In light of the reality of this war, it is essential that believers have a firm, balanced, and growing knowledge of God and revealed truth, develop a solid dependence upon Him, and wholeheartedly cooperate with the Spirit in our ongoing sanctification (journey toward holiness) so as not to become (temporary) casualties in this very real, powerfully dynamic struggle.
1. Be Strong in the Lord: The church in Ephesus, a major Roman city and a center of occultic practices, likely was well aware of the need for godly living and dependence on God for strength in the struggle with demonic powers.
2. Put On the Full Armor of God: Every resource made available by God for this struggle must increasingly be appropriated by the church that we may withstand the assaults and stand firm in the faith.
3. The Schemes of the Devil: Don’t underestimate your opponent. He is highly skilled with well-honed, time-tested, effective strategies to deceive individuals, distorting or denying ultimate truths, with the ultimate aim of inflicting maximum damage and harm on the church
4. The Nature of Our Conflict: Dull, unbelieving denial of supernatural realities and beings does not obviate their existence. Their existence, power, and skills are real and daunting (humanly speaking).
5. The Belt of Truth: Divine truth, well derived from sacred Scripture, like a belt, must be central in our lives, the truths of who God is, what He has done, is doing,and will do in the course of redemptive history and our salvation as revealed in gospel preaching and sacraments, thorough acquaintance with God’s Word, prayer, and godly living
6. The Breastplate of Righteousness: Speaks to the vital need for protection of the center of our being from the deadening, deceiving, corrupting influences of Satan, grasping the objective righteousness of Christ and need for godly living
7. The Gospel of Peace Footwear: Military footwear speaks to the need to be confident, quick, decisive, surefooted. The preaching of the gospel in the power of the Spirit is God’s means of reconciling his chosen ones to himself.
8. The Shield of Faith: The essential, critical role of faith focused on real but unseen realities only dimly experienced in this life. Satanic inspired doubts in the reliability of what Scripture teaches is powerfully destructive.
9. The Helmet of Salvation: False, destructive, ungodly thoughts arise from our sinful natures and can be powerfully stimulated by demonic influences, so refusing to dwell on evil by diverting those thoughts to the reality of the various tenses of our salvation, especially its future aspect is essential.
10. The Sword of the Spirit: The word of God as an offensive and defensive weapon.
11. Warfare Prayer: 20% of the verses in Ephesians have to do with prayer, the essential ingredient for every other weapon.
12. Warfare Prayer and Proclamation: Essential prayer for the bold, courageous preaching and teaching of the gospel
13. Spiritual Warfare Debriefing: A life of struggle lived in dependence upon and in the power of the Spirit
Appendix 1: The Sovereignty of God and Satan: God is sovereign in creation, providence, and redemption, Satan a powerful but defeated created adversary allowed a certain measure of freedom.
Appendix 2: Can a Christian Be Demon-Possessed?: In short, no
Appendix 3: Christian, Pray for Your Pastors: For courage, wisdom, knowledge, theological depth, love, strong marriage & family, godly passion, godliness, etc.
Pros: Pastoral, covers basic theological truths pretty well, some very good, helpful insight.