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The Ninth Priciple of Discipleship


HavingVictory In Spiritual Warfare On Two Fronts  


HavingVictory In Spiritual Warfare On Two Fronts  

II. Putting on the armor of God andstanding against the Devil 


Crucifyingthe flesh and walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26) 

Introduction: Whenpeople consider spiritual warfare, they often neglect this part of the battle.
They usually focus on our battle with the Devil overlooking this first part of
the battle. Spiritual warfare has two fronts. Our battle with the “flesh” and the battle with the Devil. This battlewith the “flesh” is actually the sinful nature that resides within us. It will
not be until the resurrection until we are free from this sinful nature, so we
have a real battle going on every day. It is through the Holy Spirit dwelling
within us that gives us the ability to be victorious. In this section, we want
to examine the truth we find in the scriptures to understand it and then to
discover how to release and maintain victory on this front of the battle. 

Understanding the truthof this battle: 

1. The battle is real 

2. The battle is constant 

3. The battle is serious and dangerous. Itcould lead to our downfall as a disciple and lead us to simply being a defeated
Christian no good to anyone, even ourselves. 

4. The battle can only be won through thepower of the Holy Spirit at work in our lives 

5. Let’s consider the “flesh.” 

· The flesh is self-reliant Galatians 3:3.It doesn’t rely on anyone else 

· The flesh is self-centered Galatians 5:13.The only thing that is really important is self.  

· The flesh will lead us to a life of sinGalatians 5:19-21 

· The flesh will keep us from a life withGod Galatians 5:21 

· The works of the flesh are the expressionsof the sinful nature and each one of these works is just as bad as the other ones.
In other words, they are all equal Galatians 5:19-20. These works are the
result of walking in the flesh. 

6. Let’s consider the Spirit 

· Walking in the Spirit is the same as beingfilled with the Spirit and we need this filling every day, maybe even several
times a day 

· Surrendering to the Spirit is essentialbecause He is living inside of us and is our source and power for victory
Galatians 5:16; Romans 8:1-2 

· The results of walking in the Spirit isthe fruit of the Spirit being manifested in our lives Galatians 5:22-23.  

· This fruit of the Spirit is not about ourconduct, it is about character that is manifesting in our lives as a result of
us walking in the Spirit. 

How to release andmaintain victory on this front of the battle 

1. Learn to confess sin as soon as possible 1John 1:9. Confessing here means that we are agreeing with God that what you
have done is wrong! 

2. Crucifying the flesh with it’s passionsand desires Galatians 5:25; 2:20. Refer back to the 6th factor ofour discipleship manual to help with this. 

3. Exercise faith, believing who God is andwhat He has said Galatians 2:20 

4. Be being filled daily with the SpiritGalatians 5:26 

5. Be especially guarded about pride and envy(jealousy). Galatians 5:27 

Puttingon the armor of God and standing against the Devil 

Introduction: By now through our studies, we haveseen how there is a real enemy of our souls, the Devil, and his minions of
demons who are committed to stealing, killing, and destroying us. The
foundation verse of this entire study, John 10:10 begins with Jesus telling us
that these activities of the Devil are very real. So we have Jesus telling us
how real the Devil is, Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, we are told to be “sober
(self-controlled), be (imperative) vigilant (watchful, on alert); because the
devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking (desiring, present tense) whom
he may devour.” In 1 John 3:7-8, John tells us and then Paul tells us in
Ephesians 6. 

Obviously, to releaseand maintain the abundant life that Jesus wants to give to us will absolutely
require us to deal directly with the devil and all of his demons. To think that
this is not the case will result in disaster for us spiritually. The Apostle
Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18 provides the information and instructions of exactly
how to accomplish this and have victory over the devil in spiritual warfare!
So, let us begin to examine this passage very carefully. 

7General truths to consider 

(1) The warfare is real.Ignorance is a guarantee of defeat. There are so many that think this is not
true, there is no devil, demons, etc. etc.  

(2) The real warfare is with the enemy of our souls and his forces, and the flesh (mind andemotions) and the world are only the avenues and pawns used by them.  

(3) The real warfare is on the spiritual dimension and is oftennot visible in the naturalrealm. 

