HomeBible StudyThe Stages of Spiritual Growth: Understanding Spiritual Battle

The Stages of Spiritual Growth: Understanding Spiritual Battle

One of the realities of being a Christian is that every person who enlists with Jesus Christ is also enlisting in a spiritual war. The Bible teaches that every Christian is the of God’s most jealous enemy, Satan. The enemy seeks to raise himself up target to God’s position, taking from God the things He cares about most, mainly, us.

Because each Christian is part of this spiritual warfare, every Christian must learn how to defend him or herself, and claim new ground. 

In this study you will receive an overview of spiritual warfare, the roles that each person has in the battle, their objectives, strategies, tactics, and weapons. You will also begin to see that you have some powerful weapons in the battle that can ensure your victory. Let’s begin this study by looking at the enemy and his role in spiritual warfare.

Satan’s Position

Read: I John 2:14-17, 3:15-17

Man’s enemy, Satan, seeks to thwart God’s plan for us, and put himself into position as if he were God. His objectives and strategies are different from God’s.

Satan’s Objective is to Become Like God

(Isaiah 14:12-17)

Some people think Satan’s goal is to steal, kill, and destroy. This passage paints a different picture. What are Satan’s motives, according to this passage?

Satan’s Strategy is to Raise Himself Up Above Man and God

(Isaiah 14:13)

How might Satan raise himself up to be regarded as important as or higher than God?

Satan’s Tactics Include “Stealing, Killing, and Destroying.”

(John 10:7-18) 

In this passage Jesus portrays Satan as a thief, trying to steal what is God’s. Look at the passage carefully. Whom does Jesus say Satan wants to kill? What is to be stolen and/or destroyed?

Satan’s Weapons Include Deception and the “Lust of the Flesh, Lust of the Eyes, and the Boastful Pride of Life”

Look up the following passages and list a “weapon” or “tool” of the enemy to bring defeat to the Christian.

I Chronicles 21:1                       Zechariah 3:1

Mark 4:15                                 Acts 5:3

II Corinthians 2:11                     II Corinthians 11:14

I Thessalonians 2:18                   I John 2:16

Satan’s Primary Weapon is MAN’S OWN NATURE, i.e., US.

(I John 2:16)

What weapons are listed in this passage? Where can they be found other than in “the world?”

God’s Position

Read: I John 2:14-17

God has countered, and defeated Satan’s plan.

God’s Objective was to Become Like Man

(Philippians 2:5-7, II Corinthians 5:18)

Jesus became a human being. What kinds of character traits did Jesus have that are just like us? Considering that Satan wanted to be like God, what do you think his response is toward us knowing the God wanted to become like man?

God’s Strategy was to Lower Himself

(Philippians 2:7)

How does this strategy defeat Satan’s strategy of trying to lift himself up? Why is humility better than pride?

God’s Tactics Include Restoring the Lost, Giving Life, and Rebuilding that which has been Destroyed

(Luke 19:10)

How did Jesus put this tactic into use? What did He specifically do to “seek” and “save” the lost?

God’s Weapons Include Truth, His Word, and…

Read Ephesians 6:12-18 and list the weapons available to us relative to practical, everyday Christian living.

God’s Primary Weapon to Defeat Satan was HIMSELF.

(Philippians 2:5-8)What advantages 

Man’s Position

The same strategies that God used to defeat the Evil One are the same strategies He has given us. In fact, the Bible says He has even given us the same power.

Read: Ephesians 1:13-14, 18-19 

God’s OBJECTIVE for man is to become like Jesus Christ.

(Romans 8:29)

How does becoming like Jesus Christ render Satan powerless against us?

God’s STRATEGY for man is humility, that God might raise him.

(Philippians 2:4-8, emphasis on verse 4)

God has already demonstrated victory by humbling Himself to our level. How can you apply this concept of humility in your daily life?

God’s TACTICS for man include evangelism and reconciliation – the same tools Jesus used.

(Matthew 28: 18-20, II Corinthians 5:17-21)

How does reconciling people to God defeat Satan’s plan to dominate them?

Our WEAPONS are the same as Christ’s.

(Ephesians 6:12-18)

What weapons are available to you?

Our primary weapon to defeat the enemy is Jesus Christ IN US.

(Ephesians 5:15-18)

How can Jesus use your life to defeat Satan’s plans?


Thinking on God’s Word changes the MIND

(Philippians 4:8)

Dwelling on God’s Word changes the HEART

(Luke 6:45, Luke 8:15, Colossian 3:16)

Expressing God’s Word changes LIVES

(Hebrews 4:12)

Tom Terry is head of Global Broadcast Strategy for JESUS Film Project and serves as General Manager of The Better FM, an online radio station for Asia. Tom is also the author of several books, including Bible studies and "Like An Eagle," his biography about living in Mongolia for ten years.
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