Spiritual warfare. The Shield of God
I AM YOUR SHIELD Part 1
As we move to a new chapter in the life of the Church, I want to develop our understanding, of the areas of conflict common in churches, and by understanding the cause and the remedy enable the church to move to its true place in Gods purposes. Our study will help us to understand, the basis for our confidence in the work God has called us to do, and the way to success in God’s purposes.
Put on the panoply of God, Eph 6:11-13 (Darby's)
The weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 2 Cor 10:3-4 (RSV)
The struggle is against supernatural forces, although it may be through people, they are but tools in the Devils hands to undermine the work of God.
In Ephesians seen as deliberate attempts to destroy the unity of Christ's body (
27) · through the invasion of false doctrine the creation of dissension (
Four aspects of corporate menace Rulers" (archoi) are "cosmic powers"
Authorities" ( exousias,) Outside of Christ we see the continued power over unbelievers that seem to be able to temporarily oppose the purposes of God.
The universal lords of this darkness, potentate (kosmokrator) It denotes one who aspires to world control. The coming together of world powers under one Authority is a process we see at work in our world. Spiritual power of wickedness in the heavenlies" (ta pneumatika tes ponerias) the language of contemporary astrology in which the heavenly bodies were regarded as the abode of demons who held human lives in their grip. Pagans had no option but to resign themselves to an unalterable destiny. But Christians can fight against such malign influences. If "the heavenly realms" (hoi epouranioi) are assumed to be the habitat of these evil spirits, they correspond to the "air" of Ephesians 2:2. (epouranioi)
For the Child of God born of the Spirit, the battle is from the place of strength, the Victory of Christ, we have boldness because ever accusation that could be rightly levelled against us to undermine our authority has been dealt with by Christ. Not only that but Christ has stripped the spiritual forces of their authority over us.
“having canceled the bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him” Col 2:14-15 (RSV
Compare this with the statement of the apostle Paul, who reminds us that the whole human race is subject to Satan’s control, still evident in those who have rejected Jesus Christ and may still be evident in the Lives of those who though confessing faith in Christ have not yet allowed him to set them fully free from Satan’s control.
“You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord.
“All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God's anger just like everyone else”. Eph 2:2-3 (Living)
Outside of Christ mankind is imprisoned, and the only way out of Satan’s prison is if God’s children go into rescue them. The Devil is very clever in trying to distract us from our mission to rescue those who are captive in Satan’s prison, he will encourage us to quarrel with each other over irrelevant issues, and cause our pride to make us aggressive in arguing our points. Although The Apostle Paul Counsels Christians to avoid the areas of conflict that we often create
“Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” 2 Tim 2:23-26 (RSV)
CLOTHED WITH CHRIST GODS ARMOUR
When the battle is at its fiercest, the soldiers of Christ will still be able to hold their line even against the most determined attack. If we are trained and prepared, we will not be shaken by the things that happen, but recognise that many events we face are part of Satan’s attack
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; · perplexed, but not driven to despair; · persecuted, but not forsaken; · struck down, but not destroyed;” 2 Cor 4:9 (RSV)
The need to be immovable steadfast
in the face of a ruthless foe.
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord
, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain. 1 Cor 15:57-58 (RSV)
WHEN THE BATTLE IS OVER YOU WILL STILL BE STANDING