Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Scripture of The Day: Day 6

Ephesians 6:10-12 - Good News Translation


10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11 Put on all the armour that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age.


This passage is about "spiritual warfare" against a spiritual foe - as opposed to armed warfare, which typically occurs between nation states. Spiritual warfare is a certain type of conflict. Conflict between spiritual forces: Good and Evil.


10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 


I think "in union with the Lord" means being in-Christ - which means having Christ in your life. Having him as your Lord, Saviour, and friend. This verse encourages the believer to improve and intensify their relationship with Christ, who has "mighty power'.


11 Put on all the armour that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks.


This "armour that God gives you" refers to faith, scripture, prayer, and fellowship, which can protect us from Satan's subversive schemes and inspire us in our own (more constructive) schemes!


12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 


The conflict is first and foremost a personal, spiritual one. But it is also a battle against malevolent forces - "wicked spiritual forces" refers to the activity of Satan. Yet it is also a public fight, against "rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers" i.e. to institutions who are under the influence of Satan and against God.


I see this spiritual conflict more about a contest between Good and Evil as opposed to between God and Satan. I believe God represents Good and Satan represents Evil.


Christians On The Defence: The Shield


All humans have a Good side and an Evil side which oppose each other to produce certain behaviours which may be either good or evil. Religion should ideally help nurture people's Good sides, whilst helping to curb the influence of their Evil sides. And organised religion should be about how people help each other achieve this aim!

How do we fight the good fight?

We need to 1) become good ourselves by overcoming our innate inner evil, and the influence of Satan, and then 2) help others in their internal struggles - once we do these things we will overcome evil and both ourselves and the world will become more good and less evil. But doing this is a team effort - one person cannot do it alone! We need to organise! Once the battle for your own soul is won, you may join the battle for the souls of other people and then with those others, eventually join the battle for the soul of humankind!

We can do this through getting to know Jesus, through prayer, meditation, through studying scripture, reading up on religion, seeding time in a church, and through practicing discipleship and fellowship with others. Basically, by dedicating one's self to God and associating with other, like-minded people. But also, by trying to live our lives in a Godly way

All you need to do this comes down to just one thing: Jesus Christ

Sadly, this internal struggle is for all of us an on-going one and always will be - Satan's influence is a factor in the lives of even the most righteous and Godly. Vigilance is required, it is an on-going process that can never truly be finished, in our life-times. There will always be temptation! But the more you resist, the stronger you will grow and the enemy will become ever weaker. And eventually he will be broken.

Christians On the Attack: The Sword

This is all about becoming a force for Good in the world - once you yourself feel truly aligned with God. It is not an inner battle - it is a battle against certain worldly institutions and practices. As well as against Satan himself.

But to best fight the public battle one must be inwardly spiritually prepared!

Our great spiritual battle is not just about resisting Evil - It is also about striving to serve Good and advance God's agenda! - it is about advancing Good and crushing Evil

Christinas may also do this through good works, by serving others. But also by activism, campaigns, pressure groups, and associations, by fighting public, social evils (as opposed to personal, moral evils) - such as human trafficking, the arms trade, prostitution, poverty, oppression, environmental damage, etc. etc. etc. etc. which I believe are all offensive to God - and so should be to us humans!

The more social evils are defeated the more personal evils will be defeated too, as these are upheld and caused by social evils

Also: There is no reason why a Christian cannot join secular folk in certain campaigns - we can join with them yet also pray for them to become interested in Jesus...

Every good deed done to better society is a dent in Satan's plan - and the job of Christians is to put dents into Satan's plans, and we need to do this as an intelligent, coordinated team effort. Once it has enough dents in it it will no longer be viable, but that day I fear is a long way off.

Satan wants us to fail, he wants the world to be a dark place, not a light place

The objectives of our war effort should be a world whose moral condition has been improved! - once that has been achieved we can make it a safer, more comfortable and free place for people to live in. I believe the more we succeed in this struggle, the more likely it is that Jesus Christ will return. I fear that he does not currently consider us ready. But when he comes, the whole world will know.

Basically: to take the fight to Satan we need to have defeated him in our hearts. We then need to combine and together change the world for the better by opposing evil forces and institutions with good forces and good institutions. We can be those good forces and institutions!

Paraphrasing It

Have faith and keep Jesus close to your heart. God has provided you with all you need to defeat Satan! This is a spiritual conflict, not an armed conflict. The destiny of the entire world is at stake, not just the destiny of your own soul.

What Does This Mean For Christinas?
  • Jesus will help you overcome the evil within you
  • Once the evil within you is overcome you can help others overcome the evil in themselves
  • Once enough people overcome the evil within the moral condition of the world will improve, if they behave as concerned, conscientious citizens of God's Kingdom
  • God will support us in this spiritual conflict and has provided us with all we need to win - namely Jesus Christ

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