A Guide to Spiritual Warfare

David Campbell
Sun, 2020-12-13
  • Victory in spiritual warfare comes from knowing first where the battleground is, and second how to fight it. Then we can have real assurance of victory.

keywords:Ephesians, spiritual warfare

Sermon Outline - A Guide to Spiritual Warfare

Ephesians 6

  1. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
  2. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
  3. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
  4. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.


  • The importance of reading Bible verses in context
  • The most important thing to note in studying this passage is its relationship to the rest of the letter it is part of.

Ephesians: Divides into two halves.

  • First three chapters deal with teaching the plan of salvation
  • At 4:1, “Therefore…” the practical consequences for our lives
  • The “therefore” binds the two halves of the letter together like a hinge.
  • Because of what God has done, we are now commanded to live differently

Ephesians 4 through 6:9

  • living together in unity
  • turning away from our old lifestyle of pleasure and moral impurity
  • separating ourselves from darkness in all its forms,
  • replacing drunkenness with wine with joy in the Holy Spirit
  • how is to be lived out in family and work relationships.
  • Ephesians 6:10 Finally...
  • In order to fight the battle we have to find the battleground

A total of nine commands:

  1. “Be strong in the Lord” (v. 10)
  2. “put on the whole armour of God” (v. 11)
  3. “take up the whole armour of God” (v. 13)
  4. “stand therefore” (v. 14)
  5. “having fastened on the belt of truth” (v. 14)

A total of nine commands cont’d

  1. “having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (v. 14)
  2. “having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace” (v. 15)
  3. “take up the shield of faith” (v. 16)
  4. “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (v. 17)
  • truth, righteousness, faith, prayer and the word of God —A lifestyle

True spiritual warfare

The key is to make a connection back to the previous section, —putting off the old self and putting on the new self

True spiritual warfare:

  • walk with each other in humility (4:1–9):
  • submit to fivefold ministry gifts (4:10–16):
  • seek to turn away from moral impurity (4:17–24):
  • turn away from anger, bitterness, lying and laziness, and walk in kindness (4:25–32):
  • reject all forms of idolatry and deception (5:1–14):
  • stop being drunk with alcohol and start being filled with the Spirit, praise and worship (5:15–21):
  • wives respect husbands, husbands lay down life for their wives, as Christ did for the church (5:22–33):
  • children obey parents and parents sacrifice for children (6:1–4):
  • employees honour employers and employers treat employees properly (6:5–9)

The Battleground

  • The church needs to find a solid place in these areas, and then no gates of hell will be able to stand against it.
  • When God’s kingdom is in the day to day reality of our lives, the powers of hell will begin to shake
  • then we can move on to contest every inch of ground we are seeking to take.

These verses show us how to fight the battle

  • Be strengthened in the Lord
  • The whole basis for any command to holiness and godliness is the work of Christ
  • Grace is the divine energy strengthening us to step out into battle and to fulfill the commands

Two mistakes

  1. To obey God’s commands without God’s power leads to legalism and failure
  2. To seek God’s power without the desire to obey God’s commands leads to spiritual train wreck
  • But to seek God’s power in order to obey God’s commands
    leads to true maturity, and victory
    in the only spiritual warfare that matters

Ephesians 6:10–17 shows us

  1. Where the battleground is
  2. How to fight it: be strengthened
  3. God goes before us

Isaiah: God as a warrior

  • 42:13 “The Lord goes out like a mighty man, like a man of war he stirs up his zeal.”
  • 11:5 “Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness [truth] the belt of his loins”
  • 52:7 “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news [Jesus], who publishes peace”
  • 59:15b-17 ” there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
    then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.
    He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
    and a helmet of salvation on his head;”

All we are to do:

  • Put on God’s own armour, which he has provided for us.
  • Being in God’s armour means being in God himself.
  • Step into our relationship with Jesus and the armour comes all around us.

Ephesians 6:10–17 shows us

  1. Where the battleground is
  2. How to fight it: be strengthened
  3. God goes before us: step into our relationship with him and the armour comes all around us.

2 Chronicles 20

  1. Thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s…
  2. You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf’…
  3. …He appointed those who were to sing to the Lord and praise him…
  4. And when they began to sing and praise, the Lord set an ambush… so that they were routed”

Remember three things:

  1. Know where the real battle is
  2. Be strengthened —Know the battle is to be fought by God’s grace
  3. Be assured —know he has gone forth to fight it for you
  • And then we can fight God’s fight and win
  • “If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom 8:3)

Updated on 2020-12-13 by David Campbell