NASHVILLE (BP) — This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week’s Bible study is adapted from the YOU curriculum.
Bible Passage: Ephesians 6:10-20
— What are some characteristics of warfare?
— How do you think spiritual warfare compares?
Food for Thought:
This week’s session is a part of a six-week study from the Book of Ephesians titled “Why Do I Need the Church?” In this individual session, titled “We Stand Together in Spiritual Battle,” we focus on one principle gleaned from Ephesians: We stand strong with God’s armor and others’ support.
A lot of people see the Christian life as an effort to be better people, help others and be good neighbors. But Jesus didn’t save us to make us better people; He saved us to make us new people. Jesus wants to radically transform everything in our lives. That’s why the Christian life is a spiritual battle, an open warfare for our allegiance.
Read Ephesians 6:10-13. Paul could not have been any clearer about this spiritual battle! Look at the imagery he used: wearing full armor, standing against demonic schemes, struggling with cosmic powers, and learning to resist and be prepared. Paul described warfare, plain and simple. And this is a fight against a shrewd enemy, the devil. He is cunning in the way he deals with God’s children. And he knows how to spin things to his advantage and our demise. He prefers to subtly and deceptively to twist God’s truth, working behind the scenes. It started in Eden, and it has never stopped.
Throughout church history, Christians have fought all sorts of people in Jesus’ name. But our fight is not against people of other religions or social beliefs. Paul reminded the Ephesians that this is an invisible, spiritual battle. That’s why Paul pushed believers toward vigilance five times in these verses:
— “Be strengthened by the Lord” (v. 10).
— “Put on the full armor of God” (v. 11).
— “Take up the full armor of God” (v. 13).
— “Resist in the evil day” (v. 13).
— “Take your stand” (v. 13).
Allegiance to God requires vigilance, but thankfully we’re not alone. The Gospel empowers us to stand.
YOU is committed to providing a complete Bible study experience for small groups and classes. Every session is written through an urban and multiethnic lens that provides relevant, engaging and applicable studies that not only encourage and equip people, but also motivate them to mission. This flexible, non-dated, all-in-one quarterly resource offers weekly Bible study for leaders and learners, devotionals and teaching plans, as well as articles on hot topics and missions. For additional downloadable online teaching resources, visit LifeWay.com/YOU.