Friday, January 16, 2009
Spiritual Warfare and commitment
Because of an overly pragmatic mentality seen in much of the spiritual conflict literature today, an overview of the scriptural teachings on the engagement of Satan with God's children is necessary. In biblical terms, spiritual conflict essentially encompasses Satan's rebellion against God and the manifestations of the rebellion in the created order. At the heart of this warfare, however, is the fact that God is sovereignty and lovingly in control of His creation, and, as the Sovereign One, He has already decided that Satan's rebellion will fail. The thread of Satan's rebellion and God's loving response is interwoven through the Scriptures as an ongoing drama played out on the stage of human history. The Apostle Paul was more than casually acquainted with spiritual battle. He also knew that to walk in spiritual victory meant to live a life in harmony with the Lord Jesus Christ. Please read Galatians 2:16-21. In this passage Paul gives a brief spiritual autobiography of the life he now lived. First, it was a life justified without the deeds of the Law. Justification by faith was the watch word of the Reformation. If we have offended the Law in one point we have broken the entire law (James 2:10). God justifies sinners, of which we all are. To be justified in God's sight is to be free from guilt and punishment. Our record is wiped away, blotted out, it no longer exists (Psalm 32:1-2). On the basis of this truth Satan has no right to accuse us. If Satan brings up your past, bring up his future. Second, it is a life imparted through faith in Jesus Christ. By faith in Christ the righteousness of God is imputed to the believer. The Law was but a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. The Law can chase us to the Cross but no farther. Beware of teachers who would put you under the Old Testament law. We serve under the law of Christ. Third, it is a life lived unto God. We have been delivered from the terrors of the Law (Romans 7:2-4). We are now free to love, honor and obey God who hath redeemed us by His blood. To go back to Moses is to go back to a grave yard (Romans 6:4). We do not need the "Help" of the Law. We need the filling of the Spirit of God, and the truth of the Word of God. Forth, it is a life crucified with Christ. The old man, with all his fleshly passions and lusts is crucified with Christ. Crucifixion was the painful but effectual remedy. The suffering of the Cross for the sins of the world, satisfied the Father. The Christian life is an interesting paradox, we die (to self) in order that others might live. Fifth, it is a life indwelt by Christ. It is not human effort trying to pull off a superior kind of morality but divine life surging through the individual. We were given a new will, a new purpose and a new power that now rules in our lives. The word "Crucified" is in the Greek perfect tense which means "I have been and remain crucified." Christ's indwelling is manifested by the Holy Spirit's presence and power (John 4:13). Now it's "Christ in me the hope of glory." Sixth, it is a life continued by faith in the Son of God. This life begun by faith in Christ, is to be perpetuated by a continuous act of faith in Christ. We walk by faith, not by sight. Without faith is is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6). We live in difficult times, I see the enemy having a heyday in telling God's children that he won't meet their needs. If you're struggling with your faith, then ask God to strengthen you faith. For a believer to return to the Law nullifies the Cross. The Law says do but grace says done. Let's come down on the done side of the Calvary. It's on the done side that Satan was defeated.