Spiritual Warfare

Discipleship Lesson 7: Spiritual Warfare

 

1. What is spiritual warfare? Spiritual warfare is the ongoing battle we face with Satan and unseen demonic forces.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:12-13

2. Who is our enemy? Our enemy is Satan and demonic forces.

There is one Satan but many demons.

 

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

3. How did Satan and demons come about? Satan is a fallen angel that rebelled against God. He was cast out of heaven and took a third of the angels with him, which are now demons.

“And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation 12:7-9

4. How does Satan work? Satan and the demonic realm oppose God and all those who follow Christ.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

5. How can we have victory over Satan? We can have victory over Satan and the demonic realm through the victory that Jesus won for us when He died and rose from the dead.

Jesus defeated Satan when He died on the cross and rose again. That victory is now ours in Christ. We do not fight to victory but rather we fight from victory, enforcing on earth the victory we have in Christ.

 

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:13-15

 

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

 

“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15

6. What does it mean that Christians have authority over Satan? Our authority over Satan means that because of Christ’s victory and who we are in Christ, we can resist Satan and he will flee. We do not have more power than Satan, but we do have authority in Christ over him.

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’ He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.’” Luke 10:17-20

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

7. Can a Christian be demon possessed? A Christian cannot be demon possessed, because to be possessed by someone is to be owned by that person, and we are owned by God. However, a Christian can allow Satan to gain control or influence over certain areas of his/her life if he/she repeatedly sins.

“And do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:27-30

Notice in the above passage that we can grieve the Holy Spirit, but even when we do, we are still sealed for the day of redemption.

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Revelation 12:10-11

8. How can a Christian remain victorious over Satan? We remain victorious over Satan when we worship God, obey God, remain in fellowship with Godly people, resist the Devil, and allow the Word of God to rule our lives.

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9

“Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’ The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, ‘I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” Luke 4:1-8

Notice how Jesus used Scripture to resist the temptations of the Devil.

9. Why is fasting important in overcoming the evil one? Fasting is a way of denying ourselves a need (i.e., food) in order to more seriously seek God and pray. God seems to honor this sacrifice by making His power and presence more visible.

“His disciples asked him privately, ‘Why could we not cast it (the demon) out’ And he said to them, ‘This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.’”  Mark 9:28-29, Matthew 17: 21,  (KJV)

“And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments…O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.” Daniel 9:3, 19

“Faced with great invasion king Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast and prayed:  ‘O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?.... But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir….O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.’” 2 Chronicles 20:6-7,10,12

10.What is Satan’s ultimate outcome? Satan will one day be thrown into the lake of fire forever! This guarantees that heaven will not have the presence or effect of Satan in any way.

“And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

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