Know the Foe

1 April 2018 PM – Ephesians 6:12-13 – Armour18 – Scott Childs

Introduction: At youth camp as a young person we used to play “Capture the Flag”. The object of the game is to sneak into the enemy’s territory, find their flag, grab it and run back to your territory without getting caught. It is a fantastic, war-strategy type game. To win, you must outsmart the opponents, discover where they hid their flag, know who is on your side, and be quick and cunning.

Ephesians 6 10-19 describes serious battle with a powerful foe that is much smarter and more powerful than we are. In last week’s recruit training, we learned that to prepare for battle we must allow ourselves to be strengthened by the Person, Power, and Panoply of the Lord.

Transition: This evening we are going to study the battle and the foe so that we know exactly what we are up against.

1.        Our Foe’s Objective, v.12
a.         We are in a serious battle
1)         The word “wrestle” describes a contest, conflict or struggle between two opponents in which each strives to overpower the other.
2)         War often involves wrestling or hand-to-hand combat. That is one of the most fearful and dangerous forms of combat. In war, the struggle is one of life and death. The loser will die. This is “No mere wrestling match with an unarmed, human opponent.” (Lenski p. 659)
3)         Our opponent is not made of flesh and blood.
a)         Humans may persecute us or antagonize us, but they are not really our foe.
b)         Our real foe is the devil and his demons.
b.         Our foe wants to defeat us spiritually
1)         If you are a Christian, the devil is not after your soul.
a)         The enemy knows we are secure in Christ. (John 10:27-29) “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
b)         He can never take away our eternal life. (John 5:24) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
2)         Satan is not trying to kill us physically. As with Job, God controls our lives. (Job 2:6) “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”
3)         Satan wants to ruin our purity, holiness, and godliness and keep us from walking in the Spirit.
a)         God wants us to be pure, holy, godly, and yielded to the Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:7) “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.” (Romans 6:13) “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Ephesians 5:3-4) “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.”
b)         Satan wants us to be impure, unholy, ungodly, and to yield to his temptations. He is working diligently with our flesh to get us to sin. (James 1:14-15) “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” He knows that if we yield to the Holy Spirit he cannot control us. (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
4)         The devil hates God and he hates you and me. If the devil can keep you from yielding to the Holy Spirit, he knows that you will be useless in serving the Lord; you will dishonour and disgrace the Lord; and God will chasten you for your sin. Yes, that is our foe’s objective!
2.        Our Foe’s Description
a.         Here is God’s briefing: we fight against…
1)         Principalities: {stresses their antiquity} Chief evils, original sinners, evil rulers. God just told us that they are not human. They are demonic rulers of the wicked spirit-world. They try to keep us from God’s love (Ro 8:38-39). They are far below Christ in authority (Eph 1:20-21). Jesus disarmed them on Calvary (Col 2:15).
2)         Powers: {stresses their authority} The word has more to do with demonic authority than with might. They know our weaknesses. They are expert trappers with the best lures. They are bold, confident, fearless, mighty leaders. We see a bit of Satan’s power displayed during Job’s trials (i.e., storms, thieves, murders, and sickness).
3)         The rulers of the darkness of this world: {stresses their universal influence} They are world-masters of the darkness of this universe or age. They are organized “kosmos” rulers. They rule over the entire world of evil darkness. Being spirits, their movements are not limited by a mortal body. Darkness is the opposite of God’s light. They rule over evil moral darkness.
4)         Spiritual wickedness in high places: {stresses their evil character} They are spiritual forces of wickedness: not mortal, not tangible and not visible. High places literally refers to the heavenlies. They roam the vast heavenlies, evidently including the region of heaven itself. (Job 2:1) “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.”
b.         More about the enemy from our Manual (the Bible)
1)         Satan’s past
a)         Both Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:14ff seem to describe Satan.
b)         He was once Lucifer the anointed cherub
c)         He was kicked out of heaven because of his pride
2)         Satan’s power
a)         He may be the second most powerful being in the universe. Even Michael the archangel rebuked him in the name of the Lord – Jude 1:9
b)         He had the power of eternal death before Christ defeated him on the cross – Heb 2:14
c)         He is the power of the air – Eph 2:2
d)         He is an angel of light, deceiving many – 2Co 11:14
3)         Satan’s program
a)         He is a “tempter” – Mat 4:3; “murderer” – Joh 8:44; “liar” – Joh 8:44; “evil one” – IJo 5:19; “deceiver” – Rev 12:9; and “accuser of the brethren” – Rev 12:10
b)         He wants to devour (i.e., swallow) us – 1Pe 5:8
4)         Satan’s purpose
a)         Christ probably had him in mind when he said, (John 10:10) “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
b)         Satan wants to steal your purity, holiness, and godliness; kill your effectiveness for God and your ability to glorify the Lord; and destroy your happiness and hope of reward in heaven. God describes our foe as FAR too powerful and cunning for our abilities.
3.        Our Foe’s Weakness (v.13)
a.         He will flee if we submit to God and resist him
1)         (James 4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist [i.e., withstand] the devil, and he will flee from you.”
2)         This is Satan’s only weak spot. He is no match for God!
3)         The evil day is our daily temptation or trial.
b.         We must wear God’s panoply and do all to stand
1)         We must follow God’s orders exactly – do all He says.
2)         We must stand boldly in God’s armour when attacked.
Conclusion: We are in a fearful battle and we must know the foe. We must know his objective, his description, and his weakness. If the evil enemy has defeated you this week, confess your sin, submit to God, resist the devil, and daily wear God’s armour. We will see more on that next week. (Review) I recommend that you download these notes and review them.

Song: Sound the Battle Cry! 413