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Covenants of God – Lesson 12: Christian Warfare and Victory

Memory Verse: “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” —2 Timothy 4:7-8

Scripture Reading: 2 Timothy 2:1-14

Introduction:

Throughout the history of mankind, God has desired to aid man in his conflicts with human nature. The various covenants that He made with men, including the covenant He made with the House of Israel, contain the promises found in the Gospel—the power of God unto Salvation. Though all have sinned, God has shown His willingness to pardon transgressions and give eternal life to everyone who will repent and obey.

Paul represented the Christian life as a spiritual warfare. He advised the Ephesians to be “strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians 6:10). God’s power is great and He has promised aid to everyone who feels the need of strength to face the fiery trials that come. The enemy of righteousness is seeking constantly to ensnare everyone with his deceptive claims. It is true that Satan knows what is written in truth and he can use Scripture for the confusion of one who is not grounded in the truths of God’s word. Not only is a knowledge of truth necessary, there must be a love for the truth also, otherwise, one will be deceived by the many and varied, present and future, “strong delusions” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). To face the enemy one needs armor and God has provided the sufficient armor for complete defense against the enemy.

But the Christian is often concerned more with spiritual conflicts that he finds confronting him continually, which may vary from time to time as influenced by his environment. In many cases “self” is the foe, supported by human nature. When a Christian can conquer “self” other foes may be met with a greater degree of satisfaction and success. Paul advised Timothy to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” and to “endure afflictions” (2 Timothy 2:3; 2 Timothy 4:5). Wearing the equipment of warfare is not always comfortable but it is much easier if there are not entanglements with the affairs of life which distract us from devotion to Christ.

The word victory carries the idea of conflict or a trial that has ended favorable for those who were involved. There are various kinds of conflicts and trials: physical, spiritual or personal. Conflicts may be complicated with many issues at stake, either for the individual or for thousands, but the word victory indicates the conflict is ended with success—a purpose accomplished whether little or great. The assurance, peace, and joy of a true Christian can cast the discomfort of trials into insignificance.

Study Questions:

  1. What is the nature of Christian warfare as found in Ephesians 6:12 and why should we put on the “whole” armor of God? Ephesians 6:11-13.
  2. What parts compose the whole armor of God according to Ephesians 6:10-18?
  3. What did Christ say that His followers should expect from the world? John 15:18-19. What should we expect from those not professing righteousness? John 16:1-3.
  4. When questioned regarding our Christian hope what should we be able to do? 1 Peter 3:11-16. Likewise, what should be avoided, and why? 2 Timothy 2:23-26; 1 Timothy 1:4.
  5. What four forces did Paul say would confront Christians and how should we be prepared to meet them? Ephesians 6:12-13.
  6. What did Paul say about Christian warfare and armor in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Romans 6:12-13 and Romans 13:11-14?
  7. How did Paul describe the breastplate in Ephesians 6:14 and 1 Thessalonians 5:8? What about the helmet as found in Ephesians 6:17 and 1 Thessalonians 5:8?
  8. What is the Christian’s sword and how is it described? Ephesians 6:17; John 17:17; Hebrews 4:12. How do these things help us? 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11.
  9. What did Paul say of a good soldier of Jesus Christ according to 2 Timothy 2:3-4?
  10. When Paul viewed his life in retrospect, of what was he convinced of and what did he anticipate? 2 Timothy 4:6-8.