The Armour of God- Spiritual Warfare and Fighting Satan

To understand what the famous passage on the Armour of God is speaking about, we really need a little bit of context…



The book of Ephesians was written around 60AD and is a letter of love and encouragement to a church in one of the 5 major cities of the Roman world. Paul, the writer, was most likely in prison when he wrote it, surrounded by Roman guards.

The first half of the letter clarifies who we are in Christ, and how we fulfill God’s purposes in His church.  We come by grace through faith, and are united together, Jews and Gentiles, under the headship of Jesus.

The second half explains what living for Christ should look like, in our relationships, our behaviour and towards one another, including work relationships and marriage.

Then Paul chooses to finish up with the passage we will be studying for the next several weeks. We must see this discussion about warfare in the light of what Paul is talking about throughout the entire book.

And so he starts talking about battle, and about armour. Armour is made to be worn, not sat in a corner.  Christ calls us to live a certain way, and God provides spiritual equipment, weaponry and even relationships to help.



Our enemy is the devil and his minions. It’s not really bad people, it’s way bigger than that!

But remember our enemy is defeated! Consequently, there’s no need for believers to fear their spiritual enemy. Those horror movies are not for us!

Colossians 2:15

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

While Satan still has the freedom to tempt and harass Christians, he has no direct authority over them. If you have Jesus in your life, Satan can’t possess you, he can only harass you, which at times can seems bad enough!

But Mark this… We fight as part of a great army, His army!

Victory is sure for us, but that doesn’t stop the enemy fighting. Japan’s military leaders wanted to fight a losing battle to death and destruction, and so does our enemy, even though our victory is already assured in Christ.

Satan is defeated, but still kicking, and he still rules this world. We must fight as an army, not alone. Lone soldiers get picked off. That’s why Coast Church is here, to let us unite with others in the army so that we might stand together in victory.


We live in a world that is Satan’s last stand. He cannot win, but he can employ a scorched earth policy, which is inflicting maximum damage as he is defeated (such as we saw in the Gulf War’s burning of oil refineries).

Ephesians 6:12

For 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.

The Devil has his battle array, his minions arranged by ranks. It says that we wrestle against them. We are not firing ballistic missiles or drones from a safe distance, we are in hand-to-hand combat with the spiritual forces of wickedness.

There are spiritual forces working in the world, evil forces working against the church, against God, against Christ… And against you!

Don’t downplay or rubbish these things, it’s happening right now and you and I alone are no match for it.

What Biblical proof do we have they such a conflict actually exists?

If you look at Daniel 10 you have a glimpse into this spirit world, where Daniel is praying and the angel is struggling against the Prince of Persia, a demon.

We have said that these powers are organized. Principalities are the demons who have the oversight of nations. They would correspond to the rank of generals.

Powers are the privates, the everyday demons wanting to possess and harass human beings.

The rulers of the darkness of this world are those demons who have charge of Satan’s worldly business.

Spiritual wickedness in high places are the demons in the heavenlies who have charge of religion.

Satan has a well-organized group, and his organization is manipulating in this world right now. The heartbreak, the heartache, the suffering, the tragedies of life are the work of Satan in the background. He is the cause of the great problems that are in the world today.

You see, Satan still rules the unbelieving world and we will, on occasion, have to confront Satan’s work in people’s lives (for example when Paul confronted Elymas the Sorcerer Acts 13:9–12). To dislodge Satan’s influence in someone’s life, a supernatural encounter of God’s power and truth may be required.

John 12:31

Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

Ephesians 3:10

His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,

Spiritual warfare is not finding demons under every stone! Demons certainly exist, they are the servants of satan, and were one third of the angels expelled from heaven.

But most often you won’t be having exorcisms, right?

Spiritual warfare for most believers, is actually fought in the mind, emotions and the will.

Scriptural truth is our primary line of defence. That’s why Paul frequently urges us to be renewed in our minds (Romans 12:1–2; Col. 3:1–3). The more our minds are filled with the truth of God’s Word, the less susceptible we are to Satan’s deceptions and temptations.

That’s why I asked you last week to commit to filling your minds with Scripture every single day.  I challenged you to faithfully fill your mind with Scripture and see if you can’t resist the devil more effectively.

It worked for Jesus, who in Luke 4 resisted the schemes of the devil using Scripture…

Luke 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

The battle is not against people and how they treat you, it’s really against demonic forces, against battalions of fallen angels, against evil spirits who wield tremendous power. Though we cannot see them, we are constantly surrounded by wicked spirit-beings, and they love to attack our minds!

The devil has various  strategies—discouragement, frustration, confusion, moral failure, and doctrinal error. He’ll tempt you, frustrate you, confuse you, attack you, and he will often use people, even other Christians to do this.

He knows our weakest point and aims for it. If he cannot disable us by one method, he will try for another. He’s a rotten, evil, despicable enemy, and he will show you no mercy, and neither should you show him any!

This is war after all!

He will often bring up your past, which if you are in Christ and a new creation is forgiven (Colossians 5:17). If the devil wants to talk about your past, remind him of his future!


The more effective a believer is for the Lord, the more he will experience the savage attacks of the enemy: the devil does not waste his ammunition on nominal Christians.


Now remember, you can’t beat him… But Jesus can!

In our own strength we are no match for the devil. So the first preparatory command is that we should be continually strengthened in the Lord and in the boundless resources of His might.