(4) The real warfare is not a reflection of Hollywood and we must be carefulnot to allow movies and stories written by men to shape how we see things or what
we are dealing with! 

(5) This warfare clarifies two specific concepts... you’reeither a target or a tool of the devil! 

(6) The outcome of this warfare is already decided and the provision forvictory is immediately available to us. But this does not mean that we
automatically experience victory and there’s not a battle to fight! ( Luke

(7) This warfare will not cease until Jesusreturns a second time D-Day verses V-Day 

I. Understand The Source of Strength and Power forBelievers to be Victorious v.10 

1. The source is the ending result and conclusion ofall Paul is trying to teach us. Victory is a major theme in Ephesians. 

2. The source is external. The verb “be” is a present passive imperativeverb. This speaks to the continual effort and activity occurring, that God is
the one performing the action, our own inability and weaknesses, and that this
is a command to be involved with! 

3. The source is eternal… Jesus Christ Himself… “in the Lord” speaks of theultimate power source, an artesian well 

4. The source is effective… “in the power of His might” already been proveneffective against the enemy (Ephesians 1:19-21)… Paul calls us to understand it
in chapter one, now he shares that this awesome power is available for us to be
“in” for victory to flow! 

II. Understand The Appropriation of that Strength andPower v.11 

  1. Put on the full armor of God! 

(2) Understand the believer’s commanded responsibilityregarding this matter. We find the imperative mode in regard to putting it on!
We must make the appropriation; it is our responsibility to put it on. It is
also an aorist tense and middle voice, so the emphasis is on the significant
action not progressive in nature 

(3) Grasp the comprehensive concept! “Whole” armor speaks to acomprehensive idea, nothing partial or halfway! Like a diamond with different
facets yet they can’t be separated without destroying the whole! Although
understood as different parts, it must be all or nothing if you desire genuine
victory! understanding of the whole armor... the new self or new man of Ephesians
4:24! Appropriating the entire “New Self” 4:24 speaks of putting on the new
self.. this is the same explained in detail not something separate. The “whole”
armor is the details that will provide clear understanding of what establishes
victory! Though we know that the new self is a gift from God and we are told to
put it on (imperative), we have here two ideas to consider… One is that this
armor is from God, Second, we are the ones that must put it on… God doesn’t do
it for us! God provides, we appropriate it of course by faith!... So a part of
victory for the believer is just putting on the new self, the whole armor of
God, not necessarily accomplishing great deeds and good works!!!!!!!!!!! 

  1. Be able (present passive)Stand (aorist, significant not progressive) (the root word for power, ‘dunimis’) against the wiles of the

1) Recognize the seriousness of the  threat...The “wiles (methodeias, there is a plan and a method behind his madness)”
source is the devil and his forces “of” These “wiles” consist of his ministry
and work toward us that always remains the same! The “wiles” are the devils
strategies: deception 2 Corinthians 11:3, temptation Matthew 4:1,3, accusation
Revelation 12:10, and destruction 1 Corinthians 10:10, Revelation 9:11! 

2) Understand the believer’s responsibilityrelated to this matter This “stand” has two meanings 

a. The believer’s position .... Standing firm not necessarily moving outagainst him! 

b. The believer’s endurance ....Withstanding what comes your way. 2 Timothy4:7... “I fought the good fight, finished my course, kept the faith....” 

c. This can only occur through Hispower at work in our lives, as we surrender to Him, walking in the fear of the

III. The Sphere and the Severity of the Warfarev.12 

1. The universality of the struggle.... everyone is involved “we”. 

2. The continual nature of the struggle.... “do” is a present tenseverb! 

3. The closeness of the struggle.... “wrestle” word used only inthis one place in the New Testament which means hand-to-hand combat not
computer guided missiles fired from a distance! We might think another word for
battle or struggle might be used but this word is used to heighten the image of
the closeness of the struggle. 

4. The instruments and participantsin the struggle 

(1) Obviously evil people, disasters,religion, political and governmental systems are used by the devil and demons 

(2) Us!  

(3) The devil and his demons.  

1) Here are some of their characteristics 

a. They are real created beings (one place at one time) 

b. They have intelligence 

c. They have an organized structure,  

d. They have a developed system,  

e. They have an established hierarchy,  

f. They share common objectives andstrategies with an intentionally designed planfor our destruction!  

