This Is War
War: The Battle is Real
This past Sunday we kicked off a new series on Spiritual Warfare. We boiled down the basic condition of the believer as a citizen of Heaven living in enemy-occupied territory. Because of the broad impact of sin in this world, we are in danger of being threatened in three ways: through what Society distorts as truth, what we believe apart from scripture about the reality in our lives, and by the influence of the evil one. In order for us to gain any traction in safeguarding our own lives and the lives of those we love, we have to correct the way we let outside influences apart from Scripture affect us.
- What is your definition of reality? Is it biblical?
- How could misinterpreting life events apart from Scripture set us on an unhealthy course?
The fall has caused many generations of people to battle with byproducts of the sinful nature: with depression in not accepting our identity in relationship to God, being anxious to be something we can never be apart from Jesus (sinless), or fighting physical sickness because our bodies still bear the curse of our original parents. When we live apart from God and His Word, we trust various sources of confusion. We trust sources like society that tells us to medicate our problems away and in doing so, avoid the real battle that the enemy is waging on us inside. The Gospel calls us to accept that God uses broken people and that there are no perfect people allowed in God's church. Life will be a constant battle that we are fighting under the power of His Son.
- What anchor scriptures do you know that carry heavy and helpful weight in battling issues that are unique to you? (Make sure they are used in context!)
- In what way is the enemy waging war with you in life right now? Do you need help or prayer?
Spiritual warfare is not a fight we can run from. The sting of death, however, has been removed by the power of the death of Jesus, which is our greatest weapon. Death is only a result of sin and was never meant to be a part of true life we have in Jesus. Therefore we must live like soldiers rallying behind the truth that the war for eternity is already won. You're either in Christ and fighting a won war or you're not and already dead from it.
- Are you considering the eternal weight of choosing not to live in the reality of Jesus’ resurrection or are you living a dead life blinded by not knowing Him at all?
- Are you getting hit by the truck or by its shadow?
- Is the question of your salvation one that you meditate and act on every day?
Romans 3:21-26 ESV:
 “But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 ESV:
 “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.  The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.  “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:25-29 ESV:
 “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.  Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,  and give no opportunity to the devil.  Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.  Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Ephesians 6:10 ESV:
 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.”
Colossians 2:6-15 ESV:
 “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,  rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,  and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.  In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,  having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.  And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 ESV:
 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
 See Hebrews 4:12 and Colossians 2:6-15
 Scripture helps us understand who God is. We can’t define God based on our experiences alone, but through Scripture, we are rightly cemented in the truth of God’s identity and our identity in Him. See 1 Cor. 2:14-16.
 See Romans 3:23
This is a great opportunity for the group to challenge each other to find applicable scripture for each other’s lives. Grow your communal knowledge of Scripture and get into what others are dealing with.