We need to see that this spiritual warfare is not an individual matter – it is not an individual believer that puts on the whole armor of God and fights against the enemy.
Satan is not afraid of individualistic Christians who try to be mighty or who fight by themselves in their own might. Even if they number in thousands, Satan is still not afraid of them.
When the church is built up as the Body of Christ to be the corporate warrior fighting against him, Satan is defeated. He is terrified of a built up church as the corporate warrior of God (see Eph. 6:10-20).
spiritual warfare is a matter of the Body
First of all, we don’t fight the battle in ourselves but in the Lord and in the might of His strength (Eph. 6:10). We need to be empowered in the Lord and be in Him so that we may fight the battle.
This power is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and made Him to be the Head over all things – and this power is TO THE CHURCH!
After we are empowered with this power, we need to put on the whole armor of God – we don’t fight with our own weapons but with God’s armor. This armor is for the entire Body of Christ, for the church, and not for an individual member.
Actually, by being in the Body, by being built up with the saints in the church, we are putting on the whole armor of God. Individually, we can’t put on the whole armor of God; together, we fight the spiritual warfare in the Body and we put on the whole armor of God!
the church is a corporate warrior
On the one hand, Ephesians reveals that the church is the Body of Christ, the new man, the bride of Christ, the family of God, the kingdom of God, and God’s dwelling place.
On the other hand, the church is also the corporate warrior, God’s army, to defeat the enemy of God.
We should reject the concept widely spread in Christianity that each individual believer needs to put on the whole armor of God. The armor in Ephesians 6 is for the Body of Christ, for the church as God’s corporate warrior.
This is why we need to stay in the church life. We need to stay in a vital connection with all the other members of the Body. Together with the saints as the built up church we can fight as God’s army.
This is God’s strategy: to use the church as His army to fight against His enemy and defeat him.
Just as a soldier does not go to fight against the enemy by himself but as a part of a well-trained army, so we need to remain in God’s army, the church, that we may be both protected and empowered to defeat Satan, God’s enemy!
the overcomers are for the Body
Even though the overcomers see that the situation in Christianity in general is degraded, and in particular in the church many saints are defeated, whatever they do and whatever they are is for and in the Body.
They are not super-Christians, Superman-believers, those who have super-powers or anything like that. No, they are in the Body, even hidden in the Body, living in the reality of the Body, and they fight the battle in the Body.
The only way we can defeat the enemy is not in and of ourselves but in the Lord, and when we are in the Lord, we are in the Body, in the church.
Satan’s strategy is to make you think that you can defeat him by yourself. He knows that when you are in the Body, one with the saints, in the army of God, he is defeated. When we separate ourselves from the church, we are defeated.
But when we do not isolate ourselves but stay in a close fellowship in the Body, we are empowered in the Lord and the enemy is under our feet!
Victory is in the Body! Victory is in the church, which has the resurrecting, ascending, and all-transcending power of God!
Lord, keep us in the Body. Lord, keep us in the church life. Lord, cause us to see that we don’t fight the battle in ourselves or by ourselves. Build us up with the saints, and gain the church as a built-up Body! Lord, gain the army! Make us the overcomers who live in the Body, one with the church, and who are experts in war. As the Body, Lord, we put on the whole armor of God that the enemy would be defeated!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from, Life-study of Ephesians (msgs. 63, 74, 97), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of the Minor Prophets, week 6 (entitled, The Descent of the Mighty Ones).
- Buy this morning revival book online via Living Stream Ministry.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Fight the battle in the Body, / Never fight it on your own; / With the Body to the Head joined, / Fight the battle on the throne.
# Charge, soldiers, charge in battle! / The conflict has begun; / Thy battle song triumphant- / ”The victory is won!”
# The name of Jesus is our stand, / It is our victory; / Not on ourselves do we rely, / But, mighty Lord, on Thee.
- Picture source: sunset (instagr.am-ed by me).
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