2) Here is how they are identified 

a. “Principalities” – beginning, first,first cause. These are like those who have greater authority over the rest and
seem to be fewer in number. 

b. “Powers” – authority to rule,jurisdiction, power. These are like governors who have large portions of

c. “Rulers of Darkness” – a worldruler, of darkness, gloom, evil. These are those who are operating within very
dark and sinful areas 

d. “Hosts of spiritual wickedness” –many, baseness, wickedness, maliciousness. These seem to be the majority of
demons specifically assigned to do whatever their leaders dictate to them 

IV. The Strategy for Effective and Victorious Warfarevv.13-20 

1. We arecommanded again to “take upthe whole armor of God” for the purpose of “standing,” which is the way
believers experience victory. This matter of “Taking up” would involve the
following matters: 

(1) A genuine hunger 

(2) A personal choice 

(3) A level of intimacy 

(4) A measure offaith 

2. We are againcommanded to stand meaning to stand firm and to stand withendurance. 

3. The specificstrategies identified as armor are now outlined through imagery to help in our
understanding of what God provides for us to be victorious. And remember these are
found in Him as we interweave ourselves with Him. 

(1) Know the truth.(The Belt of Truth) The importance of knowing the truth! There is truth which
is seen as that which holds a lot of the armor in place and connects it all
together. The idea is that truth must be involved in all aspects of your fight
with evil. Jesus told us, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will make
you free.” John 8:32. Freedom is more a matter of the heart than just physical
surroundings! Know the truth about Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the
Father! Who they are and what they are doing!!! 

(2) Live a balanced surrendered life. The surrendered life is livingand walking in the fear of the Lord(The Breastplate of Righteousness and the
Helmet of Salvation) The essential place of God’sRighteousness and salvation applied in our lives! They are very similar in
nature and are seen as protecting the 2 most vulnerable areas of the body, the
heart and the head. This can also represent our thinking (intellect) and
feelings (emotions)! 

a.Consider how many bad decisions are made comingout of “stinking” thinking and “wounded hearts!!  

b. Consider how necessary and essentialthese two matters are. How in the world could we ever stand against the devil
in our own righteousness or our own good works that might grant salvation?!! 

c. Consider that these both come only through surrender and arenot of our own accord or works. They are applied by grace through faith and are
very powerful elements in our battle against evil!! “He who knew no sin became
sin for us that we might become the righteousness...” 

d. Consider a caution here because it has been my experience that forChristians maturing in the faith, there is a danger to confuse our own
maturity, righteousness, and good works as our right standing with the Lord.
This often manifests itself in the way we judge others or just look at
others!!! Be careful!! Or the way we conduct our lives… deciding for ourselves
what’s wrong or right, what’s ok to slip a little, etc. 

(3) Chooseloving relationships (Shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of
Peace). The necessity of God’s peace underlyingall that we are and do!  

a. Feet speak of three things: balance, foundation, and direction

b. “Shod” means “bind to.” It is in the aoristtense indicating the intensity of the completed action. So, this is not
something that is progressive in nature. 

c. The gospel of peace is significant.This is not the gospel of Christ or any other gospel. The identification of
peace produces the image of bringing peace,producing ongoing peace, and spreading peace. Colossians3:12-15 

d. So, the image is representing the importanceof relationships! Now we knowwho the battle is with but with whom does the battles often come through????
With others!!! So, the balance, foundation, and direction of our lives in
spiritual warfare for victory is living in and spreading peace, God’s peace,
not so much the peace of the world! Ill. of man forgiven so much and then not
binding that within his heart and judging more! Our bitter judgment is closer
to the surface of our lives than we realize! 

e. Now please understand that thisdoesn’t mean that everybody has to be happywith you (Luke 6:26)! Loving relationships also means that proper boundaries are in place!  

