This is a Spiritual Warfare!

Ephesians 6:11

11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

The Origin of the Spiritual Warfare

Throughout the scripture, the characters and behaviors of Satan and the evil spirits are revealed. Satan was created by God as a high ranking angelic being anointed as a guardian cherub and have access to God's presence (Ezekiel 28:14). He was created perfect until unrighteousness found in him (Ezekiel 28:15). Satan, also called Lucifer or morning star, was created with great beauty and wisdom but he became proud and wanted to rise above God and made himself god (Ezekiel 28:17, Isaiah 14:12-14). God cast Satan down to earth (Luke 10:18) destined to final condemnation in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Satan was not cast down alone but together with angels that were collaborating with him (Revelation 12:4, 9) which probably account for one-third of the angels although the exact number is not known (Revelation 12:4). Some of those fallen angels were bounded by chain already waiting for judgment (Jude 1:6). Satan and the rest of the fallen angels are allowed to go about in the world to deceive and manipulate the whole world (1 John 4:4). People are blinded by Satan such that they do not know the true living God but live following the ways of the world which is under the influence and manipulation of Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 2:2-3). In other words, people live under the bondage of sin. Although people may commit different sins and to different degrees, all people are sinners and the consequence is death according to the judgment of God (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). But, when we put the trust in Jesus Christ who redeems us from sin (Isaiah 53:6), our lives will turn from death to external life and from darkness to light (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 5:8). But, it is God's intention to allow the devils to operate in this world such that people have the choice to live against the will of God according to the pattern of the world filled with all kinds of sinful desires, lusts and pride under the influence of Satan (1 John 2:16). In addition, the world is full of false teachers, false religions, and even governments that deny Jesus is the Christ such that they will mislead or forbid people in seeking, knowing the truth (1 John 2:18, 22). Unfortunately, many people prefer to ignore the truth and live in a worldly way which will lead to destruction (Matthew 7:13). However, God is merciful and patient. He is still inviting sinners to the one and only way of salvation such that people may live an abundant life in this world now and in His glorious Kingdom to come forever when they trust in Jesus Christ (John 14:6, Matthew 7:14).

Ezekiel 28:14-15, 17

14 You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you. You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. 15You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. 17 Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.

Isaiah 14:12-14

12 How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! 13You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. 14 I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."

Luke 10:18

18He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Revelation 20:10

10And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Revelation 12:4, 9

4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 9The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Jude 1:6

6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

1 John 5:19

19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

2Corinthians 4:4

4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Ephesians 2:2-3

2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

Isaiah 53:6

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Romans 6:23

23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 5:8

8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

1 John 2:16

16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.

1 John 2:18, 22

18Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 22Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son.

Matthew 7:13

13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.

John 14:6

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Matthew 7:14

14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

The Reality of Spiritual Warfare

In the beginning of humanity in the garden of Eden when the first man and woman Adam and Eve were innocent and had no knowledge of sin, Satan already exists. Of course we know that Adam and Eve fell into the lie of Satan by disobeying God's command not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:12). Throughout human history under the permission of God, Satan is active in the world seeking opportunities to tempt more people into sin and destruction. As a matter of fact, throughout human history, current and future generations and even after the Millennial kingdom when Satan is allowed by God to operate (Revelation 20:6-8). On the other hand, God provides us with the spiritual armor which will allow us to withstand the devils, their cunning schemes and be victorious (Ephesians 6:12). Without God's spiritual armor, no one can stand a chance to survive the spiritual dark forces which are powerful and have infiltrated the whole world.

Paul uses the armor of a typical Roman Empire soldier to describe the spiritual armor God provides to all believers to fight the spiritual warfare. This not only helps us to understand the sufficient provision and uses of the spiritual armor but also to remind us that there is an ongoing spiritual war between the devils who are against God and His people. Let us study the spiritual armor of God in more details in the following sections:

Genesis 2:17

but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—

Revelation 20:6-8

7When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore.

Ephesians 6:12

12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

1. The Belt of Truth

The first object of the spiritual armor is the belt of truth. A belt looks simple and hardly to be significant part of the armor. In fact, the belt was essential to cinch the tunic of the Roman soldier around the soldier's waist such that it would not flop around when the soldier was in action. When the soldier was about to fight, he would pull the tunic up and tuck it under the belt. This action of girding the loin signified that the soldier was ready and committed to engage in a battle which was about to happen. Likewise, truth which is the word of God, serves as the foundation of the Christian life which is blessed with salvation, imputed with righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21), shielded by the power of God through faith (1 Peter 1:3-5), equipped with God's word to discern evils, temptations while guiding us to walk on a righteous path (Hebrews 4:12-13), and commissioned to preach the gospel (2 Corinthians 5:17-20).  After all, Jesus is the Word of God manifested in the flesh (John 1:1, 14) who makes all these blessings and privileges possible and available to all who trust in Him.  In fact, believers are commanded to put on Jesus in our born-again lives (Romans 13:14).

