- Sermon Notes
Victory In Spiritual Warfare – Part 2
July 24, 2022
We are discussing the Armor of God and the Spiritual Victory God has in store for us in Christ Jesus. Thus far we have seen that we need to discern that the times are evil and getting more so as we draw near to the latter days. We have seen that in Jesus Christ we are protected from the schemes of the enemy and we are able to stand firm in the finished work of Christ with the armor of God.
Our position in Christ is our defense.
- He IS your Truth
- He IS your Righteousness
- He IS your Peace
- He IS your Shield
- He IS your Salvation
Now we will see that we also have offensive weapons against the enemy. A well-known military saying is that offense is the greatest defense.
We are not just called to tuck in and ride out the storm, but to be pro-active, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, raiding the dominion of darkness, pushing back the works of the enemy, and expanding the kingdom of God.
In this next section, we will see that Paul teaches us on these offensive weapons and how to use them effectively. We will see how the defensive armor and offensive weapons work together to give us protection and to make us effective in spiritual warfare. The church can live in spiritual victory through the finished work of God.
II. Use Your Offensive Weapons
- God has given us offensive weapons to stand against the enemy, and effectively attack against the works of the enemy.
A. Take up the sword of the Spirit
- The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. It is used as a weapon. There are two aspects to emphasize: it’s the sword of the Spirit… and it’s the Word of God.
2 Corinthians 10:4, The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
- A fortress is a stronghold that protects something. The image Paul portrays is that there are layers of destructive lies and mindsets, creating fortresses in the minds of people, keeping them captive to the lie.
2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,
- Today, there are many ‘speculations’ and ‘lofty things’ raised up against the knowledge of God. It tries to assert its authority in the minds of people, which then shapes peoples’ thought patterns and life directions. Many of these can look innocent, or could even be masked as scientific fact. For example, the theory of evolution which is presented as a ‘fact’. Aliens, which first was science fiction, now seen as ‘fact’, abortion, with the ‘fact’ that a fetus is not a baby.
- The knowledge of God is the truth of God, grounded in the fact that God is the all -knowing Eternal One that is the source of all divine truth and knowledge.
- This truth is His Word. With it, we destroy lies of the enemy.
- The problem is that many are not skilled in how to use a sword and therefore vulnerable to attack.
- When Jesus encountered the enemy in Matthew 4, His response to spiritual attack was the Word of God.
Matthew 4:4, He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’”
- So, this word is for self-protection, but also an offensive weapon against the works of the enemy, tearing down strongholds.
- When the truth of the word is proclaimed, it brings truth in the lives of those who hear it, and just as we have been set free, it sets others free. We press in and possess the spiritual territory of the enemy by captives being saved and set free when hearing and believing the word.
- However, the word of God is not a dead, lifeless document.
Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
- The word is living and active, able to do spiritual surgery, able to divide between the soul (reason, will, emotions, intellect) and the spirit (the part of you that has been made alive with Christ) so that you are able to discern between that in you soul that is a lie, and that which is aligned with the Spirit of God.
- Without it, everything inside you can feel like a tangled mess, making it difficult to discern the truth.
Illus. Many times in my spiritual journey, I have experienced that something is off. It might not even be something big, but there would be a still voice from the Spirit of God nudging me. Although I am secure in my salvation, knowing that I am a child of God because I trust in His promise, I would experience something in my behavior or character that I discern is not aligned with the Spirit of Christ. When I would then spend time in God’s word and ask Him to reveal to me what the problem was, He would, through His word and the gentle working of the voice of His Spirit inside me show me where the problem was, be it grounded in some insecurity, the lie of the enemy, pride, unforgiveness, fear, or whatever other lie the enemy was using to build a stronghold in my mindset which would flow out into behavior or actions.
- The sword of the Word and the Spirit thrusts into the heart of the problem to bring freedom.
- You can then take every thought captive in your mind that wants to exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ, speaking the truth against it.
B. Pray in the Spirit
- Paul understood the significance of prayer. The disciples saw the relationship Jesus had with His Father and understood that prayer was a significant part of that relationship, which is why they said, “Teach us to pray.”
- What did Jesus pray? I’m convinced that one aspect of His prayer was to enjoy the intimacy of relationship with His Father.
- This is why Paul said to pray in the Spirit. If there isn’t spiritual revival, there is no spiritual victory. There are some prayers we do that are kind of like brushing our teeth; we do them regularly to remember the Lord and acknowledge Him.
- To pray in the Spirit suggests something deeper, something more personal, more intimate, where the Spirit begins to move upon the soul.
- Prayer is personal, but we are also called to intercessory prayer: praying for others and situations.
- Jesus wept over Jerusalem because He saw the heartache and the pain of the lost.
- When you are moved by the Spirit, seeing people the way God sees them you pray differently.
James 5:16, The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- This scripture speaks of a different kind of prayer. Prayer that is infused with the power of The Holy Spirit as we come in agreement with Gods will. This is prayer that uses the power of the Sword of the Spirit and speaks it in faith into the Spiritual realm.
Psalm 149:5, Let the godly ones exult in glory; let them sing for joy on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with chains And their nobles with fetters of iron, to execute on them the judgment written; This is an honor for all His godly ones. Praise the Lord!
- We are called to execute the judgment of God over our spiritual enemies in the spiritual realm by using the Word of God and speaking it into the Spiritual realm with the authority that God has given us in the name of Jesus.
Luke 10:19, Behold, I have given you authority … over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.
- We execute the judgement that was already passed over the enemy and all his forces on the cross when Jesus overcame all the power of the enemy.
- Not only by speaking, but the scripture makes it clear through singing the Word and the truth as well.
- When you are moved by the Spirit, you pray and sing differently.
- We overcome the darkness by the power of the Spirit as the light of the world.
C. Be on the alert
- In the last days, Jesus said, they will not understand until the troubles come upon them like a flood. But you, be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
1 Peter 5:8-9, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, being firm in your faith.
- “Watch and be ready,” Jesus said, “watch for the signs of the times.”
- Jesus said the last days before He comes back will be like the days of Noah, where iniquity will abound. We are seeing this all around us.
- A soldier needs to be alert. He cannot be caught sleeping. We must not be lulled into complacency, but we must keep on asking God for a Spirit of discernment that we will not be deceived. This is a gift of the Spirit that are sorely needed. Having done EVERYTHING, that we will stand firm.
- We see in these times the enemy coming in like a flood. It seems like it is just growing darker and darker, the evil and darkness just coming in like a flood from all directions. But we do not have to fear.
Isaiah 59:19, When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
- Raising a Standard in times of battle was lifting the banner of an army. The banner showed who the army was, what kingdom it represented, and the power behind the banner.
- In these times that the enemy is coming in like a flood, we don’t have to stand against it with our own power or will-power. He didn’t leave us alone to fend for ourselves.
- God promises that His Spirit will raise up His banner, His army, his forces against the enemy. Not only that, but He will also raise up the everlasting standard of His Word and His Kingdom that will not be shaken.
- Like in the vision of Daniel, there is a Rock, stronger than any other kingdom that will never be shaken.
- We are part of that kingdom. Our prayer must be, Spirit of God, come with revival in the souls of people. Rush in like a might wind. Raise up your Standard here and now.
13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 [a]in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.