There is a spiritual battle raging in the heavenlies, and for some reason the vast majority of the people of God are unaware of it. The Bible says there is a spiritual conflict (cf. Eph. 6:12), and we just think there’s 4 Sundays in a month. That’s our view of Christianity; 4 Sundays, 4 hours at a certain building, and that’s what Christianity is all about. WRONG! I guess it is not so much that we know how to deal with the spiritual conflict as that we know that indeed there is a spiritual conflict. And a soldier who does not know that he is in a battle, has already lost the battle. That’s the tragedy
The book of Ephesians was written against the false teachers of Gnosticism that the early church struggled with for centuries. We still have in the modern world these false teachers, characterized as gnostics (e.g. scientologists, illuminati, and the da Vinci code kind of thing), from the Greek word for knowledge “to know”. These false teachers say there’s always been two co-eternal things: spirit or God, and matter or stuff. We know fully well that that is untrue because the Bible says, there was nothing, and out of nothing God spoke the material universe into existence. But Gnosticism is Greek philosophy and it says God is good, and matter is evil. And blame the problems of the world on matter, that’s why the Greeks would say, everybody has a divine spark, and at death that spark goes back to an impersonal God, and the body is the prison-house of the soul. So they’re saying that our real problem is flesh. Now wait a minute, because Jesus is said to come in the flesh, how can Jesus be fully God and fully man and flesh be evil? And yet Jesus is without sin. Remember 1 John 4:1-3 says if you do not believe that Jesus is fully God and fully man, you have the spirit of the anti-Christ. This is no minor doctrine. So here what looked innocently became a major attack on the person of Jesus Christ. We believe that the the cross is the key to our forgiveness. Well not for the gnostics; they would say the way for you to be saved is to join their group and get a secret knowledge, or a code that they claim Jesus gave them orally. This is one among many of the false teachings believers have to wage war against, and it will do us well if we know our Bible enough to defend ourselves. READ YOUR BIBLE AND PRAY EVERYDAY!