We all live in this fallen world full of sins and temptation. In everyday life, Christians and non-Christians alike, are bound to encounter challenging situations that cause us to sin and dishonor God. These situations could be created by the devil directly or indirectly somehow. These situations could provide various kinds of temptations such as materialistic, prideful, sexually immoral desires. These situations could happen while we are watching TV, movies, browsing the internet, working in our workplace, driving on the roads, even inside our homes or anywhere when we are interacting with each other. If we are not equipped with the truth which is the word of God, we tend to respond with our old sinful nature: temper, anger, greed, lust, dishonesty and selfishness. The results are usually destructive and not pleasing to God. A good but tragic illustration is a news story that I heard from the radio one or two years ago in Chicago. Two women got out of their cars on the road because of road rage and got into a fierce fight. A fast moving car struck and killed both of them. Had even one of them respond to this situation not out of anger but the word of God, this tragic event would not happen.

If we have the word of God under our belts and let the word of God instead of our flesh to guide us in both of our thinking and action (1 Peter 1:13-15, 5:8), we are ready to engage and win in the spiritual warfare. For example, the Bible teaches that God is full of love (Ephesians 2:4) and God expects all believers to live a new life which also manifests His love, we will think, talk and act in a way pleasing to God. In fact loving God is the greatest commandment and the second commandment is similar to the first which is loving others (Matthew 22:39). Our love towards others is based on God's word which is in contrast to evil things and desires. Love is patient and kind towards others, not jealous nor proud. Love is not selfish nor easily angered. Love is having a positive attitudes and seek to build up others (1Corinthians 13:4-7). Imagine what the world is like if it is full of people of love. Therefore, to be victorious, it is vital for us to be alert, ready and committed to His word such that we may honor God in this world of darkness and serve as a testimony to many non-believers who are still under the enslavement of sin and Satan (Luke 12:35).

1Peter 1:13-15 (King James Version)

13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1 Peter 1:13-15

13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

1 Peter 5:8

8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Ephesians 2:4

4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,

Matthew 22:39

39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

1Corinthians 13:4-7

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Luke 12:35 (King James Version)

35Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;

Luke 12:35 (New International Version)

35"Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,

2. Breastplate of Righteousness

The devil will deceive and attack the confidence, and mind of people. Some non-believers are deceived into thinking that they do not need the salvation God provides. After all, they are decent human beings especially in comparison to many immoral, dishonest people and criminals in this world. However, the appraisals given to ourselves are usually biased favorably to ourselves. Moreover, we should not forget that we are created beings and are accountable to our creator who is holy and righteous. God does not judge on a changeable, relative scale but by His absolute holy standard. The standard is based on the fact that humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) who expects holiness from His children (1 Peter 1:16). The Scripture teaches that God's holy standard is so high that we are all rightly judged as sinners. Our appraisal of righteousness of ourselves is no righteousness at all (Isaiah 64:6). Jesus has told us a story especially about the danger and futility of self-righteousness which is rejected by God (Luke 18:9-12).

Genesis 1:27

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

1 Peter 1:16

16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."

Isaiah 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Luke 18:9-12

18The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector 9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

On the other extreme, the devil may attack our mind on the fact that we are sinners and are not qualified to be a witness and serve God. Actually, the devil is attacking God's promise of salvation. For it is grace that God gives to sinners through Jesus Christ such that sinners are saved from the destruction and judgment of sin. Does not Jesus say that it is the sick not the healthy who needs the doctor (Mark 2:17)? Because of Jesus' redemption, we, sinners, are now justified by God as righteous people (Philippians 3:9) and may reconcile with Him and live a new life (Romans 1:17, 3:22). Let us put on the breastplate of righteousness which is not of our own but of Jesus Christ such that we may have the confidence to fight the spiritual battle.

Mark 2:17

17On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Philippians 3:9

9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.

Romans 1:17

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."

