satan

Taking Up the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17b)

In the book of Nehemiah we read about how the Israelites returned from captivity to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They came with the blessing of King Artaxerxes, but not everyone was glad that Israel was returning to their land to rebuild Jerusalem and its walls. There were enemies in the land of Israel who sought to destroy and kill the Israelites, and keep them from returning to the land God had given to them. Nehemiah was aware of these enemies, and so as he assigned tasks and went about overseeing the rebuilding of the walls, he instructed the workers to strap a sword to their side so that if enemies appeared, they could defend themselves in battle (Neh 4:18). As we go about our own work as Christians, we too must keep a sword strapped to our side. Not a sword made from steel with wh...

Who is Our Enemy in Spiritual Warfare? (Ephesians 6:12)

When Paul embarked on his third missionary journey, Ephesus was the first city he visited. He had briefly visited Ephesus during his second missionary journey and had started a church there (Acts 18:19-20), but he now wanted to return and spend plenty of time teaching and training the Christians in Ephesus what it meant to follow Jesus and be the church in their community. Acts 19:10 records that he spent about two years teaching them about Jesus. During this time, many miracles were performed, many people were healed, and many people were delivered from evil spirits (Acts 19:12). Near the end of Paul’s time in Ephesus, some itinerant Jewish teachers came to town and heard what Paul was doing, and so decided to start their own little deliverance ministry by casting out demons in the name o...

The Battle Plan (Ephesians 6:11,13)

Paul turns from the battle cry in Ephesians 6:10 to the battle plan in Ephesians 6:11, 13. We must not only prepare ourselves for battle by becoming strong, we must also protect ourselves in battle by having a plan. The battle plan has three parts. We must put on the armor of God, stand our ground, and watch out for traps laid by the devil. Let us consider each part of the plan. Put on Your Armor (Ephesians 6:11a, 13a) The first part of the battle plan is to put on the whole armor of God. Paul states this instruction twice in Ephesians 6:11, 13 when he writes, “Put on the whole armor of God” and “take up the whole armor of God.” When Paul wrote these words, he was in prison in Rome and was likely chained to a Roman soldier twenty-four hours a day. Being chained to an armed guard was one of...