All of the weapons mentioned in Ephesians 6 that the Spirit has placed at our disposal in this warfare focus on the delivery of the gospel to the ends of the earth, to our neighbors in their unbelief, and to believers in their constant struggle to hold fast to their confession. A church that drops its armor and weapons — namely, the gospel as ti comes to the world in Word and sacraments — is Satan’s goal in this interim between Christ’s two advents.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 178
As Ephesians 6 – the key spiritual warfare passage – makes explicit, Satan focuses his efforts on extinguishing or corrupting our faith in Christ. That is why all of the weapons he lists for the believers’ struggle have to do with the objective Word of the gospel rather than on our own cleverly devised, if superstitious, technology. Satan’s favorite holiday is not Halloween but Christmas and Easter – in fact, every Lord’s Day when Christ gathers his people to himself. He foments external persecution an internal corruption of God’s Word and the believer’s faith. The Antichrist himself will assume his throne not in a capital of secular power but in the sanctuary of God (II Thessalonians 2:4). From Genesis to the Gospels, Satan’s favorite haunt is not wild parties and seances, but God’s courtroom, where he can accuse believers night and day. That is why it is so significant that Christ cast Satan out of heaven by his victorious ascension. It means that in heaven where our salvation is determined – there is no prosecutor, but only a defense attorney for the people of God.
Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 176-177
Not only does Scripture command Christians and churches to love, but it also tells us who we are to love.
- We are to love God (Matthew 6:24; 22:39)
- We are to love our family (Ephesians 5:25; 6:1-4; Titus 2:4)
- We are to conduct ourselves in such an honoring and respectful way that our church leaders find it a joy to pastor us, which is a practical way of loving them (I Timothy 5:17; Hebrews 13:17)
- We are to love fellow Christians (I John 3:14)
- We are to love our neighbor even if our neighbor is a despicable person (Matthew 22:39; Luke 10:30-37; Romans 13:9-10; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8)
- We are to love strangers (Hebrews 13:2)
- We are to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-45; Luke 6:32)
– Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p. 195
Heart is used different ways in the Bible. Sometimes it is the mind believing or being enlightened (Romans 10:10; Ephesians 1:18), the will deciding and acting (II Corinthians 9:7; Ephesians 6:6), or the affections feeling (II Corinthians 2:4). In Hebrews 4:12 the heart thinks and feels. The best way to think of your heart is that it comprises:
- your thoughts, plans, judgments, discernment (the mind);
- your choices and actions (the will);
- your longings, desire, revulsion, imagination, feelings (the affections);
- your sense of right and wrong, which approves or condemns your mind, will and affections (the conscience)
All this is unsearchable and deceitful above all things.
– Kris Lundgaard, The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, copyright 1998, page 38