Romans 3:22

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,

When we put on God's breastplate of righteousness, it does not mean that our sin is covered up by God's righteousness such that outwardly we look good but inwardly we continue to live in sin. Rather, our wages of sin have been paid for in full by Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit will make us new creations that manifest God's power and holiness (Ephesians 2:10). However, it does not mean that a believer will not have struggle between the flesh and the new life. In fact, the Scripture reminds believers that we should imitate Christ and not to gratify the sinful desires in the flesh (Romans 13:12-14) On the other hand, if someone claims that he is a believer but continue giving in the sinful desires and living a sinful lifestyle, perhaps his or her faith is not true and has not really accepted Christ's salvation (2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 John 5:18).

Romans 13:12-14

12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Hebrews 10:38

But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him."

Romans 6:13

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 13:5

5Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

1 John 5:18

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.

3. Footwear of Gospel of Peace

Footwear is also a critical instrument for a soldier. It allows the soldier to stand, walk and run with comfort and stability. It also protects the feet from wear and tear and extreme temperature. The gospel is a solid assurance of God's love and power to all believers. Through Jesus Christ, sinners can now be accepted by God and no longer be enemies of God (Romans 5:10). Therefore, when the devil attacks and misleads us into mistrust of God, just remember the gospel and understand that we are on the side of God who is faithful, loving and powerful. We should also remember that there are many people who have not yet known the gospel and are wondering in Satan's territory. Having reconciled with God, we should be glad to preach the gospel to others who are going astray (2 Corinthians 5:18). Moreover, a good strategy of defense is offense. When we preach the gospel to the lost world, we are actually bearing the conquering power of God who can save the lost souls from the kingdom of darkness to His kingdom of light (Romans 1:16). This is a beautiful thing that God wants His children to do (Isaiah 52:7).

Romans 5:10

For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

2 Corinthians 5:18

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

Romans 1:16

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

Isaiah 52:7

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

4. Shield of Faith

The big rectangular shields the Roman Soldiers used in the battle field was absolutely necessary to protect themselves from flaming arrows shot by their enemies. The shield of faith is also critical for a believer in the spiritual warfare because the devil will shoot fiery arrows unexpectedly intended to cause troubles, fears and destruction. People of faith in both the Old Testament and New Testament faced different challenges and difficulties in different circumstances. The Bible does not expressly say that all these problems are caused by Satan except in a few places such as the sufferings of Jobs, and the persecuted Christians in the early churches and the Great Tribulation period. But, these problems are usually caused by corrupted people who are under the influence of Satan as we discussed above. Therefore, it is quite fair to say that Satan will cause difficulties and trouble to all Christians under the permission of God. In fact, Jesus told us that believers living in this world will have trouble and we know that Satan is permitted by God to operate and rule in this world until he was bound in prison and finally destroyed in the lake of fire (John 16:33, Ephesians 2:2).

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Ephesians 2:2

2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Faith is the trust in God who reveals Himself in the Scripture (Hebrews 11:1). By studying the Scripture, we know that there is only one God (Isaiah 46:9). He is immortal, invisible (1 Timothy 1:17), almighty (Genesis 17:1; Job 42:2), omniscient (Psalm 139:2, 15; Hebrews 4:13), omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-8), and immutable (James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8). He created everything and is the ruler of everything (Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3). He is holy, righteous, faithful and just (Psalm 29:2; Psalm 11:7; Psalm 33:4), yet He is merciful and full of love (Psalm 25:6). When mankind went astray, He loves mankind so much that He took up the punishment of sins for all who looks into Him for forgiveness, grace and eternal life through His son Jesus Christ. God is faithful and He will fulfill what He says as revealed in the Scripture. The people of faith in the Scripture are the great examples for us who have demonstrated the effectiveness of faith when they face the flaming arrows of the devil (Hebrews 11:33-34). They all put their trust in God who would deliver them from the adverse circumstances. However, some did not receive what God had promised in their lifetime, yet their faith was not diminished for they knew that God had a better way in handling the circumstances in order to fulfill His wonderful plan (Hebrews 11:39-40). Therefore, faith implies unwavering trust in God even in adverse circumstances as illustrated by Job's faith while in his great sufferings both emotionally and physically. In his dark and seemingly desperate circumstances, Job still believed that God's provision would transcend the temporary circumstances and in the end, he would see God's victory, justice and gracious redemption which was the most precious blessing one could ask for (Job 19:25).

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Isaiah 46:9

9 Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.

1 Timothy 1:17

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Genesis 17:1

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty ; walk before me and be blameless.

Job 42:2

"I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.

Psalm 139:2, 15

2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

Hebrews 4:13

13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Psalm 139:7-8

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Isaiah 44:24

"This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,

John 1:3

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

Psalm 11:7

For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.

Psalm 33:4

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.

Psalm 25:6

Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.

