Ephesians 6:12; Our true struggle is with spiritual forces, not flesh and blood.
Wednesday April 6,2022
The background of the words for fight and fighting (outside of Joh 18:36) are not war, but the Olympic games of that time, which then and now demands a lot of personal development, discipline, and self-control.
First off, Christ earned the complete victory already. And second, He accomplished it by letting the enemy nail Him to a cross.
Christ defeated the enemy of God, but not by any worldly standard of winning. He defeated them by letting them nail Him to a cross where He willfully submitted to being judged for the sins of the world. He defeated the enemy by freeing the slaves of the enemy.
Jesus defeated the strong man because He was stronger.
Then there was brought to Him a demon-possessed man who was blind and dumb, and He healed him, so that the dumb man spoke and saw. 23 And all the multitudes were amazed, and began to say, "This man cannot be the Son of David, can he?" 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man casts out demons only by Beelzebul the ruler of the demons." 25 And knowing their thoughts He said to them, "Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand. 26 "And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? 27 "And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? Consequently they shall be your judges. 28 "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 "Or how can anyone enter the strong man's house and carry off his property, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
But, not only was Christ stronger than the enemy, His strength was of a completely different kind; from a different source.
This is so important to understand. Christ wasn’t just showing us another way, another alternative, something different from the world’s way of fighting. He was showing us THE way – heaven’s way. Remember, before the fall, God would walk in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day. Before the fall, heaven and earth experienced no barriers, but when man fell, he was cursed and separated from God (and Eden) and the earth was cursed. At the moment of the fall, earth and heaven became radically different.
Mankind and the earth are fallen and cursed. Heaven came to earth and dwelt among us in the Person of Jesus Christ. Through His victory in love and sacrifice, anyone who believes in Him as their Savior is baptized by the Holy Spirit and entered into union with Christ, and they become a part of heaven. At the moment they believe they are redeemed and made new. They are made alive with Christ, raised with Him and seated with Him in the heavenlies (Eph 2:5-6). They become citizens of heaven (Phi 3:20). Their lives become hid with Christ in the heavens (Col 3:3).
To fight the people and the world system in their own fashion is to fight something cursed with something cursed of the same kind. Their fashion of fighting is cursed, dark, sinful, and centered completely upon the human winner. Their way of fighting is self-centered, prideful, arrogant, and has nothing to do at all with heaven. It is actually insane to think that anything could be gained. Let’s say that you defeat an enemy by embarrassing them or overpowering them or winning a debate against them. What have you won? You put down something that was already completely depraved. Fallen man cannot be any lower than he is. He is an enemy of God, a child of disobedience and darkness, reserved for death, and you only tried to push him lower. How stupid!
Our true struggle is not against the fallen people of the world, but against the spiritual forces of darkness and wickedness who are all over the world and who are not savable and who work tirelessly to suppress the truth and discredit the ways of God and the gospel of God that is the only means of saving mankind. The devil blinds the minds of the unbelieving. Our struggle is to stand firm against the devil’s schemes in the hope that it will open the eyes of the unbelieving.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”
When Christ came, He said that He didn’t come to judge the world but to save it. The Son of God didn’t become a man to defeat man. Man had already done a fine and full job of defeating himself. Christ also didn’t come to reform man or improve him. He came to kill what man had become and He did it by giving His own life over to judgment and death. The result of this would be that any man who accepted Christ as their Savior would die and then become new. As Jesus walked out of the tomb alive, so by His finished work, all who believed in Him would become new life, eternal life, and the light that is inherent in that life. Jesus came to defeat that which enslaved man, and so free mankind. Jesus defeated sin, death, and the devil in one act of infinite love and sacrifice.
After killing our old self and giving us new life, Christ then handed to us His very armor and His very weapons, and no part of them has anything to do with the flesh or the world.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
With these weapons, we are destroying speculations and the arrogant things raised up against the truth. We are not destroying people but lies and deception, the schemes of the devil. This is what we stand firm against and this is the good fight, which we fight in they ways of heaven, in the way of Christ, not the earthly way. Remember Christ’s words to Pilate after stating that His kingdom was not of this world and so there was no one here to fight for Him (He could have called angels to fight for Him, but that’s not what He came for). He said that He came to bear witness of the truth and that everyone who was of the truth heard His voice. The weapons of our warfare are spiritual, not fleshly. These weapons expose lies and reveal the truth to anyone who will hear, see, and believe.
The devil and his dark forces are not near as powerful as they once were. Christianity has successfully exposed many of the lies that ruled the world for so long. Christianity led to freedoms and democratic types of government in the West that were unheard of before it. The Declaration of Independence would never have been written if the ideals of Christianity had not infiltrated the fabric of so many societies.
“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them …” [Declaration of Independence]
The boldness of that statement could only come from people who believed that God alone had given them rights. Those in leadership in the Colonies at the time knew that this was a declaration that would mean harsh retaliation from the crown. They overcame that fear in the pursuit of something true. This is the power of the truth. It leads to people confidently saying, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Our true struggle is against an enemy that has been defeated by Christ.
Satan and the fallen angels have always been doomed. The moment they fell, they were judged. These are our true struggle and not mankind. It is easy to forget this truth since the antagonism, hurt, and sin of man is visible before us. We can easily fall into the error of thinking that we can somehow correct the evil of the world and that we can do so with the means of fighting that the world uses. We can only release individuals from slavery to death and sin, and that only by the gospel of peace, not the sword of man. And still, no matter how many prisoners we release by the gospel, the overall evil in this world will remain until the second coming of Christ, thus says the Scripture.
God didn’t use the cross to bring judgment upon the devil, but He did use it to set the captives free (Luk 4:18; Gal 5:1; Heb 2:14-15).