Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Spiritual warfare's 3 common enemies: The Devil

Ephesians 6:10-11 "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil."

John 2:16-17 "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world."

Today's post is all about identifying the three common enemies every Christian faces in the daily spiritual warfare talked about in scripture. In the opening passage above we see them underlined: the Devil, the world and the flesh. The contexts of both scriptures indicate the following:

1. Common Enemy in spiritual warfare is The Devil.

2. Cravings that contribute to our spiritual warfare is the flesh.

3. Context in which our warfare occurs is the world. 

So with those 3 common enemies identified and their roles in the daily spiritual warfare of the Christian, let's briefly consider the believer's common enemy, the Devil, and discover how Jesus Christ gives victory not only against him but against every enemy.

The Common Enemy in spiritual warfare is the Devil
Ephesians 6:11 warns the reader of the "schemes" or "methodologies" of the Devil. Who is the Devil? A brief sketch of his personage and career reveals the following:

1. He was originally a powerful angel named Lucifer (Ezekiel 28; Isaiah 14), perhaps an archangel, who got his eyes off of God and instead focused on his own beauty. Shortly after the creation week scripture records Lucifer, now Satan or the Devil, leading 1/3 of the angelic hosts astray, who in their fall became the myriads of demons occupying the various orders of the kingdom of darkness. (Revelation 12) 

2. The Devil or Satan is a creature who is a liar (John 8:44), a deceiver and prince of the power of the air who blinds the hearts of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:1-4). As a creature, the Devil communicates his malevolent intentions through the vast network of demonic hosts we see mentioned in Ephesians 6:12.

3. We know the Devil tempted Jesus on three occasions in Matthew 4, and the Devil's aim is to do all he can to discourage and divide the church. (Matthew 16:18)

4. According to 1 Peter 5:8, The Devil is a roaring lion prowling about seeking whom he may devour. 

This sketch lays out for us why it is the Devil is the believer's common enemy in spiritual warfare. In 1 John 2:14 we see John encouraging his readers as those who "overcame the Evil One". Even in the Lord's prayer we see Jesus teachings His disciples to pray for protection from "evil" or "The Evil One". Scripture is clear, the common enemy in spiritual warfare is the Devil. Tomorrow we will consider a second enemy that contributes to the Christian's spiritual warfare - the cravings of the flesh.