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Spiritual Warfare: Real Struggle. Real Victory.

Spiritual Warfare: Real Struggle. Real Victory.

Ephesians 6:14–17

  • Spiritual warfare. Sounds like a movie on the SyFy channel. Aliens vs. Predators or Sharknado
  • Whole concept seems strange and foreign to us.
  • But... we’ve sensed it; watched it; experienced it as a church; been attacked as individuals.

What is our problem with Spiritual Warfare?

Two polar opposite ideas have affected our approach.

1. It’s a Fairy Tale. Anti-biblical secular thought that deadens our thoughts.

2. It’s Spiritual Paranoia. Unbiblical hyper-spiritualized teaching that there’s a demon behind every corner. If I oversleep, it was a pillow demon.

  • One side mocks. The other side gawks.
  • Paul’s view… Ephesians 6:10–13
  • Spiritual battle rages around us. So fierce that God entered the battlefield to protect us: Warrior King!
  • In Joshua He is the Captain of the Army of the Lord.
  • In Isaiah, He is the deliverer who arms Himself to rescue
  • In the Gospels demons tremble before Him.
  • On the cross He delivers the deathblow to the darkness.
  • In the resurrection, He seals the fate of the evil one.
  • In Revelation, He is the conquering King who rides a stallion and has a flaming sword.
  • Not a sanitized, sappy Hallmark-movie-version of Jesus. Not a Hippie Jesus who dances around the countryside singing songs with the disciples. Not the pretty movie Jesus with perfect hair and Miss America smile.
  • We serve a Warrior King who does not fear darkness or death.
  • We don’t stand on the battlefield alone.
  • What is the truth about warfare? Christ’s Victory Is Our Victory.
  • We don’t fight for victory, we fight from victory.
  • We get this call to arms (v.13): “take your stand”
  • Don’t give in to fear because we are not left defenseless.

We stand with the Warrior King who prepares us for battle and fights with us.

  • Complete armor to prepare us with His work for us.

What is our stance in spiritual warfare?

1. Stand Confident in Righteousness – v.14

  • Leather apron hung under the armor to the thighs
  • W/O: vulnerable to the assaults of vital organs, chest
  • The gospel is the message that we’ve been transformed.
  • “Righteousness” = we are in a right relationship with God
  • Clothed in the righteousness of Christ—our robe of victory and our armor for battle.
  • You are not barely suited up for battle. God has put His good character on you.

When you are accused by the enemy of being no good, useless, weak, and worthy of only being discarded—then stand up in the truth of God’s love and the righteousness that He has given you.

2. Stand Ready in the Gospel – v.15

  • Sandals improve mobility, stabilized, prevent sliding
  • Move surely—ready to plunge into battle.
  • Picture of readiness and preparation with message of peace
  • Hold fast to a position that’s already been won
  • Carry message of light into battle against darkness by proclaiming the good news
  • Ready to jump into the middle of battle
  • Illustration) Football player who has pads on and then goes home would be ridiculous.

When you see others under attack from sin and its devastating work, then stand up by living in and carrying the gospel to them.

3. Stand Protected in Faith – v.16

  • Qualifies this section with “in every situation”
  • The shield was designed to stop the fiery arrows
  • The shield covered the whole person.
  • Protects us INTERNALLY: from every temptation to ungodly behavior, doubt, and despair.
  • EXTERNALLY: Against persecution & false teaching

When the enemy comes after you with temptation and the world is hard (and those are constant), we must stand in faith. We must be reliant in faith that God is good, He will not abandon, He does not change His mind.

4. Stand Prepared in the Word of God – v.17

  • Helmet designed to withstand the heavy blows
  • Often decorative to indicate the army in which you belong.
  • Salvation protects us and shows off whose/who we are.
  • Sword is only weapon for defense and attack.
  • It is the Word of God.
  • Cuts people’s defenses, through their conscience, and awakens them.

When you are tired of the enemy making headway… and I hope you are… then take your stand in God’s Word. Read it, consume it, study it, discuss it. It is God’s gift of how He reveals Himself to us. It is the truth when the fog of war rolls around us and we are confused. Stand on God’s Word and declare salvation to others and remind yourself of God’s good work for us. 


  • We are dressed with Christ’s armor and, therefore, display the characteristics of the anointed one in our attitudes, language, and behavior. In this way, we resist the evil one, giving him no opportunity to gain an advantage over us.
  • Christ has already won the victory
  • Christ’s victory is our victory.
  • While God supplies the armor, it is our responsibility to take it up, put it on, and use it confidently against the powers of the evil one.

We stand with the Warrior King who prepares us for battle and fights with us.

Philip Nation is the adult ministry publishing director for LifeWay Christian Resources. Find out more on his blog.