This is the first of a series of blog posts I will write in the next week or so in a plan to develop some of the thoughts I raised and give Scriptural support for the role of spiritual warfare in the life of faith.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.” In Ephesians 6 Paul remind us that the Christian life is a battle, with real enemies that intend harm and destruction. But when we enter the struggle, the starting place is a reminder that the victory is secure, already obtained by Jesus through his death and resurrection. Our warfare is not that of trying to win a war, the war has been won. Rather it is a rescue mission seeking to release captives while fighting to defend our own lives and those of our family from the dangers sent by the enemy. While Satan is a creative foe, he is a defeated enemy, and we do not have to fear. Christ has won, and we live in the blessings of His victory.
In a way, our battle is a bit like the Harlem Globetrotters. No one goes to one of the Globetrotter games wondering who will win. The Washington Generals (the long time opponent of the Globetrotters) are doomed before the opening tipoff. Satan is the spiritual equivalent of the Washington Generals, and while he may make a few baskets, the outcome is already known. Christ has won, we are more than conquerors and receive the benefits of the victory in Christ. Here are a few texts that demonstrate how the cross of Jesus and his resurrection secured victory in this battle for us.
- “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us tothe kingdom of his beloved Son” (Col. 1:13).
- “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Col. 2:13–15).
- “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
- “. . . in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:37–39).
- “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
- “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Heb. 2:14–15).
- “Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:54-57)