gospel that brings peace.
1 Pet 2:11 (NAS) Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.
Gal 5:16-17 (NAS) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Rom 8:5-13 (NAS) For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. ...the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God... But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Isa 52:6-7 (NIV) "Therefore my people will know my name; therefore in that day they will know that it is I who foretold it. Yes, it is I. How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation [Yeshua, Jesus!] who say to Zion, 'Your God reigns!'"
The Helmet Of Salvation [Jesus]
Isa 59:16-17 (KJV) And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation [Yeshua] upon his head...
1 Th 5:8 (NAS) But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love; and as a helmet, the hope of salvation.
Ps 140:7 (NAS) "O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation [Yeshua], You have covered my head in the day of battle."
# Jesus--Yeshua in Hebrew--means "Salvation". Salvation is Jesus Christ.
Col 1:18 (NKJ) And He is the head of the body, the church...
1 Cor 2:16 (NIV) "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.
Php 2:5 (NKJ) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus...
1 Pet 4:1 (NKJ) Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.
2 Cor 10:3-5 (NRS) Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards; for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
Eph 4:14-16 (NKJ) ...We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ--from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
The Sword of The Spirit - The Word of God
Isa 49:2 (NAS) He has made My mouth like a sharp sword, In the shadow of His hand He has concealed Me; And He has also made Me a select arrow, He has hidden Me in His quiver.
# Matthew Henry: "To the Christian armed for defense in battle, the apostle recommends only one weapon of attack; but it is enough, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. It subdues and mortifies evil desires and blasphemous thoughts as they rise within; and answers unbelief and error as they assault from without. A single text, well understood, and rightly applied, at once destroys a temptation or an objection, and subdues the most formidable adversary."
Heb 4:12-13 (NKJ) For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
2 Cor 6:7 (NIV) ...in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left...
Ps 149:4-6 (NIV) For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honour and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands.
The Shield of Faith
Eph 6:16 (Wey) ...take the great shield of faith, on which you will be able to quench all the flaming darts of the Wicked one.
Ps 35:1-3,9 (NIV) Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me; fight against those who fight against me. Take up shield and buckler; arise and come to my aid. Brandish spear and javelin against those who pursue me. Say to my soul, "I am your salvation."... Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation [yes, Yeshua again].
Ps 3:2-3 (GLT) Many are saying of my soul, There is no salvation for him in God. Selah. But You, O Jehovah, are a shield around me; [you are] my glory and He who lifts up my head.
1 Pet 1:5 (NAS) ...who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
Ps 33:20 (NIV) We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.
1 Tim 6:12 (NIV) Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 John 5:4-5 (Wey) For every child of God overcomes the world; and the victorious principle which has overcome the world is our faith. Who but the man that believes that Jesus is the Son of God overcomes the world?
Pr 30:5 (NIV) "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him."
Be Strong In The Lord, By the Power of Grace
1 Cor 16:13 (NIV) Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
2 Tim 2:1 (GLT) ...Be empowered by grace in Christ Jesus.
Eph 3:7 (GLT) ...I was made a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me, according to the working of His power.
2 Cor 9:8 (NIV) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Col 1:11 (Wey) Since His power is so glorious, may you be strengthened with strength of every kind, and be prepared...
Php 4:13 (NAS) I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
The Battle is The Lord's
1 Sam 17:47 (NKJ) [David, speaking to Goliath] "Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."
Deut 20:3-4 (NIV) ..."Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be faint-hearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory."
Ps 18:32-35 (NIV) It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
Zec 4:6 (NIV) ..."'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."
Rom 11:36 (GLT) Because of Him, and through Him, and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.