The Fight 2018

The Fight | Prayer

After discussing the believer's spiritual armor, Paul encourages us to do one other thing continually as we fight against satan... and that is pray.  

This Week's Action Step: 

Paul encourages believers in Eph. 6:18 to pray for "ALL the Saints."  

Take some time each day this week and pray for the church.

 

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

1.  Read the following verses that I referenced in the sermon this week:  Rom. 12:12, Col. 4:2, Phil. 4:6, and I Thess. 5:17.

What does it mean to be “constant in prayer” or to “pray without ceasing?”  How can we do that?

2.  Paul urges the Ephesian church to pray with "all prayer and supplication."  There are different kinds/types of prayer.  List as many kinds/types of prayer as you can think of.  What kind/types of prayers do you find yourself praying most frequently?  Why? 

3.  How do we pray with “all perseverance?”  What is something you’ve prayed for with perseverance/persistence?  Did you (or do you) find it difficult to continue to pray for something for a long time?  

4.  Read Eph. 6:19-20.  We tend to pray for the things that are most important to us.  If that’s true, what was most important to the apostle Paul?  What can/does this teach us about how to specifically pray for our spiritual leaders (Elders, Pastors, Missionaries, etc…) in our church?  

5.  Paul also encourages the believers in Ephesus to “pray for all the saints.”  With that in mind, take some time as you wrap up your small group this week and pray for each other.  You can do this however you want (have a few people pray, open it up to anyone who wants to pray, divide up into groups of 3 or 4 and pray, etc…). The important thing is to pray for one another as we’re all in the fight against satan.  

 

Songs from Today

Spirit Move by Amanda Cook and Kalley Heiligenthal

This Is Amazing Grace by Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, and Phil Wickham

Never Stop by Chris Franz and Mariah McManus

Good Good Father

No Longer Slaves by Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser

The Fight | Helmet of Salvation & Sword of the Spirit

The last two pieces of armor that Paul mentions in Eph. 6 are the helmet and the sword. Paul identifies them with salvation (specifically our future hope) and the word of God (scripture). When we're assured of our future hope, it gives us confidence in the fight against satan. We also need to know how to rightly use the sword (the Word of God) in the fight. 

This Week's Action Step: 

If you don't already have a habit or pattern of doing so, make a commitment to spend some time each day reading the Bible this week. Start with one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John) and work your way through. 

 

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

1.  Out of all the pieces of armor that a soldier wore, why do you think the Apostle Paul chose to associate salvation with the helmet?  Any significance to that?

2.  Read John 6:37-39, John 10:27-30, Rom. 8:35-39, and Phil. 1:6.  How does knowing these truths, or promises, give us confidence in our fight agains satan?  

3.  Why is it so important to have a high view of God’s Word?  What does it mean to say that the Bible is authoritative and infallible?  

4.  Read II Tim. 2:15.  How do we “rightly handle the word of truth?”  How have you seen or experienced the sword (word of God) being used wrongly?  In other words, how is it often misused?

5.  Answer the first part of this question quietly to yourself.  On a scale of 1-10 how well would you say you “know” the Word of God? (Got the number in your head?). Now, what are some practical things you can do over the course of this year to increase that number so that you can be better equipped to use your sword against satan’s attacks? 

 

Songs from Today

Faithful To The End by Brian Johnson, Hannah McClure, Joel Taylor, and Paul McClure

Love Goes On by Joel Davies, Hannah Hobbs, and Laura Toggs

King Of My Heart by John Mark McMillan and Sarah McMillan

O Come To The Altar by Christopher Brown, Mack Brock, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye

Tremble by Andres Figueroa, Hank Bentley, Mariah McManus, and Mia Fieldes

The Fight | Session 3

Small Group Questions

1.     Ephesians 6:10-16 states that having the gospel strapped to our feet will help us to stand in the face of adversity.  How are you doing with standing? Would you describe your life as more like being tossed around in a storm, or more like travelling forward on an even keel?

2.     What does your experience of life tell you about what you are standing on?  How would you describe the fundamental beliefs (or shoes) on which you are standing?

3.     The shield of faith in verse 16 has to be “taken up” to be effective.  What temptations have hit you where you believed the truth of God and protected yourself from the attack of the Enemy?

4.     What attacks of the Enemy have succeeded in your life?  Where have you given in to temptation and paid a price for the lie you believed?

