Trinity School of Apologetics and Theology
A Christian is in a battlefield. But he does not wrestle with flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph.6.12). I.e. Satan and his demons. The weapons of our warfare also are not earthly (2 Cor.10.4).
A Christian has three formidable enemies. One is outside, the world; another is inside, the flesh; the third is also outside using the first and the second to destroy the Christ, the Devil.
A. The World
It is not the world of nature which God created (cf. Acts 17.24). It is also not the world of humanity. God loves it (Jn.3.16). The ‘world’, the enemy of the child of God is a system opposed to God. God condemns it (1 Jn.5.19; Jn.12.31).
This world has a spirit (1 Cor.2.12) and its own wisdom, which is perverted and warped (1 Cor.2.6). Friendship with this world is enmity with God (James 4.4). Contamination with this world removes the cutting edge, the sharpness, of a Christian’s life and testimony.
Though we are chosen out of the world (Jn.15.19; 17.14, 16) we are citizens of heaven (Phil.3.20). In this world we are pilgrims (1 Pet.2.11) and ambassadors of Christ (2 Cor.5.20).
This world has its own power and fashion, which is passing away. We should not be conformed to it (Rom.12.2). We are also exhorted to keep ourselves unspotted with the world (Jas.1.27). We should ever be watchful and live soberly (Tit.2.12). My influence as a Christian depends on my separation from the world (1 Jn.5.4-5). Love of the Father and doing the will of God always enables me to conquer the world (1 Jn.2.17).
B. The flesh
This is our internal enemy. In the Old Testament we find Lot and his elder daughter produced Moab; Lot and his younger daughter produced Ammon (Gen.19.30-38). Both are cousins of Isaac. Eliphaz’s concubine Timna bore Amalek (Gen.36.12). All these are pictures of the flesh.
The word ‘flesh’ is used for:
Man or mankind (Gen.6.12; Ps.145.21; Isa.40.5; Lk.3.6; Rom.3.20) An integral part of man, used to denote the whole man (Gen.17.13; Ps.16.9; Prov.14.30; 2 Cor.7.1). The whole person (Ps.56.4; 114.21; Isa.40.6; Matt.19.5; 1 Cor.1.24). The humanity of Christ (Jn.1.14; 1 Tim.3.16; 1 Pet.3.18; Heb.10.20). All living beings (Gen.6.13, 17).
None of the above is that ‘flesh’ which is our enemy.
Flesh is also used in a bad sense for:
Animal lust, evil desires of the old nature and the old nature itself (Rom.8.4, 13; Gal.5.6). We should realize that in very Christian there is the old nature and the new nature. The seat of sin in man (2 Pet.2.18; 1 Jn.2.16). The lower and temporary element in Christian (Gal.3.3; 6.8). The weaker element in human nature (Matt.26.41; Rom.6.19).
This enemy affects our mind. It sometimes dominates the mind (Eph.2.3), absorbs our affections (Rom.13.14) and creates passions and desires in us Gal.5.24). The remedy against this flesh is to bring every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor.10.5) and think on pure things (Phil.4.8)
It also affects our spirit. It opposes the Spirit (Gal.5.17) and fights against God’s law (Rom.8.7). When we walk in the Spirit we are able to defeat its influence.
It pollutes our body (2 Pet.2.10). Evil works done by the body by are the works of the flesh (Gal.5.19-21). It reaps corruption and finally produces death (Rom.7.5). The remedy against this evil influence is to consecrate the body to God (Rom.12.1-2). Victory over the flesh is through the Holy Spirit.
C. The Devil
Many Christians are under satanic influence and live a defeated life. The Devil himself induces a sense of false feeling of spiritual well being. To many people ignorance is bliss. Instead of being soldiers on active service, they are in their sick beds, in the lap of Delilah or caught in a net like the wild bull (Isa.51.20).
1. Who is the Devil?
The attacks against Christians are planned and carried out by the Devil. He is described in the Bible as:
A strong man fully armed Lk.11.21 The prince of this world Jn.14.30 The god of this world 2 Cor.4.4 The Ruler of the kingdom of the air Eph.2.2 Roaring lion to persecute 1 Pet.5.8 Angel of light to patronize 2 Cor.11.4 Angel of the bottomless pit Rev.19.11 The accuser of the brethren Job.1.9, 11; Rev.12.10.
2. What does he do?
He is a living super power and an evil genius, cruel and cunning. He tempted Eve. He influenced Judas Iscariot to betray the Lord (Jn.13.27). He (1 thes.2.18) hindered Paul. No area of life is safe from him. He attacks our lives and our personalities. Don’t be ignorant of his devices (2 Cor.2.11).
Our body (2 Cor.12.7; Lk.13.16), mind (2 Cor.4.4) and spirit (Acts 5.3) are attacked by him.
3. How to Conquer Him?
Though Satan is a super power and is able to destroy the lives and testimony of Christians, he is not almighty and Christians can overcome him.
Realize that you are the property of Christ. (1 Cor.6.19; Isa.43.1). He cannot have a hold over you unless you let him do it.
Resist him (Jas.4.7). This is the promise given to you as a Christian. He will flee from you.
God’s armor is available for us. Put this on (Eph.6.10f). God’s promise that if we resist the devil he will flee from us is available to us. Realize that the battle is the Lord’s (1 Sam.17.45-47).
Victory is ours. The Lord himself will fight our battle for us. The devil is a defeated foe. The Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn.3.8). Be on your knees praying to God. There we have the victory.
We have three powerful enemies viz., the world, the flesh and the devil. We have victory over them through the Father, The Spirit and the Son respectively.
“In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, We have the victory, In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, Demons will have to flee! Who can tell what God can do? Who can tell of His love for you? In the name of Jesus, Jesus We have the victory”.