Study Guide: Spiritual Warfare

Sunday September 21, 2003 | Ted Roberts

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

The “good fight” is the one you win! This sermon focused on how to fight “the good fight.” There are four things we need to know: 1) The enemy’s tactics, 2) the enemy’s weapons, 3) our tactics and 4) our weapons.

Extended Summary:

Ted Roberts spoke this week on “Spiritual Warfare.” He started out by stating “the ‘good fight’ is the one you win!” The content of the sermon focused on how to fight “the good fight”. There are four things we need to know: 1. the enemy’s tactics, 2. the enemy’s weapons, 3. our tactics, 4. our weapons.

One of the enemy’s tactics that Pastor Roberts focused on was how the enemy encourages sexual sin in our lives. And of course there are many sins that come with the territory (hiding, lying, shame, etc.). The weapons used are all around us in the pervasively sex-charged culture we live in where pornography is more readily available than it ever has been. The enemy uses this situation in many ways, at times accusing us and at other times accusing God of being untrustworthy so we don’t go to the Source of help and healing. Reflecting on this, Pastor Roberts challenged us to consider, “why is it that we serve God?” The point of this challenge was to clarify the fact that God does not guarantee you a comfortable life. In fact, Pastor Roberts assured us that God loves us so much, that God will allow us to “Get down to bare metal” so we can know without a doubt why it is we serve God. The truth of this is well stated by the reminder that life is not fair, but it is gracious.

Life is not a commodity you are entitled to, it is a gift you have been given and which must be given back if it is to be of eternal value. It is here we begin to see that our tactics include remembering that God is trustworthy and gracious, no matter what situation may feel like today. Roberts illustrated this by referring to his friend who is a pastor in a wheelchair who regularly prays for healing for others despite the fact that he himself is paralyzed. His explanation is as simple as it is true: Healing is only a matter of timing. Every tear will be wiped away, and every malady will be healed, this is the promise for the people of faith as testified to in Hebrews 11:13-40. Our weapons include the blood of Christ, which does indeed cleanse us from sin. We need to apply this, not only for our past sins, but for our present decisions. Pastor Roberts used the example of the time he “buzzed” his school and had to answer to his commanding officer. He could lie, or, he could suck it up and be the true person that he was intended to be. He could demonstrate honesty and take responsibility for himself. Show some integrity, even though the reason he was in the office was because of a sin. Feeling the full weight of the matter, he still chose to be truthful and own his behavior. God used it as a time to reassure Roberts that God is not like the angry men who played the role of “father” as he was growing up. God is indeed gracious.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Consider the challenge that Pastor Roberts brought us. How does our American culture, with its emphasis on sexuality, affect us as Christians and the Church at large? What are some of the specific tactics and weapons that the enemy uses? What are our tactics and weapons in response?
  2. As Pastor Roberts put it, only our character and our relationships outlast this lifetime. It is for this reason that he is so focused on the issues of honesty and integrity. These two values build character and strengthen the various relationships that we have. Talk about a time where honesty and integrity have been a challenge for you. It many be that you overcame the challenge, or perhaps you did not, either way, sharing appropriately can help build relationships that can support you as you face new challenges in the future.