Ephesians 6:10

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

God’s best soldiers are those who are conscious of their own weakness and ineffectiveness, and who rely solely on Him.

1 Corinthians 1:27b

God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.


Know your terrain… We have the enemy located and identified. That enemy is spiritual. It is Satan who heads up his demonic forces. Now we need to recognize where the battle is…


Let’s be clear… We live in a fallen world, and we are called not to just exist, not to just float through and have a good time, but to stand and fight!

When I was young, the Cold War was the big fear. Atomic bombs, terrorism, communism and the Berlin Wall. Vietnam was our fight. On the streets LSD and heroin were the temptation, divorce was rising, free sex was everywhere and abortion was the big debate.

Today, it is the same and more! Communism and the Eastern Block have fallen, but militant Islam has taken its place. Terrorism is even more ever present, heroin has been replaced by ice, divorce is normal, sex is still everywhere and now gay marriage is the hot topic.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.

The terrain is still the same… Issues change, politics change, but each of us face attack from every side in our society


I think the church has largely lost sight of the spiritual battle closer to home, in the church.

We feel that if we have a lovely church building and are attracting crowds and if the finances are coming in, everything is going nicely. The financial condition of a church, however, is not where the battle is. I will grant that, if a church which has been supporting itself begins to get into debt, it is an indication that something is wrong: actually, it means the battle is being lost in the spiritual realm.

There should be questions such as: Are the members of the church being built up in Christ? Is the Word of God being taught? Is there a spirit of love and cooperation among the members? Is gossip reduced to a minimum? There must not be an exercise in legalism but an exercise in right relationships among those who are the brethren in Christ. Where there is a spirit of criticism and of bitterness and of hatred, the Spirit of God cannot or rather will not work.

Churches like to talk about the numbers who come to Christ. They like to talk about how many decisions they have had. Yet when the facts are really boiled down and examined and you look for the so-called converts two years later, you often find that they have disappeared, because we didn’t love and disciple them!

We don’t seem to realize that there is a spiritual warfare being carried on today and that people need to be grounded in the Word of God. It is a manifestation of demonic power that people are being blinded and carried away into all kinds of cults and religions and “isms” with false beliefs.

2 Corinthians 4:4-5

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

The Greek word for blinded actually means calloused, and callousness is often harder than the original bone. It loses feeling, it’s hard as rock, it numbs us!

As a result of all this blinding by satan, the Word of God sinks into insignificance in many churches and organizations. This is the work of the enemy, Satan and his demonic hosts.


This is the area where the armour of God is specifically recommended… The battlefield of our own mind!

Ephesians 6:10-11

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Satan loves to attack the mind, and if you have no defence, you will be tormented and in real trouble.

Those thoughts that pop in your head, that’s often the attacks of the devil. Let me use a modern illustration…

On the internet these days is something called re targeting, and this nicely portrays one of the devils forms of attack.

When you visit a website, a cookie is placed on your computer. A cookie is a little piece of information, but this identifies your computer and where you visited.

Then advertisers can hit you with a series of ads based on where you have visited. So if you looked at a shoe website, all of a sudden you will find ads for shoes popping up all over the place.

And Satan does this too! If you have previously struggles with a sin, the temptations for this very sin will appear all over the place. If you have struggles with illicit sex, then R rated websites, movies and TV shows will show up, and gorgeous, scantily dressed, flirty girls will strike up conversations with you. If you have struggled with gossip, all of a sudden lots of juicy information will come your way. If you struggled with honesty, opportunities to lie for personal gain will appear everywhere.

The devil attacks where you are weakest, and without protection you are in grave danger of being dragged back into sin.

This is especially true of addicts. He might change the addiction, but he can still use this to control you. You need to put in the armour of God, and you need to do it now!


It has been said, “The best form of defence is a good offence,” and I love that because I am always hung hoe to take on everything.

But our battle needs the right strategy, and we need it from the top, from our Commander-in-Chief.

In the American Civil War the battle of Gettysburg was key. The Union Army had a number of experienced generals who all thought they knew what they were doing. But President Lincoln had the telegraph and could make strategic decisions the generals on the ground could not make, because he saw the big picture. Many generals were unhappy and thought Lincoln interfering in their battle, and he even stood some of them down, but in the end Gettysburg was won by using the correct strategy.

God has the right strategy, and we need to listen to Him. And what does His Word tell us? Does it say, Tora, Tora, Tora, attack, attack, attack?

Not, it says to stand!

Ephesians 6:10-11

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Ephesians 6:13

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

When the devil attacks, we need to take the high ground and stand. Our conflict is like the Great War, World War 1, where taking a stand in a trench will serve us better than out and out attack, especially when we are under severe attack!

Will we ever attack? Of course, but some of you here are under attack, and it will take all your strength of will to just stand! Thank God we don’t do this on our own, but we have His strength and His armour to help us stand for what is right!


Next week we will continue and we go on to look at exactly what your armour is, and how to put it on. It will be a life changing message!

YOU CAN AND WILL STAND AGAINST SATANIC ATTACKS, BUT NOT BY YOURSELF!  You need others to stand with you, and next wee we will start equipping you, fitting you out with the armour of God.

But for now, some of you here have felt under attack, and we want to help you to stand, and stand boldly for Christ.

If you’ve been under attack, any sort of attack, we want to stand with you and pray with you.


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