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Warfare Part 2c
The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 1a: A Study of Demonic Activity
Warfare Part 1b: A Study of Demonic Activity
Warfare Part 2a: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 2b: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 2c: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare Part 2d: The Spiritual Warfare of the Believer
Warfare P. 3a: Biblical/Historic View of Angels & Demons
Warfare P. 3b: Biblical/Historic View of Angels & Demons
Warfare P. 3c: Biblical/Historic View of Angels & Demons
Warfare Study Conclusions
Warfare Additional Quotes and Definitions
Belt of Truth
The instruction to gird our loins with the truth is not telling
us to put on some metaphysical belt as we pray, but instead,
is a reference to be watchful and sober regarding the Lord's
coming. That this is the case is shown by Ephesian 6:13's
reference to the evil day as well as to Luke 12 and 1 Peter
1, which we looked at earlier.
1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up (328) the loins (3751)
of your mind (1271), be sober (3525), and hope (1679)
to the end (5049) for the grace that is to be brought unto
you at the revelation (602) of Jesus Christ;
Luke 12:35 Let your loins (3751) be girded about
(4024), and your lights burning; 36 And ye yourselves like
unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return
from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may
open unto him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I
say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to
sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And
if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third
watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 And
this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what
hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not
have suffered his house to be broken through. 40 Be ye therefore
ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye
Indeed this instruction is paralleled way back in the book
of Exodus, where the Lord gives instruction for Moses' to
give to the people so that they would be prepared to leave
Egypt for the Promised Land, which in many ways parallels
the future experience as the living church prepares to enter
the millennial kingdom of Christ.
Exodus 12:11 And thus shall ye eat it; with your
loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your
hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover.
Feet Shod with the Preparation of the Gospel of Peace
Exodus 12:11 not only mentions the loins being girded, but
also speaks of having our shoes on our feet. No doubt Paul,
and Peter, and the New Testament church were well aware of
this passage as they gave these instructions regarding the
armor of God.
Ephesians 6:15 instructs us that our feet should be shod with
the preparation of the gospel of peace. This does not mean
that we should put on some spiritual prayer shoes. For how
do you put on the preparation of the gospel of peace as shoes?
What this verse is saying is a reference to Jesus' instructions
as he sent out his disciples to declare the gospel to Israel.
Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and
began to send them forth by two and two…8 And commanded
them that they should take nothing for their journey, save
a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
9 But be shod (5265) with sandals; and not put on two
coats…12 And they went out, and preached that men should
From this reference (along with Exodus) we see that Paul is
merely instructing the Ephesian church to prepared to go out
and preach the gospel and prepared for the coming of the kingdom
The Shield of Faith
Ephesians 6:15…above all taking the shield (2375)
of faith (4102), wherewith ye shall be able to quench (4570)
the fiery (4448) darts of the wicked (4190).
The shield of faith is meant as an admonition to remain steadfast
and strong in the faith through the adversity of this world
and the trials brought on by the enemy. Hebrews 11:34, in
speaking of those who acted in faith in times past uses nearly
the same phrase that appears here in Ephesians 6.
Hebrews 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time
would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and [of] Barak, and [of]
Samson, and [of] Jephthae; [of] David also, and Samuel, and
[of] the prophets: 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms,
wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths
of lions, 34 Quenched (4570) the violence of fire (4442),
escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong,
waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the
Here in the context of fighting and armies, Paul mentions
those who in faith quenched the violence of fire. This no
doubt is a reference to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (in
Daniel 3). Yet though these men quenched the fire with their
faith, just as we are to quench the fiery darts of the wicked
with the shield of faith, Hebrews 11:13 tells us that all
of these they "died in faith, not having received the promises."
Likewise, the attacks of the devil are portrayed as darts
or arrows in places such as Psalms 7:13, Ezekiel 39:9, and
in reference to the Antichrist who will come before the day
of the Lord in Revelation 6:2, where we see he is given a
bow. And in Matthew 10:22, 13:21, 1 Timothy 4:1, and Revelation
13:10 we learn that we must remain in the faith unto the end
in order to be saved, despite the persecution or cares of
From all of these passages we must understand that the shield
of faith is meant as an exhortation to remain confident or
in faith that the kingdom of God will come and that we will
receive our promised inheritance in it even as we continue
through persecution from the enemy and though it may cost
some of us our lives. If we do not depart from this belief
we will attain salvation.
The Helmet of (the Hope of) Salvation
Ephesians 6:15…And take the helmet (403) of salvation
1 Thessalonians 5:8…and for an helmet (4030), the
hope (1680) of salvation (4991).
Throughout the New Testament we see how important the hope
of salvation is to the church. And we also see this hope emphasized
in the context of tribulation while we are yet in the world
and that this hope comes from the scripture.
Romans 8:24 For we are saved (4982) by hope (1680):
but hope (1680) that is seen is not hope (1680): for what
a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope (1680); patient in
tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime
were written for our learning, that we through patience
and comfort of the scriptures might have hope (1680).
So the helmet of the hope of salvation is a reminder to maintain
the hope of our salvation in the midst of the troubles of
this life and the coming final tribulation.
