Sermon Archives

The Ministry of Warfare

Luke 4:1-13
The Gospel of Luke Part II - The Ministry of Jesus
J. Josh Smith
May 3, 2015

The mission of the church is to continue the ministry of Jesus Christ. Thus, when we look at the ministry of Jesus, we see a model of what our ministry should be and how it should be fulfilled. Jesus’ ministry begins as He is baptized and led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He engages in battle with the enemy. Not only did spiritual warfare kick off Jesus’ ministry, it was a regular part of His ministry on earth (Luke 4:13). By looking at the story of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness, we see two truths regarding our own ministry of spiritual warfare.

First, we must engage in the ministry of spiritual warfare. We are in a spiritual war. We must resist complacency and engage in the fight. There is both an offensive and defensive aspect to this fight. We must begin by offensively fighting against the enemy. We have been called to penetrate the kingdom of darkness with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and fight to advance God’s kingdom on earth. All around us every day are people who are in bondage to the evil one; these people owe their lives to God, their Creator and rightful King. Filled with the Spirit of God and armed with the Gospel, we fight to reclaim what rightfully belongs to the King. The defenses of hell cannot stop us!

We must not only offensively fight against the enemy with the Gospel, we must also defensively stand against the enemy’s attacks against us. When you get serious about the kingdom of God, the enemy will get serious about you. The enemy is actively “scheming” to destroy and devour you, your family, and our church. Fortunately, we are not ignorant of His schemes. Satan attacks us in our areas and moments of weakness. He also attacks our confidence in the character of God and word of God. We must stand strong against the attacks of the enemy.

Second, we must employ the weapons of spiritual warfare. Jesus did not engage in spiritual warfare with secret weapons to which we have no access. He fought the enemy with two primary weapons: the fullness of the Spirit and the sword of the Spirit. It’s not that Jesus immediately pulled out His Bible to find a verse when He faced temptation, nor did He seek to be filled with the Spirit the moment the enemy attacked. Jesus walked in a posture of victory. In other words, He daily feasted on God’s word and hid it in His heart; He walked moment-by-moment filled with the fullness of the Spirit. He was ready when the enemy came. We have the same weapons that Jesus had, but we must be faithful in living in a posture of victory rather than a posture of defeat.

Every single day, Christians are simultaneously in a position of offense and defense. We fight to advance God’s kingdom with the Gospel and we stand against the attacks of the enemy in the fullness of the Spirit with the word of God. Is your life a threat to the enemy? Are you prepared for the enemy? Are you engaging in the ministry of warfare? We have everything we need to win the battle. Let’s stand up and fight!

Faithfulness, Perseverance, Prayer

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