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Who is the enemy and why should we fight it?

What are we to overcome? Why is it so bad?

(Click to listen to an audio recording of this article: Who is the enemyMost often when a Christian refers to his or her “enemies” they are speaking about the sin in their flesh and the temptations and lusts that arise from there. These are enemies because they tempt us to act contrary to the will of God. These can also be spiritual powers such as the spirit of the times which oppose the... More and why should we fightAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More it?)

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
2 Timothy 2:3-4

The whole Bible is full of talk of enemiesMost often when a Christian refers to his or her “enemies” they are speaking about the sin in their flesh and the temptations and lusts that arise from there. These are enemies because they tempt us to act contrary to the will of God. These can also be spiritual powers such as the spirit of the times which oppose the... More, and battles, and metaphors about taking up the fight. We must remember that it is actually spiritual warfare that we are engaged in. We are fighting against “… principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12. This means that no matter how dark this world gets, no matter how bound to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More and unrighteousness the spirit of the world is, we are called to fight hard in the opposite direction. We are fighting for purity, for righteousness, for the will of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. (Romans 12:2; Philippians 2:15)

It is a life of action that each and every Christian is meant to live. It is our job to prove that God’s will is perfect. We should be on the front line in the battleAlmost all talk of battles and wars when concerning a Christian life refers to the inner battle that arises when a sinful thought tempts you. God’s Spirit and the flesh are at odds. When you have decided to only do God’s will and are being led by the Spirit, a conflict between the flesh and the Spirit arises: there is... More against Satan and the hosts of wickedness, who wish to have full control over the world. We are to be the obstacle that stops them from accomplishing their goal: the final hold outs who are unbeatable. The zealous loyalists who stop evil from taking over completely. We are to be the light and salt in this world. (Matthew 5:13-16)

So how can one person make a difference?

Spiritual warfare in your personal life

Through faithfulness in your personal life. If you love Jesus more than anything, and your only longing is to live in such a way that is well-pleasing to Him because you owe Him everything, the answer is clear. The enemy is anything that is going to interfere with that.

Sin is anything that goes against God’s Word and God’s will and causes separation between us and God. Although we are tempted to sin by the lusts and desiresThe desires that we experience that go against God’s will. In other words, a desire for anything sinful. See James 1:14. Also called “sin in the flesh.” Although the expression “youthful lusts” is  often thought of in connection with sinful sexual desires, lusts include anything that go against what is good and right in God’s eyes. (2 Timothy 2:22.; Galatians... More in our fleshThe “flesh” is all of the sinful desires/temptations/lusts, etc. that dwell in human nature. It is the source of temptation, and nothing good dwells there. (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 7:18; Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:5) Other phrases meaning the same as the flesh include: the body of sin, sinful human nature, fallen human nature, sinful nature, fallen nature The term “flesh” can... More, in our nature, Satan uses these temptations to try to get us to commit sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will and His laws. It is when you are tempted by the lusts and desires that dwell in you and you consciously agree to act on that temptation, knowing full well that it is displeasing to God. This “act on” can occur in word, deed, or... More. He whispers in our ear to make sin look appealing, like something that will make us feel good, when the truth about sin is that it harms our spirit by severing our connection with God and the blessing that comes from that. Instead, it causes nothing but misery, blindness, hurt, and a score of other evil things in our lives.

It is written in John 10:10 that, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly.” The thief that Jesus is speaking about here is Satan. But then Jesus says that He has come to bring us life in abundance! Life in abundance is what we receive when we fight against this enemy. When we see our personal temptations as a battle against the forces of darkness that wish to rule this earth, then we understand why the Bible speaks so strongly about victory, and overcoming, and being a soldier. One blow against sin in our own lives is a blow against evil in the world. The battle is about more than just our personal lives.

We’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re fighting to build the body of ChristThe body of Christ is made up of all of those who give their lives to serve God in order to come to the fullness of Christ. They work in the ministry that He has appointed them, which differs from person to person, for the edification of themselves and others to bring all to unity. It is made up of... More (Romans 12:5), of which everyone engaged in this warfare is a part. We fight for each other, to strengthen and encourage one another. When we take heed to ourselves and to the doctrine, and continue in them, then we save both ourselves and those who hear us. (1 Timothy 4:16) Then God can use us as an instrument of righteousness, an example to everyone who meets us. (Romans 6:12) We can become an aroma of life leading to life, the fragrance of Christ to those who are being saved. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

Eternal life

As we progress on this way we are made more and more alive in our spirit, and this is an eternal spirit that leads to everlasting life. When we give in to temptation and allow Satan and sin into our lives, then our spirit is contaminated, and that eternal connection with the Father and the Son is snuffed out. (Ephesians 2:1) Giving in to sin is an eternal loss; it is far more than merely a momentary lapse. That moment cannot be relived; the possibility to partake of some of the virtues offered in that moment cannot be regained. And if we continue to give in to sinTo commit sin is to consciously do something that you know goes against God’s will. This can be in word, deed, or even thought. (James 1:14-15)... More, to live in it, it leads to death. (James 1:14-15) This is not just a physical death. We all die physically, but those who have been made alive in their spirit go to be with their Saviour. Those whose spirits have severed their connection with God and been infected with sin will spend the rest of eternity with an unfulfillable craving for a connection with God and His goodness. This is spiritual death, the wages of sin. (Romans 6:20-23) It is the worst possible scenario! That is why sin is such a huge enemy.

But here and now, while we live on this earth, we have the opportunity to battle against that. To give Satan a blow every time we are tempted. We have a tremendous opportunity here, so let’s not turn from God because we are deceived by Satan and by sin. Instead we can have the cry in our heart that Jesus had: “Here I am to do Your will God.” (Hebrews 10:7) Then His will for our lives is carried out, and we grow in abundant, eternal life. There is absolutely no doubt that each temptation will be a victory when God is on our side. He has all power in heaven and on earth, and He is able to give us everything we need to overcome the enemy. And then our lives will be a part of proving that God’s way alone is right and perfect. The blessing that we receive for faithfully fighting for Him is not something that we can even begin to imagine with our human minds.

Key teachings

Explore how God’s Word challenges and empowers us to live 100% according to His will, so we no longer need to fall in sin, but can come to a life of victory.

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The apostle who wrote the book of Hebrews called it “a word of exhortation.” The purpose of this booklet is to amplify and expand on that exhortation, bringing faith and salvation to all those who have a heavenly calling. All those who follow the exhortation of the book of Hebrews can attain to this great salvation.

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