Key Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-12
Introduction: Wow, this is lesson eight of our spiritual warfare series. This is our eight week of studying Spiritual Warfare! In our key scripture, Paul describes the battle (warfare) as a “struggle.” The word that he uses actually refers to wrestling. Now, he is not talking about the WWF kind of wrestling where you bash the other person’s head in with a chair or where you jump down off the ropes onto the person’s chest. He is talking about the kind that you see in a
high school or college gymnasium. The kind where two people are entwined with one another and are trying every kind of move that they can think of to pin the other person to the ground. It is the kind of battle where you have extremely close contact with one another.
The Battle Is Not With People. – In other words, the battle is not with flesh and blood. In our key scripture, Paul had just finished talking about husbands and wives, children and their parents, employers and their employees. It is easy for each of these categories of people to fight with one another. You are not my enemy. We may get angry with one another about something, but that does not mean that we are enemies. We are brothers and sisters. We are family. We need
each other. It is because we need each other that God gave the command for us to not forsake the gathering of ourselves with one another. We are only each other’s enemy to the extent that we do not fight alongside with one another, or to the extent that we become a traitor and fight for the enemy.
How Do Enemies Deal With Conflict? - Enemies deal with conflict either by avoiding one another or by attempting to destroy one another. True brothers and sisters who love one another deal with conflict by finding some way of resolving the situation – by seeking forgiveness, by remembering all that they have in common, and by loving each other with the same kind of love that Jesus loves us. That is the kind of love that puts the needs of the other person above our own
needs. Matthew 5:23-24 NIV says "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”
Wrestling Alongside People Requires That You Get Up Close And Personal. – To wrestle effectively, we have to get in tight. Some of you are content to remain on the sidelines. Maybe you have been in a wrestling match before, and you got hurt. Maybe your teammate let you down. Maybe you are scared that if you get up too close, then you will find out that your teammate smells, or that your teammate is weak (imperfect). We must not forget that humans are just “flesh and blood.” If you get up close on me, then you are going to find out my areas of weakness. At that point, you have a decision to make. You can either judge me for my weakness or choose to walk away, or you can decide that you are going to help me in the areas where I am weak.
Think About This: When Was The Last Time You Wrestled Alongside Another Christian?--When was the last time you wrestled with someone in prayer? When was the last time you wrestled with another Christian about an important decision he or she needed to make? When did you wrestled with someone who struggled with a weakness he or she was trying to beat? When did you wrestled with a fellow Christian as he or she attempted to lead someone to the Lord? Are you trying to win the match by yourself? Are you forcing others to enter into the match alone because you will not partner with them? We need each other.
In Spiritual Warfare, We Need Each Other, To Survive.– For the rest of this lesson, God is going to challenge your faith. Now, if you believe this Word so far, find someone that you can partner with, and get next to that person. Once you find someone, look at that person and say, “I need you, to survive! I am going to stand my ground, and I am going to help you stand your ground.”
The Bible Calls Us (the Church) “The Body Of Christ.” - In order for us to truly be the Body of Christ, we have to live in unity. We have to live in “agreement.” But in order to live in agreement, we have to learn to trust again. The devil uses the trust factor to keep the church from being in agreement. That is an old trick of the enemy (the devil). Don’t you get tired of hearing the words, “There’s no hurt, like church hurt.” Zion, can we get over it? We already know everyone in the church is not right! Come on now. God wants you to trust again. And yes, if you trust again, you are leaving yourself open to be hurt again, but God is yet a Healer.
I Told You The Rest Of This Lesson Will Challenge Your Faith.– It takes faith to connect with another Christian. So, if you believe this Word so far, with that same person you connected with earlier, say these words to him or her: “You are not my enemy. You are my teammate to help me against my true enemy. Fighting together will help us to stand our ground in this spiritual warfare. We need each other to survive.”
Something Phenomenal Will Happen In The Body Of Christ (the Church) When We Come Into Agreement! - There is Power In Unity. There is Power In Togetherness. There is Power In Agreement! Think back to the children of Israel, just before they conquered Jericho. That was serious warfare! They did not have sophisticated and advanced weapons. They were not warlike people. They were not trained to fight physically, but they had something that was more powerful than a spear. They had something more powerful than a soldier’s armor. They had “agreement!” They had the weapon of agreement! They had the power of agreement! In spiritual warfare, we can stand our ground when we know that the impossible can become possible, when we come into “agreement!”
Conclusion - We cannot succeed as a church if we are fighting in our own strength. We cannot succeed as a church if we are fighting the wrong enemy (one another). We cannot succeed as a church, if everyone is not fighting. We need everyone in the battle. We cannot succeed as a church, if everyone is not fighting together. We need to be fighting arm in arm with one another. We are not supposed to go into battle alone.
Let’s Stand Our Ground And Preserve (safeguard and maintain) Our Unity. – There are so many ways to protect our unity. Let’s continue to close this lesson by briefly looking at some of these ways.
1 - By Acting With Love Towards One Another- John 13:34-35 - (34) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (35) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
2 – By Speaking To Build One Another Up - Ephesians 4:29 - “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.”
3 – By Fellowshipping With One Another - I John 1:7 – “But if ye walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
4 – By Greeting One Another- Romans 16:16 – “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.”
5 – By Honoring One Another - Romans 12:10 – “Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another.
6 - Accepting One Another- Romans 15:7 – “Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”
7 - Being Hospitable To One Another- I Peter 4:9 - “Use hospitality (warmth and kindness) one to another without grudging (bitter and offended).
Well, For Now, This Is Our Last Lesson Of This Series On Spiritual Warfare.
People of God, let’s stand our ground in this spiritual battle. Next week, we will begin a new series on a topic that will keep us grounded in his warfare. The series will be entitled “When The Church Prays!” You don’t want to miss not one lesson!