Men and women are never the enemy in the spiritual war. We have only one enemy—Satan. We fight him and those spiritual powers in league with him.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers introduction and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints” (Eph. 6:10–18).
The unsaved are captives of the Enemy. We fight to deliver them from his power. They are what the war is over—they are the contested territory.
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will” (2 Tim. 2:23–26).
These people are slaves to sin, and we are to seek their liberation.
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted” (Rom. 6:17).
“When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness” (Rom. 6:20).
Those enslaved to sin are not our enemies. At the fundamental level, we do not fight them; we are fighting to rescue them. The gospel is therefore the only true liberation front.
*Excerpted from Weapons & Tactics. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore.