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Thursday, September 06, 2012

Stripes, Spots or Diamonds

 Pineapple Fish, Cleidopus gloriamaris
Photo: Akos Lumnitzer

In Stripes, Spots or Diamonds by Patricia Stockland the text in her book reads, “The fish’s black-edged scales act like body armor. This pattern of plates is tough—and sharp! Each scale ends with a pointy spine. Now many predators want to tackle the pineapple fish.” This illustration reminded me that without Christ, we have no armor. Through faith, we are given the armor, but we need to use it (put it on).

In the New Testament, Paul makes it clear that our primary battle is against spiritual (not human) forces (Eph. 6:12). The human dimensions are always involved, but it is our encounter with spiritual forces that determines the results. Christ has provided forgiveness and cleansing for all our sin. If we agree with God about our sin and His remedy for it, Satan can no longer hold us in bondage through guilt.

“Self” goes to the Cross with Christ. God’s children do not “love their lives so much as to shrink from death” (Rev 12:11). If I have been crucified with Christ (Gal 2:20), my self has gone to the Cross, and I daily claim victory to the demands of the old nature. This is why Paul says, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world,’ (Gal 6:14)


  1. How does your position in a battle change if you are approaching it from a position of authority?
  1. What should we do about doubt in our spiritual battle?
  1. What are the evidences of evil Paul references in Eph. 2:1-3? What do they mean?

    Ephesians 2:1-3
    As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

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