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Paul writes in Ephesians 6v10-12: “God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”

I said last time that I was going to probably start discussing more directly about the God we enjoy and in whom we have an abundance of life as Christian disciples. However, it was laid on my heart by God, that it would be prudent to do two more discussions in regards to dealing with sin & temptation.

Paul here says that just as God is strong, He wants us to be strong against sin, the world, our old nature and our ultimate enemy, satan. We have seen enemies in the world. But behind the world and the old nature, is the unseen enemy in the spiritual domain. A bit like the terrorists who try to strike surreptitiously at our cities. Satan is real, and we know this because Jesus spoke about him more than anyone else! Two errors made by the church are to have blind ignorance about satan or giving him far more importance and privilege than he deserves or warrants.

So who is satan and his minions? What does the Bible say about him? Some angels fell, rebelled against God and were put out of heaven (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28). Their leader is satan who has established his kingdom on earth. The role of Satan against the Christian is summed up by his various names’ adversary, devil, accuser, angel of light, the arch-deceiver. He stands hatefully opposed to all God’s work, God’s people and resourcefully promotes defiance among people (Mark 4:15; Job 2:4-5).

When satan sinned, he was expelled from Heaven (Luke 10:18), although apparently he still had some access to God (Job 1:6). A multitude of angels decided to follow him in his fall and subsequently became the demons mentioned often in the Bible (Matthew 12:24; Revelation 12:7). Although Satan’s doom was secured by Jesus’ death on the cross (John 16:11), he will continue to hinder God’s program until he and his demons are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10)

1. Satan’s kingdom - darkness

  • The Prince of this world (John 14:30)
  • Controlling the whole world (1 John 5:19)
  • Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
  • The God of this age. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
  • Ruler, authority, power of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12)

Other names of Satan

  • The adversary (means Satan). Devil - The accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10); Murderer (John 8:44); Liar - the father of all lies (John 8 44); Tempter (1 Thessalonians 3:5); Deceiver (2 Corinthians 4:4); Schemer (2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:11); Destroys by Death (Heb. 2:14); Destroys by Disease (Luke 13:11, 16); Destroys by Devouring (1 Pet. 5:8)
  • The Wicked One - snatches away the good seed (Matthew 13:19); sows bad seed (Mt. 13:39)
  • Masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14)
  • His servants masquerade as angels of righteousness

2. Satan’ s attack on believers.

What Satan does to us?

  • Goes around like a roaring, devouring lion (1 Peter 5:8)
  • Deceives, and leads astray - wrong thinking (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 4:1; James 3:15)
  • Temptation (1 Thessalonians 3:5)
  • Attacks (Ephesians 6:16) & sifts (Job; Luke 22:31) by God’s permission only.
  • Cause doubt, uncertainty, confusion, fear, anxiety and darkness.

3. How to resist the attacks of Satan.

He is defeated

  • Christ came to destroy satan and his works (1 John 3:8)
  • Christ’s death leads to satan’s destruction (Hebrews 2:14)
  • Satan has been disarmed (Colossians 2:15) & condemned (Matthew 25:41)
  • Christ is greater than satan (1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:18)
  • Resist satan and be steadfast in the faith (1 Peter 5:9). Resist and he will flee, when we submit to God (James 4:7). Don’t give Satan an opportunity/foothold in your life - anger, lust etc. (Ephesians 4:22).

Remember this:

  • Do not blame Satan for your own sin.
  • Don’t believe the lies he tells you in your head! For example if you sin and you hear in your head “You are a failure now. God wont forgive you again.” These are lies!! Lies! Lies! Don’t believe it! That is him trying to undermine and discourage you! Yet we know the truth is that if we confess our sins, that God will forgive us 1 John 1:9
  • Rely on the authority of God’s Word (Mt. 4:1-11)
  • He is a defeated creature! He was defeated when Jesus went to the cross and rose again 3 days later!
  • Being a Christian is the best thing that could ever happen to anyone! Don’t believe anything to the contrary.
  • Remember also what John wrote in 1 John 4: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” You have the victory because the Holy Spirit indwells you as a Christian disciple.
  • Finally, put on full armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). This is what I will discuss next time. But as a preliminary, know this about the armour: it is given and designed by God so it is a key part of Christian discipleship and of living the Christian life. A fantastic book to get about the spiritual battle and our armour is William Gurnall’s seminal work: “The Christian in Complete Armour”. It comes as either one large book or an abridged version in 3 small books.

For more to think about, please do read for yourself Ephesians 6:10-18. Ask yourself the following question and suggestions, writing them down if you can, and see how you respond or react to them. Then why not share your answers with your spouse or a close friend, so that you can pray over any issues together.

Q1. Who are our real spiritual enemies?

Q2. What are the gaps in my armour and what can I do to fill those gaps?

Q3. Is there somebody I can talk to if I am feeling weak and discouraged?

Thank you.

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