Spiritual Warfare

Our pastor has been preaching through Ephesians. He’s into the sixth chapter where Paul talks about spiritual warfare. This morning the question from the Heidelberg Catechism that went along with the sermon was Question 127, “What is the sixth petition?” The answer is, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. That is: we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand even a single moment in our own strength, and our enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh, are so strong and never cease from assaulting us, we therefore ask God to preserve and strengthen us by the power of His Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare but always offer strong resistance, till at last we obtain the complete victory.”

When this was read we were told to glance at what comes against us – the devil, the world and our own sin nature – and to gaze at Christ for strength, courage and grace. When we look at Ephesians, we are told that we are in a spiritual battle and we are told to “stand strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” We gaze at Christ and His finished work on the cross where He overcame sin, and His resurrection where He overcame death.

We want to know what we are ‘to do’ to fight this battle and sometimes we don’t want to hear something that sounds like we do nothing but think. We want to go after those things that only deserve to be acknowledged with a glance. They are stronger than we are but God owns them.  As we consider how Christ became sin for us, how He chose to do this in order to redeem a people for Himself, how can we not then consider the love that motivated such action? As we think on these things, we are changed and made more like Him. This is an important part of how we win – by recognizing what He has done for us and by resting in His work.

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