I. FOR WE WRESTLE NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD.
A. The Apostle Paul tells us that we are in a war. The flesh is fighting against our spirit and the spirit against our flesh.
1. The outcome of the this battle is the mastery over my life.
2. Will I be mastered by my flesh, or by the spirit.
B. Man a threefold being, body, soul, or mind and spirit.
1. When God created Adam, He created him spirit, soul, and body.
a. When the spirit rules you have fellowship with God.
b. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.
c. When your flesh rules, then your fellowship with God is broken, for God will have nothing to do with your flesh. He has one order for the flesh, "Kill it"
2. When man first sinned, and the sin was giving into the lust of the flesh, man became inverted and became body soul and spirit. The flesh began to reign over him.
a. My flesh relates through my senses to the world around me.
b. My spirit relates to God.
3. Note that the mind is always in the middle, if my flesh is ruling, then I have what is termed in the scripture as the mind of the flesh. Paul wrote they do mind earthly things.
4. If my spirit is ruling, then I have the mind of the spirit, and His Spirit is bearing witness to my spirit that I am a son of God.
5. Paul said that the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the spirit is life, joy and peace.
6. Satan relates to my flesh, God relates to my spirit.
II. SATAN IS A SPIRIT BEING, AND HIS ATTACKS ARE SPIRITUAL ATTACKS WITH THE PURPOSE OF GETTING ME IN THE FLESH.
A. Satan however is very subtle and he often tricks me to respond after my flesh, rather than after the spirit.
1. If Satan can get me into the flesh, he has a decided advantage over me for my flesh is very weak. In fact, the moment I get into the flesh, he has won the battle.
2. My only hope for victory is to keep the battle in the realm of the spirit. In the realm of the spirit, I have the decided advantage. More than that, I have the victory.
3. Let me illustrate. Years ago when my two sons were growing up in the home, it seemed that every Wednesday afternoon they would get into a fight, it would start out with name calling and progress from there. Now I would devote Wednesday afternoon to study for the Wednesday night service. But to break up the fight, I often would have to get in the middle of it, and by the time I got back to the study, I would feel miserable for I often got into the flesh in breaking up the fight. This seemed to happen every Wednesday. One Wednesday afternoon I heard them begin to get into the name calling phase of the battle and I was about ready to put down my pen and go out and give them the orders to separate to separate rooms, when that still small voice said to me, "This is a spiritual battle" handle it in the spirit. So I began to pray, and to bind the work of the enemy who was seeking to bring discord again into our home. Soon the name calling ceased, and they were headed out together to go play
football. I learned a valuable lesson from this.
B. It only stands to reason that if our warfare is spiritual, then fleshly weapons are of no value. I need spiritual weapons to fight spiritual battles.
1. Paul tells us that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God by which we can pull down the strong holds of the enemy.
a. Often I try to use carnal weapons. I will try the count ten before you respond.
b. I sometimes try to mesmerize myself, I will try auto suggestion.
c. I try the, I think I can, like the little red engine.
d. There is that poem to the power of the will. They said that it couldn't be done, But I lit in with a bit of a grin, For I had the determination to win, They said that it couldn't be done but I did it. I heard a sequel to that poem. They said that it couldn't be done, But I lit in with a bit of a grin, For I had the determination to win, They said that it couldn't be done, and they were right It couldn't.
e. I always find that I need help from the outside, the help of the Holy Spirit if I am to have victory in this spiritual battle.
2. As Paul equips us for this spiritual battle he will speak of the two weapons by which we can go on the offensive in this battle.
a. The one weapon is the sword of the Spirit which he tells us is the word of God. One of the other fellows is going to tell us about this weapon a little later in the day.
b. Suffice it to say for now, that this is the weapon by which our Lord fought off the temptations of Satan.
c. He answered each temptation saying, "It is written" as He would quote the scriptures to Satan.
3. The other spiritual weapon is prayer. He closes this list of armament by saying, "Praying with all pray and supplication in the Spirit."
III. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW THAT OUR LORD HAS WON THE VICTORY OVER THESE DEMONIC POWERS AND ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS TO STAND FAST IN HIS VICTORY.
A. Paul wrote to the Colossians about this victory of Jesus over these powers that are seeking to destroy you. Let me give you a very free translation of
On the cross, Jesus triumphed over the spirit forces of darkness, that are against us, those principalities and powers were defeated there at the cross as He openly triumphed over them.
B. Our battles are against the principalities and powers, the rulers of darkness in this world. Satan's kingdom is the kingdom of darkness and death in opposition to our Lord's kingdom which is kingdom of light and life.
1. When Jesus commissioned Paul he said: I am sending you to the Gentiles
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
2. Know that the reason people do not believe the gospel is that Satan has blinded their eyes to keep them from seeing. Paul wrote:
In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not.
a. All of the logic and arguments in the world cannot open their eyes, it takes work of God's Spirit.
b. If you are here today and these things do not make sense to you, my heart goes out to you, I will pray for you that the Lord will open your understanding to the truth, and deliver you from the kingdom of darkness that you might come into the kingdom of light.