(4) Exercisefaith. (The Shield of Faith) 

a. The image of the shield, that Paul gives us here from the Romansoldier’s equipment. This shield is metal and is large that it covered the
entire body and was covered in leather and soaked in water. They wanted the
arrows to stick in the leather to prevent fires around them! 

b. The reality of the shield! We have learned that the armor of Godis an image illustrating God’s presencebeing over and in us. When it comes to this shield, this idea is fully
understood! God Himself is our shield. Genesis 15:1; 2 Samuel 22:31; Psalms
18:2; 84:11. A shield identifies,conceals, and protects

c. The connection of the shield! It is directly connected to faith.It is the shield of faith, whichshows possession, but we can see that the shield is directly connected as
belonging to and being released as a result of faith! What do we know about
faith? It’s impossible to please God without faith. There are different levels
of faith. A small amount can move a mountain. Can’t be saved without faith.
Faith is the victory that overcomes the world! Faith is the evidence and
substance of things not seen! Now faith is not the substance but gives you the
eyes to see the substance which is Christ and Him at work on your behalf!!
Faith sets things into motion that nothing else can... (Mark 5:36 Jairus’
daughter) Jesus said, just believe!! 

d. The action associated with the shield. “Taking up” here means weare taking action. This verbis in the aorist tense indicating intensive action. This action of exercising
faith releases God’s powerful presence as a shield to identify us, conceal us,
and more importantly to protect us!!! 

e. The protection of the shield.... from fiery arrows and fieryfurnaces!!! 

(5) Studyand use the scripturesproperly. (The Sword of the Spirit) 

1. Recognizewho is in the battle with us! 

(1) It’s the Spirit’s sword! It belongs to Him. He is in the battle withus! 

(2) The word of God is not like anyother book. It is inspired, illuminated, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Itis His power behind it that makes it a powerful and destructive force to the

2. Realizeour responsibility with thesword! 

(1) We are to “take” (intensive), to study to show ourselves…. 

(2) Studying the scriptures properly isimportant. If we fail to properly interpretthem, then we will not fully understandthem. Share the 7 interpretative principles! 

a. Commitment to the inerrancy and authority of the Scriptures 

b. Predidictioal Elimination 

c. Historical context 

d. Grammatical context 

e. Scriptural context 

f. Priority of Authority of Biblical books 

g. Priority of God’s Purpose 

(3) The word of God is a doubled edgedsword Hebrews tells us. It can defeatthe devil but it can also harmothers or ourselves if used improperly 

3. Releasethe power of God’s word forvictory! 

(1) Consider Jesus in the wilderness. Heknew them and understood them and then he used them with victorious results! 

(2) As we grow in our understanding, wetoo can use the sword of the Spirit with victorious results!! Too many of us
are bringing a butter knife to a gun fight!!! It is the word that produces
faith in us 

(6) Developa meaningful prayer life (Praying always with all prayer and supplication in
the Spirit) 

  1. Important General Principles 

1. It moves us from the natural realm into the spiritual realm...Our conscious minds and emotions are moved! ... we speak into the heavenly
places to evil as well as to God! This is the realm where the battle is taking
place! Eph. 1:3; 1:20; 2:6; 3:10; 6:12 

2. It is the actual exercise of faith in the spokenword based on who God is and what He has done and is doing as revealed in the
Word of God! 

3. It is our direct connection with God. It helps usto understand the closeness and immediate availability of God. 

4. It is the means by which things are changed..... The prayer of arighteous man availeth much,” we are saved (call on the name of the Lord),
Whatever you ask in my name I will do..... 1 John 5:14-15, “this is the

  1. Specific Directions for Praying (v.18) 

1. Time ofpraying….Always…. Praying Constant, Conscious, Communion with God! 

2. Kind ofpraying….All prayer and supplication…. All kinds of praying  

3. Location and Power source of praying….In the Spirit…. The sphere and location forpraying. This is more like from the heart being connected to and filled with
the Spirit! 

4. Purpose for praying…. To this end (refers back to praying in theSpirit) being anointed!... “Watchful” means to be alert and aware, stay alert
to care for, to stay awake all night for protection. Looking out for others!!!
This verb is a present tense verb!!  

· To stay alert 

· To stay aware 

· To stay anointed: to energize thearmor of God, to release the power of God. To defeat the enemy 

Conclusion: The warfare is real with real enemies that aresupernatural and only through Jesus Christ and His power and authority can we
be victorious. Our surrender to Him and obedience in following him opens the
door to a wonderful life of victory, inner peace, and joy! A genuine factor in
releasing and maintaining the abundant life of Christ in our lives!