Hebrews 11:33-34

33who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

Hebrews 11:39-40

39These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect

Job 19:25

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

The Romain soldiers holding the shield were not usually stationary but advancing towards the enemies in the battle field. The notion of faith also implies action of obedience. A good illustration is the faith of Noah who responded to God's word by committing his time and efforts in building an ark in his time when the whole world fell into sin (Hebrews 11:7). Another illustration is the faith of Abraham who would leave his familiar place and went to a strange place unknown to him (Hebrews 11:8). Therefore, faith implies action of obedience in response to God's word. To illustrate it further, suppose you are looking for investment advice for your money, and an investment adviser gives you investment advice. Should you believe what the adviser says, an action will follow, that is to invest the money according to the adviser's advice. When we say that we have faith in God, we will also listen to and obey His word.

Hebrews 11:7

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Hebrews 11:8

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

5. Helmet of Salvation (Ephesians 6:17a)

In the course of a battle, the helmet was a critical piece of armor protecting the head of a Roman soldier. In the course of the spiritual battle, the devil would use different means to confuse, discourage, and persecute believers to drive them away from the security and hope of salvation that God has given through Jesus Christ. The devil will cast doubts on the gospel which saves believers from sins by the redemption of Jesus Christ. The devil wants believers to lose courage to fight the spiritual battle by losing confidence of God's presence, guidance and protection in their daily lives. The devil wants believers to forget or be ignorant of the fact that God has already won the spiritual warfare such that they have no hope of future in the course of spiritual battle. But, the fact is God will give His children glorious resurrected body with eternal life free of sin and suffering in the presence of God.

God's provision of salvation is effective and secure covering the past, present and future needs of all believers. As for the past, the penalty of sin of a believer has been settled and forgiven by God through the work of Jesus Christ and the believer may be regarded as righteous and holy before God (Galatians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 1:30).

Galatians 3:14

He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:30

It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

As for the present, the Holy Spirit lives within the believer and helps the believer to live a fruitful life glorifying God. This is achieved through the power of the Holy Spirit and the obedient attitude of believers towards God's word (Galatians 5:25, 1 Peter 1:23). However, there still will be struggles between the old sinful nature in the flesh and the new nature bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Thanks be to God that His grace of salvation continues to cover and help believers in their daily life towards victory (Romans 7:24-25; 1 John 1:9). All believers should trust God that He will and He can accomplish what He sets to do. Unlike human beings who are limited in power and wisdom, God is almighty and faithful, He will certainly finish the works of salvation of all believers as He began (Philippians 1:6).

Galatians 5:25

Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

1 Peter 1:23

23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Romans 7:24-25

24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

1 John 1:9

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Philippians 1:6

6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

As for the future, salvation means the best is yet to come as promised by God who is faithful. In this world, no matter how prosperous, popular, and powerful one may get for oneself, one will not get any benefit of these things when one dies. In contrast to the earthly things and life which are ephemeral, believers will receive resurrection, eternal life and blessings from God in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 9:15, 1 Peter 1:3-4). It is because people who believe in Christ are called the children of God. Therefore, the life on earth for a believer is like a traveling journey, and the real home and destination is God's kingdom in heaven. Therefore, the future of a believer is bright, very very bright indeed. The believer will receive a glorious resurrected body free of sins, sickness, sorrows and sufferings. For God will be living with His children forever (1 John 3:2, John 14:2-3, 1 Corinthians 15:42-43, Revelation 21:3-4). Therefore, with salvation, believers have already been given the guarantee of victory in the spiritual warfare on earth in this life. Knowing this guarantee of victory, believers should fight a good fight with good courage.

Hebrews 9:15

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

1 Peter 1:3-4

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you,

1 John 3:2

2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

John 14:2-3

2In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

1 Corinthians 15:42-43

42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

Revelation 21:3-4

3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

6. Sword of the Spirit

The sword of the Holy Spirit is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17b). The word of God is living and active penetrating to the heart and mind of a believer such that the believer may know what is true or false, right or wrong in the sight of God. The word of God is effective in training and guidance such that a believer's action may glorify God (Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The word of God is perfect, trustworthy and effective even in reviving the inner heart, giving joy and wisdom to the mind. That is why the psalmist David wrote that the word of God is more precious than pure gold and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:7-10).