The Sword of the Spirit
Ephesians 6:15…and the sword (3162) of the Spirit,
which is the word (4487) of God.
The sword of the Spirit, the last piece of the armor of God
is in itself a clear statement about the nature of the armor
of God. In the case of the sword, we are told directly that
it is the Word of God. This confirms for us two things.
First, since the sword of the Spirit is not some spiritual
battle gear this means that the other items of our armor are
also, like the sword, not meant to be taken as real pieces
of armor. Second, the importance of the Word of God is again
stressed to us as a part of spiritual warfare. We see this
importance of the Word of God presented in Hebrews 4 and 2
Timothy 2 as well.
Hebrews 4:12 The word (3056) of God is quick
and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword (3162),
piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the
thoughts (1761) and intents (1771) of the heart (2588).
2 Timothy 2:15 Study (4704) to shew (3936) thyself
approved (1384) unto God, a workman (2040) that needeth not
to be ashamed (422), rightly dividing (3718) the word (3056)
of truth (225)
Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful
in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.14 But
solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained
themselves to distinguish good from evil.
2 Corinthians 6:7 By the word (3056) of truth,
by the power of God, by the armor (3696) of righteousness
(1343) on the right hand and on the left
Just as we saw in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, we again see that
the battle is a mental one, one of truth and correct thinking.
One in which studying and learning the Word of God is the
main means by which we renew our mind from its carnal, sinful
state into one that is subject to Christ.
The Breastplate of Righteousness, (Faith, and Love)
We have already spoken earlier about the breastplate, which
is mentioned alternately as being of righteousness and of
faith and love. From the other evidence we have covered looking
at this piece of armor and the other pieces of armor it is
obvious that the breastplate is simply a metaphor underscoring
the importance of integrity, upright living, faith, and love
in the walk of the believer and in our struggle to not fall
victim to the enemy's attempts to destroy us and lead us astray
Final Thoughts on Spiritual Warfare
We have already covered much ground on the subject of the
spiritual warfare of the believer, so now we will conclude
with a few remaining areas of importance: 1) how we engage
in this battle, 2) Biblical examples of spiritual warfare,
3) warnings to the church, and 4) binding and loosing and
casting out demons.
How do we engage in spiritual warfare?
1. We renew our minds by studying God's Word and discarding
any thought, doctrine, philosophy, or behavior that is inconsistent
with God's Word. (John 14:21-24, Romans 12:2, 13:12, 2 Corinthians
6:6-7, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, Ephesians 4:13-14, 5:11, 6:14-15,
Colossians 3:10, Philippians 4:8, 2 Timothy 2:15, Hebrews
2. We contend for the faith, for sound doctrine, and
truth, by refuting, reproving, and rebuking those who oppose
it. (2 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Timothy 1:3, 6:3-5, 2 Timothy
2:25, 4:1-2, Titus 1:9, 2:1, 15, Jude 1:3).
3. We also need to pray, forgive one another as Christ
forgave us, walk in righteousness, love, and patience, etc.
(Ephesians 6:12-16, 1 Thessalonians 5:8)
(*For more on the importance of learning the Word please see
our Church Ethic section, especially the articles entitled
"Introduction" and "Church Ethic Scripture References.")
Examples of Spiritual Warfare in the Bible
To give us an example of how spiritual warfare worked in the
New Testament, here are a few examples that fulfill the protocols
that we have developed in our study above.
1. Paul - Acts 9:22 But Paul increased the more in
strength, and confounded (4797) the Jews, which dwelt
at Damascus, proving (4822) that this is very Christ
2. Apollos - Acts 18:28 For he mightily convinced
(1246) the Jews, [and that] publicly, shewing (1925)
by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ
3. Stephen - Acts 6:10 And they were not able to
resist (436) the wisdom (4678) and the spirit (4151) by which
he spake (2980)
4. The Bereans - Acts 17:11 These were more noble (2104)
than those in Thessalonica in that they received (1209)
the word (3056) with all readiness of mind (4288) and searched
(350) the scriptures daily whether those things were so
Warnings to the Church
Earlier in this section of our study we noted that as Christians
we start out with a carnal mind, as babies in Christ, until
through practice and study of the word we mature in Christ,
learning to handle the scripture correctly, to distinguish
good from evil, and to discern sound doctrine from heresy.
We discovered that this is a process that all believers must
continue to diligently engage in throughout their lives. However,
we are also warned that the time will come as we near the
end that some in the church will fail to commit to this process.
They will fail to renew their mind in the Word. They will
fail to become mature in Christ. They will fail to hold to
sound doctrine, and instead, they will be carried away by
the strategy of the enemy. The three passages below demonstrate
that this will be the case.
1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that
in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving
heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and
the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead
at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant
in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all
long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when
they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among
the people, just as there will be false teachers among
you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies,
even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing
swift destruction on themselves.
In light of these passages, we must seek to be more diligent
in our pursuit of the truth of God as we see grow closer and
closer to the return of Jesus Christ. We must not fail to
learn and study the scriptures and we must not overlook the
importance of discerning sound doctrine from heresy so that
we do not join with those who will be deceived.