The Master's Instructions about specific Christian problems. (Ephesians 6:10-20).
To live as a Christian is not easy because we live in a non-Christian world. From inside us as well as outside we are under constant pressure to lower the standard of Jesus Christ in our lives. Never become discouraged by the struggle to do right rather than wrong. All Christians have the same struggle – even the ones you think don’t have it!
In Romans 7:21-25 Paul mentions knowing evil with him, in his body and in his sinful nature. He knows that his life’s work is to do battle against this evil with the help of the only One Who can ever bring victory – Jesus
Christ our Lord.
Identifying the enemy is often the key to winning the battle. As
Christians we have three enemies who work together for our downfall.
The world is our enemy (1 John 4:1-6)
Be very careful when you discover in yourself something of the spirit of
the world. The world panders to our fleshly desires in order to attract us
away from following our Master. Be wary of the viewpoint of the world.
Human standards, human logic, human rationale are not immediately part
of your Christian battle dress. A Christian should never be merely human.
In 1 John 2:15-17 the same writer has already said that the things of the
world and the desires of the world are not for the Christian. Do battle
with the world in the armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-11). There are
things outside us that are trying to get in. Identify them and defend
The flesh is our enemy (James 1:13-15)
The world seems to know about our weaknesses and where to attack us.
The world shows us what it knows will appeal to our flesh. The world is
like a good fisherman, always using the right bait. We can know the flesh
through the pull of our selfish desires (Galatians 5:16-21). The flesh is
the point of expression of these things in our lives. It is like the thin end
of the wedge – where we begin to lose the battle. Unchecked, it becomes
worse and worse. Our nature has been sinful since the fall and it is
natural that we do these wrong things. The desires and the deeds of the
sinful nature are contrary to God’s will. Remember that the flesh is on
the inside of the Christian’s armour! Praise God that His Holy Spirit lives
within you to battle there.
The devil is our enemy
Satan tempted Jesus and he will tempt us (Matthew 4:1). He will snatch
away God’s word from us (Matthew 13:19). He will sow bad among the
good to confuse us (Matthew 13:38-39). He will try to deceive us and
lead us astray (2 Corinthians 11:3). He will make out he is something he is
not, in order to disguise his real intent (2 Corinthians 11:14). He is a
schemer, with weapons that can do serious damage to anyone (Ephesians
6:11, 16). He wants to take us out of the war (1 Peter 5:8).
Remember though that Satan is a defeated foe (1 John 3:8). We defeat
him through the power of Jesus Christ (Revelation 20:10). Jesus Christ
overcame the world which tried to get to Him through the Jewish leaders.
He overcame the flesh which tried to get Him to avoid the cross. He
overcame the devil who offered Him the right thing the wrong way. Jesus
Christ always chose to do God’s will and God always helped Him to do it,
once that choice had been made.
Lord, grant me scars of battle on my body rather than scars of treachery
or cowardice on my mind or my heart. Amen.
Discussion guide for ‘How to fight the spiritual battle’
Bible reading Ephesians 6:10-20
1. Describe times you have known you were in a spiritual battle.
2. Why is it important to know your enemy in spiritual warfare?
3. What do you understand in this context by “the world”? (vs12)
See also 1 John 2:15-17.
4. What do you understand in this context by “the flesh”?
See also James 1:13-15; Galatians 5:16-21.
5. The struggle to do right and not wrong is universal, from pioneering
Christians to people newly born again in Christ. Put into your own
words Paul’s struggle, from Romans 7:21-25.
6. What tests can we apply to a feeling or a thought or an idea to see
if it comes from God? 1 John 4:1-6.
7. Remember Satan is a defeated foe. “The reason the Son of God
appeared was to destroy the devil’s work”, 1 John 3:8. According to
the following verses 9-10, how do we express our Christianity?
8. Read Colossians 2:6-7. How should a young Christian “continue to
live in (Christ)”?
9. Describe in your own words what it means to “be strong in the Lord
and in His mighty power”, Ephesians 6:10. Be as practical and down
to earth as you can be.