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Psalm 19:7-10

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous. 10 They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

Jesus Himself has demonstrated the use of the word of God as a weapon against the temptations of Satan. After fasting forty days and forty nights, Jesus in the flesh was hungry. Satan took this opportunity to tempt Jesus to abuse His divine power to turn stones into bread for Himself. Of course, Jesus as the creator by nature could perform such a miracle, but not as a short cut and convenient way to meet His physical need. Had Jesus did according to the suggestion of Satan, His position as the high priest might be blemished for He had abused His divine power in a cheating manner to live as a human. His example of fasting and devotion would have been untrue and His representation of mankind to God would be questionable (Hebrews 4:15). To respond to this temptation, Jesus applied the Scripture asserting that the obedience to the word of God was even more important (Matthews 4:4) than food because Jesus was sent by God as the "Word became flesh" to reconcile mankind to God, to show God's grace and to teach and exemplify a life pleasing to God (John 1:14).

Hebrews 4:15

15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

Matthew 4:4

4Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

John 1:14

14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The devil then tempted Jesus by casting doubt on the fact that He was indeed the Son of God and suggested Jesus to jump down from the highest point of the temple of God for a test. The devil even quoted Psalm 91:11-12 as a legitimate support of the test implying that God would send His angels to guard Jesus from harm. However, Jesus who knew the Scripture well, immediately pointed out Satan's trickery by wrongfully applying the Scripture into testing God (Matthew 4:7; Deuteronomy 6:16). The story was about Israelites during the time of Exodus traveled to a place called Rephidim where there was no water to drink. They quarreled with their leader Moses who led them out of Egypt out of the hard slavery complaining that they were about to die of thirst. In fact they were about to put Moses to dead. This only showed that they had no faith in God who called Moses to bring them out of the land of slavery by God's grace and mercy. They mistrusted God and questioned whether God was with them. Had they little faith, they would not even ask such a question for God had performed many miracles among them, from the ten plaques in Egypt, crossing of the Red Sea to the daily supply of manna. Their act of fiercely complaining at the point of killing Moses, a chosen prophet and leader to fulfill God's promise to Abraham, was a test to God and was an indication of their lack of faith. Out of His mercy and grace, God did another miracle through Moses by striking a rock with his staff on a rock by Horeb such that a stream of water came out of the rock for the Israelites to drink. This very act is an image of God's salvation through Jesus Christ to mankind who does not deserve any blessing from God. During the walk of faith in every believer's life, there will be wilderness and trials. The devil will also take the opportune time to cast doubt on our faith. It is important for us to know and believe in God that He is faithful, loving and trustworthy and He will guide us through the wilderness of life. Jesus demonstrated the importance in the study and correct application of the Scripture. We should be vigilant to the fact that the devil is tricky and will even confuse and convey a false message out of the word of God. A tragic example is the fall of our ancestors Adam and Eve when the devil tempted Eve by modifying God's command of not to eat the fruits of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God warned of death for eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17), while the devil said that there would be no death and injected words non-existent in God's original command as an additional motivation to violate God's command (Genesis 3:4-5). Eve fell by listening to Satan's words rather than committing to God's words. Adam fell also by following Eve's failure instead of obeying God's command.

Matthew 4:7

7Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Deuteronomy 6:16

16 Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah.

Genesis 2:17

17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Genesis 3:4-5

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

Then Satan made an offer to Jesus of all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor if Jesus bowed down and worshiped him. Jesus responded the temptation precisely with God's word which commands dedicated worship and service (Matthew 4:9-10; Deuteronomy 6:13, 8:19). By the way, we should understand that it is a blessing and privilege to worship and serve the true and living God. As apostle Paul says in Romans 12:1, it is God's mercy that sinners are justified by Jesus' work of redemption and we may approach God and are given this prestigious opportunity to worship and serve Him. Satan realized that he could not tempt Jesus into sins left. Again and again, we see Satan's various temptations addressing to different aspects of a person: physical, emotional, and even trust in God. Jesus demonstrated victories by responding with the written word of God. Jesus emphasized the written word of God and not the words uttered or written by any other person. Similarly, our faith and actions should be based on the Scripture and not by teachings even of the greatest scholars or teachers of the world. May I reiterate the fact that all Scripture is God-breathed and is effective and trustworthy and should be the foundation of all believers' faith and actions.

Matthew 4:9-10

9"All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." 10Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'"

Deuteronomy 6:13

13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.

Deuteronomy 8:19

If you ever forget the LORD your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.

Romans 12:1

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Constant Communication with the King

Believers are not left alone in the battle field. In addition to the spiritual armor, believers have the privilege to communicate with the King and Commander anytime to call for special help, strength and encouragement to fight the war for themselves and each other by prayers in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). With the provision of the full spiritual armor and constant connection with God with prayers in the Holy Spirt, it is a sure thing that we can live an abundant life glorifying God even in this dark world.

Ephesians 6:18

18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.