5.     Verse 16 says that you (plural) can extinguish all the fiery darts of the Enemy with your faith.  What can your small group do to keep your collective shields tight around each other so that you can all be protected?  What do you do when a member of the group becomes isolated and maybe even falls under the attack of temptation?

Songs from Today

Unstoppable God by Chris Brown, Steven Furtick, and Wade Joye

Never Stop by Chris Franz and Mariah McManus

Give Me Faith by Mack Brock, Chris Brown, London Gatch, and Wade Joye

Starlight by Amanda Cook, Bobby Strand, Brian Johnson, and Lindsey Strand

Great Is Thy Faithfulness by Thomas Obediah Chisholm and William Marion Runyan

 

The Fight | Truth and Righteousness

As believers, we must know and be absolutely committed to truth if we're going to stand against Satan because he is a liar and deceiver. So, truth is essential in the fight, but it must be backed up by righteous living. If we're living in sin, there's a chink/crack in our armor and Satan will exploit it. 

This Week's Action Step: 

Identify the area(s) of your life where you feel the most vulnerable to Satan's attack (what does Satan use most often to "hook" you).  

Tell a trusted friend the truth about that this week so that they can pray for you, encourage you, and hold you accountable in that area.

 

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

1.  Satan is a liar and a deceiver.  Can you think of a way (or some ways) Satan has lied to, or deceived you in the past that you’d be willing to share?  If not, maybe you can give an example of how you’ve seen Satan lie to and deceive someone you know.  

2.  When Paul says that we need to “put on the belt of Truth” he’s essentially saying that we must know and be committed to truth if we’re going to stand against Satan.  How can we do that?  What can we do practically to know and be committed to truth in our lives?

3.  Read Eph. 4:27.  What are some ways that we end up “giving the devil opportunity” in our lives?

4.  Read Romans 12:1-2 and Eph. 4:22-24.  In these passages Paul seems to make a connection between transformation (right living) and a renewed mind.  If that’s the case, what can we do to renew our minds so that we can walk in righteousness?  

5.  Part of the action step this week was to identify the area, or areas, of your life where you feel most vulnerable to Satan’s attack.  Once you’ve done that, what boundaries can you put in place in that area as a safeguard against Satan’s attack?  What other things can you implement in your life to help you “walk in righteousness?”

 

Songs from Today

The Lion And The Lamb by Brenton Brown, Brian Johnson, and Leeland Mooring

The War Is Over by James K. Manley

God With Us by Jim Bryson, Nathan Cochran, Barry Graul, Bart Millard, Mike Scheuchzer, and Robby Shaffer

I Will Exalt by Amanda Falk

Yes And Amen by Anthony Brown, Chris McClarney, and Nate Moore

The Fight | Identifying the Enemy

Paul says that the Christian life is a struggle, or a battle, or a fight. So, if we're going to fight, we need to know who we're fighting. We must start by identifying the enemy. Our enemy is not people, it's Satan.

 

This Week's Action Step: 

Read through Eph. 1:3-14 and underline/highlight all of the specific things Christ has done for us. When you're feeling attacked by the enemy, read over the underlined/highlighted statements and be reminded of your position in Christ.

 

Small Group

Small Group Questions:

1.  Right or wrong, what are some popular beliefs about Satan and demons (maybe from pop-culture, movies, books, etc…)?

2.  Have you ever felt attacked by Satan in some way?  If so, how?  In what way?

3.  Read I John 5:4-5 & 19.  What are some ways Satan operates through the “systems of this world” to temp, attack, and hinder believers?

4.  Read Eph. 6:10.  What does it mean to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might?  How do we do that?

5.  I mentioned that many Christians wrongly war/battle/fight against people.  Why is it so hard to remember that people, or particular groups of people, are not our enemy?  What can we do to stay focused on the real enemy… Satan?

6.  Read Eph. 1:13-14.  How does knowing the truth, that Christ has already won the ultimate victory over Satan through his death and resurrection, help us in our spiritual fight?

Songs from Today

You Make Me Brave by Amanda Cook

This Is Amazing Grace by Josh Farro, Jeremy Riddle, and Phil Wickham

Heroes by Amanda Cook, Jason Ingram, and Paul Mabury

My Heart Is Overwhelmed by Dylan Thomas

What A Beautiful Name by Ben Fielding and Brooke Ligertwood